TABOR - Tradition and Contemporaneity in the Romanian Orthodox Church
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NKVD colonel Karpov reporter at “ The Night of the Metropolitans”

BORIS BUZILĂ, NKVD colonel Karpov reporter at “ The Night of the Metropolitans”
The article evokes a meeting of I.V. Stalin with three metropolitans of the Russian Orthodox Church
on September 4, 1943. This event led some church historians from the present to inquire and investigate
how things were conducted then and how the Church could get such concessions from the
regime. As for the reasons that made Stalin, at that precise moment, to change the steel glove of the
«terrible» tsar from the old days, that his hand, extended toward the Church, was then wearing,
with a velvet glove, church historian Aleksandr Mazarkin stated three hypotheses: I). Countering
how the Nazis were speculating the religious factor among the local population, through a genuine
boom of the religious life leading to talks of a “second Christianization” of Russia and a “holy war”
against the Bolshevik infi dels. The regime assumed the phrase “holy war” in its own interest, the
Orthodox Church leaders repeatedly using it. II). The attitude of “the patriotic” hierarchs since the
early days of the war, an important fi nancial contribution made by collecting money in churches, especially
in Leningrad diocese, to provide the army with combat equipment. III). The pressure from the allies who continued to be concerned about the lack of freedom of conscience in Soviet Russia and further religious persecution. In turn, Stalin believed that by making visible, ostentatious concessions in this regard, he will get a speedy opening of the second front in Western Europe, which he has long desired and which was going to happen in June 1944.
Keywords: I.V. Stalin, the Russian Orthodox Church, the Bolshevik regime, World War II, NKVD
colonel Karpov