Conference Contribution Details
Mandatory Fields
James Kapalo
Ends and Beginnings - European Association for the Study of Religions Annual Conference
Inochentism in the Soviet Union: The Memory of Repression and Resistance in a Moldovan Village
Sodertorn University, Stockholm
Oral Presentation
Optional Fields

This paper examines the historical memory of repression of the Innochentite movement in the Soviet Union. Innochentism emerged out of the Russian Orthodox Church in the largely Romanian ethnic milieu of the borderlands of south western Ukraine and Bessarabia in the early twentieth century. Considered heretical by Orthodox Church authorities, the Innochentist movement shares some common traits with other Russian and Ukrainian religious groupings such as the Khlysty and Stundists. This intensely apocalyptic and charismatic movement, which was inspired by the Moldovan Orthodox monk Ioan Levizor, was soon portrayed as both religiously heretical and politically subversive and as such was seen as a challenge to the authority of both the Russian Orthodox Church and the Tsarist regime. Over the following one hundred years this movement, whilst remaining small in number and peripheral in terms of power, has succeeded in reproducing itself despite successive waves of repression and persecution. As the political, state and religious jurisdictions changed on the ground in the region, this religious movement developed strategies to survive the tactics of repressive regimes in Tsarist Russia, Greater Romania and Soviet Moldova and Ukraine. Affiliation with one of the various networks associated with Inochentie remains a viable religious option in contemporary Moldova, Ukraine and Romania.

Study of Religions Department, UCC