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"Peace Among the Saints": Who Murdered the Soviet Union's Maverick Priests?

NCJ Number
Low Intensity Conflict & Law Enforcement Volume: 4 Issue: 1 Dated: (Summer 1995) Pages: 106-118
T Gfoeller
Date Published
13 pages
This article relates the circumstances surrounding the murder or disappearance of five dissident priests in the former Soviet Union and subsequent investigations.
During the period September 1990 to February 1991, five Russian Orthodox priests were murdered or disappeared in the former Soviet Union. Some of the men knew each other, and they shared some characteristics: They were ethnic Jews, or had Jewish connections or strong pro-Jewish feelings; some were uncommonly handsome; they were innovators, more socially active than traditional Orthodox priests; all had advanced rapidly in their careers. During the investigations of the murders and disappearances, a number of theories were advanced as to who was responsible, including: (1) Hare Krishnas in revenge for a lecture series; (2) Zionists angered by missionary work among Moscow Jews; (3) the KGB as a threat to all other maverick priests in the USSR; and (4) a homosexual partner or partners. Civic officials in several of the cases were quick to call the incidents apolitical or describe a murdered man as the victim of an apartment robbery.


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