Decree on the freedom of conscience and religious and Church associations

Petrograd, January 20th, 1918
Friday 2 March 2007
by  cilalp_france
popularity : 1%

Religion is a private matter for every Soviet citizen.

The Church is separate from the State.

On the territory of the Republic, it is forbidden to pass any law or decree that would violate the freedom of conscience or limit it, or establish any advantage or privilege based on the citizens’ religious denomination. Any citizen can profess any religion or profess none. Any restriction of rights based on professing whatever worship or professing none is abolished.

Any mention of religion must be suppressed on whatever passports and official documents. The activity of State or official bodies do not contain any religious ceremony or religious demonstration. The free exercise of religious demonstration is granted as long as it does not disturb public order and does not violate the rights of citizens of the Soviet republic. In that case, local authorities are entitled to take any necessary measures to ensure public order and security.

No one can evade their civil duty because of their religion. It is lawful, after examination of each case by the popular tribunal, to exempt any citizen of a duty on the condition that this duty be replaced by another duty.

Civil or military oath that is based on religion is repealed. When necessary, it is replaced by a solemn vow.

Official records of births, deaths and marriages are kept by registrars under supervision of civil authorities. Schools are separate from the Church. Religious education is not permitted in general schools whether maintained by the State, local authorities or private. Citizens are allowed to teach or learn religion privately. Every religious or Church association is submitted to common rules concerning private associations and unions and does not have any privilege or any subside whether from the State or from its autonomous or local authorities.

Collection of forced donation or taxes on behalf of religious or church association is prohibited, as well as coercion measures or punishment towards their membership. Religious or Church associations have no right of property. They have no legal personality. All the properties of the Church and religious associations that exist in Russia are declared the property of the people. The registration, care and use of the buildings and furniture exclusively purposed for worship is defined by a decree of central State or local authorities. By a special decree from central State or local authorities, the free use of buildings and furniture exclusively purposed for worship is conceded to the concerned religious associations. President of the Council of People’s Commissars


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