It takes all sorts: priestly agitators in the Russian Revolution

Not a few Orthodox priests joined directly in the massive effort of the Red Army in the ‘civil’ war (the White armies were funded and supported with troops and equipment by the Entente) after the October Revolution:

The Second Army had a rather peculiar agitator: he had been a priest before the October Revolution, but after he had become an agitator for the Bolsheviks. At a meeting of five thousand Red Army men in Perm he spoke of the Soviet power’s intimate link with the masses. “The Bolsheviks,” he said, “are today’s apostles.” When asked by a Red Army man in the audience, “What about baptism?” he answered: “That would take a couple of hours to explain, but briefly it’s pure eyewash”.

Krupskaya, Reminiscences of Lenin, p. 526.

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6 thoughts on “It takes all sorts: priestly agitators in the Russian Revolution

    1. Lenin was probably the most sympathetic of all his contemporaries regarding Gapon, whom most regarded as a police agent. For Lenin, he may have been in the pay of the okhrana, but events swept away a somewhat naive priest and he became one revolutionary voice of the people, until the SRs did away with him.

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