Doing Away With Religion


Workers demolishing a church reading The Godless

Communism and religion have always been at odds with one another. This antagonistic relationship started with Karl Marx when he famously wrote, “It [Religion] is the opium of the people” (Marx 1844). Religion was seen as a tool with which the ruling class used to suppress and control the working class. However, with the seizure of the state apparatus by the Communist Party, the working class was emancipated from religion. Decrees against religion soon followed, such as in 1918 when church property was nationalized by the state without compensation (Freeze, pg. 335). By 1923, the criminal code of the RSFSR included penalties against such things as “Imparting religious instruction in state or private educational institutions to children or minors” and “Fraudulent actions performed for the purpose of rousing superstition among the masses…” (From the Criminal Code). While religion was being accosted on the legal front, anti-religious propaganda was used to push religion from the cultural side. Continue reading