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State and confessional policy in relation to Orthodoxy in the early twenties



state and confessional policy in relation to Orthodoxy in the early twenties

(on materials of the Baikal Siberia)

At the present stage the purpose of state and confessional policy is creation of the conditions combining a possibility of the fullest realization of the rights and freedoms of the person and citizen with ensuring consolidation and stability of society. In this regard there is an objective requirement of studying policy of the state in relation to religious institutes in historical aspect. In our article highlights of gosudarstvennokonfessionalny policy of the beginning of the 1920th on materials of the Baikal Siberia are considered.

Throughout all history Russian Orthodox Church, keeping the dogmatic system, underwent changes depending on the social and economic device, political institutes, cultural life of the country. After the revolutionary events of 1917 the new system of state and church relationship began to be formed. The decree of SNK "About Disestablishment and Schools From Church" of January 23, 1918 became one of the first acts. According to the decree, the religion appeared a private affair of citizens. The power granted to citizens the right to practise any religion or not to profess any; all restrictions of freedom of conscience, a religious oath and the oath, religious ceremonies at commission of the state actions, teaching articles of belief were cancelled; conducting acts of civil status was transferred to exclusively civil power.

In the last paragraphs of the decree the principle of full deprivation of the religious organizations of any property.1 was proclaimed the church property Received in "free use" was subject to taxation. Church and religious organizations became purely public (private societies). Cult buildings, church schools and objects of church use were transferred to religious societies to free use. Schools and attendants of a cult religious societies had to keep at own expense.

But in April, 1918 in the National commissariat of justice of RSFSR the commission (later — the VIII department) on implementation of the decree about disestablishment was created. This commission received the name of "liquidating". The instruction prepared by department "About carrying out order in decree life", valid the law, provided a number of drastic confiscatory measures, including withdrawal of the capitals, values, other property of churches and monasteries. All property turned into maintaining local Sovetov2. This instruction (subparagraph 11 — 14 about transfer of property of religious institutions) for local

Irina Semenovna TSYREMPILOVA — to. east. N, associate professor, FGOUVPO East Siberian state academy of culture and arts

1 About religion and church. Collection of statements of classics of Marxism-Leninism, documents of the CPSU and Soviet state. M, 1981. Page 115
2 National Archive of the Republic of Buryatia (NARB), fund r-60, inventory 1, case 19, l. 1
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authorities up to 1927 formed the basis for transfer of church buildings under kultprosvetuchrezhdeniya1. In general the VIII department in 1920 — 1921 prepared and sent on places more than 450 explanations and orders on various questions of implementation of the decree.

The Constitution of RSFSR adopted in July, 1918 included fundamental provisions of the decree about disestablishment. And though the state did not forbid "religious promotion" yet, the Basic Law of RSFSR deprived of all attendants of a cult of electoral rights.

Nationalization of monastic property became one of steps in implementation of the decree of January 23, 1918. Monasteries unlike parish temples, according to the authorities, were engaged in exploitation of peasants and therefore all monastic property had to carry over the working people. In April, 1918 there was a document explaining that the property of monasteries turns into maintaining Councils, and monasteries are everywhere liquidated. In 1918 — 1920 several hundreds of monasteries were liquidated.

In the territory of the Baikal Siberia this process was most brightly shown in the Irkutsk Voznesensky of the Prelate Innokenti the monastery. The first attempts of nationalization were made here in March, 1918. Final nationalization of monastic property was carried out after civil war in 1920 — 1921. So, special mandate manager. prospecting department at A. Speransky's gubchek of March 21, 1920 ordered to the aide-de-camp of sekretnooperativny department N.N. Grozin "... to leave with a dress of instructors and team of troops in Voznesensky the monastery, where to make the following actions:

1) search of the hidden armories, literature and values;
2) check all found at the time of search in the monastery and the hostel of persons;
3) personal detention of all persons convicted of concealment of the aforesaid" 2.

On March 26, 1920 search with requisition of a part monastic imushches-took place

1 In the same place, nn. 10,11,39,47,56
2 State Archive of the Irkutsk Region (SAIR), fund 121, inventory 2, case 34, l.1

tva: the objects intended for liturgical activity were not exposed to dredging and were left "to the order on care of management of the monastery". In the subsequent, according to the submitted receipts and warrants, from March, 1920 to March, 1921 various property was periodically seized from the monastery for various organizations (the hostel, club, municipal department, the House of the peasant, etc.): cattle, gold and silver products, furniture, mattresses, lamps, mirrors, etc. 3

Process of nationalization of monastic property in the territory of the Baikal Siberia unlike the central regions did not lead to elimination of monasteries. It became possible thanks to change of the status of their temples from monastic in parish, the population of adjacent areas formed and registered communities of believers, monks "remained to live in the monasteries" 4.

