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V.P. Klyueva

Article is devoted to characteristic of the religious communities of the Tyumen region in the 1940-1960th. Information on all faiths and denominations existing in the region in post-war decades is provided. The relation of the state to various faiths and denominations is analyzed. The conclusion is drawn that for a part of the Soviet society the religious beliefs were an important component of attitude.

Already in days of the Great Patriotic War the attitude towards believers becomes more tolerant. Some communities (orthodox, Catholic, evangelical Baptist Christians, Muslim and some other) had an opportunity to legitimate the activity and to announce openly the presence at life of the Soviet society. In 1943 the Council of People's Commissars of the USSR adopted the resolution on formation of Council for affairs of ROC. This body became a part of a system of the central public institutions of the country and treated direct maintaining the Government of the USSR. In 1944, Council for affairs of religious cults to which jurisdiction all other faiths and denominations [Odintsov, were transferred 2005 is created. Page 82, 108]. At the same time, despite some eases, believers remained under close attention of the state, acting as subject to observations, developments and special operations.

The religious community of the Tyumen region the 1940th and next years was presented by various faiths and denominations: Christian (orthodox, Old Belief, Protestant, Catholic), Muslim and Judaic religious communities. Part of them were registered and acted more or less openly: Orthodox Christians (in Tyumen, Yalutorovsk, Ishim, Tobolsk and some other settlements), the Muslim community in of Chikcha (Yarkovsky district) and community of evangelical Baptist Christians of Tyumen. Others had to hide the beliefs or to gather secretly, illegally. Among illegal communities there were true and orthodox Christians, Jews, Pentecostals, Adventists reformists, Jehovah's Witnesses, Mennonites, Lutherans (mentioned in sources as "bet-bruder").

The possibility of receiving registration for many believers became a milestone event. It was the most important for the Protestant groups perceived in the Russian society as sects. In 1944 the All-Union Council of Evangelical Christians and Baptists (VSEHB) was founded. (Originally Council was called VSEKHIB, then two denominations — Evangelical Christians and Baptists merged in one, and the abbreviation of Council began to look as follows — VSEHB.) Despite the name limiting number of participants of Council it was supposed that VSEHB will unite different Protestant denominations, not only Evangelical Christians and Baptists, but also Pentecostals, Mennonites and so forth. In 1947. Council united about 3000 communities. Their number included also the Tyumen church of evangelical Baptist Christians. Registration of the Tyumen community took place in 1946. The house of worship (on Chernyshev St., 22) was open on April 30, 1946, Vasily Andreevich Torbeev was approved as the presbyter [GARF. T. 6991. Op. 3. 884. L. 9].

According to E. Kuznetsov authorized for religious cults across the Tyumen region, the community of special activity did not show. Though, on memoirs of Baptists, post-war years became time of the strengthened missionary activity. As indirect confirmation of this fact the baptism in 1947 of nine people can serve. Church meetings took place once a week [In the same place. L. 24-25]. In the first years after registration in community there were no more than 20 members. The Tyumen Baptists were the first (except for Orthodox Christians) officially registered community. Long time they remained the only Protestants who are legally existing in the region. In the Tyumen community

there is an opinion that the opportunity of registration was given because V.A. Torbeev worked on arrangement of the hall in which there was Lenin's body evacuated to Tyumen.

In 1946 the Ishim Baptists tried to legalize the existence, but their statement was rejected "in the absence of the due room under a house of worship" [In the same place. L. 5]. On number the Ishim group was much more Tyumen, contained to the 60th persons. Baptists of Ishim undertook the following unsuccessful attempt to receive registration and to open a house of worship in 1955. This time to them it was refused because the chosen house "does not correspond to health and fire-prevention regulations for use as a house of worship" [GUTO GATO. T. 814. Op. 1. 693. L. 201].

Along with the Tyumen Baptists Muslims received legal registration. In 1947 in of Chikcha of the Tyumen district the mosque was open [GARF. T. 6991. Op. 4. 27. L. 19]. Till 1980 (when the mosque was open in Tobolsk) it also remained only. Before the decision on registration of the first Muslim community in the area the representative for affairs of religious cults expressed the opinion on consequences of such action: "In return I consider what at permission you opening at least of one mosque in the area will give a big impetus to other inhabited Muslim points and submissions by them of statements for opening of prayful buildings and registration of communities" [In the same place. Op. 3. 884. L. 17]. The need for legalization of the Muslim communities for the region was considerable as many villages were exclusively mononational — Tatar on the structure of the population.

