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July 18, 1966
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' Declassified and Approved For Release 2012/06/28 :CIA-RDP78-03061A000400010029-7 .. .~ _ ..... ~~~s~~ .r~ ~Jr~~c~ ta~-~?a~>co~t .~'ali~~e C'e~emcaray- ?Ar~rPl6ishop Ca~~s N~emoricil to Fape John Nat ~'nity Sdgla WA.ItSAW, July:17 fAP) ~-~- A Palish Roman Catholic Arch- bishop today asked priests to baycatt a.prej~t, b~tickedikly, the ` Communist regime tv .erect a 5Yi3ii'ioriaC'~o~'ope "John XXIrr. ;' Archbishop Boleslaw Kominek 'af Wroclaw (formerly 73reslau) :warned in? a message to priests that the project was desibned to ground of renewed assertions by the church that Tt does not seek a? test of strength with the Gav- ernment, .Archbishop ri`ominek asked priests not to attend a meeting in Wroclaw on Tuesday at :which the cornerstone of a mon- urnent will be laid as part of the. .Government's celebration oP the 1,OOOth anniversary of naticn- hood. The church, at the same time, is marking the 1,000th an- niversary of C}uistianity in Po- land, The ceremony, the Archbishop sale}, "is not a symbol of thel 'holy unity of Christ's church inl ,I'olaa~d." rj[e added; : "We want. ,to state that this event has -been) organized without. knowledge ofd she church hierarchy. and out-~ side its jurisdiction. We have ~ not encouraged and we do not teztcours..~e participation Sn cele? Asserts Event Was Ovga-liistd~ Withoat Clearc~i Knaw}~cdge~~,; worshiping in makeshift church.i es. The Office oP Religious Af- fairs not onl~+ does not give per- mission but'~~has-.even ordered that 'a church under Construe:.- tion be dismantled to its foun~ dation: ` . ? . Pro -Government ~t5 in Wro~rav3'~g'~h zed the memo- r a pre ect to commemorate a statement by Pope John than the city was in the "Western territories,: recovered after cen- turies." Wrde3aw is 185 miles southwest oP Warsaw in an arefi.:, transferred -from Germanyy to 1'piand after World War TI? Archbishop Kominek spurned AreB-bi~han 2ioleslaw KdtnLYek ~ Cardinal Wyszynski, whose,cele- ~bratfons aP the millenium of clear:' , : . In a letter' to priests; Arch- bishop ?Kominek declared that ".we havebeen asking permission for years from the' Government Office aE Religious .Affairs to build . a few . new.:churches ,in Wraclaw'and vicinity, which. we would like to ded}cate_ to the memory'of Pope John XXIIL" "Thousands . oP ~. people ' were Polish Christianity have touched off .clashes between Catholics- and the police.. Speaking in I{ielce, gbout 100. miles south of Warsaw, Cards- nal Wyszynski told 20,000 cheer-; ing followers last night; "How frivolous are these . suspicions of small- people -who think that we want through .our :celebrate, or want so}nehow a >r',/ number abnut 30 mi] 1.7 nn, n f who m s.';.-,,; ; million nti11 prrxctic? their roli- ,~ion. Islam has always been the rallying point of the peoples of Central Asia ay,ainst the Russian conquest, and later for rebel- lions against Russian rule.. Wh o n Soviet Russian armies rcinvaded Central Asia in 1918 to crush the newly independent Muslim states, the long 13astnanhi Rebellion ensued, crntinu- ing intermittently until the thirties. It was effectively crushed by 1931, when the' last important rebel loader, Ibrahim A eg, Commander of the Muslim Liberation Army of. Bukhara, was captured and shot; but between 1930 and 1933 alone, according to Kommunist Tadzhikistana, Februarg 16, 1956, sixty-six'' Muslim rebel bands were exterminated. As in Algeria, the link between Islam and suppressed nationalism is both subtle an d strong. An article in Kom~nunist Uzbekistana, No. 10, 1963, complained: "One of the favorite methods of the' Muslim priesthood in adapting the re- ligion of Islam to socialist reality is their attempt to endox all religious- reactionary-traditions, rites and cu s- tems with the appearance of ~national'- traditions... Some intelligent peo- ple, often even Communists alth ou~gh they consider themselves to be athe- ists, observe religious rituals inside their families, mistakenly considering that these are ?national' rituals." The celebration of the Muslim ho]y season of Ramadan and other feasts is periodically condemned by the Russian authorities because it takes xorkora away from ~roduction.'P3ear- ly .