Marchenko Alexey, archpriest

Armed defense of a shrine as a form of church resistance to soviet authorities: the case of the assault on Belogorsk monastery metochion in Perm diocese in february 1918

Marchenko Alexey (2020) "Armed defense of a shrine as a form of church resistance to soviet authorities: the case of the assault on Belogorsk monastery metochion in Perm diocese in february 1918 ", Vestnik Pravoslavnogo Sviato-Tikhonovskogo gumanitarnogo universiteta. Seriia II : Istoriia. Istoriia Russkoy Pravoslavnoy Tserkvi, 2020, vol. 97, pp. 108-119 (in Russian).

DOI of the paper: 10.15382/sturII202097.108-119


This article discusses the forms of resistance of believers that took place during the implementation of the Soviets government’s decree “On the separation of church and state, church and school” in 1918. The author of the article describes mass religious processions and armed clashes as a form of resistance to units of the Red Guard. It is necessary to abandon the stereotype of the feeble response to the Bolsheviks’ arbitrariness and armed violence that has developed in the church consciousness. The armed resistance of the clergy and believers was mostly local and led to casualties not only among believers, but also among representatives of the Soviet authorities. The article provides an example of an attempt of requisition of the property of a metochion of Belogorsk Monastery of St. Nicholas in Perm, which grew into an armed clash between the defenders of the metochion and the Red Guard in February 1918. This resistance was supported by Andronik (Nikolsky), bishop of Perm diocese. He called on the clergy and believers to defend churches, monasteries, and church property in every possible way. This confrontation led to the death of the Red Guard soldiers, parishioners and members of the Belogorsk brotherhood. The article restores this event into a complete story based on sources which are signifi cantly diff erent in value and degree of reliability, i.e. materials of the Soviet and White Guard press, as well as memoirs of the participants of the event. The question of justifi cation of extreme forms of church resistance from the moral-canonical point of view is debatable and requires a solution in the presentday church science.


Belogorsk Monastery, metochion, decree “On the separation of church and state, church and school”, Soviet authority, Perm Diocese


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Information about the author

Marchenko Alexey, archpriest

Academic Degree: Doctor of Sciences* in History;
Academic Degree: Doctor of Theology;
Academic Rank: Associate Professor;
Place of work: Institute of Postgraduate Studies of Russian Orthodox Church; 4/2–1 Pyatnitskaya Str., Moscow, 115035, Russian Federation;
Post: Head of Department of Postgraduate Studies;
ORCID: 0000-0001-9700-8073;
Email: prot.marchenko@yandex.ru.

*According to ISCED 2011, a post-doctoral degree called Doctor of Sciences (D.Sc.) is given to reflect second advanced research qualifications or higher doctorates.