confessional identity, but even to tempt ignorant Russians, if not into outright apostasy, then certainly into insidious error.

It was therefore disconcerting for the church to find state support for Orthodox proselytism withdrawn once excessive clerical zeal prompted civil unrest. Prince A. A. Suvorov, governor-general ofthe Balticprovinces from 1848 to 1861, was openly disrespectful to Orthodox clergy, surrounding the bishop's palace in Riga with troops to prevent Filaret (Gumilevskii) from attempting further conversions. Alexander Il's secret decision to release Lutherans in mixed marriages from the obligation to baptise their children into Orthodoxy allowed between 30,000 and 40,000 Estonians and Latvians to revert to Lutheranism between 1865 and 1874.22 Only in the Crimea-from where Innokentii (Borisov) complained in 1852 that 'the ruling religion is in many cases so only in name' because 'real rights' lay 'with foreign faiths and even those who are not Christians' - was it accepted that the Tatars were a security risk: rumours of a purge in 1856 accounted for the exodus, over the following decade, of at least half a million and perhaps 900,000 Muslims to the Ottoman Empire.23 Bishops elsewhere discovered that provincial governors in the 1860s and 1870s were prepared to offer a measure of protection to the church's rivals, either in order to keep the peace, as in Zabaikal, or, as in the case of Turkestan's Mikhail von Kaufman, because they regarded religion as a matter belonging to the private sphere.24 When even the schismatic Old Belief came to seem attractive to the tsarist regime as a repository of conservative values in unsettled times, the road to wider toleration was open.

Bishops were left to rue the consequences of institutional overstretch as men better suited to the scholarly life were thrust into the hostile environment of the borderlands or of dioceses 'infected' by the schism. 'Everything [in Riga] is alien', complained Filaret (Gumilevskii) in 1842, 'and everything that I call my own is far away'.25 'If it pleases God for me to be here', wrote Leontii

22 A. Chumikov, 'General-gubernatorstvo kniazia A. A. Suvorova v pribaltiiskom krae, 1848-1861', Russkii Arkhiv 28 (1890), 111, 58-88; Russification in the Baltic Provinces and Finland, 1855-1914, ed. E. C. Thaden (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1981), 44-6, 50, 55-6.

23 T. Butkevich, Innokentii Borisov, byvshii arkhiepiskop khersonskii (St Petersburg: I. L. Tuzov, 1887), 350-4; A. W. Fisher, 'Emigration of Muslims from the Russian empire in the years after the Crimean War', Jahrb├╝cher fur Geschichte Osteuropas 35 (1987), 356-71.

24 K. Kharlampovich, 'Kbiografii Veniamina, arkhiepiskopairkutskago', Khristianskoe Chte-nie (1906), 11,139-44; D. Brower, 'Russian roads to Mecca: religious tolerance and Muslim pilgrimage in the Russian empire', SlavicReview55 (1996), 569-70.

25 S. Smirnov (ed.), Pis'ma Filareta, arkhiepiskopa chernigovskago kA.V. Gorskomu (Moscow: M. G. Volnaninov, 1885), 86, 28 August 1842. Savva (Tikhomirov), Rechi govorennyia v raznoe vremia (Tver': Gubernskoe pravlenie, 1892), 138, expresses similar sentiments about Polotsk in the late 1860s.

Was this article helpful?

0 0

Post a comment