~il.l the cotton produced for Russian in- dustry is grown in the predominantly Muslim republics. The sippression of Islam i s more diffi- cult because of the strong solidarity of its predominantly Asian adherents against the European colonists, and Russian ignorance cQ' the native languages. Ono reads of mosques being closed "at the request of believers" (Komrm~nist Tadzhikistana, March 17, 19b1), but other articles in the press reveal pop- ular collusion to keep mosques operating se- c retly. The January 1964 i s-sue of Komrma- nist, Moscow, complained that many Muslim religious leaders were operating illegally, that some mosques officially "not in use" were being used, pilgrimages to noted "mazars" (mausoleums) were continuing, and mosq~ies were secretly operating disguised as tea-houses, clubs, and museums. The Febru- ary 1961. issue of the atheist ,journal SM- ence Declassified and Approved For Release 2012/06/28 :CIA-RDP78-03061A000400010029-7 'cultural events were permitted in towns with a large Jewish population. One Yiddish the- ater is said to exist in the Ukraine, a n d there is one Yiddish journal, Sovet3she Heim-. which, however, is devoted largely to denunciations of foreign charges of Soviet anti-Semitism, polemics against Zionism, and the advancement of other Soviet policies. Official suspicion c~' Jews has led to their exclusion from certain sensitive types of employment in the government. The Russian defector Igor Gouzenko recalls that the ruth- less purge of Jews from the ranks o f th diplomatic service and other government bu- reaus began under Stalin. The Yugoslav Com- munist D~ilas (in Conversations With Stalin, New York, 1962, page 170 relates the fol- lowing incident during his official vi s i t to the USSR after the war; rrLesakov (a Russian official)...boasted of how Comrade Zhdanov purged all the Jews from the apparatus of the Central Committee. ...Lesakov told me...about the Assistant Chief of the General Staff, General Antonov; 'Imagine, he was exposed as being of Jewish origin.r* The continued presence on the Central Com- mittee (until dismissed in 1957) of Lazar Kaganovich, despite the above comments, showed that by completely renouncing a 11 Jewish affiliations and p ossessing a good political background, a Jew could overcome the discrimination. When questioned by journalists in Paris on April 8, 296k, c on- cerrring official discrimination against Jews, Alexey Adzhubey, editor of Izvestiva. listed a number of prominent Jewish scientists, writers, theatrical artists, and a Jewish Vice-Minister, Dymshits. He was evasive, however, when asked to name a single ;yaun a Jew in the diplomatic~servic?, in an imp~r- tant scientific position, or in the army of- ficer corps. Discrimination is facilitated by the in- ternal passport, required at age 16 of all persons living in or near towns. This pass- port lists the bearerts "n ationalit yr' on page 5. All such Jews therefore must bear a passport with the designation "Jew." Va- rious reliable Soviet sources have admitted in interviows that there is a q not a on the number of Jewish applicants to u niversitq study in certain preferred professions, but paint out that Jews are still greatly over- represented in higher education with respect to their proportion to the total population. By virtue of their higher incomes and con- centration in cities, Jews enjoy a "natural" advantage in access to universities, resultr ing in an aceidental disadvantage to nan- Jews which the 5aviet Government fee 1 s i t must correct to a certain extent. Although those disabilities apply irrespective of re- ligious practice, the religious Jew suffers additional discrimination. Though offset considerably by the prom- inence of Jews in the early Russian Comm u- nist Party, the traditional trading and lerri- ing vocation of the bulk of the Jewish pop- ulation of Europe made them the natural tar- gets of Communist ideology. Among Karl Marxts many denunciations of the role of Jews in society is. the following: "What i s the world basis o f Jewry? Practical need, avarice. What is the world religion of the Jew? Haggling. What is his earthly God? Money. ... The emancipation of the Jews in itsfY- nal meaning is the emancipation oP man- kind from the Jews." ---Karl Marx and Friedrich En els; istorisch-Kritisc e G esa mt- AUSRa e. Im uftrag des arx--'. Engels Institute, M?skau, her- ausgegeben von D. R~asanow, I. Abt. I, 1, page 601. This quotation appeared in the anti-Semitic book Judaism Without Embellishment b y T. Kiehko, published i n December 1963 b y the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences and withdrawn in April 196t, by the Soviet Government after world-wide protest. The book repeated at- tacks against Judaism, Zionism, and alleged blackmarketing by Jews which had appeared in dozens of Soviet provincial newspapers in recent years. Similar books have been pub- lished which vilify other religious groups as well, but Kichkots work drew immediate foreign attention because of the offensive cartoons, most of which featured exaggerated Semitic facial features in the mariner of Wazi caricatures. Two other attacks against Judaism, The ~eactionary Essence of