The research is conducted in fulfillment of a state order of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation, № 33.2177.2017/4.6
On the basis of archival materials the article examines the position and activity of Protestant communities of Siberia, including the Altai, in the context of state-confessional policy in the first years of the Soviet power. In the early 1920s state and confessional policy of the Soviet power, rather loyal to Protestants, provoked a certain numerical growth of the Protestant communities and inflow of new believers in already existing ones, throughout the entire territory of the RSFSR. The first legislation came to power; the Bolsheviks had a favorable effect on the activity of Protestant communities, and provided the Soviet regime numerous benefits, allowed reaching a new level of development. In all regions of the country including Siberia, local party bodies and the staff of the State Political Directorate (Joint State Political Directorate) provided strict control of activity of religious organizations, both official and illegal ones. The wide secret-service network including the enlisted parishioners and employees of the Joint State Political Directorate who are artificially introduced in arrivals was developed for this purpose. The question of admissibility of service in the Red Army which was periodically provoking the conflicts between believers and representatives of the Soviet power raised many disputes. Gradual tightening of religious policy equaled rights of all denominations, and the measures taken by the Soviet authorities to prevent the spread of religious beliefs throughout Siberia finally deprived Protestant communities of independence and put them under special control of state authorities. The party congress of 1927 finally transferred confessional policy in the phase of active anti-religious propaganda accompanied by internal undermining and discrediting of religious organizations.
Keywords: state-confessional policy, Protestant community, Altai province, Western Siberia, Soviet power
About the author
Natalya P. Siebert – Postgraduate student at the Department of Political History,
National and State-Confessional Relations of the Altai State University;