The above image is a Russian anti-religious propaganda image from 1929 that is titled “On Easter Nobody Skips Work”. Other propaganda was used during this time to dimension the Church and what they stood for. This all took place because in 1929 the Russian government implemented more restrictions towards the Christian church. “The state stiffened the restrictions it had placed on the church in 1918 with a new law on religious organizations issued in 1929, giving the church little room to act, and reinforcing the restrictions by stiff penalties,” (17 Moments). The war on the church took off in the early 1920s but it is significant to note that in 1929 during the Cultural Revolution the discrimination turned from hierarchy to local establishments.
Activist took their hate on the church to action during the late 1920s. “Particularly ferocious was the attack on church property, which saw ancient churches converted into warehouses, and sacred objects melted down for their metals,”( 17 moments). This caused churches to close which caused villagers to have rage and anger towards the government. Police and government officials would specifically target church bells and use them for industrial projects like the picture below.
The government not only destroyed church properties but they made it difficult for workers to attend church on Sunday’s by issuing machinery to operate on Sundays and a implementing a new work week schedule that required work on Sunday’s (linked is a video of the new uninterrupted work weeks). This idea was called Nepreryvka. “Introduction of the nepreryvka required cultural organizations, educational institutions, shops, baths, laundries, and other facilities to adjust to the staggered schedule”. Not only were Christians targeted by their work schedules but church closings and new government implications led to so much worse. The Russian Orthodox Church were targeted the most during the 1920s and 1930s. “Nearly all of its clergy, and many of its believers, were shot or sent to labor camps. Theological schools were closed, and church publications were prohibited.” Within in 10 years of the wide spread church closings started in 1929, only 500 of 50,00 churches were still open in Russia (Anti-religious Campaigns). The result of the early 1920s restrictions against the church and the later issues of 1929, led masses of churches to close and greater violence against Christians in Russia.
“Anti-religious Campaigns.” Anti-religious Campaigns. August 31, 2016. Accessed February 26, 2017. https://www.loc.gov/exhibits/archives/anti.html.
Geldern, James von Von. “Churches Closed.” Seventeen Moments in Soviet History. August 27, 2015. Accessed February 26, 2017. http://soviethistory.msu.edu/1929-2/churches-closed/.