• Michael Bourdeaux


The persistence and growth of sectarian groups is one of the most interesting features of the Soviet scene today. A book was recently published by F. Fedorenko1 which, as a Soviet reviewer rightly says, treats ‘more than 400 religious sects’.2 Even since the writing of that book another new sect has appeared upon the scene, a group known as the Pokutniki (‘Penitents’. in Ukrainian) who seem to be descended from the suppressed Uniates (Eastern Rite Catholics).3 The difficulty of organizing church life on a national scale has contributed to the appearance of local sub– variations of some denominations and where a sect has been declared completely illegal (as in the case of the Uniates) this tendency has become even more apparent. It would not be too strong to talk of the ‘hydra’. principle here — cut off one head and many others grow in its place.


Religious Community Religious Cult Protestant Group Religious Affair Soviet Policy 
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  1. 1.
    F. Fedorenko, Sekty, ikh vera i dela, Moscow, 1965.Google Scholar
  2. 22.
    G. Bailey, The Reporter (New York), 16 July 1964, p. 28.Google Scholar
  3. 27.
    W. Kolarz, Religion in the Soviet Union, London, 1961, p. 304.Google Scholar
  4. 52.
    I. Swan, ‘The disappearance of Metropolitan Nikolai’., Bul 5, 1961, pp. 46–47Google Scholar
  5. 53.
    T. E. Bird, ‘Party, the Patriarch and the World Council’., Commonweal (New York), 13 April 1963, p. 56Google Scholar
  6. N. Teodorovich, ‘Increasing Pressure on the Moscow Patriarchate’., Bul 10, 1962, pp. 46–47.Google Scholar
  7. 56.
    Nikita Struve, Christians in Contemporary Russia, London, 1967, pp. 304–10.Google Scholar
  8. 70.
    J. C. Pollock, The Christians from Siberia, London, 1964, pp. 172–186.Google Scholar

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© Michael Bourdeaux 1968

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  • Michael Bourdeaux

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