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Victims or Instigators?

Examining the Role of the Religious During the Soviet Unions First Two Decades.

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A common historical conception in the West, held by scholar and layman alike, is that
once the atheistic Soviet Union came to power in 1922 religious leaders and adherents were
persecuted into submission. Such perceptions, however, have been carefully fostered by means
of purposeful historical obfuscation and ideological bias on the part of numerous Western anticommunist intellectuals. In fact, initially, the USSR reacted rather passively towards the Church,
motivated predominantly by a strict adherence to Marxist ideology that blinded the Soviets to the
true power of religious believers. Each time the Church would engage in religiously motivated
counterrevolutionary attacks, the Soviets were forced to respond with increasingly harsh methods
of repression. Western revisionism, on the other hand, has asserted that the State alone was to
blame for the persecution of the Church and the seemingly unrelated famine that occurred due to
collectivization in the mid 1930s. Contrary to these popular beliefs, the Russian Orthodox
Church and other religious groups were not mere victims, but in many ways, the instigators to
both their own repression and to the crimes to which the Soviet government has traditionally
been assigned complete blame.
Due to the confrontation between the ideologies at the centre of the Cold War, much of
the Wests historiography has been purposefully filtered through an anti-communist lens. This is
particularly evident in writings that pre-date the opening of the Soviet archives by Gorbachev in
the late 1980s. Historian Glennys Young expands upon this accusation by highlighting what has
been referred to as the Cold War consensus in Western historical analysis an intentional
obfuscation of facts in order to promote a certain ideology and discredit another.1 Such
obfuscation has primarily been achieved by omitting important historical precursors and motives
for events and redirecting the narrative to focus on a primary target to discredit. It has also often

Glennys Young, Power and the Sacred in Revolutionary Russia: Religious Activists in the Village, (University
Park, Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1997) 253.

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been accomplished by obfuscating or ignoring the motivating role of religious beliefs, preferring
instead to attribute collective motives to those of individuals or political or economic entities.
Young describes an implicit assumption amongst many Western historians that the Soviets
merely spun propagandistic lies, whereas other more amenable, historical revolutionaries, such
as the early 19th century French, employed ideologies that should be a proper subject of historical
analysis.2 Young further highlights the popular study surrounding the early anti-religious
campaigns of the communist Bezbozhniki (The Godless) and the common Western perception
that their rhetoric is little more than the linguistic crystallization of evil.3 Despite the
prevalence of anti-communist perspectives and purposeful obfuscations in the vast body of
Soviet era Western historiography, a cross-analysis of several compiled histories of the first 20
years of the Soviet Union sheds light on the active role of the Russian Orthodox Church and its
adherents in regards to crimes which have had the responsibility popularly attributed solely to the
state.
Although, as Young previously highlighted, many Western historians dismiss Soviet
ideology as being unworthy of close analysis, an in depth examination of the Marxist-Leninist
position on religion provides a tremendous insight on the way the State reacted to the church and
its followers in its early years and why. Marx viewed religion as a historically transient
phenomenon, or part of the superstructure, that arose out of the socio-economic base of
society.4 Because it was therefore bound to the socio-economic system of capitalist and precapitalist exploitation, as a kind of crutch, Marx believed that religion was doomed to wither

Young, Power and the Sacred, 253.


Young, Power and the Sacred, 253.
4
Jane Ellis, The Russian Orthodox Church: A Contemporary History, (London: Croom Helm, 1986), 251; George L.
Kline, Religious and Anti-Religious Thought In Russia, (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1968), 131.
3

