League of Militant Atheists - 1929 Congress

1929 Congress

In addition to what is stated above, the 1929 congress also issued a number of other orders that would form the basis of the LMG's activities (as well as the character of the antireligious persecution throughout the country) in the following decade.

At its 1929 congress it admitted that there had been some growth in sectarian groups, but claimed that this was local rather than national phenomena. They said, however, that lay religious activists exceeded one million and that all of the religious communities including the old Orthodox had begun to adopt modern methods and were attracting youth. It determined therefore that the fight against religion needed to be pressed, although it still, as Yaroslavsky had said for years, warned against extreme antireligious ultra-left attacks. At the same meeting it demanded that no holidays should be allowed to coincide with important Church feast days; this policy was carried out in the same year.

The resolutions at the meeting called for local LMG branches to effect total public ostracism of the clergy. They ordered that priests should not be invited to private homes, donations to churches should discontinue, and that trade unions should be pressured not to perform any work for churches. The party would adopt this resolution a year later.

The congress also criticized the armed forces for failing to conduct adequate antireligious education among its soldiers. The organization had set up cells in the armed forces in each unit beginning in 1927. In a study done on a unit in 1925, it was found that 60% of recruits were religious believers at the time of recruitment, while only 28% remained believers at the end of their service. This data may have ignored the phenomena of soldiers who hid their religious convictions during their service and thus have some inaccuracy. These experiences nevertheless played a role in the LMG's approach to combatting religion in the military in the following decade.

The 1929 congress called on public institutions to treat antireligious propaganda as an inseparable part of their work and to provide regular funding for it.

The congress eliminated preferential treatment for different sects and declared unrelenting war against them, but contained the moderating statement to differentiate between the rank-and-file believers and the leadership, the latter of which were considered fully conscientious class enemies of the state.

The congress resolutions stated that religious temples should be shut only with the agreement of the majority of the working populace. There ware, however, no qualifications for this majority to include religious believers associated with the given religious structure. This allowed the practice to be conducted in the following years wherein a meeting would be organized under pressure at which believers who attended would be risking their social status and would often find themselves in a minority, which would allow for a vote to close the structure. The LMG would take advantage of rifts between different believers, including that between the Orthodox and renovationists, in order to get either side to vote for the closure of each other's religious structures.

The congress called on antireligious education to be instituted from the first-grade up. Two years later, further calls would be made by leading antireligious propagandist N. Amosov to institute antireligious education among pre-school children.

This congress much larger coverage in the Soviet Press than the previous congress, although it was overshadowed by the German Communist congress that occurred at the same time.

Read more about this topic:  League Of Militant Atheists

Famous quotes containing the word congress:

    It is the duty of the President to propose and it is the privilege of the Congress to dispose.
    Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882–1945)