Jaroslawski, the leader of the aethist movement in the U.S.S.R. has published an I article in Antireligiosnik in which he says' that the atheist movement in Russia has largely failed in its campaign to stamp out religion.
According to Jaroslawski, anti-religious propaganda has come to a standstill in many regions, regional sections of the Godless League have been suppressed and a religious renaissance is stirring among the masses.
Although there are many places which have no Church, that does not mean that there are no believers there, he continues.
The new towns are inhabited mostly by those coming from the country districts, and it is in the country villages that the Godless movement encounters the liveliest resistance. The peasant rejects atheism. He is as before, imbued with national and religious ideas.
But it is not only among the peasants that religious believers can still be found. There are ordinary factory workers who have gone back to religion. In the industrial town of Kostysch, for instance, with a population of 10,000 there are 50 popes exercising their priestly functions. At Petrosadowsk most of the members of the church communities are factory workers, In the district of Nischni-Novgarod, called Gorki, nowadays, 40 per cent. of the Church community numbers are workers. Jaroslawski adds that in a large number of towns where the proletarian predominates, the desire is expressed to proceed to the re-opening of the churches which have been closed.
The churches have no doubt been closed, adds Jaroslawski, but that has made no difference.
Finally he asks the question : " has the methodical propaganda against religion had any result, and is it possible to uproot religious beliefs?" " No," he replies, " the propaganda leads to a state of affairs which is worse than the first, it leads to exasperation. Religious convictions arc only kept secret, and nothing is gained."