New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia

English Language Study for Russian Orthodox Learners

New Martyrs and Confessors of Russiaaudio button
(Sunday closest to January 25/ February 7)

New Martyrs and Confessors of RussiaAfter the October revolution of 1917, the Russian Orthodox Church suffered one of the greatest persecutions in the history of Christianity.  A ruthless power took over the country and turned it against Christ and His Church.  During a few decades, more Christians in Russia were killed than in the first three centuries of Christianity in the Roman Empire.  Many thousands of clergymen, monks, nuns, and laypeople were martyred for their faith.  We will never know all the names of the victims and their exact numbers.

The wave of repressions started soon after the revolution.  On January 25th, 1918, Vladimir, Metropolitan of Kiev, the oldest archbishop of the Church, was killed.  In the same year, the Cheka executed over 3,000 Orthodox clergymen.   Many of them were drowned in ice-holes or covered with cold water until they froze to death.  Thousands of Orthodox Christians were sent to the concentration camp Solovki, a former monastery on the islands in the White Sea.  Eight metropolitans, twenty archbishops and forty-seven bishops died there.

One of the places of mass killings was Butovo Field near Moscow, when in 1938 alone, over twenty thousand Orthodox people met their death.

Thousands of churches were destroyed; monasteries and seminaries were closed.

In the period between 1927 and 1940, the number of the churches fell from around 60 thousand to less than 500.  Many icons and sacred church objects were lost, destroyed or stolen.  The government did not allow construction of new churches.

Countless numbers of innocent believers died in prison, concentration camps and mental hospitals.

The date of commemoration of the new martyrs was first set by the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad in 1981.

Holy new martyrs and confessors, pray to God for us!

Словарь к тексту

confessor, n.  [kənˈfesəʳ]  исповедник
persecution, n.  [ˎpəːsɪˈkjuː ʃən]  преследование, гонение
take over  захватывать
clergymen, n.  [ˈkləːdʒɪ mən]  священники, духовные лица
laypeople, n.  [′leɪ pɪ:pl]  миряне
victim, n.  [ˈvɪktǝm]  жертва
execute, v.  [ˈek sɪk juːt]  казнить
sacred, adj.  [ˈseɪkrɪd]  священный
innocent, adj.  [ˈɪ nə sǝnt] невинный
set, v. устанавливать