Archive for October 6th, 2013

Anti-religious and atheistic satirical magazine

The passage of the Law on Religious Organization in 1929 signaled a new level of religious persecution within Russia. Even before the passage of this law, in the early 1920’s actions against religion were taken by the Bolsheviks. The Bolsheviks tried to remove religious influence from Russian homes believing religiously sanctioned families were “tsarist society in a microcosm.” In doing this restrictions were lifted upon many issues such as abortion, divorce and women, under law, were even given equal rights.

With the passage of the Law of Religious Organization, the goal of the Soviet government was evident. The Soviets wanted to physically remove any religious influence from Soviet society believing it would affect the progress of the country.  The main goal was to try and undermine the importance of religion believing that it would create a state universally focused upon the scientific development.  One of the parts of the Law of Religious Organization required congregations to register with the government in order to legally worship.  Those who do register for legal worship had other guidelines that must be followed such as only having one set of premises for which all of its prayer meetings. Even though this law never fully banned religion the state did try and turn people away from any form of religious worship.  The Soviet state did this by establishing the Commission on Religious Questions who believed that in order to fully eradicate religion can only happen through “agitation and education.” (335) The premise of enforcing these laws fell mostly upon the local police authorities who were responsible for the closing of churches

The passage of the Law of Religious Organization showed just how far the Soviet state was willing to go in order to ensure the prosperity of its country. In doing this it allowed for the continuous work week to be established which would help Russia catch up economically to the prospering countries of the Western world.


Freeze, Gregory L.. Russia: A History. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997.

Mervyn Matthews, ed., Soviet Government: a selection of official documents on internal policies (New York: Taplinger, 1974), pp. 63-70.

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