“Religion is the opium of the people”: The political intentions behind the Bolshevik anti-religion campaign of 1917-1929

  • Darren Reid


This paper challenges the prevailing assumption that the 1917-1929 anti-religion campaign, carried out by the Bolsheviks in the Russian countryside, was primarily intended to secularize the peasantry. Using a variety of primary and secondary sources, this paper analyzes the two main tactics of the anti-religion campaign within the context of spiritual belief in rural Soviet Russia: the persecution of the clergy and the seizure of religious property. I argue that the campaign was not designed to secularize the peasantry, but to undermine the political autonomy of Russian villages.
How to Cite
Reid, Darren. 2018. “‘Religion Is the Opium of the people’: The Political Intentions Behind the Bolshevik Anti-Religion Campaign of 1917-1929”. the Ascendant Historian 5 (1), 58-67. https://journals.uvic.ca/index.php/corvette/article/view/19006.