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How effective was Khrushchevs religious policy - Essay Example

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Ever since communism spread in the Soviet Union the communist party targeted religion as undesirable, reactionary, and detrimental to social development. However, the attempts of the communist regimes to eliminate religious belief and practice entirely from the Russian…
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Download file to see previous pages x Church that offered support for the war effort; in return Stalin “promised them a new deal involving the return of some churches and other institutions, a limited right of publication, and the freeing of such religious personnel as had survived the terror of the 1930s and earlier” (Anderson 1994, p. 8). Consequently, the number of registered religious communities increased considerably after the war and within no time the influence of the church posed a great threat to the state’s autonomy. It was at this juncture that a full-scale persecution of religion began in the nation under the leadership of Khrushchev who became the undisputed leader of the party and government after Malenkov retired in 1959 (Pospielovsky 1998, p. 313). This paper seeks to make a probe into the religious policy of Khrushchev and how far his policies have been effective in attaining their goals.
Khrushchev adorns the place of a radical reformer and liberalist in the history of Soviet Union; despite his anti-religious policies one can never undermine his initiatives to bring about a ‘considerable degree of liberalization in many other areas of Soviet life’ and there are many who think that his assault on religion stemmed from a ‘personal commitment to the building of a communist society within the foreseeable future’ (Anderson 1994, p. 7). For Chumachenko & Roslof (2002, p. 148), Khrushchev was in a way distancing himself from church problems until the end of the 1950s and that “issues of church policy originally did not have any fixed place in his grandiose plans for reconstructing and altering Soviet society”. However, Khrushchev later turned vehemently against the Russian church as he believed that the disappearance of religion was an essential prerequisite for the creation of a total communist society. As a liberalist, Khrushchev described himself as an atheist and an advocate of the scientific world view; he held that “education, scientific knowledge and the study ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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