Judaism and o v a- tion in ,the New Year had appeared previous].' in Russian. A sgnagogue was burned by a mob in Mala- khovka, near Moscow, irY 1962, the xf.fe of its caretaker apparently killed, and anti- Page 9 ~-~ Declassified and Approved For Release 2012/06/28 :CIA-RDP78-03061A000400010029-7 ` Declassified and Approved For Release 2012/06/28 :CIA-RDP78-03061A000400010029-7 Semitic leaflets scattered. A visitor to the Ianingrad synagogue in 1962 noticed that all the wifidows on one side had bcer- replaced and additional replacements were stacked in- side in case of emergency. Gang attacks on synagogues have also bean repartad Fran other parts of Russia. The Economic Trials Tho traditional commercial experience of most Jews naturally resulted in their concentration fn the state trading network of the Soviet Union -the weakest area of the Soviet economy. The high prices and shortages of consumer goods have tended to focus popular exasperation against the government, particularly in re- cent years. The authorities have attempted to divert popular anger to more convenient scapegoats -- dishonest employees o f state trading o~ztlets selling merchandise "out the back door" on the black market, etc. Th e Soviet press strove to emphasize the Jewish background of the defendants in most cases. 7n the cane of soma Georp_,ian Jews whose ex- otic nvnes would not indicate even to a Rus- sian that they xere Jews, the press empha- sized the discovery of Jewish religious ar- ticles and publications among their posses- sions. The reasons for this emphasis are ob- scure, but it is commas knoxlAdge that there has boon a phenomenal rise i n "e c o n o m i-c crimes" in the Soviet Union ~ all sections of the population. Iasi year 16,000 offi- cials worn sacked in Kazakhstan alone for corruption. Some observers believe that the government is attempting to discourage Rus- sians and Ukrainians from speculation by branding such activity as "Jewish" arxihence unpatriotic and "alien." 3. The Protestants and "Sectarians" The largest protestant group in the USSR is the Baptists, who, i n conversations with for- eigners, have claimed a membership of 1,,000,000, mostly in Russia, g r o u po d i n 5,400 communities. There are thought to be about 1,000,000 Iutherans, who have abeorbed the smaller Methodist groups. Both of these live mostly in the Raltic States. There era several million "Old Relievers," an agRre- -pate of offshoots from the Orthodox Church. ;; r,T t,},ens prntont,:~rtt grog{>n rtrd lictmnec~l >s legitimutU rcrl.i.nirnre orpunizr~l;lon9 by lha~ government. In addition, however, there are` some small sects, known as "Sectarians;' which have boon refused liconoea as roliPi,nun __ organizations and have been designated anti- stato organizations because of beliefs which challenge the aGthority of the Soviet Gov- ernment. The most important of these is the Jchovah~s Witnesses, who seem to thrive on the most severe persecution meted out to anq religious group in the USSR. The mysterious ability of the Witnesses even to operate clandestine printing presses -- in a country whore printing or reproduction a qui p most must be registered with the police - is es- pecially annoying to the police. Tho Jeho- vah~s Witnesses' open ro~ection of the au- thority of any state, and the location of their headquarters in Brooklyn, U.SA., casts than in the role of an anti-state underground political organization in the eyes of the Soviet Government. The Soviet press con- tains frequents mention of trims of Jehovah?s Witnesses, including the seizure of their children (a fate suffered by other sects as well). Tho following article in Tru De- cember 26, I962, reporting the arrest of some Jehovah~s Witnesses is typical of many: "The sect of Johovah~s Witnesses is actually not a religious but a politi- cal organization. Its heads in Brook- lyn (telex York USA) worked out sppecial instructions ~'or strict secrecy in re- gard to all the work of the Witnesses and assessed for coded :reports cover- ing all their day-today work... De- testing Soviet rule and the socialist camp, the heads of the Jehovah~s Wit- nesses sect order its members to col- lect political and economic informa- tion for the Witnosses~ center in Brooklyn, USA, and to spread ]aping, panic rumors. ,..They established underground printing presses in the villages of the Irkutsk and Trans- Carpathian Oblasts. There they re- produced the 'literatures which they received from the USA." A case was reported on February 8, 1964, in Kazakhstansk ya Pravda. Four members of a religious sect known as the True Orthodox Believers had bean sentenced to terms of 3 to 7 years imprisonment in " a corrective labor colony of strict regime" for "anti- Soviet propaganda and