The Russian True Orthodox Church
is a denomination that separated from the Russian Orthodox Church
during the early years of Communist
rule in the Soviet Union
. While the True Orthodox Church in Russia was never a single organization, many of its followers were labeled Josephites
, after Metropolitan Joseph
of Leningrad, the leader of its largest branch.
The death of Patriarch Tikhon
, the leader of the Russian Orthodox Church in April 1925 led to unrest among the followers of the church. Tikhon's designated successors were arrested by the civil authorities
and Metropolitan Sergius
was named '"locum tenens," or a cleric
designated to substitute for another. Sergius issued a declaration in 1927 calling all members of the church to profess loyalty towards the Soviet government
. The declaration sparked division among the hierarchy
, and laity
, which led to the formation of the Russian True Orthodox Church.
Opposition to Sergius's declaration was based not only on his political concessions, but also on canonical
disagreements. His alliance with the authorities allowed him to turn over to the civil authorities all hierarchs, or church administrators, and clergy who were at odds with him on both political and church-related issues.
Many church members and clerics were opposed to Sergius in church doctrine and backed the stand of the new True Orthodox Church. Most of them tried to observe Soviet law
. Yet the... Read More