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The fate of priests and church activists in Moldavian the ASSR

tatyana of TsARAN


January 18, 1919. The provisional Workers' and Peasants' government of Ukraine adopted the Decree "About disestablishment and schools from church". It meant transition to policy of marginalization of church as public institute. But there was a civil war, and by the beginning of the 20th in the territory of modern Kamensk, Rybnitsky, Dubasari, Grigoriopolsky, Slobodzeysky districts and Tiraspol not less than 124 orthodox churches worked. The situation begins to change after establishment of the Soviet power. In 1921 in structure of the National commissariat of justice of the Ukrainian SSR, special departments to which it was imputed duties to be engaged on places in implementation of the decree were founded. In September, 1922 all powers "on implementation of the Decree on disestablishment" were transferred by the resolution of the All-Ukrainian Central executive committee "About Transfer of Department of Disestablishment and Its Local Bodies from Narkomyust to Narkomvnudel" in the National commissariat internal del1. After education in October, 1924. The Moldavian autonomy performance of the Decree was assigned to People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs MASSR.

A problem of church policy of the Soviet power was overcoming religiousness of the population. Among the Soviet and party functionaries who were carrying out fight on "the religious front" the belief dominated that for destruction of church and faith in God will be to close all temples, churches, houses of worship enough and to forbid clergy service. Were not limited to antireligious promotion of the power. Fight against religiousness initially developed into persecutions against priests and believers, closing of churches and abolition sacred and clergymen as social group. In left-bank Podnestrovye the position of believers and clergy worsens after 1922. During obligatory registration of the religious communities not all of them were registered the authorities. There were cases when communities in which politically unreliable persons came to light did not receive registration and, respectively, the right to function on lawful osnovaniyakh2.

Church activists, especially members of the administrative board of the orthodox communities and parish councils, local authorities were limited in the civil rights. Contrary to the law them deprived of electoral rights, discharged from office, expelled from the trade-union organizations, so-called "committees of nezamozhny peasants" (CNP), assessed with the raised land tax. Before elections to local councils the election commissions traced candidates - members of "five-tens" and governments of the church communities and included them in "black lists"; left board could be "rehabilitated" provided that they will prove "the loyal relation to the Soviet power". If representatives of a church asset nevertheless were the elected to local councils, it was recommended to them "not to trust visible tasks and to carefully carry out the principle of their gradual replacement" 3.

Despite administrative pressure and atheistic promotion, by the time of creation Moldavian the ASSR (October, 1924) of mass "withdrawal" of the population from church and orthodox belief did not occur. A considerable part of believers, especially in villages, still attended church services, participated in commission of ceremonies and sacraments. Among them, representatives of local authorities recognized in the reports, there were not only fists as it was accepted to claim in antireligious promotion of those of years, but also middling persons and poor people. At a meeting of the central antireligious commission at the Moldavian regional committee of RCP(b) on February 26, 1925 it was recognized that "the strong draft of peasants in the religious communities" and "mass introductions of members of KNS in the religious communities" is observed. The campaign of exceptions of representatives of a church asset and in general believers from KNS was conducted. But cleaning increased in such scale that weakened these structures. March 9, 1925. The bureau of the Moldavian regional committee of party decided "to consider abnormal existence of a large number of exceptions of their KNS... and not to allow mass cleanings (for religious beliefs.)" 4. Nezamozhnikov or the Komsomol members consisting in the religious communities were "studied" at meetings of KNS and in the Komsomol organizations, representatives of authorities "talked" to them, "convincing" to refuse "religious prejudices" 5.

To limit influence of priests on the population, the clergy was forbidden to carry out "divorce and other functions" (church ceremonies) without preliminary registration in the REGISTRY OFFICE of acts of civil status. Local authorities took "subscriptions about the termination" of execution of these functions from priests. Violated the resolution brought to judicial responsibility (Article 123 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation of USSR)6. Also teaching religious dogmas in educational institutions was forbidden. To train religions it was allowed "in it is frequent -

number order". Subsequently priests were forbidden to organize groups for studying religion at all. June 5, 1925. The central executive committee of MACCP approved the Resolution "About an Order of Conducting Private Classes with Children" with such formulirov-koy7.

Their obligatory registration in bodies of People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs became a form of intimidation sacred and clergymen. "receiving a total characteristic of each attendant of a cult, its past, political and church orientation", implementation "constant, continuous surveillance in the field of moving of attendants of a cult was the purpose of the authorities, interfering with their congestion and propaganda activity" - regist-ratsiya8. In April, 1925 People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs MASSR issued the resolution on accounting of attendants of cults. By June 35 archpriests, 213 priests and five priests who arrived from different areas, 44 deacons and also two priests, 15 rabbis and five readers of the Torah, 11 sectarian preachers were registered. Two priests were condemned "for violation of the rules of registration" and "assignment of functions of community" 9. In 1924 in Baltsky, Rybnitsky and Krutyan-sky districts, cases of eviction of priests from the occupied rooms administratively, without the judgment took place. In Rybnitsa in the house which is taken away from the priest placed boundary post10. In the 20th arrests of priests for violations of instructions of the authorities concerning the bans to hold religious practices without preliminary registration by the REGISTRY OFFICE, rules of traveling, registration and accounting of clergy begin. There were cases of arrest of priests for falsification of "miracles".

