P.K. Dаshkovskiy, N.P. Zibert
The Influence of State-Confessional Policy on the Status of Religious Communities of Altai in the First Years of the Soviet Power
The article is devoted to the situation of religious communities in Altai in the context of state-confessional policy in the first years of Soviet power. The policy of the new Soviet state in relation to freedom of conscience was based on the ideology of the Bolshevik Party and the prevailing socio-political situation, although at the initial stage there was no total ban on religious worldview. At the same time a desire to undermine the financial independence of the Church led to the adoption of the series of state regulations. Thus, the decree “On Land” turned monastic and Church lands into a national heritage “The Decree on Civil Marriage, on Children and on Keeping the Books of Acts of State” recognized legitimate only civil marriages registered in the Department of Records of Marriages and Births in the city (district, uyezd or volost) administration. The decree “On Freedom of Conscience, Church and Religious Societies” deprived religious organizations of the right on property and subjected them to the General provisions on private societies and unions. Gradually, suppression of religion under the impact of atheistic propaganda involved different segments of the population including young people. Active anti- religious work resulted in many demonstration trials over religion and the clergy. The campaign of opening, seizure and liquidation of Holy relics led to the defeat of many churches and theft of Church property. It was often accompanied by clashes of parishioners and representatives of government agencies. Widespread nationalization, including religious sites, led to the need to rent state buildings for the faithful to worship. This situation significantly affected the ability to maintain the Church staff and finally undermined the economic independence of religious associations.
Key words: state-confessional relations, Altai, anti-religious propaganda, the separation of сhurch and state
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