PERSECUTED: Stepan Zaitsev in Soviet exile.On March 5, 1953, Stalin died. With his death the epoch of repression, system of false accusations, and prison camps died out. The years following Stalin’s death are known as the “thaw,” because in many areas of Soviet life, especially in culture and religion, it seemed there was a warming. Confession of faith was allowed as well as holding worship services without any restrictions. This strengthened the hope of many believers that the terrible past would never happen again.
FAMILY PORTRAIT: Stepan Zaitsev (front row, second from left), with family members and friends taken shortly after he was sent into exile.Faith His Only Crime