....The Russian Orthodox Church is extemely powerful in Russia today, taking very conservative political stances, despite having been targeted during Soviet times. It certainly rose above its circumstances.
Many of us on this forum happen to be Russian Orthodox Christians who, for example, venerate Tsar Nicholas II and his family as Holy Martyrs. Yes, that's 'the guy' who funded many of the ballets that form the core of the repertoire of most classical companies on earth right now. I would appreciate some respect for my religion.
Since we're on this subject, our family (in an oblast south of Moscow) happened to practice religion and were baptised without government interference, e.g., my husband baptised in late-1960s shortly after his birth, for ex. He and I were married by the priest whose father baptised my husband! Somehow that priest and church were'nt badgered but that's because they were in a village - not a city, where it seems that most Russian emigres to the US come from. Our village's beautiful 18th-C brick church was never taken over by the USSR authorities. The rural areas were spared a lot of what is taught in Western history books; not to say that it was Utopia by any means but not misery for everyone either.