Sergey V. Khomyakov
Institute for Mongolian, Buddhist and Tibetan Studies
Campaign against the Old Believers’ religion in Buryatia in the 1920s: implementation methods
Khomyakov S.V. Campaign against the Old Believers’ religion in Buryatia in the 1920s: implementation methods. Vestnik of Kostroma State University, 2020, vol. 26, № 3, pp. 68-73 (In Russ.). DOI https://doi.org/10.34216/1998-0817-2020-26-3-68-73
DOI: https://doi.org/10.34216/1998-0817-2020-26-3-68-73
УДК: 281.2 ; 94(470)”1920”
Publish date: 2020-08-07
Annotation: Purposeful struggle against religion became one of the most important directions in the ideology of the Soviet country in the 1920s. For Old Believers, who had been living in settlements along the Selenga River (near the City of Verkhneudinsk) since the 1760s, this meant a continuation of the conflict situation in communication and interaction with the contemporary government. The Old Believers, who for decades had been trying to preserve the specifics of the old Orthodox religion, fulfilled the entire list of economic and military duties, but resisted the decisions of the tsarist administration to eliminate the schism (sealing chapels, monitoring the activities of preceptors, conversion in coreligionism etc.). The Soviet power, established in the 1920s in Buryatia, demonstrated continuity in the perception of the Old Believer religion as a problem. Hence, the article sets a task of characterisation of the methods of the struggle of the Soviet government against the Old Believer religion in the 1920s. The goal of the research is an attempt to study the anti-religious campaign of the Bolsheviks in the settlements of the Old Believers of the Buryat-Mongol autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic, which can complete the ideas about their way of life, the attitude to the authorities in the turning point of the early Soviet power. The object of the study is the Old Believers' population of the Buryat-Mongol ASSR, the subject is the religious and cultural policy of the Soviet power. In the long-term planning of the Bolsheviks was the complete suppression of the religious worldview among the population rather than elimination of the schism in the Orthodox Church (as before), hence the methods of achieving the goal were completely different – defamation of character of the preceptors, in many ways identical with the practices of working with other religions, promotion ideas that religion is the main reason for their ignorance and lack of freedom, etc., among the Old Believer youth. In the 1920s (in contrast to the next decade of repressive politics) the authorities approached religion with caution, their methods were mainly aimed at creating a negative information background and supporting that part of the Old Believers who sought changes in their lives.
Keywords: Russian history, old belief, religious unity, Soviet government, atheism, Komsomol, periodical press.
Funding and acknowledgments: The research was carried out within the state assignment of FASO Russia (project XII.191.1.1. “The transboundary spaces of Russia, Mongolia and China: history, culture, contemporary society”, No. АААА-А17-117021310269-9)
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Author's info: Sergey V. Khomyakov, ORCID https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1318-8906, Candidate of Historical Sciences, Institute for Mongolian, Buddhist and Tibetan Studies of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences (IMBTS SB RAS), Ulan-Ude, Buryatia autonomy, Russia. E-mail: khomyakov777@yandex.ru