In 1949 Muslims of three settlements (. Yurtas Andreevsky the Tyumen district, of Kar-galy of the Yalutorovsk district and Yalutorovsk) also performed with requests for opening of mosques and registration of communities. Refusal according to the statement from. Andreevskiye's yurtas was based on the fact that the private house in which it was supposed to open the mosque does not conform to requirements. In other cases of the statement expressed orally and therefore it was offered to write the written petition [In the same place. 885. L. 3-6]. About further actions of Muslims of information in sources did not remain: either they did not follow, or permission was not got.

Requirement performed by religious practices and impossibility of visit of the only mosque of area caused emergence of institute of "illegal mullahs" as whom "the remained part of clergy and just Muslim & #34 acted; авторитетов"" [GASPITO. T. 3894. Op. 2. 38. L. 156]. According to supervisory authorities, as illegal mullahs, impostors most often acted. "Illegal mullahs" also sought to receive the legal status. In some cases they appealed to appropriate authorities about permission to carry out Muslim ceremonies, including a trimming ceremony, independently, regardless of the mosque. Moreover, some of them had the documents issued by Central office of Muslims in Ufa, confirming their competence [GARF. T. 6991. Op. 3. 885. L. 5].

The refusal in registration did not mean decrease in religious activity. People submitted applications, were refused and gathered without the permission. For example, Muslims of Tyumen and. New Yurtas in 1946 were refused on the petition for registration, but though authorities considered that these applications "have no persistent character" [In the same place. Op. 4. 27. L. 19. L. 29-30], 15 years (1961) later the number of believers in both settlements reached 200 people [In the same place. 370. L. 10-11]. In the late fifties about 300 people, mainly men (of 12 years to old age) gathered for Eid al-Adha in New Yurtas [GASPITO. T. 3894. Op. 2. 33. L. 85].

In 1947-1948 the representative of Council for religious cults for the Tyumen region noted that "it is possible to carry Muslims to the most widespread currents, sect of Baptists with versions (carried to types of Baptists not only Pentecostals, but also Jehovah's Witnesses. — V.K.), Old Believers and Jews. Though the last does not show any activity, and only according to some unchecked data the small group of Jews secretly gather in the private house of the brother in faith" [GARF. T. 6991. Op. 3. 884. L. 2930]. By the way, in 1960 the Tyumen Jew M.D. Zeydveber-Liechtenstein was accused of a supply of religious literature from Poland for the father-in-law. The father-in-law, "being one of organizers of religious Jewish gatherings" [GASPITO. T. 3894. Op. 2. 38. L. 156], used it for reading at meetings. However documentary confirmations of existence of a minyan in Tyumen during the 1940-1960th are not revealed yet.

In the late forties in the Tyumen region prayful services the unregistered Baptist community in Ishim which members "carried on the strengthened propaganda among right-practiced

nice for transition to their sect with some success" [GARF. T. 6991. Op. 3. 884. L. 24-25]. Soon in this group the split on Baptist evangelists and iyegovist began. Possibly, split was influenced by the preacher-iyegovistka who arrived to Ishim from Kazakhstan [In the same place].

The True and Orthodox Christians (TOC) lived in Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug, most of them were sent from the central regions of the country. The first information on them is dated 1944 of IPH kept and managed to show the beliefs even under trying conditions. In particular, they did not participate in elections, and local authorities did not even include them in electoral registers [GASPITO. T. 3894. Op. 2. 38. L. 9]. Of course, it did not confirm the right for realization of religious beliefs, most likely, local bodies just did not want to work in obviously losing situation.

The group of iyegovist which is in the item Surgut of the Surgut district of the Khanty-Mansi national district was quite active. Also Jehovah's Witnesses were noticed in Tobolsk, N-Tavda, Ostyako-Vogulsk (so in a source. — V.K.) [GARF. T. 6991. Op. 3. 884. L. 30].

