Publication Date



College of Arts and Sciences


Social Science--Teacher Certification


evangelicals, Soviet Union, Russia, Khrushchev, dissidents, Baptists, religion, Christianity, Soviet evangelicals


European History | History of Religion


Nikita Khrushchev’s time in power from 1953-1964 has often been thought of as a period of “thaw” in the Soviet Union, as he allowed a certain degree of freedom of expression for artists and writers. However, this view of the Khrushchev “thaw” ignores the blatant human rights violations enacted by the Soviet Union during this time, specifically in its treatment of evangelicals and other dissidents. This work examines Khrushchev’s treatment of evangelicals and other dissidents with the goal of refining modern perceptions on Khrushchev’s time in office. The timelines and methods of both the anti-religious campaign of 1959-1964 and the anti-dissent campaigns of 1953-1964 are examined and analyzed. The work concludes with a comparison of Khrushchev’s treatment of evangelicals with his treatment of other dissidents, concluding that the idea of a “thaw” presents an oversimplified understanding of this period, as it does not account for the difference in Khrushchev’s treatment of these two groups.