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Alexei I (Simansky) of Moscow

43 bytes added, 06:05, April 21, 2009
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After the Bolshevik Revolution he was arrested several times and in 1922 exiled to Kazakhstan. In 1926 he returned to Leningrad and was appointed [[Archbishop]] of Khutyn, that is, the vicar of the Novgorodian [[diocese]]. He ran the diocese for much of the next seven years while [[Metropolitan]] Arsenii was in prison or exile. In 1933 Alexei was briefly Archbishop of [[Novgorod]] (for several months) and then [[Metropolitan]] of Leningrad.
On [[September 4]], 1943, Alexei I together with a delegation of senior Russian Orthodox clerics met with Joseph Stalin in the Kremlin where a historic decision was made regarding the fate of the Church in the state ruled by the militantly atheist Communist party. In the midst of World War II , Stalin decided to allow the Russian Orthodox Church to function after two decades of severe persecution. The Patriarchate of Moscow was re-established and many churches throughout the Soviet Union were re-opened. Stalin tried to appeal to patriotic feelings of the Russian people especially peasantry (the backbone of the Red Army) , many of whom grew up in still deeply religious families.
On [[February 2]], 1945 Alexei I was elected Patriarch of Moscow and all of Russia. In 1946 Alexei I presided over the controversial "re-unification" of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church with ROC the Russian Orthodox Church which was seen by many as a takeover forced by the Stalinist government. After 1958 , Russian Christians led by patriarch Alexei I had to endure a new wave of persecution, mostly carried out through closing down of churches by new Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev.
Supporters praise Alexei I for working hard to ensure the survival of the Christianity in Russia, advocating peace and inter-church unity, while opponents often accused him of complicity with the Soviet authorities.
Alexei died of a myocardial infarction]] at the age of 92 in 1970 and was buried in the Trinity-St Sergius Monastery ([[Troitse-Sergiyeva Lavra]]).
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