agitation, and th e manufacture, storage, and distribution of literature of a slanderous nature, for lead- ership of an undergrrnand sect, the work of which, done under thc+ fn~i:~e of the exorcise of ro7i.F;lr,un s?l,tnn, ittvolvrxi 1.n,lttr~~ to the health nf, rind infringement of the rights of, citizens." Tho phrar9e "rights of citizens" usually means the "right" of children not to have religious instruction. Declassified and Approved For Release 2012/06/28 :CIA-RDP78-03061A000400010029-7 Declassified and Approved For Release 2012/06/28: CIA-RDP78-03061A000400010029-7 In such cases, and the case of some mem- bers of an "outlawed fanatical sect of Re- formed Adventists" arrested in Kutai s i (Zama Vastoka, October 25, 1963), the cul- prits are tried under the laws applicable to political criminals. Some "Old Believers" and a few Orthodox monks fled decades ago into t h e Siberian + taiga, there to live their version of the Christian life without giving trouble to ang- one or suffering hindrance themselves. There they led a pioneer existence, cut off from the world. But recently some of these set- tlements were discovered by Soviet aerial reconnaissance in the forests and bogs along the remote Dubches River, and presumably liquidated. The Soviet press is not above twisting a news story in order to damage the reputation of the sectarians: "...S. Zagoruyko, special correspond- : ent of the newspaper Sovetskaya Kul~- tura, has studied only super~'ic3~Ty ~1 a case of the murder of the militant atheist Bel~kov in Biysk by his neigh- bor the wild fanatic S hegurov, a n d cared the murderer a sectarian and his teachers -- sectarian preachers. And yet it was obvious that the crime was committed by a fanatical member of the ['Russian)' Orthodox faith. ...Such approaches as this on],q give our ene- mi~s a chance to discredit our props- '.. Banda." ---I. Uzkov in Nauka i Reli ire, Mos- cox, No. 3,19 The regime seems embarrassed by the fact that the sectarians and religious people generally, are better behaved than the rest of the population. Izvestiya on December 11, 1963 reported "disgraceful rumors (which turned out to be unjustified) in a certain plant that one of the workers was a sectarian, and quoted his accusers as folloxs: "A sect member! A really inveterate onel And all his habits are those of sect membersl Judge for yourselves: He doesn't drink; he Gantt stand to- bacco; and, thirdly, he doesn't curse. So what more do you need? Heta obvi- ously a sect membert" The Soviet press contains many reports of Baptists gaining. influence ovor youth, par- ticularly i.n rural areas. Leninsk via Smena complained on February 25, 1964, concerning Baptist proselyting in Karaganda, that "W e are losing while they are gaining." Reports of such religious activity in rural area a are usually coupled with charges of laxity on the part of the lot al officials, some of whom are accused of sympathizing with t h e religious gro~xps. Occasionally groups of Baptists break away from the'bfficial," li- censed Baptist organization in order to es- cape close surveillance of their missionary activity. Komsomolets Uzbekistana on Feb- ruary 27, 1964, described atrial of Baptists in Tashkent: "...a group of Baptists which had split away from the official community m e t secretly in apartments and organized group-listening to r a d i o broadcasts from abroad. Frorn abroad they also received illegal literature: pamphlets, all sorts of messages and 'divine' poems and songs which contained slan- ders of Soviet reality, and calls to unite and take action under the banner of religious convictions again st the existing order." "Slanders of Soviet reality" (i.e., crit~ I icism of conditions within the USSR) is a cliche which Drops up frequently in charges i against minority religions, although they e is no law containing this phrase. T h e : e Baptists were accused of reproducing reli- gious sermons on tape and in manuscript faun. Despite the Constitutional guarantee of free- dom of speech, one of the most serious crimes E in the Soviet Union fa the unauthorized pos- ? session of the means to print anything, even r if the material printed in itself violates no law. Sovetskaya Kul'tura, on February 3, 1962, reported that a group of evangelists '' were sentenced to exile in "a special, re- mote place with obligatory assignment to work at the place of settlement." They were sen- tenced under the sweeping "Parasite" law, which, though generally applicable to unem-~ ployed persons who refuse to accept ,j o b;~ provided by the state, has been used to ex- ile anyone incurring the displeasure of the Communist officials. In this case the aa>- title admitted that the accused did w ork, but "only for the sake of appearances." Again