The Soviet Presence in the Middle East in the Context of the Unfolding Cold War: Church Institutions and Actors of Influence in Palestine in 1940–50th

 
PIIS013038640017185-1-1
DOI10.31857/S013038640017185-1
Publication type Article
Status Published
Authors
Affiliation: Institute of World History, RAS
Address: Russian Federation, Moscow
Affiliation: Smolensk State University
Address: Russian Federation, Smolensk
Journal nameNovaia i noveishaia istoriia
EditionIssue 6
Pages107-120
Abstract

The Soviet diplomacy in the second half of the 1940s included the Russian Orthodox Church and its institutions of international presence in its sphere of activity. At that time the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) began to play a significant role in the Soviet Union's foreign policy. The Middle Eastern direction becomes one of the most significant areas of “church diplomacy”. The first visit of Patriarch Alexy (Simanskiy) to the Holy Land in 1945 was part of a “package” of diplomatic steps made by Soviet diplomacy in partnership with the Moscow Patriarchate in 1945–1955 to restore the property of the ROC in Palestine. The analysis of the documents on the ROC (State Archive of the Russian Federation, F. R-6991) and the materials on the foreign policy of the USSR Council of Ministers (State Archive of the Russian Federation, F. R-5446), as well as the extensive historiography of historical relations between Russia and the Holy Land, allows the authors to consider joint efforts to consolidate the presence of the ROC in the region. The research allows tracing the “birth of tradition” of foreign policy mission of the Moscow Patriarchate and its foreign structures, which became points of influence of the USSR in the post-war world. It allows one to reconstruct the social image of Moscow's “agents of influence” in the Middle East, both the new emissaries and the traditional agents of Russian influence in the region – the pilgrims and nuns of the Russian monasteries of the Holy Land.

KeywordsPalestine, Holy Land, Church diplomacy, Orthodoxy, Cold War, USSR, foreign affairs, Church politics, post-war period, Russian Orthodox Church
AcknowledgmentThe article was prepared with the support of the Russian Foundation for Basic Research, project 20-09-41017.
Received26.08.2021
Publication date19.10.2021
Number of characters35380
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