MARXIST INTERNET ARCHIVE | SOVIET ARCHIVES

Soviet Decree on the Separation of Church and State, and School and Church.

(] January 23, 1918).

1.      The Church is separated from the State.
 

2.      No  local  laws or  regulations  may  be  issued,  through­ out the territory of the Republic, which limit or hinder  freedom of conscience, or grant any privileges or advantages on account  of  adherence  to  a religious  creed.
 

3.      Every citizen is at liberty to practice any religion or none at all. All penalties attaching to the practice of any creed whatsoever, or to the non-practicing of any creed, are abolished. Note.-All reference to religious beliefs of citizens shall be eliminated from all official documents.

4.      The activities of State and other public institutions shall under no circumstances be accompanied by any religious rites or ceremonies.

5.      Freedom to carry out religious ceremonies is guaranteed to the extent that they do not infringe public order, and do not involve any infringement of the rights of citizens of the Soviet Republic.  The local authorities are entitled to take all steps necessary to ensure public order and safety in such cases.

6.      No one may evade the fulfilment of his civic duties on the ground of his religious opinions... Exceptions to this rule, o;;_ condition of replacing one civic obligation by an­ other, may be permitted in individual cases by decision of the People's   Court

7.      All religious oaths are abolished. in necessary cases only a solemn obligation may be given

8.     Civil acts shall be conducted only by the civil authority, in the births and marriages registration departments.

9.     The School is separated from the Church. Instruction in religion in all State and public schools,    and also private educational institutions in which general subjects are taught, is prohibited. Citizens may privately instruct and be instructed in religion.

10.   All church and religious societies are subject to the general regulations governing private societies and unions, and shall enjoy no privileges or subsidies either from the State or from its local autonomous and self-governing authorities.

11.   The compulsory collection of tithes and taxes in aid of church and religious organizations, or measures of compulsion or penalty inflicted by these societies on their members, are prohibited.

12.   No church or religious societies have the right to possess property, nor do they constitute a legal person.

13.   All the property of church and religious societies existing in Russia is declared the property of the people. Buildings and articles intended specially for purposes of worship are placed gratis at the disposal of the appropriate religious societies, by special decisions of the local or central authority.