the reason for the sever s sonte nce seems to have been the acquisition of tape recorders, even though the content of t h e tapes and confiscated literature w a s aai d merely to have been "pessimistic ...anti - social, and religious." Page 11 Declassified and Approved For Release 2012/06/28: CIA-RDP78-03061A000400010029-7 Declassified and Approved For Release 2012/06/28: CIA-RDP78-03061A000400010029-7 t,. The Roman Catholics As a result of the Russian military occupation of foreign territory after World War II, between 7 and 8 million Roman Catholics are ra,r under Rus- sian rule, nearly all in former eastern Po- land (West Ukraine) and Lithuania, which is 81.2 per cent Catholic. Soviet policy to- ward those two areas is strikingly different? In the Wost Ukraine, the Catholics wero mc~ bers of the Uniat branch of the C a t h o li e Church, which nharos soma of the rites of the Russian Orthodox. The Soviet Government simply abolished the Uniat Church and trans- ferred its members and property to the Rus- sian Orthodox Church. It demanded that the Uniat clergy renounce allegiance to Rome and submit to the jurisdiction o f t h e Russian Orthodox Church. While some priests did in fact abjure Roma, many, along wit h t h e i r bishops, refused and were a r r e s t e d along with the Uniat archbishop S 1 i py i, who wa s eventually released to Rome in 1 ate 1963? idaz~y churches were closed a nd priests shot or deported, usually without t h e lip serv- ice to Soviot law practiced elsewhere. This policy of ropreasion continues to thin day. Tho West [Jkrainians resisted the Soviot occupation--often violently--an d guerrilla bands led by Stepan Bandera (eventually mur- dered by Soviet secret police assassin Bog- dan Stashinskiy in Munich in 1960) f ou g h t ir, the forests for some years. Religious feelings stiffened West Ukrainian opposition. The feeling between the Russian Communist authorities and their new West U k r a i n i a n Uniat subjects is best illustrated b y t h a following bit of evening "entertainment" broadcast by the Lvov radio January 12, 1957 in reply to an anonymous threatening letter from a Uniat Catholic: "In the tone of your warning is felt a hint to the fate of Yaroslav Galan, murdered by a nationalist Uniat bandit +We have received an order to kill Galan,p answered the bandit to the question of the prosecutor, 0be- cause he was dangerous to the Vatican. The bandits we mean are the Ukrainian bourgeois nationalists,the members of the Bandera organization which in the mind of every decent man long ago be- came closely associated by their crim- inal relationship with the black Jesuit and Uniat ravens... I probably make no mistake if I take it you also ba- lorg to the Vatican breed of the env- :ws ~:s c: tre people... F~tlt, alas, you c.rd tae weak and your hands are tea short and our people h a v e s formida- ble do~ully stick for you annkvo. Try to bite and you wi].1 be g'r a w e d b y your loathesomo Hack and thing s will be all over for you." There were about 600 former Uniat churches in operation in 1962. Of the 25-30 Catholic churches in Lvov in 19k6, there are now three. Tho population is still far more religious than that of any other part of the USSR. The weekly Moscow magazine 0,~!anyek reported i n its No. G,6 November 1963 issue the discovery of a secret cloister containing ten nuns in Lvov. The article alleged that flags of the lkrainian nationalist partisan leader Bandera were found there. On the other hand, in Lithuania, after an initial persecution in which about 1,200 priosts were shot or deported, its severity was reduced, perhaps because of a Russian fear of provoking the population to the vi- olence experienced in the West Ukradne, par- ticularly in view of the much greater pro- portion of Catholics in Lithuania. Accord- ing to the Elta Press, a news service of the Ilthuanian College of St. Vladimir. in Rome, greater freedom of religion became notices- blv in 1959? On April 19, 1952, Tass re- ported that fourteen Catholic priests had graduated from a local seminary, claiming that it was the twelfth such graduation since the war. A Lithuanian Soviet broadcast at that time claimed that 1,000 priests and five bishops were working in Lithuania. This is about 1/4 the ratio of priests to Catho- lie population in the United States. I n 1962 this number had dwindled to about 800, with about 500 churches in operation. Thera is one seminary at Kaunas. Only two priests hays been allowed to travel t o R o m e since 191,1,., and contacts era virtually cut off. The Soviot authorities have stress?i more subtle means of reducing religion In Lithua- nia in recent years. In a ddition to the usual propaganda and restrictions on the ac- tivity of the