Segments in this Video

Reforms Bring Renaissance (01:37)


Led by its Patriarch Alexis II, The Russian Orthodox Church is now enjoying a spectacular renaissance after 70 years of repression. Like the Church itself, the Monastery of the Holy Trinity has somehow survived decades of atheist propaganda.

Post-Soviet Nationalism and the Church (01:25)

Church leaders fear that nationalist tensions in the former Soviet Union, held in check by political union and collective economy, now threaten the church.

Competition with Catholic Church (02:26)

A church official denounces Rome's attempts to convert Russia to Catholicism accuses them of exploiting passions. Stalin seized a church from ethnic Polish Catholics; Catholics repossessed it in 1992.

Catholic Archbishop on Proselytization Attempts (01:30)

The Catholic archbishop in Moscow admits relations between Catholic and Orthodox have reached a low. He addresses accusations of Catholic proselytizing in Russia.

Need to Educate New Members (01:36)

Amid political and economic turmoil, many Russians return to the Orthodox Church but have no concept of Christian teaching.

Priests Work for Trust (03:14)

All Saints' Kulikov reopened in 1991. Priests struggle to regain parishoners' trust. One woman's priest has served her well as spiritual advisor; others talk about spiritual life and the priests' role.

Need for Change (02:29)

In Orthodoxy, the act of worship is fundamental to faith; we observe Russian Orthodox choral singing. An clergyman laments that most Russian Christians are fundamentalist and believes more openness toward other religions is needed.

Church's Uncertain Position (01:50)

As new denominations take root, the church rethinks its position. Most church members aren't serious, a government official believes, treating its worship and message as pagan-style folklore.

Orthdoxy's Appeal to Russia (01:53)

The beauty of Orthodox ritual is a main reason Orthodoxy came to Russia through Prince Vladimir of Kiev. Communists appropriated its love of ritual. Orthodoxy continues to appeal to the Russian soul.

Regaining Political Rights (02:19)

The Orthodox church was long a political force in Russia before communism. Priests baptizing in a state-run orphanage indicates renewed status, but habits of secrecy developed under communism are deeply ingrained.

Church Compromised (01:28)

The pact Stalin made with the church during the War allowed a few churches to reopen, but church leaders were compromised. Totalitarianism weakened Russian society, leaving it a target for other faiths' propaganda, a clergyman says.

Orthodoxy and Contemporary Russian Identity (01:38)

Historically, Orthodoxy has been bound with Russian identity and nationalism. Today, its spiritual monopoly is over; a political official speaks of the need for incorporating Orthodox values without being restricted to them alone.

Danger of Nationalism (01:42)

Nationalistic tensions tear at the church. There are fears Russia will see scenes like those in former Yugoslavia. The Catholic and Orthodox churches need to give people foundation they may lack for their new freedom.

Credits: The Russian Orthodox Church (00:59)

Credits: The Russian Orthodox Church

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The Russian Orthodox Church

Part of the Series : Credo: An Introduction to the Major Religious Traditions of Europe
DVD Price: $99.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $149.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $99.95



This program captures the sights and smells and other-worldly color of the revived Orthodox Church in Russia and traces its history, from oppression under Stalin to its newfound freedom. Some fascinating and often deeply moving interviews with families of believers complement the visual splendor of Church worship. The program also examines the new challenge to orthodoxy presented by the rival Catholic Church competing in a free market of souls. (30 minutes)

Length: 27 minutes

Item#: BVL4101

Copyright date: ©1993

Closed Captioned

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