Salnikova Alla; Galiullina Dilyara

From “non-religious” to anti-religious education of tatar schoolchildren in the 1920s — early 1930s: tactics and practices

Salnikova Alla, Galiullina Dilyara (2020) "From “non-religious” to anti-religious education of tatar schoolchildren in the 1920s — early 1930s: tactics and practices ", Vestnik Pravoslavnogo Sviato-Tikhonovskogo gumanitarnogo universiteta. Seriia IV : Pedagogika. Psihologiia, 2020, vol. 57, pp. 123-135 (in Russian).

DOI of the paper: 10.15382/sturIV202057.123-135


This article studies main tactics and practices of the Soviet government aimed at eradicating religious consciousness and religious attitudes among Tatar schoolchildren in the 1920s — early 1930s. Special attention is paid to the specifi city of implementation of the decree of the Council of People’s Commissars’ (Rus. Совет народных комиссаров) “On freedom of conscience, church and religious societies” (January 20, 1918) in Kazan Guberniya (since 1920, Tatar Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic) aimed at superseding of the Tatar religious school by the Soviet national school of the new type. Drawing on regulatory documents, the article traces main stages in the solution to this problem, including fl uctuations in the course conditioned by the development of the general political situation in the country which were totally in line with the relationship between the state and the church in Soviet Russia of the studied period. The article also emphasises the meaning of the “graphic reform” of 1927 which established Yanalif, i.e. the Latin alphabet as the offi cial Tatar writing system, in eliminating Muslim national education in Soviet Tataria. The article studies the specifi city of the early Soviet essayism and textbooks for the Soviet Tatar school and, particularly, of ABC-books in non-religious education of Tatars. It identifi es the transition from nonreligious to antireligious education of Tatar schoolschildren that took place at the turn of the 1920s — 1930s. It outlines main directions of antireligious work among Tatar children and teenagers. It analyses antireligious methodological literature in the Tatar and Russian languages designed for those in charge of antireligious work in the Tatar school of the 1st and 2nd grades. It identifi es the role and determines the place of certain Tatar- and Russian-language magazines for adults and children, i.e. Фен hем дин, Oktеbr balasь, Юные безбожники (Rus. ‘Adolescent atheists’) which contained both instructive guidelines for adults and stories for children as well as information on results of antireligious work in various locations in educating the younger generation. It makes a conclusion about contradictions between antireligious practices, forcibly introduced in the Soviet Tatar school in the late 1920s — early 1930s, and religious family practices as a characteristic feature of “religious socialisation” of a Tatar child.


Soviet national educational policy, Soviet confessional policy, Tatar national school, “non-religious” education, antireligious education, young atheists, Yanalif, antireligious literature, Kazan Guberniya, TASSR, 1920s — early 1930s


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Information about the author

Salnikova Alla

Academic Degree: Doctor of Sciences* in History;
Academic Rank: Professor;
Place of work: Kazan (Volga) Federal University; 18 Kremlevskaia Str., Kazan. 420008, Russian Federation;
Post: Professor;
ORCID: 0000-0002-5498-1401;
Email: Alla.Salnikova@kpfu.ru.

*According to ISCED 2011, a post-doctoral degree called Doctor of Sciences (D.Sc.) is given to reflect second advanced research qualifications or higher doctorates.

Galiullina Dilyara

Academic Degree: Candidate of Sciences* in History;
Academic Rank: Associate Professor;
Place of work: Kazan (Volga Region) Federal University; 18 Kremliovskaya Str., Kazan 420008, Russian Federation;
Post: Associate Professor, Department of Russian History;
ORCID: 0000-0003-4932-2951;
Email: galiullinadm@mail.ru.

*According to the International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED) 2011, the degree of Candidate of Sciences (Cand.Sc.) belongs to ISCED level 8 — "doctoral or equivalent", together with PhD, DPhil, D.Lit, D.Sc, LL.D, Doctorate or similar.