Peasant religious revolts in the South of Ukraine (1917-1922)


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The paper explores the religious peasant revolt in south of Ukraine during
the Civil War (1917-1922). We can identify their following causes: the separation of the church from the state, the deprivation of civil rights of religious leaders, terror and repression against the clergy, and also removing the land. During the Revolution and the Civil War (1917-1922) Ukraine took place at the center of the main historical events. The instability of authority in the country, the political confrontation among the various forces, bandit raids on villages were typical for this period. Ukrainian peasants led the struggle for the land and their rights in difficult historical and political circumstances. One of the major problems was the freedom of conscience. The religious question in the context of rebel struggle of Ukrainian peasantry is one of the insufficiently explored problems, which had been neglected. The revolts of religious orientation against the Bolsheviks had a dual nature. Firstly, the establishment of the own groups that were typical for the initial period of the Civil War, and secondly, the organization and management of peasant revolts that were especially evident during the looting of churches in the early 20s of XX century. In Ukraine, it has not been a lot of anti-religious activities as for example in Russia. The civil war, peasant revolts made it impossible to Bolshevik authority to gain a foothold in Ukraine. Therefore, the main source of countering church policy was anti-religious propaganda. One of the means of such propaganda was public blasphemy and mockery of the holy things of the church, but such a practice was not widely used in the South of Ukraine. Representatives of the church were trying to resist Bolshevism, by creating their own rebel groups (e.g., self-defense Bizyukova monastery) and heading the peasant uprising. Particularly strong religious and peasant uprisings took place in 1919-1922. The selfdefense activity of Sviato-Grigorievskogo Biziukova monastery was the most famous in the military sense in 1919-1920. In 1920-1922 the murder of the agitator Barmashova during the female religious riot in the village Zasel№e obtained the all-Ukrainian resonance. Also the tragic events of the brutal murders of clerics in the village Otbedo-Vasil’evka were rather significant. The confrontation between the Bolshevik authorities and the church in the early years of the Civil War was caused mainly by the cruel class struggle. The victims of such a struggle became primarily those clergy who opposed the policy of the Bolshevik government. In the future, the situation has changed. Ideological, political and purely pragmatic factors came to the forefront. Peasant religious groups tried to resist Bolshevism, for example, during a seizure of church property, but their fate was sealed by the course of history.

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religion, revolt, the peasantry, the South of Ukraine, the church, values, Bolsheviks.[/restab]

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