Society of the Godless


Society of the Godless

Society of the Godless ("Общество безбожников" in Russian); other names include "Союз воинствующих безбожников" (The Union of Belligerent Atheists or The League of the Militant GodlessBurleigh, Michael. "Sacred causes : the clash of religion and politics from the Great War to the War on Terror". 1st ed. New York: HarperCollins, 2007. (ISBN 006058095X)] ) and "Союз безбожников" (The Union of the Godless), was a mass volunteer antireligious organization of Soviet workers and others in 1925-1947. It "consisted of Party members, members of the Komsomol youth movement, workers and army veterans" [Burleigh op cit p49]

S.o.G. was an antireligious movement that developed in Soviet Russia under the influence of the ideological and cultural views and policies of the Communist Party. The newspaper "Bezbozhnik" (Godless, Atheist) (1922-1941), founded and edited by Yemelyan YaroslavskyPOKEMON!] , played a significant role in S.o.G.'s establishment, and had a wide network of correspondents and readers. In August of 1924, like-minded individuals founded the Club of 'Bezbozhnik's friends in Moscow. In April of 1925, the First Congress of this club took place, where they established a united All-Soviet antireligious society under the name of "The Union of the Godless". In 1929, the Second Congress changed the society's name to "The Union of Belligerent" (or "Militant") "Atheists". The Central Committee chose Yaroslavsky as its leader (who occupied this post continuously).

S.o.G. embraced workers, peasants, students, and intelligentsia. It had its first affiliates at factories, plants, collective farms ("kolkhoz"), and educational institutions. By the beginning of 1941, S.o.G. had about 3.5 million members of 100 nationalities. It had about 96,000 offices across the country. Guided by Bolshevik principles of antireligious propaganda and party's orders with regards to religion, S.o.G. aimed at fighting religion in all its manifestations and forming scientific mindset among the workers. It popularized atheism and scientific achievements, conducted individual work with religious people, prepared propagandists and atheistic campaigners, published scientific literature and periodicals, organized museums and exhibitions, conducted scientific research in the field of atheism and critics of religion. S.o.G.'s slogan was "Struggle against religion is a struggle for socialism", which was meant to tie in their atheist views with economy, politics, and culture. S.o.G. had vast international connections; it was part of the International of Proletarian Freethinkers and later of the Worldwide Freethinkers Union.

The League was a "nominally independent organization established by the Communist Party to promote atheism." It published newspapers, journals, and other materials that lampooned religion; it sponsored lectures and films; it organized demonstrations and parades; it set up antireligious museums; and it led a concerted effort to persuade Soviet citizens that religious beliefs and practices were "wrong" and harmful, and that good citizens ought to embrace a scientific, atheistic worldview. Daniel Peris "Storming the Heavens: The Soviet League of the Militant Godless" Cornell University Press 1998 ISBN 9780801434853]

In 1947, S.o.G.'s duties of scientific and atheistic propaganda were transferred to the All-Soviet society Znaniye (Knowledge).

Notes & References


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Tatar Union of the Godless — The Tatar Union of the Godless was an atheist political group in the Soviet Union, specifically in the territory nowadays known as Tataristan, consisting mainly of Muslim socialists and intellectuals. It was part of the Society of the Godless, an …   Wikipedia

  • Godless Americans March on Washington — The Godless Americans March on Washington (GAMOW) occurred in Washington, DC on November 2, 2002. The event featured under two thousand atheists, freethinkers, agnostics and humanists in a mile long parade down The Mall to rally for several… …   Wikipedia

  • The Catholic Church and the Nicaraguan Revolution — Pre Revolutionary Church State RelationsThe Catholic Church has a long history of close relations with the state and government in power. In the Colonial period, the Church acted as a check up on conquistadors who pursued their own feudal… …   Wikipedia

  • The Great Indian Novel — Infobox Book | name = The Great Indian Novel title orig = translator = image caption = author = Shashi Tharoor illustrator = cover artist = country = India language = English series = genre = Roman à clef, Satirical, Historical novel publisher =… …   Wikipedia

  • The Golden Compass (film) — The Golden Compass Theatrical release poster Directed by Chris Weitz Produced by …   Wikipedia

  • The Colbert Report — logo Genre Comedy, Satire, News parody …   Wikipedia

  • The Oblongs — Title card Format Animation, Black comedy Created by Angus Oblong …   Wikipedia

  • The Raven in popular culture — This article is about the use of Edgar Allan Poe s poem in popular culture. For the use of the bird itself in culture, see Cultural depictions of ravens. Topics related to …   Wikipedia

  • godless — [[t]gɒ̱dləs[/t]] ADJ GRADED: usu ADJ n (disapproval) If you say that a person or group of people is godless, you disapprove of them because they do not believe in God. ...a godless and alienated society. Derived words: godlessness N UNCOUNT For… …   English dictionary

  • Religion in the Soviet Union — The Soviet Union was an atheist state, in which religion was largely discouraged and heavily persecuted. According to various Soviet and Western sources, however, over one third of the country s people professed religious belief. Christianity and …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.