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away with the establishment of a non-exploitative, classless socio-economic system.5 What
would come to fill the gap of natural inquisition that religion had historically filled would be the
empirical sciences and secular attitudes and morality.6 Lenin closely adhered to Marxs
assertions and in certain respects expanded upon them. While Lenin agreed with Marx that
religion was a capitalist opiate that kept people sedated and ignorant of the personal alienation
inflicted by capitalist oppression, he somewhat disagreed with the benign nature of the ideology
and saw religion as a superstition with a sinister social purpose.7 Effectively, this adherence to
Marxist-Leninist perspectives on religion would blind the Soviet leaders to the impact that
religious belief was capable of within their struggle to establish a communist society.
In accordance with this passive perspective, once the Bolsheviks seized power after the
October 1917 revolution, the Russian Orthodox Church actually enjoyed a brief period of
freedom. On November 5th, Church leaders were permitted to openly elect Patriarch Tikhon; an
act that had not been permitted since Peter the Great suppressed the Patriarchate and the
independence of the Church over 200 years earlier.8 Initially, Lenin preferred that religious
organizations be allowed to function openly, publicly and legally so that they were in the least
subject to a measure of supervision.9 Closing a church prematurely, he believed, would
inevitably result in the burgeoning of underground religious organizations.10 Furthermore, by
allowing religious life to continue in the Soviet Union, the states assertion that it was truly

Kline, Religious and Anti-Religious Thought, 131.


Kline, Religious and Anti-Religious Thought, 130.
7
Kline, Religious and Anti-Religious Thought, 140.
8
Ellis, The Russian Orthodox Church, 3.
9
William C. Fletcher, The Russian Orthodox Church Underground, 1917-1970, (New York: Oxford University
Press, 1971), 3.
10
Fletcher, Russian Orthodox Church Underground, 3.
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democratic, and permitted true freedom of conscience diminished the impact of any foreign
criticisms asserting the contrary.11
Patriarch Tikhon, however, was no fan of his apparent liberators and took every
opportunity to encourage his flock to resist any cooperation with the Bolsheviks. Further fuelling
his opposition was the 1918 Decree on the Separation of Church and State, which nationalized
Church property and guaranteed the right of both religious and antireligious propaganda.12 This
was a clear establishment on the part of the government of an ideological divide, but little was
enacted at this point that was not merely in principle, other than the requisition of inventories
of Church assets.13 Church leaders did not have their voices taken away, the State merely
attempted to move them out of the religious sphere and into the political as equal members of the
newly established Soviets through legislation.14 Tikhon and the rural priests saw this as a clear
affront to both their power and their faith on the part of the Bolshevik Antichrist, and used their
pulpits to denounce the Decree as open persecution of the Orthodox Church, as well as of all
religious societies, whether Christian or not, openly threatening the faithful who disobeyed his
perspective with excommunication.15
Asserting the aforementioned Cold War consensus, historian William C. Fletcher
claimed that [t]he Church itself, speaking officially or corporately, at no time indulged in an
ideological struggle against the new Government.16 Fletcher believed that the Churchs early
resistance to the Bolsheviks during the revolutionary years was primarily due to the loss of

11

Ellis, The Russian Orthodox Church, 253-54.


Young, Power and the Sacred, 2, 3.
13
Young, Power and the Sacred, 56-59.
14
Young, Power and the Sacred, 60.
15
Evgenia Kirichenko, Moscows Cathedral of Christ the Savior: Its Creation, Destruction, and Rebirth 1813-1997,
trans. By Thomas H. Hoisington and Sona S. Hoisington, (Moscow, 2012) p. 251-64. accessed online:
http://www.thomashoisington.com/pdfs/Moscows_Cathedral_Kirichenko.pdf; Young, Power and the Sacred,
70.
16
Fletcher, Russian Orthodox Church Underground, 19.
12

