Why religion was discouraged by the Soviet Union?


In keeping with the communist ideology, religion was dis­couraged. Massive attacks were carried on the church to weakened the clergy. A number of clergy were purged and clerical education in the seminaries was greatly curtailed.

A large number of churches were closed both in the villages and cities. According to one estimate by 1933 about 50 to 60 per cent of the churches in the country had been closed. To further restrict the influence of church, the right of religious education was severely curtailed.

The government, on the other hand, encouraged anti- religious propaganda on an unprecedented scale. In fact the entire state machinery was available for the anti-religious propaganda. Between 1922-50 a special publishing house produced 1832 anti-religious works. The anti-religious literature was distributed free in the schools. It may be noted that anti-religious measures were not directed against Christianity alone.


Islam and Judaism were also given similar treatment. The centre of Islamic administration of Ufa was closed. A number of schools and mosques run by the followers of Islam were also closed. The publication of religious literature and distribution of Koran were also prohibited. The use of Arabic script was banned to weaken the bonds which bound the Soviet Muslim community. Similarly, use of Hebrew was prohibited amongst the Jews.

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