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“The Great Terror” and the Clergy: Repressions in Soviet Tatarstan

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Research of KGB and other archives into religious condemnation in Tatarstan. In 1937, in response to claims that religious groups in Tatarstan were intensifying their activities, the Bureau of the Tatar Oblast Committee of the VKP(b) stepped up its anti-religious propaganda. Local punitive organizations took measures to repress Christian and Muslim clerics, fabricating counter-revolutionary and subversive influences by these religious groups. In the “Kulak Operation,” 370 people were condemned, of whom 281 were shot and 89 imprisoned. Of the 1,890 mosques and 680 churches operating before the Revolution, only 681 mosques and 85 churches remained after 1 April 1939.


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