‘Naddniprianska Pravda’ as Means of Covering Atheistic Propaganda in Kherson Region of Ukrainian SSR (the Second Half of the 1940s – the First Half of the 1960s)
The publications on atheistic issues in the ‘Naddniprianska Pravda’ the print newspaper of Kherson regional and city committees of the Communist Party of Ukraine CP(b)U, regional, and city councils of workers’ deputies are analyzed in the paper. The works covering the activities of communist party structures and Soviet cultural and educational institutions aimed at spreading the materialist worldview dominated on the pages of this newspaper in the postwar period. Besides the publications highlighting the achievements in propaganda activities, there were the materials showing the true attitude of citizens towards Soviet ideological campaigns. In particular, a 1949 publication noted that in Skadovsk District House of Culture named after Telman agitation and propaganda were on the decline.
With the coming to power of M.S. Khrushchov, the Central Committee of the CPSU issued a resolution On Major Flaws in Scientific-Atheistic Propaganda and Measures for Its Improvement of July 7, 1954, after which on the pages of ‘Naddniprianska Pravda’ appeared more than ten publications calling for intensified atheistic propaganda. Thus, one of the articles of 1954 stated that Soviet intelligentsia ‘has an honorable and noble task – to help the Party form the consciousness of a new person, to promote rapid liberation from know-nothing, ignorance, superstitions, as well as from the shameful vestiges of the past’.
Besides, the articles criticizing religion as a phenomenon were published using the creative works of writers for atheistic propaganda, condemning believers who participated in the celebration of religious holidays. For example, the celebration of Christmas, Epiphany Day, Shrovetide, and Easter were associated with alcohol abuse, and so on.
Since the late 1950s, a number of articles showing the transition to the increasing administrative pressure on the clergy and laymen were published. The letters from the former clergy, who, apparently under pressure, broke up with religion were published, as well as materials obstructing both clergy, priests, and citizens who continued to attend churches.
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