the attempt to abolish the Catholic religion during the Great French Revolution (mainly in 1793). Dechristianization was an expression of the revolutionary terror in the struggle against the counter-revolutionary clergy rather than actions of an atheist state policy, although it did have some antireligious elements. In the course of dechristianization churches were closed, their treasures were requisitioned for defense needs, and priests were forced to renounce their orders. The movement for dechristianization arose in the provinces. It originated with the Hébertists and other groups close to them and was supported by the Paris Commune. Christianity was replaced by a new revolutionary and rationalist faith, the cult of reason. The new cult was often imposed by force and caused extreme dissatisfaction among the peasantry. Realizing that dechristianization could cause a counterrevolutionary mood among the people, M. de Robespierre opposed the cult of reason. On Dec. 6-7, 1793, the Convention officially condemned measures of violence, declaring them to be “contrary to freedom of religion.” The leaders of the dechristianization policy, P. G. Chaumette, J. R. Hébert, and J. Fouché, renounced the policy of dechristianization.


Domnich, M. Veliakaia frantsuzskaia burzhuaznaia revoliutsiia i katolicheskaia tserkov’. Moscow, 1960.
Mathiez, A. La Révolution et I’église. Paris, 1910.


References in periodicals archive ?
His essay sets out the clergy's acknowledged need to combat this dechristianization in "Holy Rus" through greater empowerment of the sons and daughters of the older generations.
From his ecclesiology, he develops a public theology for a situation of "halfway" secularization or dechristianization.
The ideas are certainly radical, but they also had a recognizable pedigree in the counter-revolutionary Catholic tradition that emerged over the course of the nineteenth century in response to the processes of widespread secularization and dechristianization that follow the Revolution in France.
There are numerous causes, including dechristianization, rapid urbanization, and the rootlessness of contemporary society; but in some cases the church must bear its share of responsibility for the CEBs' lack of success.
A dense and industrialized population of 9 million people was undergoing rapid dechristianization and secularization.
We know that in the wake of Dignitatis Humanae there has been a dechristianization of society with several former Catholic countries like Colombia, Italy and Spain changing their constitutions.
The philosophes' disregard for established religion and their regard for posterity influenced the French Revolution and its dechristianization movement, which led to the establishment of the Cult of Reason in 1792, intended to supplant the Roman Catholic Church entirely.
By then, over 260 witnesses had convinced jurors that a contingent of the department's armee revolutionnaire had tyrannized Grenade in the autumn of 1793 by aiming cannon at the Hotel de Ville, forcing local dechristianization, raiding nearby chateaux, and ransacking opulent houses.
The dechristianization of rural France during the nineteenth century has already been discussed by many studies, for example, Badone (1989), Ford (1993), Marcilhacy (1964), Weber (1976), which point out that the degree of religious observance varied extensively across regions and even within regions.
Despite of the movement of dechristianization, the parish priest remained a powerful figure in some French departements in the south and west of France.
However, he added, the signs point to a similar deChristianization creeping to North America, especially in the mainstream churches with their aging congregations.
The essays refute the dechristianization of society as seen in the events of the two World Wars, the Spanish Civil War, and the Communist invasion of Eastern Europe.