Renewal of the Incendiary Propaganda, 1958–85

  • Dimitry V. Pospielovsky


Khrushchev’s brutal antireligious attacks and persecutions went by almost unnoticed in the West, partly because the predominantly agnostic Western media wanted to see a liberal in Khrushchev and did not care much about religion, but partly also because the features of antireligious campaigns prominent in the 1920s and 1930s were almost absent now. True, a special antireligious mass propaganda journal did appear in 1959. But this Science and Religion (NiR), although aggressive and vulgar at times, as the following blasphemous illustrations demonstrate, was not comparable to the viciousness of Bezbozhnik or Bezbozhnik u stanka. The methods and excuses applied in the mass closure of churches and other forms of persecutions will be discussed in the next chapter. Plenty of unofficial and semi-official reports were available in the West about these brutalities and terror. Many of them even found their way to the Western media, yet the outside world paid little attention to these ‘unconfirmed’ reports. These were several reasons why this onslaught drew so little world public attention at the time.


Religious Believer Soviet Regime Detective Story Holy Place Religious Literature 
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Chapter 5: Renewal of the Incendiary Propaganda, 1958–85

  1. 4.
    Ibid, p.92; G. Vasil’ev, ‘Bogoslov — podstrekatel’, NiR, no. 10 (1966) pp. 25–6; Alla Trubnikova, ‘Klikushi v pokhode’, and Tainik v taburetke’, Oktiabr’, no. 7 (1962) pp. 130–42, and no.9 (1964) pp. 161–77, respectively.Google Scholar
  2. 5.
    P. Voskresensky, ‘Dukhovnyi otets Vadima Shavrova’, NiR, no. 5 (1960) pp. 32–7. For Levitin’s rebuttal, see his ‘Moi otvet zhurnalu Nauka i religiia’, (20 June 1960, Dialogs tserkovnoi Rossiei (Paris: Ixis 1967) pp. 4369Google Scholar
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    N. Kar’kov, ‘K komu zhe idti ispovedovatsia?’, NiR, no. 6 (1960) pp. 61–5. The fraudulence and fixed stereotypes of such publications and clergy character-assassinations are revealed particularly when well-known (alas, not for the average Soviet citizen) historical facts are thus twisted: for instance, the story of the 1921–2 famine and Patriarch Tikhon’s attitude to it. Contrast: Unsigned, ‘Padenie sviateishego patriarkha’, NiR, no. 3 (1964) pp. 88–90; and Pospielovsky, The Russian Church, vol. 1, ch. 3. Attacks against Archb. Iov continued even after he had served his prison term and became a diocesan bishop once again.Google Scholar
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  17. 15.
    ‘Na beregu chernoi magii’, NiR, no. 1 (1963) pp. 21–9Google Scholar
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    Larisa Kuznetsova, ‘Na tikhoi ulitse’, NiR, no. 1 (1974) pp. 44–9; V. Kharazov, ‘Dosadnaia istoriia’, NiR, no. 7 (1979).Google Scholar
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    In addition to the above titles, see inter alia: Belov and Shilkin, Religiia v sovremennoi ideologicheskoi bor’be (M.: Znanie, 1971)Google Scholar
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    V. V. Konik, Tainy religioznykh missii (M.: Molodaia gvardiia, 1980)Google Scholar
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    Belov, Sviatye bez nimbov (M.: Sovetskaia Rossiia, 1983)Google Scholar
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    V. V. Konik, Tainy religioznykh missii (M.: Molodaia gvardiia, 1980); and a multitude of other similar publications.Google Scholar
  34. 38.
    Cited from A. Babiichuk, ‘Molodiozhy ideinuiu zakalku’, NiR, no. 1 (1985) p. 10. It is interesting that the resolutions of that ideological plenum do not mention religion by name, but only ideological diversions and the necessity to struggle for a better ideological education of the Soviet people. Soviet ‘religiological’ publications constantly refer to that plenum, and cite excerpts from speeches, as in Babichuk’s article, in the way of a guidance for the intensification of anti-religious struggle. In most such quotations it is merely declared, ‘as stated at the plenum’, thus giving the impression that such direct appeals were contained in one of its resolutions (or perhaps there was an unpublished secret resolution to this effect as well).Google Scholar
  35. 39.
    G. Belikova, ‘Strannaia sud’ba Sashi Karpova’, NiR, no. 9 (1984) pp. 37–40Google Scholar
  36. 40.
    A. Shamaro, ‘Delo igumenii Mitrofanii’, NiR, no. 9 (1984) pp. 41–5Google Scholar
  37. 40.
    D. Koretsky and Shamaro, ‘“Sviataia” Nastia’, NiR, no. 3 (1984) pp. 45–50Google Scholar
  38. 40.
    A. Shuvalov, ‘Piushchee dukhovenstvo’, NiR, no. 6 (1984) p. 40Google Scholar
  39. 40.
    F. Nikitina, ‘V belom klobuke s zhandarmskim axelbantom’, NiR, nos 11 and 12 (1982) pp. 41–3 and 42–4, respectivelyGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    N. Aleev, ‘Ne ukradi, a sam ukral’, Pravda vostoka (1 January 1970) p. 4.Google Scholar
  41. 42.
    Vladimir Tendriakov, ‘Chudotvornaia’ (The Miracle-Working Icon), Chrezvychainoe (M.: Sovremennik, 1972) pp. 91–178; the story was first published in the early 1960s.Google Scholar
  42. 42.
    M. G. Pismanik, Lichnost’ i religiia (M.: Nauka, 1976) pp. 18–21.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Dimitry V. Pospielovsky 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dimitry V. Pospielovsky
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Western OntarioCanada

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