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Impact on Religion

Modern History (Year 12) - Stalin's Cultural Revolution

Ben Whitten

Impact on Religion

Religion suffered during Stalin’s Cultural Revolution. An onslaught on the Church and the priests in the Soviet Union had begun, as they were figures deemed to be a part of the “old world”. The Communist government stressed the links between kulaks and churchgoers, accusing the priests of supporting peasants in the resistance to collectivisation. The amount of individuals attending churches had dropped massively, however the impact on the Priests themselves was massive. Priests were being hounded out of the villages, churches were being raided and church bells were being melted down for material use in industry. Taxes on churches were punitive, even though highly religious peasants attempted to pay for them for the clergy. By the end of the 1930s, 80% of village churches had closed. In 1939, only 12 out of 168 bishops were active and still at liberty. During the cultural revolution, more religious figures were punished and killed than in the Civil War.

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