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privilege and the belief that the Bolsheviks took power through unethical means during the
October Revolution.17 While this is partially true, historically, rural priests held a tremendous
influence over their flock and did so through the employment and adaptation of religious ritual
and theology.18 In the latter half of the 19th century, parish priests were set up by the Tsarist
regime to be, in effect, mini tyrants who reigned over their village with an iron fist and forced to
espouse pro-tsarist propaganda.19 V.N. Panin, who was the tsarist Minister of Justice from 184162 once remarked that the most important task of parish clergy was to remind peasants to
zealously and continuously fulfil their duties to the state both inside the walls of the church
and the peasants homes.20 There is little reason to believe that this well-established order
suddenly ceased once the Bolsheviks rose to power; rather, it merely shifted focus.
Though historians such as Fletcher argue, as did Marx, that the true motivating factor on
the part of the clergy was economic power, the actions that they took following the confiscation
of their economic holdings in 1918 highlight that they were more interested in the influential
power of control over the peasants as well as the maintenance of that control through the
continued manipulation of theological interpretation and ritual religious practice. Priests
commonly equated communism with the concept of the common blanket, which implied
communal sleeping arrangements and wife sharing, no doubt a somewhat irksome suggestion to
puritanical Christians.21 Priests would also feed the susceptibility of the peasants to react based
on intense superstitions, thus making them easily coerced by the priests.22 Erratic weather
patterns, or the occasional meteorite was interpreted as a bad omen, and the priests would
17

Fletcher, Russian Orthodox Church Underground, 19.


Young, Power and the Sacred, 252.
19
Young, Power and the Sacred, 14.
20
Young, Power and the Sacred, 14.
21
Lynne Viola, Peasant Rebels Under Stalin: Collectivization and the Culture of Peasant Resistance, (New York:
Oxford University Press, 1996), 46.
22
Viola, Peasant Rebels Under Stalin, 53.
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reinforce their interpretations with apocalyptic rhetoric.23 Communism was represented as the
Antichrist on earth, and often when asked, peasants would deny the existence of communists
within their village, choosing instead to refer to them as atheists, which clearly highlights the
lens through which the peasants were predominantly viewing the world.24 In short, the Church
leaders were speaking the language that the peasants understood, and that language was littered
with demonization of the communists intentions.
Due in large part to the anti-state rhetoric fostered by the Church during the Civil War
period, the Bolsheviks decided to ramp up their efforts on the cultural front after consolidating
power.25 Partly due to weather, partly due to a lack of bureaucratic strength and infrastructure,
and partly due to the havoc wreaked by almost a decade of war, the Russian countryside fell into
the grips of a catastrophic famine by 1921.26 In order to aid the starving, the State called for the
confiscation of all remaining Church valuables.27 Patriarch Tikhon announced his cooperation
with regards to un-consecrated valuables, but resisted the expropriation of items specifically
consecrated for religious usage.28 No doubt the viewpoint on what comprised and quantified
consecrated valuables differed greatly between both sides. When the State pushed back, Tikhon
called for riots, which erupted all over and, subsequently, the State began to try Church leaders
for sedition.29 At the Tenth Party Congress, in March of 1921, there was a call for intensified
antireligious agitation and propaganda in order to counter the sedition emanating from the
Church leaders.30

23

Viola, Peasant Rebels Under Stalin, 46-47.


Viola, Peasant Rebels Under Stalin, 44, 49.
25
Young, Power and the Sacred, 2.
26
Fletcher, Russian Orthodox Church Underground, 26.
27
Fletcher, Russian Orthodox Church Underground, 26-27.
28
Fletcher, Russian Orthodox Church Underground, 26-27.
29
Fletcher, Russian Orthodox Church Underground, 26-27.
30
Young, Power and the Sacred, 2-3.
24