The illegal Adventist communities (Adventists reformists) acted in Tyumen since the end of the 1940th [GUTO GATO. T. 5. Op. 1. 1714. L. 16], and in Yalutorovsk since 1957 [From the protocol of national court...]. Most of such groups were small — 5-10 people, but also communities, considerable on number, are known.

At a boundary of the 1940-1950th of areas there were 88 unregistered mosques and, according to the estimates of the representative, more than 7000 Muslims. Believers gathered for religious holidays — to Uraz and Eid al-Adha. Mullahs directed the ceremonial party. So, in Baykalov-sky district two former mullahs were revealed, "which prayful ceremonies of Muslim religion send, special manifestation happens in settlements Tobol-Tura where there is a mosque". It was noted that in some Tatar villages "departure of rituals among believers, in particular & #34; обрезание" the mullahs who are illegally elected believers" [make GARF. T. 6991. Op. 3. 884. L. 29-30]. Still Muslims tell that on villages so-called "vagrant mullahs" went. They were invited especially for a nikakh, by namings of babies, wires of the dead and so forth. Such situation developed first of all because, in our case Tatars, Islam was perceived by "ethnic Muslims" as a part of traditional culture, and not just as a religious component.

In the south of the area there were Mennonite communities. Formation of Mennonite groups in the territory of the Tyumen region is connected with deportation of the German population from the central regions of the country in the 40th of the 20th century. Mennonites mainly in Isetsky district concentrated. Enhanced action of communities belongs to a boundary of the 1940th — the 1950th when from camps of a trudarmiya the male population comes back. Quite so happened in Isetsk when there to the relatives sent from Arkadaksky district of the Saratov region there came D.D. Pauls, I.Ya. Freze and Ya.Ya. Freze. Under the leadership of D.D. Pauls groups in state farm "Communard" and village Verkh-Beshkil are formed. For the organization of illegal religious meetings Pauls it was arrested and sentenced in April, 1952 to 25 years of imprisonment in labor camps [A-helberg, 1999. Page 65]. But arrest of certain preachers could not affect seriously religious life of Mennonites any more, business of the organization of meetings from some hands passed into others.

In 1956 the communities of Mennonites contained in the village Verkh-Beshkil 14 people, page. The settlement Besh keel — 28, the village of Isetskom — 34 and state farm "Communard" — 49, and all the 125th persons. By 1958 their total number increased up to 140 members. Here both brotherly, and church Mennonites who, however, in the conditions of persecutions preferred to unite and conduct joint church communication were presented.

Revival in religious community begins with the middle of the 50th. In 1954 the resolution of the Central Committee of the CPSU "about mistakes in carrying out scientific and atheistic promotion among the population" in which it was told about need "was accepted to avoid any insult of feelings of believers". Thus, the strategy of eradication of religiousness in the Soviet society changed. Understanding came that some repressive measures, among them the bans and refusals in registration (even that who fell under definition "fanatic sects": Pentecostals, Adventists reformists), will not help. But such situation proceeded not for long.

Since 1955 in the Tyumen region preachers begin to act. In many respects it is explained by the termination of an imprisonment term or amnesty which in 1954-1955 was received by victims of political repression on religious sign (but, of course, not only they). The believers who passed the camp and kept the beliefs became active preachers. In Tyumen

areas among the amnestied believers were Pentecostals, Lutherans, Orthodox Christians, Adventists, etc. Appearance of such people who kept the beliefs promoted emergence of interest in religion at a part of secular society.

Interest in religion was shown also by youth. In analytical reports of KGB it is noted that young people went to meetings to Pentecostals, Mennonites, Lutherans. Among Orthodox Christians the number of young believers increased, offices of Baptism, weddings, confessions began to be made more often. The Tatar youth though does not go to mosque, but observes religious practices [GASPITO. T. 3894. Op. 2. 29. L. 27-28].