clergy, t,hoy have triad to promote a rump "National Lithuanian Catholic Church" independent of Rome. It has thus far been unsuccessful. As in the case of the other minority re ligions, nationalism appears to be the main worry of~the occupying Russian authorities. "The Catholic priosts now drag in the thesis that the concept of a Lithuanian patriot nocoasarily includes hie Catholic conacianca and aontimvnto," ~ Sovntsk;~ya_~_.i,t on December 19, 1963? Page 12 Declassified and Approved For Release 2012/06/28: CIA-RDP78-03061A000400010029-7 ';?.' Declassified and Approved For Release 2012/06/28 :CIA-RDP78-03061A000400010029-7 Both at home and abroad, Soviet p ropa- ganda attempts to discredit the Catholic Church by associating it with the Nazis and their allies in World Wax IT.# 5. Buddhists Little i s known about the condition of the Buddhists in the USSR. The Kren2lin, for external propaganda purposes and to show that religious freedom is granted to B~zddhists in the USSR, occasionally has the abbot of Ivolga I,~vnasery, the abbot of Aginsk Lamasery, and Bandido Khambo Lama Eshi-Dori Sharapov (Chairman of the Central Buddhist Religious Board) attend international meet- ings of Buddhists. The three went to the Fourth Conference of the World Fellowship of Buddhists held in Katmandu, Nepal, in Novear ber 195b. They also attended the ceremonies in New Delhi venerating the 2 500th anniver sary of the death of Buddha. Sharapov led a delegation of Buddhists to Ceylon in 1960 and extended his trip to Burma and Cambodia, assuring everyone that "the Buddhists in the USSR have their own monuments, temples and other places of worship where they carry out their rites, led by lamas... Monuments and' shrines are carefully preserved." Policy towards Buddhism has been one of fluctuation. A Congress of Soviet Stxd- dhists was actually held in Moscow the win- ter of 1926-27. Good relations, however, came to an end during the period of collec- tivization and political purges, when Bud- dhist doctrines weere attacked on the ground that they were against the doctrine of dia- lectical materialism. These attacks, how- (~) Such charges are best refuted by a list of the titles of some of the propaganda books issued in the Third Reich: "Jesuitism As a Peril to the State," "Rome Against the Reich," aeThe Catholic Church As a Peril To the Statey" "Hail Gertnar2y: Out With the Jesuits!" (cited in Der Nationalsozialismuss Dokument?, e d. by Walther Hofer, Frankfurt, 1957, pageslb2- 163). The Munich Gestapo referred to the circular of Pope Pius .XI read in German Ro- man Catholic churches in 1937 as containing "highly treasonable attacks against the na- tional socialist state." (Ibid., page 153) ever, eased off by 1930 since too many Mon- golian lamas began to emigrate to China. An- other cyole of persecution began in 1937, and during World War II, the Kalmyke in Eu- ropean Russia suffered the most among t h e Buddhists in the Soviet Union. Currently, Saviet propagandists continue to assert that Buddhism has quits a large follrnring in the USSR and that the Buddhists ideals for peace are the same as the peace policies of t h e Communist Bloc. b. The Armenian Orthodox The Armenian Orthodox Church is currently never criticized by name, since it is the subject of an im- portant Soviet campaign to induce Armenians to resettle in the USSR and to gain control of Armenian clergy abroad. In 1955, using the numerous obedient "votest0 of Soviet Ar- menians, the Communists succeeded in arrang- ing the election, with the participation of non-Soviet Armenians, of a Soviet puppet priest in Rumania as the new Katholikos, ar head, of the Armenian Church. His dead pred- ecessor, though no puppet, was resident in the USSR. The Armenian Orthodox Church received a substantial financial gift some years ago from the Soviet Government for operating ex- penses and for restoration of the cathedral at Echmiadzin. Rich foreign Armenians, in- cluding Americans, have also contribute d large sums to the Soviet Armenian Orthodox Church. The favoritism shown the Armenian Church is reflected by the fact that such do- nations in the past by rich foreigners to the Protestant groups have been regarded by the Communists as signs of treasonable ca~2r2ec- tions. A broadcast in May 1956 reported an in- terview with then Premier Bulganin in which the Katholikos discussed closer ties with Armenians abroad in axed "other" 222atters. Bulganin cor2anentedr tOVery good. This fully correspondends with the pres ont of the Soviet Union." There is a religious higher school which the ICathol3,kos claimed would have 100 students by 1958? The present attendance is not }cnomrn. Declassified and Approved For Release 2012/06/28 :CIA-RDP78-03061A000400010029-7