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In a temporarily successful attempt to stifle Lenins prediction of the church scurrying
underground, the State sponsored the creation of the Renovationist (obnovlencheskaya) Church,
or Living Church, which was led by former Orthodox Priests who publically declared their
loyalty to the socialist cause.31 The establishment of the Living Church in 1923 mirrored the
States parallel attempts to bolster the economy through the establishment of arguably capitalist
policies through the New Economic Policy (NEP). Just as Marx described capitalism to be a
necessary step on the path to communism, the State most likely realized that encouraging a
socialist friendly Church would be preferable to the aftereffects incited through an all out
elimination of the existing religious institutions, and therefore a more effective step on the path
towards State endorsed atheism. The Living Church was given permission to maintain a central
administration, permission to publish, and permission to organize a theological academy.32 One
of the first actions of the Living Church, no doubt at the behest of the State, was to publically
announce the deposition of Patriarch Tikhon who was, at that time, under house arrest.33 The
Living Church found temporary success due to the support from the State as well as the
confusion within the ranks of existing Orthodox laity, but would quickly fizzle out and
completely dissolve by the start of World War 2.34
In April of 1923, the Communist Party issued a directive that called for intensive
antireligious activism what would cause workers and peasants to discard religion and embrace a
scientific worldview; a clear sign that the religious were proving to be more of a roadblock to
progress than Marx or Lenin had predicted.35 Two organizations would take the lead in this
crusade, the Society of the Friends of the Newspaper Bezbozhnik (1924-25) and the League of
31

Ellis, The Russian Orthodox Church, 4.


Fletcher, Russian Orthodox Church Underground, 32.
33
Kirichenko, Moscows Cathedral, 262.
34
Fletcher, Russian Orthodox Church Underground, 33.
35
Young, Power and the Sacred, 3.
32

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the Godless (1925-41).36 The tactics employed by these groups, collectively referred to as the
Bezbozhniki, is referred to by Young as the ideology of militarized socialism, consistent with
the developing general concept that communism needed to be achieved by jumping the gun, so
to speak and forcing into existence or skipping altogether the prescribed stages that Marx
established in order to bring about a communist society.37 Ultimately, the campaigns of the
Bezbozhniki to eliminate the foundations of religious life in the countryside would fail during the
NEP period due to the fact that it was hampered by structural inadequacy, indifference and often
incompetence amongst its ranks, and ineffective and even counterproductive tactics.38 In fact,
their efforts had the opposite effect of catalysing the remaining clergy and laity to defend their
religious interests; similarly, antireligious debates sparked by the Bezbozhniki only stimulated the
villagers interest in religious answers to their questions.39
The traditional structure of the Church had been effectively suppressed within the first
few years of the NEP, which ultimately forced laity to go underground, as Lenin had feared. As
early as 1920, many monasteries reorganized themselves superficially into working collectives or
artels.40 Other disbanded Church leaders worked their way into the village Soviets as a means of
hijacking the political process, maintaining their power over the peasants through theology and
ritual, and delegitimizing the state from within.41 Church leaders would frequently hijack their
regional Soviet voting processes by inducing the faithful majority into spontaneous prayer or
song.42 Such displays became so widespread through the Soviets that correspondents for

36

Young, Power and the Sacred, 3.


Young, Power and the Sacred, 254.
38
Young, Power and the Sacred, 274.
39
Young, Power and the Sacred, 274.
40
Fletcher, Russian Orthodox Church Underground, 26; Young, Power and the Sacred, 70.
41
Young, Power and the Sacred, 252, 273, 276.
42
Young, Power and the Sacred, 248; A 1927 protocol of the Smolensk Provincial Party Organization warned
that: In connection with international relations and the growing threat of war, the activity of clerical and
sectarian organizations has especially quickened in recent time. Religious organizations are attempting to disrupt
37

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Bezbozhnik wrote titles such as, not a village soviet, but a chapel (1925), or not a village
soviet, but a cathedral of believers (1927).43
By the time Stalin had consolidated his power, brought an end to the NEP, and had begun
to institute collective farming in his desire to jump the gun on every State level
organizationally, the standard line in antireligious State circles was that religious ideas were
used in every possible way by class enemies in their battle against the building of socialism
and against Soviet power.44 Counterrevolutionary rhetoric began to be spread by means of
rumour from village to village, and the substance of these rumours were heavily draped in
religious ritual and iconography.45 Again, the most prominent of these rumours were that the
Soviet state was the Antichrist who was initiating his rule on earth through the collective farm,
and that, in turn, was a sign of the impending apocalypse.46 Though effectively their positions of
power were eliminated, there is little doubt that former priests and laity played a tremendous role
in the spreading of these rumours, as their status would have lent credence to their
believability.47 One antireligious activist in the Middle Volga region reported that,
everywhere priests are spreading the legend that in Penza at the Maidens Convent a
light issuing from the cross is burning day and night, and it is necessary to say that the
people go there, the devil knows how many, to look at those miracles. Besides this [the
priests] say that soon the Roman pope will come, the government will fall, and tall the
communists and collective farmers will be crushed.48