In Yalutorovsk in 1957, according to the supervising body, "for the last months the visit of orthodox church considerably increased that was promoted by emergence in church of Vasily who arrived from the conclusion Fandelyuk" [In the same place. L. 28]. On religious holidays and Sunday was going to churches to the 600th persons. After release to the village of Antipino (Lower Tavda district of the Tyumen Region) there arrived one of heads of Adventists reformists of "The Bessarabia missionary field" — P.Ya. Mangul [In the same place. 33. L. 18]. (He arrived for reunion with the family which is earlier sent to Siberia from Moldova.) In Tyumen there began evangelical work leaders of bet-bruder — F.K. Fris, K.F. Ehrlich, R.Ya. Propp, I.I. Hoffman, K.F. Rommel — too the former prisoners [In the same place. L. 35].

Work on recovery of the religious communities took place in different ways. Faiths were in unequal conditions. The communities falling under a possibility of official registration and, therefore, existing somewhat quietly, openly held the church services. Participants of church services were not under continuous threat of arrest. Respectively religious leaders of the unregistered communities made attempts to legalize the situation and to open houses of worship. In 1955 the Ishim Baptists requested opening of a house of worship. With a similar request in 1957 the bet-bruder of Tyumen repeatedly petitioned for opening of an official house of worship, but it was recommended to them to visit a house of worship of evangelical Baptist Christians that for Lutherans - bet-bruderov was impossible [In the same place. 33. L. 35]. For 1960 KGB was recorded in the area by presence of 11 churches and "about 50 illegal religious sectarian groups" [In the same place. 40. L. 97].

Behind all religious groups the strict control was conducted. Ways of impact on those who began "to play not by rules", were various: the publication of "exposing" newspaper articles, private preventive conversations, messages about religious beliefs in the place of work and so forth. For example, after appearance in Ishim of the new priest I. Voronin allowing during the conversations negative statements concerning the Soviet newspapers, the churchwarden was forced "voluntarily", after the conversation in local management of KGB, to refuse the position and to write article about the hostile statements of the priest. All this was made for "Voronin's compromise in the opinion of believers and a lead of believers over church and belief" [In the same place. 38. L. 63-64]. With F. Tymko's iyegovist events for inducement were held "... to an open break with iyegovist and exposure of their hostile essence". As a result of communication with representatives of KGB of Tymko not only left community, but "agreed to come out with revelation of hostile essence of iyegovist in the press" [In the same place. L. 17].

One more way "exposures" of religion — newspaper publications. In the local press ("The Tyumen truth", "The Tyumen Komsomol member") there are articles with the speaking names: "& #34; Братья" darkness" [1962], "The truth about hypocrites" [1962], "Humanity against obscurantism" [1959], "Pies with a poison" [1964], "Shelter the slave Bozhiya" [1964], etc. Now these articles, despite their political involvement, help to restore a faktologiya and to clear a discourse of society in which there lived the Soviet believers.

the wave of trials for religious motives is necessary

For the boundary of the 1950-1960th. For example, in Tyumen in 1959 the public trial of heads of the Pentecostal community existing in 1957-1959 took place [GASPITO. T. 3911. Op. 1. 195. L. 100]. In 1961 in Yalutorovsk E.I. Babushkin, the head of the Pentecostal community, and N. Skorikov, the leader of community of Adventists reformists [From the protocol of national court were condemned.]. In 1960 in Isetsky district the neutralization of Mennonites by involvement of active preachers to criminal and administrative liability, discredit of believers through the press and "studies" at meetings was carried out.

In general assessment of activity of the believers belonging to the unregistered communities was sharply negative: "preachers of sectarians will organize illegal gatherings and about -

rabatyvat believers in the spirit of a separation them from participation in social and political and cultural life, impart them religionism" [GASPITO. T. 3894. Op. 2. 40. L. 97-98]. Was to read to the person who grew up in the Soviet antireligious state the description of what occurred on church meetings to agree with danger, borne "fanatic sect" enough (the quote belongs to the Pentecostal community of Tyumen. — V.K.): "fanatic sectarians brought themselves to nervous ecstasy — shivered and cried out separate inarticulate sounds.... Queens, Samsonov, Chernikov (heads of the Tyumen Pentecostals. — V.K.) turned participants of gatherings into the fanatical sectarians losing human dignity, neglecting the civic, public and family duty, causing discord, a grief and direct destruction in our Soviet families" [GASPITO. T. 3911. Op. 1. 195. L. 100-101]. It was necessary to have sufficient civic courage and to be strong in the beliefs to arrive counter to public opinion. The believing school students refused to enter in pioneers and Komsomol, were not engaged in circles. Adults did not go to the cinema and theater. Religious youth, being allocated with appearance and clothes, it was doomed to isolation. Their emergence in public places quite often developed into persecution up to beating [Alekseeva, 1992. Page 155].

