Religion in the Soviet Union: An Archival Reader

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Persecution of religious groups by the Soviet state was no secret. Soviet ideology was explicitly materialist and anti- religious; the state made no apology for its repression of religion.

Here, for the first time in English, are the actual documents tracing that repression, clearly revealing the struggle between religious forces and the Russian communist state. Religion in the Soviet Union provides access to the archival materials, translated by the editor, in which bureaucrats debated policy, issued orders, and struggled with the problems religious believers caused the Soviet system. Drawing on previously secret documents from the KGB, Central Committee, Council for Religious Affairs, and local agencies, this book illuminates the varying responses of these policymakers to the Russian Orthodox Church, the Old Believers, Catholics, Protestants, the Armenian Church, Jews, Muslims, and Buddhists as well as to newer groups like the Jehovah's Witnesses and the Hare Krishnas.

This bureaucratic view of religion in the Soviet Union from its founding to its collapse will be of interest to students of political science and religion, as well as to Kremlinologists and historians of the Soviet era.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814715390
  • Publisher: New York University Press
  • Publication date: 9/1/1996
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 1.44 (d)

Meet the Author

Felix Corley is coauthor of In the Eyes of the Romanian Storm: The Heroic Story of Pastor Laszlo Tokes.

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Table of Contents

List of Plates
A Note on the Translation
1 Introduction 1
2 Religious Groups in the Soviet Union 4
3 War Communism and the New Economic Policy 1917-29 13
4 Stalin's Revolution from Above 1929-41 75
5 The Great Patriotic War 1941-45 130
6 Postwar Stalinism 1945-53 156
7 Nikita Khrushchev and Renewed Persecution 1953-64 184
8 The Brezhnev Years 1964-82 244
9 From Andropov to Gorbachev 1982-91 289
Sources 385
Select Bibliography 391
Index 394
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