elections to the soviets, cooperatives, to present their own candidates and in general are a serious brake in the
path of socialist economic development All these facts bear witness to the aspiration of religious organizations
to use the difficulties and contradictions of economic growth in the USSR for their own interests. (Young, Power
and the Sacred, 263)
43
Young, Power and the Sacred, 258.
44
Young, Power and the Sacred, 265.
45
Viola, Peasant Rebels Under Stalin, 61.
46
Viola, Peasant Rebels Under Stalin, 235.
47
Viola, Peasant Rebels Under Stalin, 61.
48
Viola, Peasant Rebels Under Stalin, 62.

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The State believed that the originators of these counterrevolutionary rumours were the
Priests and the Kulaks, as only they were capable of holding such ideas.49 Such an assertion
provides further backing to the previous assertion that Marxist doctrine blinded State leaders and
shaped their employment of certain descriptive terminologies over others. Lenin transferred
Marxs assertion of capitalism as the necessary precursor, or womb of socialism onto the
Russian countryside by maintaining that a socialist countryside would be born from the victory
of the poor peasants over the Kulak.50 The term Kulak (fist) referred to the greedy peasants who
(in theory and claim) made their livings off of the backs of the poor and loomed as a symbol not
only of the lingering shadow of capitalism but also of the failure of socialism to take root in the
countryside.51 Due to the vague nature of its definition and the wide-ranging application of its
use as a defamation, historians have greatly debated the true meaning of Kulak, though the
common consensus seems to be one that focuses on economic status. Arguably, however, the
term Kulak always referred to rural church leaders as they predominantly held positions of
authority over the peasants by means of both land ownership before the Bolshevik revolution,
and religious influence afterwards. Perhaps it is most likely that Lenin employed the term Kulak
rather than directly attributing blame to the clergy in order to reinforce Marxs theories of
economic class struggle while ignoring or diverting the acknowledgement of power held by
religion.
The usage of such terminology gradually evolved over time. In the early 1920s the
government referred to the rural clergy as tserkovnik, which had previously been used to refer
to a junior deacon or a person of ecclesiastical calling, but was not ordained.52 Eventually,

49

Viola, Peasant Rebels Under Stalin, 62.


Young, Power and the Sacred, 270.
51
Young, Power and the Sacred, 261.
52
Young, Power and the Sacred, 255-56.
50

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tserkovnik came to imply both religious as well as a political affiliation within the same figure.53
By the late 1920s the tserkovniks were increasingly being conflated with the Kulaks.54 By 1927,
the Bezbozhniki were claiming that the Kulaks had seduced the clergy to campaign against
communist candidates during elections to the soviets and attributed blame for the aforementioned
employment of religious ritual in order to sabotage the Soviet electoral process as being
organized by Kulaks rather than priests.55 By 1928-29, the Bezbozhniki had collapsed the
conceptual boundary between priest and Kulak even further.56 By dismissing the need to
investigate the actual socio-economic backgrounds of particular priests, the Bezbozhniki
appeared to assume that clerical standing alone was enough to identify a Kulak.57 Furthermore,
Soviet propaganda posters from this period clearly depict this conflation between clergy and
Kulak. Almost all depictions of Kulaks are conjoined with visual representations of the Church
or religious iconography.58 For all intents and purposes, the Kulak and the clergy were one in the
same, though both communists of the past and many western historians of the present continue to
differentiate the two.
Stalins process of dekulakization went hand-in-hand with his plans for collectivization,
encouraged by the forms of both active and passive resistance that the alleged Kulaks engaged in.
Endemic in collective farming were such typical peasant acts of passive resistance as foot
dragging, shirking duties, negligence, theft, and disassembling equipment.59 Peasants also
created family farms within the collectives by means of maintaining strip forming and the pre-

53

Young, Power and the Sacred, 256.


