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Russian Orthodox Church and the power in the context of sociocultural modernization (on material of the Baikal Siberia)

respublika Buryatia



And the POWER in the context of SOCIOCULTURAL


(on material of the Baikal Siberia)

Religion, being an important factor of private, public and state life, plays a significant role in the history of the people, their spiritual culture. Therefore the religious question always remained in the center of attention of the authorities. We made an attempt to consider features of the church and state relationship in the territory of the Baikal Siberia in the 1920-30th, during social and economic and cultural and historical modernization of the country.

The Baikal Siberia represents a part of Russia, unique on a variety of faiths, where throughout several centuries there was an interaction and interference of Orthodoxy (official, Old Belief and various sects), Shamanism, the Buddhism, Judaism, Catholicism, Islam. The dominant position by the number of believers belonged to Russian Orthodox Church. So according to 1900 — 1901, on the Transbaikal region the orthodox population made 453821 people (76% of all population) 1; on the Irkutsk province — 402260 people (76% of all population) 2.

The main principle of confessional policy of the Russian Empire consisted in aspiration to complete state control over one and all religious institutes. At the same time the relation of temporal power to Orthodoxy left an essential mark on the religious policy of the state in general, defined a vector of its implementation and most brightly expressed its essence.

Coming to power of Bolsheviks caused establishment of total control over spiritual life of society and its transformation according to their ideals. The Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) was considered by Bolsheviks as one of the state institutes providing durability and stability of throne. Besides, it possessed considerable property. These two circumstances became the main reasons for the fact that ROC of the first assumed blow from the new power. In it Bolsheviks saw the strong political opponent and therefore sought to demoralize and destroy as much as possible it as by means of external repressions, and supporting various internal contradictions.

In the history of state and church relationship the campaign for withdrawal of church values in favor of starving (1921 — 1922) became a difficult and tragic episode. VTsIK of RSFSR 16 adopts on February (23), 1922 the decree "About withdrawal of church values" under the guise of the help starving which was the main document and the tool wide anti-

1 Cross-eyed V.I. The Transbaikal diocese on the eve of and in days of the first Russian revolution. — Chita, 1999, building 24.
2 V.T. Mikhaylova. Orthodox church and society in the Baikal Siberia during the post-reform period (1861 — 1916). — Ulan-Ude, 2003, building 109.

Irina Semenovna TSYREMPILOVA, to. and. N, associate professor, FGOUVPO East Siberian state academy of culture and arts, faculty of museum business and tourism, department of protection of monuments

religious campaign. However in practice not rescue of life starving, and the accelerated liquidation of church as takovoy1 was the main thing.

The decree ordered to local councils in a month "to withdraw from the church imushchestvo transferred to use of groups of believers of all religions on inventories and contracts all precious objects from gold, silver, stones which withdrawal cannot significantly infringe on the interests of the cult". The Central Commission on withdrawal of church values and its provincial departments, the leading role in which was played by representatives of party and security agencies, was created. The Irkutsk provincial commission on withdrawal of values was formed and got to work since March 16, 1922. In the activity it was guided by instructions and indications of the center. In the territory of the Baikal Siberia the withdrawal of church values took place in two stages. Originally withdrawal was carried out in the large cities. So, in the confidential telegram under letter "A" signed by the secretary of the Irkutsk gubkom of RCP(b) M. Levitin the secretaries of district committees were recommended to start immediately withdrawal on places. At the same time it was noted that "withdrawal needs to be begun in the city rich arrivals which are favorably adjusted then to pass into villages, being guided by political reasons" 2.

The first events of a campaign caused the negative relation among country weight to the power. The population of the region considered these events as desecration of orthodox church, violation of shrines, insult of feelings of believers. As for volumes of the withdrawn church values, it is not possible to establish their exact sizes. However the number of the withdrawn values was obviously insufficient to solve a hunger problem in the country. Besides prior to the campaign for withdrawal of values the church already underwent a number of confiscations and requisitions from the power.

1 Archives of the Kremlin. In 2 kN. Politburo and church. 1922-25 - M.; Novosibirsk, 1997, prince 1, p. 11-12.
2 State Archive of the Contemporary History of the Irkutsk Region (SACHIR), fund 1, inventory 1, case 1023, l.25.

The Soviet state, without having coped in the first years of the existence with influence of church, passes in the 1920th to the organization and carrying out split which can be considered as the innovation which led in turn to split of the uniform confessional field on starotserkovets (tikhonov-ets) and "zhivotserkovets" (Renovationists). Modern researchers enough convincingly proved the initiating role of party and security agencies in the organization and carrying out obnovlenchesky split in RPTs3. A part of the withdrawn church values was directed to financing of a new anti-church campaign as next stage of fight of the state against religion.

2 June, 1922 the independent Siberian church department with the center in Tomsk was formed. In Irkutsk, church management which accepted affairs of the diocese from the former Spiritual committee was organized, and officially it was open on September 20, 1922 on October 14 in the city there arrived the first obnovlenchesky archbishop Irkutsk and Verkholensky Nikolay4. All temples "violent were engaged in Chita by Renovationists", clergy "where prelshcheniye where voluntarily" in the majority came over to the side of the Transbaikal provincial church management under the chairmanship of the archbishop Mikhail Orlov appointed by the Siberian church management. However so-called "triumph" of an obnovlenchestvo in the Baikal Siberia went much more slowly, than in the Central Russia.

