Following 70 years of continuous religious oppression and the violent spreading of atheism in the Soviet territories, Russia’s Orthodox Church viewed the Soviet collapse as the beginning of its own resurrection. The new process of the Russian Church’s revival led to the serious geographical and territorial shifts in how various religious groups were spread across the Russian territory: as of today, most Russian territories have their own orthodox churches, and the number of peaceful pilgrims constantly grows.
In his article, Sergey Schmemann (2009) reviews the process and changes in the state-church relationships in Russia. The purpose of the article is to reconsider the process of the Russia’s church revival in the Soviet territory and to compare the state of church development in the country with the period that immediately followed the collapse of the Soviet Union. Schmemann (2009) chooses the town of Murom as the central object of his analysis – the town the author is familiar with and the town which reflects the basic stages of Russia’s church resurrection on the post-Soviet landscape. Schmemann (2009) provides the detailed description of Murom, its location, geographical features, and history: the town is arrayed on seven hills along Oka’s left bank and used to be one of the most important points of the Russian eastern periphery in the medieval times. Murom is also unique in the sense that more often than not, it was able to withstand and suppress the Soviet atheistic pressures; it would be fair to assume that throughout the Soviet era, Murom retained its unique religious atmosphere, with numerous monasteries and myths (Schmemann, 2009). Finally, the choice of Murom for this article is justified by the fact that Juliana Osorin – one of the town’s residents – was canonized in 1604, to persuade the public that holiness was easy to achieve in the family and at home,