Научно-публицистический журнал “Центр и периферия”
The scientific journal “Center and Periphery”
“Lately religious foundations have been noticeably shaken...”: The religious situation in the first half of the 1920s according to the state information reports of the Chuvash regional department of the OGPU
Kozlov F. N.
The state information bulletins of the Cheka and the OGPU state information reports that replaced them are one of the important sources on the history of state and church relations in the 1920s. The difficult period of the formation of the young Soviet state was also very tense in the formation of a new confessional policy in the country. The excerpts from the documents published in the article not only reflect the overall picture of the relationship between government institutions and the clergy, but also provide details (events, names and surnames of participants, etc.), allowing to reconstruct religious life both vertically and horizontally. The key characteristic of this complex should be considered a high degree of its reliability: the information was intended not for public dissemination, but to inform a narrow circle of people. The collection contains fragments from information bulletins and information reports that make it possible to describe the situation of the first half of the 1920s on the example of the Chuvash Autonomous Okrug/ASSR — one of the national formations of the Volga region, which featured with the numerical predominance of the titular nation. Considerable attention on the part of state bodies was paid to the analysis of intra-church life: the formation and interaction of various religious movements and groups, the manifestation of the ambitions of individual church leaders and their influence on the masses, the spread of rumors based on religious background, etc., the emphasis was also made on the identification of interethnic antagonism among the clergy, its impact on believers and the possibilities to use it as a means of anti-religious work.
Keywords: Chuvash AO, Chuvash ASSR, state information reports of OGPU, clergy, renovationism, Tikhonovshchina, autocephalists, Bishop German (Kokel), Archbishop Timofey (Zaikov)
For citation: Kozlov FN. “Lately religious foundations have been noticeably shaken...”: The religious situation in the first half of the 1920s according to the state information reports of the Chuvash regional department of the OGPU. Center and Periphery. 2023;18(2):58—64. EDN EJBLMG
Information about the author:
Fedor N. Kozlov, Associate Professor of Department of National and General History of the Chuvash I. Yakovlev State Pedagogical University (38 K. Marx Str., Cheboksary 428000, Russia), Candidate of Historical Sciences, ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1411-6429, email@example.com
Conflict of interests: the author declares no conflict of interests.
The author has read and approved the final version of the manuscript.
The article was submitted 23.12.2022; approved after reviewing 22.01.2023; accepted for publication 27.01.2023.