Local authorities expressed support of the obnovlenchesky movement in ROC, to what a number of documents of confidential character serves as the evidence. On June 16, 1922 on places the directive under a signature stamp "Confidentially" signed by the deputy secretary of the Irkutsk gubkom of RCP(b) Berman and the manager was distributed. agitpropotdely Alder, in

3 Archives of the Kremlin. In 2 kN. Politburo and church. 1922-25 — M.; Novosibirsk, 1997; O.Yu. Vasilyeva. Russian Orthodox Church in the policy of the Soviet state. — M, 2001; A.N. Kashevarov. Orthodox Russian church and Soviet state (1917 - 1922). - M, 2005; N.A. Krivova. The power and Church in 1922-1925: The politburo and GPU in fight for church values and political submission of clergy. - M, 1997, etc.
4 State Archive of the Irkutsk Region (SAIR), fund 485, inventory 2, case 25, l.1.
1 0’2008

with which it was emphasized that split in orthodox church and renunciation of the patriarch Tikhon is of great importance "far outside church". According to the authorities, the reformist movement was, on the one hand, a protest of the highest clergy against attempts of princes of church to turn church into the tool of political struggle with the Soviet power, on the other hand, it represented attempt to rationalize religion, to exempt it from the most rough ceremonies, to adapt it for modern consciousness of the person. At the same time it was especially noted that the Soviet power will manage to protect priests, supporters of reform, "the afraid repressions from princes of church" 1.

Since the beginning of split in the Baikal Siberia the ratio between Renovationists and tikhonovets was uneven. So, according to the information report of the VI office of Confidential department of OGPU "About a Condition of Orthodox Churchmen", for January 1, 1924 in Irkutsk and its counties "the obnovlenchesky movement worsens, begins to decline", but in counties of the Irkutsk province "behind the obnovlenchesky movement 98 churches, and for quietly-novtsami any are registered". On Pribaykalsky province there was the following picture: "Tikhonovtsa both quantitatively, and qualitatively and financially have considerable overweight over Renovationists", and on the Transbaikal province an opposite situation: "The Obnovlenchesky movement gets stronger. Renovationists in Chita there are 75 percent, other tikhonovets" 2. Thus, a Bolshevist attack to church in the form of split made only limited success: the authorities managed to seed contention and a distemper in church, but it was not succeeded to achieve a full celebration of an obnovlenchestvo. Became obvious that it is not capable to attract to itself believers.

By the end of the 1920th the popularity of an obnovlenchestvo among believers began to fall, the number of arrivals was constantly reduced, withdrawal of obnovlenchesky clergy from church became an everyday occurrence. It is possible to say that obnovlenchesky split in the Baikal Siberia caused a serious loss to activity of religious institutes. Religious life

1 1ANIIO, fund 1, inventory 1, case 1336, l.8.
2 Archives of the Kremlin. Decree. soch. Prince 2, p. 394.

the orthodox population during the considered period it was characterized by the fight between currents which was followed by carrying out propaganda, mutual recriminations, occupation of temples, etc. However in the whole obnovlenchesko the movement had character of conformism in relation to the Soviet power and did not get broad support at believers. But nevertheless in "dying off of religion" the obnovlenchestvo played a certain role.

Essentially other means of fight of the state against church was antireligious propaganda and promotion. By means of antireligious promotion the Soviet power sought "to beat out" "a religious dope" from consciousness of people and to release it for new - socialist ideology. The public organization of Union of Atheists which creation in 1925 can be considered as manifestation of some kind of "nepovsky" course in the antireligious policy of the power became a core on which the main volume of advocacy work fell. Since 1929 - year of "fundamental change" - the Union passed to more radical positions, became the active participant of approach on "the antireligious front".

In the first half of the 1930th of ROC, undermined economically and deprived of property, continued to function and even endured the defined "religious revival". Escalation of antireligious fight in the first half of the 1930th demonstrated just that all previous actions of the Soviet power were obviously insufficient. The antireligious campaign gained more and more rigid and offensive character. Administrative and prohibitive activity during the considered period became dominating. Among a complex of administrative measures prevailed prohibition of different types of activity, taxation strengthening, restriction of the civil rights of priests, liquidation of religious societies and closing of cult buildings.

Liquidating process in the 1930th included withdrawal of cult property, removal of bells, tax pressure, direct closing of temples, arrests, searches, prosecutions not only clergy, but also simple belief -

yushchy. According to People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs, in the territory of East Siberia in 1928 90 of 349 operating churches, and by 1935 - 272 churches were closed, 11 - were planned to closing.

In the mid-thirties the situation complication in "a religious question" was caused by absence of the special body which was responsible for development of relationship of church and Soviet power and also lack of the law on regulation of activity of the religious organizations. The lack of the legislation on the religious organizations led to the fact that questions of an order and conditions of registration of societies and groups, closing of cult buildings, taxation of clergy, implementation of religious promotion, etc. in practice were solved various departments which actions were not coordinated

At the same time in church growth of number of believers was noted. It was explained by discontent of the most part of the population with the events of the state held within the violent collectivization and a dispossession of kulaks. It promoted emergence of mutual understanding unknown until then, feelings

unity and consent between laymen and clergy. Reports on activity of the Buryat Mongolsky obnovlenchesky diocese for 1930 and 1932 contain the following data: "The authority of the priest is raised, his soldering with flock is available. Church services are conducted regularly and believers began to visit temples much more that is shown by candle trade and prichtovy income. The quantity of occasional offices does not decrease, and on the contrary, especially baptisms. So, at Spassky Cathedral there were sometimes about 2-4 baptisms in day and on 1 almost daily".

Thus, historical experience of relationship of the power and ROC in the 1920-30th showed that even in the heaviest conditions for the religious organizations when from the state various corrective actions on church and clergy were taken, the achievements of "militant" atheism were relative, believers became "internal emigrants" and conducted deeply hidden religious life. During sociocultural modernization of the 1920-30th the sphere of spiritual, legal and moral culture underwent considerable deformation.

Matthew Charles
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