It is fitting to consider the Russian Church immediately after the state services, because for two centuries it had in a sense been one of them. When the Great Russian nation was being shaped in the Muscovite period (fifteenth to seventeenth centuries), ‘the dominant elements in the church, in extolling the grand princes of Moscow as the Tsars of All Russia, magnified and extolled them as successors to the divinely instituted Byzantine autocracy, as requiring all honour and obedience and as wielding authority not only in all temporal matters but, with reservations, in religious matters’. 1 The Muscovite monarchy was a theocratic monarchy, regarded as deriving its authority directly from God. It was ‘the political expression of the class of privileged landowning clergy’, 2 and nothing could have been closer than the alliance between church and monarch. Though religious reasons continued to be put forward by the Orthodox as the prime justification of the monarch’s authority, the inevitable struggle between church and state resulted in Russia in the total subordination of the national church. The monasteries were deprived of most of their land—they had at one time owned about a third of the realm—and of any power of political interference. Even the church’s own affairs were controlled from 1721 by the Holy Synod, a board modelled on similar bodies in the German protestant states. The members, though all but one were ecclesiastics, were appointed by the Tsar and given no choice but to further the purposes of the state. The all-important lay member, the Chief Procurator, was in the nineteenth century a sort of minister for the state religion, which was consciously used as an instrument of power from the accession of Nicholas I (1825). ‘Karl Marx regarded the organised Churches as enemies to social revolution. By ascribing divine origin or divine sanction to human institutions, they placed them out of bounds except to the impious or the unbelieving. In Imperial Russia the state of the Orthodox Church confirmed, for the revolutionary parties, the inferences which Marx had drawn. Not only this or that Church, but religion in general, assumed the aspect of a defender of.’ 1