In the Baikal Siberia the implementation of the decree about disestablishment was resumed after the end of civil war. So, in the report of the manager of provincial department of justice of the Irkutsk provincial revolutionary committee it was reported that "got to work on disestablishment since May 1, 1920" 5. Implementation of this work in the territory of the Baikal Siberia complicated lack of mechanisms which local authorities could use for realization of the decree in life, imperfection of a system of administrative authorities and also need of the solution of the whole complex of other burning issues facing the new power.

In October, 1920 at the general section of the Siberian department of justice the special office on carrying out in decree life was formed. By the beginning of 1921 the relevant offices and the commissions were created at provincial, district and volost authorities. They solved problems of collecting data on prayful buildings, accounting of church property, signing of the contracts with religious societies, etc. During the campaign for withdrawal of church values for bor-

3 In the same place, nn. 3-21
4 GAIO, fund 485, inventory 2, case 31, l.1
5 State archive of the contemporary history of the Irkutsk region (1ANIIO), fund 1, inventory 1, case 22, l.18
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with hunger of 1921-1922 these bodies would be abolished, and their cases by a part were submitted to the commissions on withdrawal of values, a part in departments of management.

The campaign for elimination of incorruptible relics became the following step in gosudarstvennokonfessionalny policy. On July 30, 1920 SNK adopted special resolution "About Elimination of Relics in the All-Russian Scale" 1. In the Baikal Siberia the relics of the Prelate Innokenti which were in the Irkutsk Voznesensky the monastery were especially esteemed.

In general the campaign for opening, withdrawal and transfer of relics became one of stages in formation of new state and confessional policy, implementation of the decree of January 23, 1918. During it work on account and nationalization of monastic and church imushchestvo was also carried out.

In parallel on orthodox churches the withdrawal from any temples of the objects and inscriptions made for perpetuation of memory of any persons belonging to members of the overthrown dynasty and "her henchmen" was recommended (Article 32 NKYust's Instruction of January 29, 1918). Besides, to clergy of the Irkutsk diocese the order about inadmissibility of speeches of political character (decree of Diocesan Council of April 21, 1920) 2 was made.

In 1921 the Resolution SNK for No. 279 "About an order of providing work to attendants of religious cults" in which restrictions on priests were accurately designated was accepted. So, positions in the Soviet institutions only of the district and provincial cities, but at all not in volost executive bodies and village councils could be provided to them. It was explained by the fact that the religion had the strongest positions in rural areas, and the power thus sought to limit its influence. Priests were not allowed to service in the following departments of executive committees and councils: a) justice; b) national education; c) agriculture; d) Workers' and Peasants' inspection; e) management; e) national commissariat of food. Besides, priests of any religions not

were recognized consisting on state and public sluzhbe3.

Due to carrying out in decree life about acts of civil status from 18 on December (31), 1917 in the Irkutsk province district and local departments of civil registrations were open, in the Far East republic (DVR) registration cameras were formed. The government of DVR of October 3, 1921 issues the Law "About Acts of Civil Status", and on July 27, 1922. Law "About Withdrawal of Archives from Religious Institutions".

According to these acts the further activities of religious institutions for civil registration stopped; put everything, books, documents and the corresponding correspondence were transferred to the jurisdiction of local departments. The persons breaking or interfering performance of these laws were under "authority political and national court", "legal responsibility".

Withdrawal by the regional registration camera of materials of the Transbaikal diocese (registers of births from 1722 to 1921) in number of 4854 knig4 became result of implementation of laws. The same withdrawals happened in the Irkutsk diocese. Thereby the issue of deprivation of validity of the right of all religious institutions for maintaining acts of civil states and transfer to their local authorities was resolved.

Implementation of state and confessional policy in the early twenties led to resistance from orthodox clergy and believers. The policy of the power in relation to Orthodoxy found the embodiment in holding a campaign for elimination of relics, nationalization of monastic property, transfer of conducting acts of civil status to local bodies of power and other restrictive actions. Further development of the gosudarstvennotserkovny relations happened during the subsequent campaigns for withdrawal of church values, carrying out obnovlenchesky split, etc.

1 V.A. Alekseev. Illusions and dogmas. M, 1991, p. 78 3 In the same place, ll.4-5
2 GAIO, fund 121, inventory 2, case 33, l. 2 4 GAIO, fund 587, inventory 2, case 37, l. 114
Elizabeth Kelly
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