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The '''Living Church''' (also called '''Renovated Church''' or ''
Obnovlencheskaya Tserkov'') was a theoretical, reformed "Orthodox church" set up in the old Soviet Union by the Bolshevik government after it confiscated all property of the [[Church of Russia]]. It was disbanded in 1943 when Stalin was desperate to bolster the morale of the Russian people in the Second World War.
This church had almost no following among the people, and a number of [[clergy]] who had been in the movement in good faith repented and returned to the Orthodox Church.
The few who tried to exist in the state run church of the atheistic government were used by the state against those faithful to Patriarch [[Tikhon of Moscow|Tikhon]]. The government knew the renovation (reformation) would cause division and weakening to government opposition. As the leader of the party said, "I will smite the shepherd and scatter the sheep, " Patriarch Tikhon was arrested and isolated from the populace and the Church was given to the wolves. But even by the late twenties, it became of little use to the state .
After the revolution of February 1917, the Russia Orthodox Church saw opportunity for the church reform long hoped for by many churchmen but delayed by the tsarist regime. In the [[All-Russian Church Council of 1917-1918]], called together in Moscow, the patriarchate that was abolished by Peter the Great, was restored.
The new patriarch, Tikhon, had an independent approach toward the communist regime that had overthrown the provisional government. Under the official pretext that there was starvation in large sections of the country, the government in 1922 decided to confiscate all church valuables. The patriarch cooperated, but insisted on control of some church property such as the sacred vessels, and other liturgical items. For this, Patriarch Tikhon was placed under house arrest and the offices of the patriarchate were closed.
A group of [[priest]]s including [[
Aleksandr Vvedensky]] and [[Vladimir Krasnitsky]], organized a ''Temporary Higher Church Administration'', which turned into a group aimed at deposing the patriarch and introducing radical church reforms. Some [[bishop]]s supported the ''Temporary Administration'', but mostly the support came from married clergy who were excluded from the [[Bishop|episcopacy]] by [[canon law]], progressive intellectuals, and the government.
The Renovated Church [[deposition|deposed]] Patriarch Tikhon at one of its councils, and reestablished the [[Holy Synod]] (originally proclaimed by Peter the Great in 1721 to replace the patriarchate) to rule the church. It introduced controversial reforms to the episcopate and to the liturgy.
*[http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?_r=1&res=9F00E0DD1E39EF3ABC4A53DFB6678389639EDE&oref=slogin New York Times]
*[http://www.russianorthodoxchurch.ws/english/pages/articles/pattikhontrial.html The Trial of Patriarch Tikhon]