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Schelkunov Antonii, диакон

Transformation of the Punitive Policy of the Soviet State Against the Orthodox Church in 1939–1941


Schelkunov Antonii (2017) "Transformation of the Punitive Policy of the Soviet State Against the Orthodox Church in 1939–1941 ", Vestnik Pravoslavnogo Sviato-Tikhonovskogo gumanitarnogo universiteta. Seriia II : Istoriia. Istoriia Russkoy Pravoslavnoy Tserkvi, 2017, vol. 76, pp. 78-88 (in Russian).

DOI of the paper: 10.15382/sturII201776.78-88

Abstract

There are numerous blind spots in the study of the antichurch terror of the Soviet state in the 1920s-1950s. One of these is antichurch repressions of 1939–1941. This stage of the repressive policy of the Stalinist regime had a number of features that were associated with the transformation of the state security system after the completion of the “Great Terror” and the beginning of the campaign for the enforcement of Socialist law. These features included the fact that during this period, NKVD were closing legal cases against Orthodox believers arrested in 1937–1938, which led to a decrease in the number of arrests of Orthodox believers in 1939. However, since 1940 the number of arrests for religious reasons began to grow again. The policy of enforcement of the Socialist law made investigators from NKVD act more cautiously as to the existing criminal law. During this period, the antichurch policy of the Soviet regime in the newly-acquired regions was fairly moderate, whereas in territories of the Soviet Union within the borders established before September 1939, the state was carrying out the policy of systematic destruction of the Orthodox Church. Despite the change in methods of antichurch repressions that took place before World War II, the ultimate goal, i.e. the complete destruction of religion and church in the USSR, was unchanged.

Keywords

Russian Orthodox Church, Old Believers, the True Orthodox Church, renovationism, antichurch terror, NKVD, mass repressions

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Information about the author

Schelkunov Antonii, диакон