Work on studying fate of priests, deacons, the psalm readers serving in arrivals of villages and cities of MACCP, organized Tiras - the Polish and Dubasari diocese of the Moldavian metropolitanate, already yielded some results. Names of a number of priests, clergymen and parishioners are returned from a non-existence. Let's call some of them.

Dmitry Yakovlevich Tikhonov. From August, 1913 to May, 1914 served as the psalm reader of Arkhangelo-Mikhaylovsky church of the village of Parkany, from May to November, 1914 - the deacon in the same church, since November, 1914 before arrest on May 18, 1929 - the priest. It was arrested for political motives (for "counterrevolutionary" activity); November 3, 1929. By a special Meeting at Board of OGPU it is sentenced to 3 years of imprisonment. On August 9, 1932 from places of detention it was released and transferred to the special settlement to the Northern region for 3 years.

Leonid Fedorovich Goncharov. In 1917-1926 - the priest in the town of Dubasari, since 1926 - in the village of Delakeu. On March 18, 1931 it was arrested "for the counterrevolutionary propaganda directed to disruption of actions of the Soviet power in the village". A special Meeting at

Boards of GPU of the Ukrainian SSR on July 17, 1931 it is sentenced to 3 years of imprisonment. It is released ahead of schedule on September 1, 1933 then it is directed to the special settlement to Arkhangelsk for a period of 3 years.

March 28, 1932. The Odessa regional department of the Public political administration of the Ukrainian SSR arrested Vladimir Isidorovich Melnikov in 1914-1930 serving as the psalm reader of Church of the Intercession of the village of Korotnoye. Brought him charge of anti-Soviet propaganda and promotion (Article 54-10 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation of the Ukrainian SSR). May 22, 1932. By special Soveshcheny at board of GPU of the Ukrainian SSR it is sentenced to expulsion from a borderland for a period of 3 years.

Dmitry Alekseyevich Lavrov. In 1932 - 1934 - the priest of St. Nicholas Cathedral in Tiraspol. Arrested on December 21, 1934. Long was under examination. September 21, 1935. By a special Meeting of People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs of the USSR it is sentenced to 5 years of imprisonment.

Sergey Fedorovich Kolesnichenko. Native and Grigo-riopol's inhabitant. Served as the regent, the psalm reader. At the same time worked as the accountant at a farm, and then the accountant of local collective farm. In February, 1935 it is arrested for the fact that by force brought out of premises of accounts department immoderately the got noisy member of the Komsomol - the manager of a farm. Obviously wishing to intimidate believers, the authorities suited a public court over the former sexton, having called all collective farm. Sentenced to 5 years of imprisonment. Served sentence in Tiraspol. In prison glazed windows and performed other works. After 3 months of imprisonment it is ahead of schedule released. Got a job the accountant on oil depot. In collective farm was allowed to direct amateur performance only. Organized and headed collective-farm chorus and wind orkestr11.

Since the end of the 20th the administrative pressure upon church, clergy and believers amplifies. On April 8, 1929 the new resolution "About Religious Associations" confirming an order of the organization and registration of the religious communities, receiving with them in free use of buildings of churches or houses of worship and cult property was accepted. New edition of the legislation on religious associations toughened operating conditions of the religious communities. General meetings of parishioners could be held only with the permission of authorities which were granted the right to control the structure of governing bodies of the religious communities. The charitable, educational, missionary and evangelical activity of church was banned. The religious communities were forbidden to create cash desks of mutual aid and to give material support to the members. Churches as not having the rights of the legal entity, it was forbidden to buy or rent cult property, to sign any contracts and transactions. To acquire any property as yuri-

dichesky persons could parishioners, but in that case their actions were regarded as private commercial transactions and respectively assessed with a tax as private enterprises. Actually activity of clergy and believers was limited to borders of the building of church and a house of worship. According to the Russian historian M.I. Odintsov, "religious societies turned into "reservations" for the citizens professing any given religious beliefs" 12.

The new stage of persecutions on church began. In 1929 the authorities of MACCP strengthen "work" on closing of churches. Till 1931 26 temples and houses of worship, in 1932 - 6, in 1933 were closed in autonomy

>- 10, in 1934 - 20, in 1935 - 134, in 1936 - 70. The peak of closings is necessary, thus, for 1935 13. From 293 prayful buildings which were available in the territory of MACCP before revolution from 1920 to April, 1936 223 were closed. In only 14 regions of MACCP were used for designated purpose only 40 prayful zdaniy14 by this time. According to People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs MASSR, from 248 priests who were available in autonomy in the summer of 1925 by April, 1936 in these areas remained all 1815. Total number of "attendants of a cult" was 73 people

In the late thirties, as well as in the USSR in general, were spent mass arrests on political charges to MACCP. Unlike arrests of the 20th - the first half of the 30th which, as a rule, came to an end with sentences to the conclusion in corrective-labor the camp now courts often pronounced death sentences. Pronounced such sentences and to priests.

