Vladimir Vasil’evich Pervushin,

Postgraduate Student, Institute of History of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Novosibirsk, Russia, e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Image of the Russian Orthodox Church in the Pages of the Newspaper “Pravda” in 1922


 DOI: 10.31518/2618-9100-2024-2-12

 The era of the 1920s holds a significant place in the extensive history of state-church relations. The formation and acceptance of the fundamental principles of anti-religious policy unfolded during this decade. A key component of the policy was the active dissemination of anti-religious propaganda to foster a negative attitude towards the Orthodox Church among the populace. This paper presents the findings derived from an analysis of the materials published in the Pravda newspaper in 1922. These findings enable a characterization of the image of the Orthodox Church. The content of the image of the Church, the methods of its construction, and the genres used for its presentation are analyzed. The theme of the Church was addressed in over 90 issues, accounting for approximately one-third of the total 1922 issues. This emphasizes the relevance of this problem to the Bolshevik Party. Almost half of the materials uncovered are associated with analytical newspaper genres. The analysis of the image’s content has unveiled its purpose of cultivating a hostile view towards the Church. Furthermore, it was discovered that the image was formed by blending conflicting interpretations. The Orthodox Church was described as both threatening to and frightened of the State. The Church exerted a profound impact on the beliefs of the people while simultaneously experiencing a rapid decline in its followers. It was seen as a substantial threat and an object of derision. At the same time, based on the need to weaken the influence of the Church and to ensure the course of the campaign to seize church valuables, the “pravdists” also created a moderately positive image of the Orthodox Church. Its formation was influenced by the emerging Renewalist movement. Certain members of the clergy and laity have been identified as cooperating with the prevailing government but maintaining a non-political position.

Publishing: 28/04/2024

The article has been received by the editor on 28/01/2024

Original article >

How to cite: Pervushin V.V. Image of the Russian Orthodox Church in the Pages of the Newspaper “Pravda” in 1922 // Historical Courier, 2024, No. 2 (34), pp. 179–191. [Available online: http://istkurier.ru/data/2024/ISTKURIER-2024-2-12.pdf]

The article was made on the topic of the state assignment “The Past in the Manuscript Sources of the 16th–20th Centuries: Preservation and Development of Traditions” (FWZM-2024-0006).

Links: Issue 2 2024

Keywords: the image of the Church; historical imagology; state-church relations; the Russian Orthodox Church; the Party periodicals; the newspaper “Pravda”