Features of the expression of freedom of conscience in the Soviet era of Ukraine


  • Oleh Kyselov




Soviet scientific atheism left us a rather interesting heritage. On the one hand, there are a number of powerful and still valuable works, which, at least, have not lost their heuristic attractiveness. On the other hand, there are mountains of ideological and propagandistic literature of interest to researchers of various aspects of the history of the USSR. Topics such as state-church and interfaith relations, freedom of conscience and religious freedom, which nowadays became one of the most researched in the independent Ukraine, were on the periphery of research interests in Soviet times. In particular, the notion of "freedom of conscience" was not too developed and interpreted in Soviet religious studies, since it was believed that the classics of Marxism-Leninism gave it an exhaustive understanding. Because of this, the Soviet scientific atheists left three things: 1) criticizing the understanding of freedom of conscience by bourgeois (including clerical) thinkers; 2) compare the theoretical and practical level of freedom of conscience in socialist countries and, finally, 3) comprehend Soviet practices in the field of religion in accordance with the principles of Leninist atheistic doctrine.