In 1961. Council for affairs of religions at Council of ministers of the USSR approved the instruction according to which religious societies and groups of the believers belonging to sects which dogma and character has antistate and fanatic character were not allowed to registration ": iyegovist, Pentecostals, truly orthodox Christians, truly orthodox church, Adventists reformists, etc." [Yefimov].

From now on begin to explain to the Soviet citizens that believers are different. And if to Orthodox Christians and Muslims the relation was more or less tolerant, then "sectarians" were perceived as "public enemies".

So, for example, with Muslims conducted atheistic and educational work. During this period at regional society "Znaniye" the department of work among Tatars and Kazakhs is created. Mass atheistic work among Muslims which led to closing of the chik-chinsky mosque [Kabdulvakhitov, 2005 was developed. Page 153.]. However they were not threatened by arrest, at worst administrative punishments though KGB noted that "the widespread phenomenon in the Tatar settlements till this moment (1960 — V.K.) is annual organized departure by Muslim religioznik of mass general ritual lunches with the prayers containing the addresses to Allah and requests not to allow a drought." [GASPITO. T. 3894. Op. 2. 38. L. 12]. Reaction of local authorities to similar holidays was indifferent, they did not render any counteraction. It is possible and therefore that prayers were held in the Tatar settlements and representatives of the authorities adhered to the same beliefs. In materials of KGB it is recorded that "in the Tyumen district the facts when participated in religious practices an asset of the village, and even some members of the CPSU took place, and in some cases such ceremonies were carried out also in their families" [In the same place. L. 11].

There were also more incredible things of symbiosis of local authorities and religious citizens. For example, the pilgrimage to a source with spring water where gathered to the 400th persons was held to Krivankovo (Shipakovsky s/s, the Yurga district) within long years. There took place prayers and a whip-round. The most interesting that a part of the raised funds was given in the Village Council that did a pilgrimage resolved "de facto" [In the same place. L. 9-10]. The Village Council transferred the received money in the State Bank under the article "accidental receipts", and then used for the needs [In the same place. 33. L. 135]. Only after a number of preventions in 1959 "holy site" was immured, and lands around it are opened and sowed by corn.

The denominations referred to "fanatic sects" were under continuous threat of arrest. They gathered illegally as "owing to the fanatic nature of ceremonies and antistate orientation of sect of Pentecostals and Adventists reformists (community work days) the Soviet bodies are not registered" [From the protocol of national court.]. Causes of failure in registration of various sects consisted in the following: "Pentecostals or Christians of evangelical belief in force of the dogma deny protection of the fatherland up in arms. Iyegovista owing to the dogma deny any civil power. True and Orthodox Christians owing to the dogma do not recognize the Soviet power" [GARF. T. 6991. Op. 3. 102. L. 30]. Of course, the main reason was that that all these "antigosudarst-

wine and fanatic sects" were perceived as the social and political organizations and therefore were under strict control of retaliatory bodies.

However the number of believers did not decrease. So, on materials of one-time accounting (1961) of officially registered and unregistered religious associations it became clear that at the Tyumen region there is all religious range: Christians are Orthodox Christians (including Old Believers and true and orthodox Christians), Catholics, Protestants (evangelical Baptist Christians, Pentecostals, Lutherans and bet-bruder, Mennonites), Molokans; Muslims [In the same place. Op. 4. 370. L. 1a-46]. Communities on the number sharply differed: of 5-10 the people (the Catholic communities in Tyumen, Khanty-Mansiysk, Baptists in. New Tapas, etc.) to 100 and more (Muslims in. The new Yurtas orthodox in Yalutorovsk, etc.).

In general the Muslim religious communities there were 16. From them in Tyumen — 2, one in the central part of the city, another in. New Yurtas, outside the city limits. In Tyumen the maximum number of the believers attending church meetings — 70-100 persons. Church meetings were held in houses of believers (up to 30 people), under the open sky (up to 70 people).

