The underground cooperation between Soviet Lithuania and the West in 1972–1990: A case study on the chronicle of the Catholic Church in Lithuania

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Abstract

World War II was followed by the second occupation of the Baltic States which lasted until the end of the Cold War. The repressive and atheistic policy towards the Catholic Church, priests, and believers pursued by the Soviet authorities during the occupation of Lithuania was especially harsh. Forms and means of its manifestations wereclose down of Catholic churches, priest seminaries, and monasteries, persecution and penalization of priests for the pastoral care and catechesis of children, restrictions on the admission of students to Kaunas Interdiocesan Priest Seminary, ban on the publication of religious materials and their strict censorship, and discrimination of believers’ rights. This situationmotivated Lithuanian citizens to oppose the regime by means of various legal and illegal forms of resistance, among thempublicationof underground religious press. The article which is based on the method of case study, applied to the analysis of the publication, distribution, and dissemination of an underground Catholic journal The Chronicle of the Catholic Church in Lithuania in theEast and in the West during the Cold War, will help answer three major questions.First, what were the key reasons underlying the birth of the underground religious press including The Chronicle of the Catholic Church in Lithuania? What internal and external factors were accountable for the formation of strong and well-organized underground Catholic press in Soviet Lithuania? Second, what essential information was covered in the journal? Third, how was the publication and distribution of the said illicit journal organised in the Soviet Socialist Republic of Lithuania, the Soviet Union, and the Western countries? Why its dissemination in the West was listed among the key objectives of The Chronicle of the Catholic Church in Lithuania?
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-107
JournalValahian journal of historical studies
Volume20
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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Keywords

  • Underground publication
  • The chronicle of the Catholic Church in Lithuania
  • Resistance

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