Young, Power and the Sacred, 259.
55
Young, Power and the Sacred, 259.
56
Young, Power and the Sacred, 260.
57
Young, Power and the Sacred, 260.
58
SEE IMAGES #1-5:
59
Young, Power and the Sacred, 238.
54

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existing borders within the collective farms in order to sustain themselves over the collective.60
More extremist actions included what was referred to as razbazarivanie, or the squandering of
livestock and other property through destruction and sale.61 In October, 1929, an American
reporter named Carroll Binder interviewed the leader of a group of 5,000 Mennonite Kulaks who
were emigrating after having been expropriated from their prosperous farms and denied
permission to resume farming.62 When asked what the groups objection to collective farming
was, the man replied:
We consider it serfdom and believe it impossible to operate such farms on a paying
basis. The farmers will be permanently in debt to the government for equipment and seed.
Meanwhile we are unable to educate our children religiously. Therefore, we will never
join the collective farms.63
Binder further recalled a gruesome extremist incident wherein a leading female member of the
Novoiakuzhkino Soviet was tied to a stake and burned to death for engaging in the forcible
collection of grain for public purposes.64 According to historian Lynne Viola, passive and active
resistance served as a powerful agent in forcing the state to modify and adapt some of its most
coercive policies.65 Peasant passive resistance, working in combination with an oppressive,
overly centralized, poorly managed, and underfunded system of collective farming, played a key
role in hobbling Soviet agriculture and hindering its further development and modernization.66 In
addition to this, the counterrevolutionary actions of the church, conflated in terminology as the
Kulaks ultimately share the responsibility with the State for the terrible famine that occurred in
1932-33 as a result of the failure of collectivization.

60

Young, Power and the Sacred, 238.


Young, Power and the Sacred, 236; Carroll Binder, Kulak Fight on Collectivization Recalled As Key To Red
Farm Ills The Washington Post and Times Herald (1959-1973); August 19, 1955. 40.
62
Binder, Kulak Fight on Collectivization
63
Binder, Kulak Fight on Collectivization
64
Binder, Kulak Fight on Collectivization
65
Viola, Peasant Rebels Under Stalin, 238.
66
Viola, Peasant Rebels Under Stalin, 238.
61

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Glennys Young perfectly summed up the entire argument that has been presented here
when she wrote:
[O]ne must recognized that Russian villagers were not simply passive recipients of state
actions religious belief and practice of Russian villagers actually shaped both rural and
national politics during the period of [the NEP], thus, religious belief and practice served
as an active agent of political mobilization and transformation.67
Ultimately, the Soviet Unions increasingly repressive responses towards the religious inspired
counterinsurgency only elicited the opposite response to what they had intended. The 1937
census turned up the awkward fact that 57% of Soviet citizens, nearly 80,000,000 people, were
ready to declare themselves religious believers.68 The Churchs reintegration of religion and
politics following its initial organizational disintegration underscores why the Bukharin
alternative of allowing Soviet Villagers to grow into socialism, did not seem feasible to Stalin
and other Party leaders.69 The fact that religious activity changed the face of village politics
makes Stalins decision to proceed with collectivization all the more understandable; furthermore,
the acts of sabotage and resistance highlight how the blame for collectivizations failure and
incitement of famine does not lie solely with the State.

67

Young, Power and the Sacred, 4.