Catholics there were two groups — in Tyumen and Khanty-Mansiysk. In the village of Abatskom there were Lutherans (in the report it is written down: Catholics of the Lutheran direction). The Tyumen Baptist Christians — near the 80th persons. The Baptist communities on villages are also revealed. Though sources of it did not record, but information was saved that in the village of Isetskom there was an unregistered group of Baptists. Pentecostals lived in Yalutorovsk, Zavodoukovsk and Tyumen (the group of Pentecostals in Tyumen was dispersed in 1959). The Mennonite community (17 members of community, 2 preachers and 30 people preparing for the introduction in community) acted in Isetsky district (state farm "Communard"). Molokans (20 people) were found in Tobolsk.

Most of all various religious groups was in Tyumen. Here almost all revealed denominations were presented: Orthodox Christians, Muslims, Catholics, bet-bruder (Lutherans), Pentecostals, evangelical Baptist Christians, Adventists reformists. Khanty-Mansiysk where there were no Protestants and Muslims became the following place of localization of communities, but there were true and orthodox Christians.

Usually church meetings were organized on houses. Often communities united around spiritual leaders. The number of rural groups was small (5-15 people). Most often they were served by the coming preacher or the mullah whereas in the cities and large communities usually there was the preacher.

The Soviet citizens under the Constitution had the right for realization of freedom of conscience. During the post-war period the Constitution of the USSR 1936 in which it was written down "worked... Freedom of departure of religious cults and freedom of antireligious promotion admits for all citizens" (Article 124). It is unlikely most of believers knew about the constitutional right on free religion, but to the best of the ability they consciously or unconsciously asserted the religious rights, perceiving them as an integral part of life.

The specifics of position of the religious organizations in the country were that the state persistently tried to force out them from public life, up to complete elimination. Respectively and the state and confessional relations were not ravnopartnersky, and their character substantially was defined only by the state. The similar policy for separate faiths and impossibility of realization by citizens fully of the right to freedom of conscience are not overcome and now. It is necessary to remember division into traditional and nonconventional faiths and active manipulation of the concepts "ethnic Orthodox Christian", "ethnic Muslim", "ethnic Catholic".

However the fact of existence of the religious organizations even in the Soviet years and their preservation as public institute makes think on the reasons of deep social rootedness. It is possible to claim that for a part of the Soviet society the religious beliefs remained an important component of their attitude.



From the protocol of national court of the Yalutorovsk district on charge of heads of Protestant religious associations of June 7-8, 1961//Archive of the Yalutorovsk district national court.

The constitution (Basic law) of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (approved by the resolution of the Extraordinary VIII Congress of Councils of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics of December 5

1936) (in edition of October 29, 1976). Access mode: http://constitution.garant.rU/DOC_85479.htm#sub_ para_N_1010, free.

"Brothers" of darkness//Tyum. really. 1962. On Sep. 11

Pies with a poison//Tyum. Komsomol member. 1964. On Feb. 5

The truth about hypocrites//Tyum. really. 1962. 29 noyabr.

Shelter the slave Bozhiya//Tyum. Komsomol member. 1964. July 8.

Humanity against obscurantism//Tyum. Komsomol member. 1959. On Dec. 11


L.I. Alekseeva. The history of dissent in the USSR. Vilnius; M, 1992.

I. Yefimov. Modern charismatic movement of sectarianism: (A historical essay, critical analysis of dogma, situation now)//On a visit at the lawyer. Access mode:, free.

K. Kabdulvakhitov. In the wake of the Tyumen sheikhs. Tyumen, 2005. Page 153.

M.I. Odintsov. The power and religion in the years of war: (The state and the religious organizations in the USSR in days of the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945). M, 2005.

E. Eykhelberg. Germans in the Tyumen region: History and modern situation. Tyumen, 1999. Page 65.

Tyumen, IPOS Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Science

The article is devoted to a description of religious communities in Tyumen Oblast in 1940-1960. The author cites data on every confession and denomination which existed in the region during the post-war decades. Subject to analysis being the attitude of the state to different confessions and denominations. The conclusion arrived is that for a certain part of the Soviet society religious beliefs remained an important part of their world outlook.

Morgan Bartholomew
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