The village in the conditions of the politics of atheisation of society of the 1920s: loss of faith.

Main Article Content

Yuriy P. Prysiazhniuk


Introduction. The term «village» is used by the author in his third dictionary meaning, namely
as the inhabitants of a small town, who are mainly engaged in land cultivation. The need for such clarifi cation
is important because in the mental sense the social «grouping» of the subject of scientifi c research is often more
important, that is much more accurate than the more common names of rural people in historiography – peasants,
villager, rural proletarians, kulaks, farmers and others. People of the past whose source of existence was work on
the land (agriculture) it is not always appropriate to identify by the «codes of recognition» that existed in history
itself. As paradoxical as it may sound, they had the same subjective outlook on life as the modern historian. But the
historian has the advantage over the people of the past that can change the option of perceiving and understanding
the realities of their own era. In this case, we are talking about the village as a socio-cultural environment,
which under the conditions of the Bolshevik regime was forced to experience an extremely painful process of
abandonment of Christian beliefs.
Purpose. The aim of the investigation is to deepen the knowledge of the contradictory in content, at the same
time stressful in nature and ambiguous in the consequences of the policy of atheism of the village by the Bolshevik
regime of the 1920s.
Methods. The research based on an interdisciplinary approach required a surprisingly original model
of formulation, combination, optimization and use of epistemological practices, as well as the simultaneous
involvement of categories from the fi elds of culturology, sociology, psychology, ethnology, religion.
Results. In the 1920s, for the fi rst time in history, the village of Naddniprianshchyna found itself in a situation
where the state authorities offi cially began to pursue a policy of atheism of the population, the population as a
whole, while formally declaring the right of citizens to «choose religion». Rural residents fi nd themselves in an
extremely diffi cult essentially stressful psychological situation which can be conditionally described as «choice
without choice». As best they could they adapted to new realities, in the traditional way they synchronized the old
(faith in God) with the new (atheism in public life).
Originality. The great shock of the early 1930s, which the villagers had to endure (as we know, not everyone),
was preceded by no less dramatic processes in the religious sphere. Historians call them a loss of faith, although
this is not entirely true, as faith was not so much lost as modifi ed. At the same time, the result of Bolshevik policy
was not quite as predicted by the initiators, organizers and executors. However, in the political sense, they still
achieved their goal, because they destroyed some and converted others to their faith, and forced most to come to
terms with «atheistic reality». The communist regime began a policy of «grain crisis», «dekulakization», genocide,
only transforming the Ukrainian village, the consequences are destroying the traditional foundations of the village,
killing millions of people, the emergence of a new type of rural man – «Soviet collective farmer».
Conclusion. Under the policy of atheism pursued by the Bolsheviks, the villagers proved to be hostages and to
some extent victims of the political circumstances in which they found themselves after the defeat of the Ukrainian
Revolution of 1917–1921. Some of them experienced real emotional upheavals, but most retained their beliefs,
adapting them to new political realities.

Article Details

How to Cite
Prysiazhniuk Ю. П. . (2021). The village in the conditions of the politics of atheisation of society of the 1920s: loss of faith. Ukrainian Peasant, (26).
Селянство за умов соціокультурних, соціально-економічнихта суспільно-політичних трансформацій ХІХ – ХХ ст
Author Biography

Yuriy P. Prysiazhniuk, Bohdan Khmelnytsky National University of Cherkasy

Doctor of history, Professor, Professor of the Department of History of Ukraine, Bohdan Khmelnytsky National
University of Cherkasy, Cherkasy, Ukraine
Researcher ID:


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