The ﬁnancial basis for the functioning of Western Siberian departments of the Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society at the end of XIX - beginning of XX century
KeywordsImperial Orthodox Palestine Society
History of Russia. Soviet Union. Former Soviet Republics
History and principles of religions
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AbstractThe articleconsidersthe main sourcesof ﬁ nancialrevenuesof the Tomsk andTobolskdepartmentsof the Imperial OrthodoxPalestine Society. The funds collected were subsequentlyused to addresscultural, educational, charitable andscientiﬁc issues as well as to deal with the questions of enforcementand strengtheningRussia’s presencein the Holy Land. The money raised by the Western Siberian departments of the Imperial Orthodox-Palestine Society came from several sources. First of all, donations were made by local business and political elite, though they were so meager that they hardly ever reached the regional departments; secondly, there were one-time and annual membership dues, which were particularly large in the early years of departments. Other sources included kruzhechnye church plate collections, made with the help of stationary containers which were put in crowded places; donations for the holy places, given for the commemoration of relatives or for the health of relatives or friends; money raised from selling publications of the Imperial OrthodoxPalestine Society as well as religious literature; donations made after the Palestine reading forums. The article points out that the main revenue was generated through the annual Palm Sunday collections organized during Vayi week in all parishes of the Tomsk and Tobolsk eparchies. As a result, their total revenue was bigger than that of all the Western-Siberian departments, reaching 2,200 roubles a year in the Tobolsk and 6,400 roubles in the Tomsk departments. The article also considers the measures taken by Western-Siberian departments to raise more money, by publishing calls in city and eparchy newspapers for “actions to make the Palm Sunday collections better-organized”; by sending out invitations to parish clergy, which in fact were mandatory statements; by popularizing among various groups of society the information about the past and present of the Holy Land through after-sermon meetings and readings; distributing Palestine leaﬂ ets. The authors conclude that donations reached the highest level by the beginning of the XX century, which was also the period of the most heightened activity of the Imperial OrthodoxPalestine Society. During and after the ﬁrst Russian Revolution contributions to the departments tended to obviously go down. The article also reveals the reasons for the gradual cutbacks of contributions into the Imperial OrthodoxPalestine Society. One of them was the increasing number of various collections for charity or other needs when devout believers had to make a choice - where to give their scanty means to? They were likely to prefer to send donations to establishments which could produce concrete and more tangible results such as a parish church, school, migrants’ needs, etc. Another reason for cutbacks was secularization of the society particularly of city dwellers and younger generation. The key reason though was the Revolution of 1905-1907 which signiﬁ cantly aﬀected the situation in the country and made the Russian mentality more radical.