Kline, Religious and Anti-Religious Thought, 151; Fletcher, Russian Orthodox Church Underground, 81.
69
Young, Power and the Sacred, 277.
68

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IMAGE #1:

In Our Collective Farm, No Place For Priests or Kulaks70


70

Artist Unknown, In Our Collective Farm, No Place For Priests or Kulaks. Soviet Propaganda Poster (Public
Domain), JPEG, Accessed Online: http://rayuzwyshyn.net/dovzhenko/Earth.htm

15
IMAGE #2:

The Clergy Support The Kulaks - Clean Collective Farms, Destroy The Kulaks.71
71

Artist Unknown, The Clergy Support The Kulaks Clean Collective Farms, Destroy the Kulaks Soviet
Propaganda Poster (Public Domain), JPEG, Accessed Online: http://www.obskura.co.uk/religion-p1/

16
IMAGE #3:

Strike the Kulak Who Is Campaigning For Crop Reduction72


72

Artist Unknown, Strike The Kulak Who Is Campaigning For Crop Reduction. Soviet Propaganda Poster (Public
Domain), JPEG, Accessed Online: https://dystopianf2012.wikispaces.com/Kulaks+and+Collectivization

17
IMAGE #4:

The Struggle Against Religion The Struggle For Socialism!!!73


(Note the Religious figures in the lead of the protest with the generic Kulak
Figure snickering in the rear.)

73

Artist Unknown, The Struggle Against Religion The Struggle For Socialism!!! Soviet Propaganda Poster
(Public Domain), JPEG, Accessed Online: http://thecharnelhouse.org/2013/03/01/soviet-antireligiouspropaganda/#jp-carousel-6354

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IMAGE #5:

Religion is the Narcotic of the People74


(The Bible Verse reads The Church is a Kulak Prop./ Endure the Kulak Levy.)

74

Young, Power and the Sacred, 104; Also Accessed Online:


https://misebogland.wordpress.com/2013/03/05/soviet-anti-religious-art/

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Bibliography
Binder, Carroll. Kulak Fight on Collectivization Recalled as Key to Red Farm Ills The
Washington Post and Times Herald (1959-1973); August 19, 1955. p. 40
Davies, R.W. The Soviet Collective Farm, 1929-1930. Cambridge Massachusetts: Harvard
University Press, 1980.
Ellis, Jane. The Russian Orthodox Church: A Contemporary History. London: Croom Helm,
1986.
Fletcher, William C. The Russian Orthodox Church Underground, 1917-1970. New York:
Oxford University Press, 1971.
Johnston, Joseph. Gods Secret Armies Within The Soviet Empire. New York: G.P. Putnams
Sons, 1954.
Kirichenko, Evgenia. Moscows Cathedral of Christ the Savior: Its Creation, Destruction, and
Rebirth 1813-1997. Translation by Thomas H. Hoisington and Sona S. Hoisington.
Moscow: 2012. Accessed online: http://www.thomashoisington.com/pdfs/
Moscows_Cathedral_Kirichenko.pdf
Kline, George L. Religious and Anti-Religious Thought In Russia. Chicago: University of
Chicago Press, 1968.
Nelson, Lars-Erik. 50 Years of Atheism Fail To Kill Russian Religion The Washington Post
and Times Herald (1959-1973); July 30, 1967. p. A31

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Russians Return to Religion, But Not to Church. Pew Research Center. February 10, 2014.
Accessed Online: http://www.pewforum.org/2014/02/10/russians-return-to-religion-butnot-to-church/
Sousa, Mario. Lies Concerning the History of the Soviet Union. The Stalin Society. March 7,
1999. Accessed Online: http://www.northstarcompass.org/nsc9912/lies.htm
Viola, Lynne. Peasant Rebels Under Stalin: Collectivization and the Culture of Peasant
Resistance. New York: Oxford University Press, 1996.
Young, Glennys. Power and the Sacred In Revolutionary Russia: Religious Activists in the
Village. University Park, Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1997