AMSTERDAM, Holland (NNI) – The Soviet Union’s official communist youth movement, Komsomol, reported a loss of two million members in the first eight months of 1988, registering the highest percentage of attrition in a three-year downward trend.
According to a report in the organizational newspaper, Komsomolskaya Pravda, the youth organization has been unable to tackle the problems and issues young people are confronted with “on the street” and they are turning instead to religious institutions as well as drugs, street gangs and neo-Nazi groups.
In 1985, Komsomol reported a membership of 42 million young people between the ages of 14 and 27. In 1986, 1.5 million members left the organization and in 1987 Komsomol lost an additional membership of 2.5 million. Soviet experts attribute the current trend to a lack of interest in ideological platforms espoused by Komsomol, which the youth say they no longer believe in anyway.
Though forbidden to conduct youth work, Soviet churches report a measurable increase in church attendance by young people, many of whom are former Komsomol members disillusioned with communism.