The study focuses on Protestants in the postwar USSR. It has two major aims. The first is to elucidate the evolution of Soviet policy towards Protestant denominations, using archival evidence not available to previous students of this subject. The second is to reconstruct the internal life of Protestant congregations as marginalized social groups. The dissertation is thus a case study both of religious persecution under state-sponsored atheism and of the efforts of individual believers and their communities to survive without compromising their religious principles. A major element of the state’s approach to Protestants was to use co-opted religious leaderships as enforcers of government policy within the communities. The practice outraged many believers and caused schisms that plagued Protestant communities for decades. Religious dissenters, however, helped awaken the public opinion abroad to the reality of believers' life in the USSR. The increased international pressure forced the Soviet Government to adopt a more conciliatory approach to religion. The believers capitalized on the Soviet youth's hunger for an alternative ideology and thus ensured religion's survival.