Work Is The Answer Not Religion.

By on October 6, 2013 in Uncategorized

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.

 2 Responses to “Work Is The Answer Not Religion.”

  1. seeingred says:

    Your first paragraph in which you spoke about the removal of religious restrictions on societal practices reminded me of the silent film we watched in class. In “Bed and Sofa,” the main character experiences all these changes as she is able to get an abortion and in the end when she leaves both of her husbands, it’s made clear that she has the ability to leave them and begin her own life in which she may have a chance at making a decent living as a single woman.

  2. rlaj360 says:

    This reminds me of the scene in Bed and Sofa where there is the picture of Stalin in the place of what would have been an icon in the days of the Empire. Many Russians were forced to take their religion underground during this time period due to this persecution and difficulty of practice. Perhaps the most inspiring thing was the swift return to religion after the Fall of the Soviet Union. This merely proved that even though they tried to shape people’s thoughts and views they could never really get inside everyone’s mind.

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