Maslova Irina Ivanovna, Doctor of historical sciences, professor, sub-department of real estate cadaster and law, Penza State University of Architecture and Construction (28 Titova street, Penza, Russia), email@example.com
Background. There is a growth of social activity of religious organizations and believers in modern Russia. It is obvious that there is a need to improve the relations of the state with the concept of different faiths to ensure the stability of the current religious situation. The purpose of the article is to analyze the factors of influence on
the church-state policy in the period from 1985 to 1988, to identify the internal and external reasons for its turn, to examine the role of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and state organs in determining the course of the policy.
Materials and methods. The research tasks were implemented through the use of documents from the Russian State Archive of Contemporary History, the State Archive of the Russian Federation and, in particular, a special fund of storage, access to which is limited to researchers. A special place is occupied by the documents
of the Central Committee of the CPSU and the Council on Religious Affairs under the the USSR Council of Ministers. The methodology of the study is based on the principle of historicism, which allows to analyze the dynamics of the relationship of the Soviet state and the religious communities in this period. The research also used many of general scientific and special historical methods. The structural and system method was used in the study of the party and government bodies responsible for the state-religious policy of the Soviet state. The statistical method was needed to identify and fix the quantitative changes, such as the number of religious associations. The diachronic method allowed analysis of processes and phenomena of religious life in the historical sequence in the general historical background. The synchronous method helped to establish causal relationships between events and phenomena occuring simultaneously not only in the religious sphere, but also in the economy, domestic and foreign policy, social relations.
Results. The authors studied a complex of reasons for turning the state-religious policy in the period from 1985 to 1988: increased tension on the background of the religious situation of democratization of the political system and society, the spread of destructive nationalist tendencies in the regions of traditional Islam and the Uniate Church, structural shifts in the ratio of different faiths in favor of the Catholic and Protestant, the active position of the clergy and the faithful, the ideological confrontation with the West.
Conclusions. In the years of Gorbachev’s perestroika, specifically in the eve of the millennium of Christianity in Russia, the concept of church-state relations changed with turning the state to engagement in a dialogue with believers and cooperation with religious associations. The Council for Religious Affairs played a special role in preparation of the state’s and society’s turn to a constructive dialogue with the faithful people. Its analytical work showed an objective picture of the religious situation in the country to the political leadership.
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