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The Russian Orthodox Churchs history and development which established it as an arm of the Tsarist state and an instrument of the perpetuation of Russias unequal class system and anti-reform policies made it a necessary object of destruction for the security of the Bolshevik revolution The myth of the Holy Russian land was the founding idea of the Muscovite tsardom as it was developed by the Romanovs from the start of the seventeenth century After the civil war and Polish intervention during the Time of Troubles 1598-1613 Mikhail Romanov as the legend went was elected by the entire Russian population therefore reuniting the Holy Russian land behind the Romanov dynasty and saving Orthodox Russia from the Catholics Carr 125 The idea of Russia as a holy land contributed to the Tsars position not as a king ruling with a divine right but a god on earth There was in fact a tradition in Russia of canonizing princes who died pro patria et fides Tsars used Church laws to persecute political opponents unlike the Western rulers of this time Peter the Great later tried to reform relations between Church and state in an attempt to Westernize Russia transferring the Churchs administration from the patriarchate to the Holy Synod this was completed by Catherine II This body of laymen and clergy with its secular representative being the Procurator-General was appointed by the Tsar and served as a faithful tool It was in the Churchs best interests not to protest this subordination to the state as during the latter half of the eighteenth century it had lost most of its land and now relied on the state to support its 100000 parish clergy and their families Curtiss Russian Church 21 With most of the population being illiterate the Church was an essential propaganda weapon and a means of social control Priests were ordered to denounce from the pulpit dissent and opposition to the Tsar and informed
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