On March 15, 1938 as the member of the anti-Soviet organization of churchmen was arrested by Rybnitsky regional department of People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs the priest of Ioanno-Bogoslovsky church of the village of Popenki of the Baltsky County Alexey Filippovich Davidovich. Once was interrogated. April 23, 1938. MASSR is sentenced by the special three of People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs to a capital punishment. Shot in Tiraspol on April 25, 1938

The native of the village of Slobodzey priest Dmitry Illarionovich Ignatyev by the end of the 30th did not take a certain residence. On September 10, 1937 it was arrested by Management of People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs across Odessa region on a charge of counterrevolutionary activity. On December 29, 1937 by the three at UNKVD across Odessa region it is sentenced to execution. The sentence is carried out on January 2, 1938

Semyon Terentyevich Ivanov, the native of the village of Dorotskoye, was the chairman of the church community. In 1930, during the collectivization, it was arrested on a charge of anti-collective-farm propaganda and it is condemned on exile to the Narymsky region, to the settlement of Znamenka of Krivosheinsky district of the Tomsk region. Being in exile, worked as the carpenter-handicraftsman. In 1930 for 1937 there was also the chairman church the general

ny. In 1937 it is arrested again as "the active churchman". Condemned to a capital punishment. The sentence was carried out on December 8, 1937 in Tomsk. In 1959 S.T. Ivanov is posthumously rehabilitated; at reconsideration of the case in connection with rehabilitation many "prosecution witnesses" who were allegedly giving evidences in 1937 said that for questionings they were not called at all or that they "told nothing similar and spoke about all convicts only good".

Stefan Grigoryevich Kostogryz. Served as the priest in the village of Slobodzeya. On August 28, 1935 it is arrested that "... living about the Romanian border, tried to pass the last and at the same time carried out to / r (counterrevolutionary - T.Ts.) propaganda". On December 7, 1935 by special board of the Odessa regional court it is sentenced to seven-year imprisonment in labor camps. However in the beginning served sentence in the Odessa prison from where the People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs was transferred on February 10, 1936 to Karlag (Karaganda region, Kazakhstan). On September 5, 1937, being in the camp, it was again arrested and on September 20, 1937 it is judged by "three" at UNKVD across the Karaganda region on a charge of "systematic propaganda among prisoners, praise of a royal system". Under the Article 58-10 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation of RSFSR (counterrevolutionary activity) it is sentenced to execution. On September 26, 1937 the sentence was given in ispolneniye16.

Charges of priests of carrying out "counterrevolutionary" work probably not always were groundless. Many actions of the Soviet power condemned the widest circles of the population, and priests were not an exception. And still repressions against priests had purposeful character. They forced the vast majority of priests to leave the arrivals and to escape to other areas, is more often to Ukraine, to pass to other classes, hiding the former belonging to clergy. By the end of the 30th the anti-church policy practically gave in Moldavian the ASSR to disappearance of priests as social group. But, as showed time, persecutions on church did not provide reduction of religiousness of the population.


1. The central State archive of the supreme authorities of Ukraine (Further - TsGAVOVU). T. 8. Op. 1. 1218. L. 198; F.5. Op. 1. 1085. L. 2.
2. TsGAVOVU. T. 5. Op. 1. 1085. L. 108.
3. The state archive of Odessa region (Further - GAOO). F. R-1915. Op. 1. 38. L. 85.
4. GAOO. Op. 2. 196. L. 135.
5. In the same place. F. R-966. Op. 6. 20. L. 97 about.
6. Central State Archive of Public Reunification of Ukraine (CSAPRU). T. 1. Op. 20. 2144. L. 79; TsGAVOVU F. 8. Op. 1. 1217. L. 203204.
7. TsGAVOVU. T. 5. Op. 2. 197. L. 23-32.
8. GAOO. F. R-1915. Op. 1. 38. L. 31.
9. TsGAVOVU. T. 8. Op. 1. 261. L. 2.
10. In the same place. T. 5. Op. 1. 2050. L. 172.
11. Current archive of the Tiraspol and Dubasari diocese.
12. State and church. History of relationship. 1917-1938 of M., Knowledge, 1991. Page 37.
13. Archive of the RM social and political organizations. T. 49. Op. 1. 3759. L. 40.
14. State Archive of the Russian Federation (SARF). F. R-5263. Op. 2. 2 1. L. 3.
15. Current archive of the Tiraspol and Dubasari diocese.
16. GARF. F. R-5263. Op. 2. 21. L.3. __________________________

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