Church and State in the Modern Age: A Documentary History

By J. F. MacLear | Go to book overview
ues to exist after the liquidation of the place of worship, be subject to appropriation.

* * *

45. The construction of new places of worship may take place at the desire of religious societies provided that the usual technical building regulations and the special regulations laid down by the People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs are observed.

* * *

54. Members of groups of believers and religious societies may raise subscriptions among themselves and collect voluntary offerings, both in the place of worship itself and outside it, but only amongst the members of the religious association concerned and only for purposes connected with the upkeep of the place of worship and the religious property, for the engagement of ministers of religion and for the expenses of their executive body.

Any form of forced contribution in aid of religious associations is punishable under the Criminal Code of the R.S.F.S.R.

Source: Decree of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee and the Council of People's Commissars respecting Religious Associations April 8, 1929 ( London, 1930), pp. 2, 3, 4, 5- 6, 8-9, 11, 12.


SUGGESTIONS FOR BACKGROUND AND REFERENCE

A. Y. Vyshinsky, The Law of the Soviet State ( New York, 1948), pp. 605-610. References for Document 127.


142
Constitution of the U.S.S.R. (Extract) December 5, 1936

In another shift in government policy, the violence of the antireligious campaign was tempered in the mid-1930s. The change was represented in the Stalin Constitution of 1936. The R.S.F.S.R. Constitution of 1918 had repeated church-state separation in Article 13: "To secure for the toilers real freedom of conscience, the church is separated from the state, and the schools from the church, and freedom of religious and antireligious propaganda is recognized as the right of every citizen." And Article 65 had disfranchised "monks and clergymen of all religious denominations." (For the 1918 Constitution see James Bryan [ed.], Intervention, Civil War, and Communism in Russia April-December 1918 [ Baltimore, 1936], pp. 507-524.) An amendment in 1929 had terminated the right to religious propaganda, and this formula was retained in

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