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Some background

The Soviet Union was the first state to have as an ideological objective the elimination of religion and its replacement with atheism as a fundamental ideological goal of the state. Toward that end, the communist regime confiscated church property, ridiculed religion, harassed believers, and propagated atheism in the schools. State atheism in the Soviet Union was based on the ideology of Marxism-Leninism. As the founder of the Soviet state Lenin put it:

Religion is the opium for the peolpe: this saying of Marx is the cornerstone of the entire ideology of Marxism about religion. All modern religions and churches, all and of every kind of religious organizations are always considered by Marxism as the organs of bourgeois reaction, used for the protection of the exploitation and the stupefaction of the working class.

Marxism-Leninism has consistently advocated the control, suppression,and, ultimately, the elimination of religious beliefs. Within about a year of the revolution the state expropriated all church property, including the churches themselves, and in the period from 1922 to 1926, 28 Russian Orthodox bishops and more than 1,200 priests were killed (a much greater number was subjected to persecution). This was true of the Orthodox Church, Catholic and other minor religions.

Although the persecution eased in the course of time to yield a compromise between the possibility of functioning churches and atheistic ideology (eg, Orthodoxy became the state religion, so also dependent on the current politics and politicians), the aftermath of communism had the most devastating impact on humans. The process of atheism proceeded differently in different countries of the bloc. In some countries, through the power of the Church and the desperation of society which did not allow to take away God of people’s hearts, the nation has survived and eventually won the freedom for themselves and others.


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