Religious manuscripts

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  • KGB covert operation against Jehovah's Witnesses, Ukraine 1951-1954

    This network scheme of the Jehovah’s Witness organization comes from a four-volume top-secret file titled LKB, Legendirovannoe Kraevoe Biuro (Regional Bureau Covert Operation). It was produced by the Ukrainian secret police in 1953 and shows Jehovah’s Witness districts and circuits located in the Soviet Union with the organization’s country committee (called by that time the Regional Bureau) as the governing body of Soviet Jehovah’s Witnesses. The scheme shows the connections of Soviet-based groups of believers with the Jehovah’s Witness organization abroad: the East-European Bureau in Poland,
  • Confiscated handwritten songbook belonging to a Tudorist believer

    These images show a handwritten songbook that was confiscated from a Tudorist believer during a luggage inspection in 1975 whilst he was doing his military service. The first image shows the inside cover of the songbook, containing a short verse that reads: “And then, the whole eternity will be your prize, Because you were patient and kept yourself pure, For Him, and many hardships you have endured, But you kept yourself white and pure.” We also catch a glimpse of the first verses of a religious song. The following two images show other religious songs that he had handwritten. Because the son
  • Handwritten songbook belonging to nun Olimpiada Petreanu 1940

    These images show a church songbook that was carefully handwritten by nun Olimpiada Petreanu sometime in 1940. The first image depicts the cover of the songbook. It conveys important information such as the owner of the songbook, the fact that it was a church songbook, “cântări bisericești”, and, in faded letters, the year when the songbook was written. The second and the third images show a small part of the content of the songbook, namely the so-called “canon of the soul”, which was dedicated to the Virgin Mary, and the Akatist of Jesus Christ. These are both important hymns and hymnal ele
  • Religious poetry and aphorism from the Romanian Legionary group "the mystics"

    The three images show the personal notebook of Constantin Voicescu (1924-1997) that was confiscated by the Securitate after his second release from prison (1954. It contains 33 aphorisms and 17 religious poems that circulated within the Communist prisons especially among the legionary group labeled by the Communist authorities as "the mystics". The notebook contains four pages of short sentences (aphorisms) written in black crayon about religious experiences, how to achieve personal redemption through self-sacrifice or the imminent victory of Christianity over the armies of Satan (Communism)
  • Hungarian religious samizdat on the life of Magdi Bódi

    The first image depicts the cover of the samizdat book entitled Ketten egy felé… III. Ki volt Bódi Magdi (Two towards one… III. Who was Magdi Bódi?). The second image is the inside cover of the book with the text: Ketten egy felé… Szent Goretti Mária és Bódi Magdi utja. 1956, Karácsonyán. – Kézirant gyanánt.- (Two towards one… The life of St. Maria Goretti and Magdi Bódi. 1956, Christmas. -As manuscipt). The third image is a photograph of Magdi Bódi from the book with the caption below the image reading “Fűzfő angyala”, “The Angel of Fűzfő.” The last image is of page 204 of the confiscated bo
  • Confiscated handwritten Inochentist hymn Moldova

    The images show an Inochentist handwritten hymn found by the Soviet secret police officers on an arrested Inochentist preacher in 1952 in Moldova. The hymn describes Jesus's preaching to his followers on the Mount of Olives about the End Time. The Apocalypse, according to the hymn, will begin when people would abandon the church. Then, according to the narrative, the wrath of God would descend on sinners and only those who do not abandon the true faith will be saved. The hymn is written in Romanian using the Cyrillic script. The preacher, who may not be the author of the text but was probably
  • Confiscated stamp of a Hungarian Calvinist Church Choir in Romania

    The first image comes from a photo album compiled by the Securitate on the Hungarian Calvinist Church Choir in the town of Ocna Sibiului (Vízakna). It shows a photocopy of a confiscated document, the last page of the choir’s president’s celebratory speech performed at the choir’s 80th anniversary. As with many of the group’s documents, it bears the official stamp of the choir. The second photo shows a document with a hand drawn replica of this stamp. This document, which is the last page of a handwritten copy of the choir’s Rules and Regulations from 1974 (its original was written in 1956), is
  • Postcard sent from detention by Romanian Old Calendarist nun

    These images show a postcard sent by an Old Calendarist nun to her family whilst in detention. It is a particularly sensitive letter as it conveys the struggles of the nun who appears to have been rejected by her parents for reasons that are not clear from the information we have. The first image shows the face of the postcard and it contains references to the sufferings that the nun had endured for the last two years. From the message that she wrote to her parents, she seems to accuse them of having forgotten about her during these hardships and she reminds them that she is still their daugh
  • Seventh Day Adventist confiscated material Ukraine

    The images come from a 2-volume criminal case against fourteen followers of the Reformed Adventist movement in the provincial town of Bila Tserkva, Ukraine dating from 1952. All of the arrested believers were poor, barely literate Ukrainian peasants who practiced their faith privately in their homes. All of them were found guilty of anti-Soviet activity and refusal of military service and were deported to the Gulag. The photographs show religious manuscripts, books and photographs confiscated during their arrest. The images of the confiscated items were included in the file as evidence of the
  • KGB Photo Album Ukrainian Greek Catholic Leaders

    These photographs come from a KGB internal publication which is in the form of a photo album. It features arrested Ukrainian Greek Catholics, Josyf Slipyi, Ilia Blavatsky and Vasyl Kavatsiv and was published in Krasnoyarsk in 1958. The photographs of the arrested persons open the photo album (Image 1). The image of the metropolitan Josyf Slipyi, the head the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, is placed in the centre. Vasyl Kavatsiv (left), an underground priest and a secret monk, is defined under his photo as a nationalist, closely linked to Blavatsky. Ilia Blavatsky (right) was a Greek Catholi
  • Confiscated manuscript of Pentecostal prophecy Ukraine

    This is a manuscript with a Pentecostal prophesy confiscated in 1953 from an arrested Ukrainian woman, who was known as a Pentecostal prophetess. The prophecy is handwritten in a notebook and is 15-page long. It narrates the coming death of Ashur, who will be overthrown from his throne by God and will be shot dead. After his death, all the prisoners will be released and people will live in freedom. The prophecy also stresses a special religious role of Ukraine and Kiev, its capital, that will become a place of great spiritual awakening. The item comes from the 1953 MGB penal case against f