Russian History

Start Free Trial

Explain why the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 is considered the single most important event of the diaspora of Orthodox Christians. 

The Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 is considered the single most important event in the diaspora of Orthodox Christianity because it triggered a wave of people to leave the Russian Empire and settle in other parts of the world. These refugees and emigrants brought their religion with them.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 is considered the single most important event in the diaspora of Orthodox Christianity because it triggered a wave of people leaving the Russian Empire and settling in other parts of the world. These refugees and emigrants brought their religion with them.

The Bolshevik Revolution was...

See
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Get 48 Hours Free Access

The Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 is considered the single most important event in the diaspora of Orthodox Christianity because it triggered a wave of people leaving the Russian Empire and settling in other parts of the world. These refugees and emigrants brought their religion with them.

The Bolshevik Revolution was preceded by building unrest and tensions in Russia. Demands for change to the imperial rule and the Romanov dynasty were building. Russia had maintained a feudal system hundreds of years longer than other parts of Europe had; as a result, there was a large peasant class that was increasingly alienated from the ruling class.

During the Bolshevik Revolution, the Bolsheviks, led by Vladimir Lenin, overturned the existing government. The Bolsheviks would become the Communist Party of Russia, and their takeover signaled the beginning of decades of Communist rule.

The country was not given up without a fight, however. The revolution was followed by several years of civil war, with fighting between the Red Army (Bolsheviks/communists) and the White Army. This level of unrest and violence forced many people to seek safety and security outside of Russia.

Accurate estimates are hard to nail down, but anywhere from 1 to 3 million Russians are believed to have settled in other parts of the world by 1921. Some of them put down roots; others felt that they would be able to return once the Bolsheviks were defeated.

Many Russians left to seek security and to flee poverty caused by the political unrest. Others were fleeing political persecution—members of the White Army, capitalists, and supporters of the royal family, for example. Another group that was fleeing political persecution were many clergy members and leaders of the Orthodox Church. In the decades to follow of communist rule, the government would try to dismantle the Russian Orthodox Church and eradicate religion altogether.

This large number of Orthodox Christians, particularly Orthodox Christian leaders, leaving their home country and settling elsewhere meant that Orthodox Christianity would be spreading with them.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team