the cultural influence of the church

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  • the cultural influence of the church
    • 70% of the population were Orthodox believers
    • religion and superstition were integral parts of peasant culture
    • priests
      • had close ties to villages and the state
      • expected to read out imperial manifestos
      • expected to read out decrees
      • had to inform police of any suspicious activity
    • church possessed strict censorship control
    • church courts judged moral and social 'crimes' and awarded punishments to the guilty
    • the government being conscious of the church's power
      • 1862
        • ecclesiastical commission established
          • looked into the church organisation and practice
      • 1868
        • reforms introduced to improve priest education
      • under Alex III and Delyanov, the church was given increased control over primary education
        • Delyanov was the minister for education
      • Alex III's russification policy promoted orthodoxy throughout the empire
        • became an offense to convert from the orthodox faith
        • became an offense to publish criticisms of orthodoxy
        • radical sects were persecuted
        • some regions saw enforced baptisms
        • thousands of Muslims, Catholics and pagans were converted to orthodoxy
    • evidence the church's control over people's lives was weakening
      • becoming less relevant for workers in industrialising towns
      • in the countryside, superstition was sometimes stronger than trusting priests
      • some liberal clergy wanted to regenerate the church and reform relations with the state
        • demands suppressed by senior conservatives - included Pobedonostev


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