The opening of the Soviet archives has enabled scholars to correct some previously held misconceptions about the history of the Russian Orthodox Church since World War II. Western observers had mostly believed that the Russian Orthodox Church had 20-25 000 churches in the 1950s, while the real number was 13 000-14 000. The losses during Khrushchev's antireligious drive were 44 per cent of the parishes. Brezhnev's period of stagnation witnessed further erosion, followed by a recovery in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Since then, the resurgence of church institutional lie has slowed, as the Church struggles with schism, a calamitous financial situation and an immense shortage of priests.

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