The concept of "religious cult": scientific and legal aspects


  • Olena V. Katunina



During the Second World War, two new government bodies were established in the Soviet Union to deal with religious communities: on September 14, 1943, the Council for the Affairs of the Russian Orthodox Church was formed, and on May 19, 1944, the Council for Religious Cults. Their formation was linked to the liberalization of Stalin's policy on the church, which supported the state in its fight against fascism. The creation of two independent structures was also due to the fact that the communist regime paid special attention to cooperation with the leadership of the Orthodox Church, whose leaders not only raised funds for the needs of the front, but also were leaders of Stalin's political line, both within the state and in the its borders. In order to coordinate these activities more effectively, a Council for the Affairs of the Russian Orthodox Church was set up, headed by intelligence officers. In recent years, a large number of ground works have been published, which analyze the issues of interaction between the Orthodox Church and the state during the years of Soviet power. N.Hordienko, Yu.Katunin, M.Korzun, V.Paschenko, D.Pospelovsky, V.Tsipin and many other Ukrainian and foreign authors dealt with these issues.