Shifting images of a harmful sect: Operations against Inochentism in Soviet Ukraine, 1920-23
This chapter concerns anti-sectarian policies designed by local Soviet authorities in the early 1920’s. The case under analysis exemplifies how a set of contrasting archival images of a religious group were constructed at different hierarchical levels of the Soviet administration. The archival image produced at the micro-level went on to form the centre of propaganda narratives and repressive policies against this religious group throughout the Soviet period right down to the end of the regime. This study aims to contribute to the already existing scholarship on early Soviet repressive mechanisms, which although impressively detailed, does not explore the role of functionaries and police officials at the micro-level in shaping the regime’s perception and understanding of specific cohorts of population, especially of religious sectarians, targeted by repressive policies. The chapter is centred on the case of Inochentism, a religious movement that emerged amongst Romanian-speaking peasants at the beginning of the 20th century in the northern part of today’s Odessa Oblast of Ukraine.
This research is part of the project Creative Agency and Religious Minorities: Hidden Galleries in the Secret Police Archives in Central and Eastern Europe. The project has received funding from the European Research 2020 research and innovation programme No. 677355.
Communism , Secret police , Archives , Odessa Oblast , Ukraine , Inochentism
Lisnic, D. (2021) 'Shifting images of a harmful sect: Operations against Inochentism in Soviet Ukraine, 1920-23', in Kapaló, J. A. and Povedák, K. (eds)., The Secret Police and the Religious Underground in Communist and Post-Communist Eastern Europe, Routledge, pp. 39-59. doi: 10.4324/9780429331466
This is an Accepted Manuscript of a book chapter published by Routledge in The Secret Police and the Religious Underground in Communist and Post-Communist Eastern Europe on 13 August 2021, available online: http://www.routledge.com/9780367279998