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Destruction of the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour under the Militant Atheism of the USSR

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Published on Oct 15, 2012

This documentary video shows the destruction of the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, which occurred in Moscow, USSR on 5 December 1931, under the militant atheism of the Soviet Union. According to Harold J. Berman, a Harvard specialist in Soviet law, militant atheism was the official religion of the Soviet Union and the Communist Party was analagous to an established church. The goal of the Soviet Union was the liquidation of religion and the means to achieve this goal included the destruction of churches, mosques, synagogues, mandirs, madrasahs, religious monuments, as well the mass deportation to Siberia of believers of different religions. Under the Soviet doctrine of separation of church and state, detailed in the Constitution of the Soviet Union, churches in the Soviet Union were forbidden to give to the poor or carry on educational activities. They could not publish literature since all publishing was done by state agencies, although after World War II the Russian Orthodox Church was given the right to publish church calendars, a very limited number of Bibles, and a monthly journal in a limited number of copies. Churches were forbidden to hold any special meetings for children, youth or women, or any general meetings for religious study or recreation, or to open libraries or keep any books other than those necessary for the performance of worship services. Furthermore, under militant atheist policies, Church property was expropriated. Moreover, not only was religion banned from the school and university system, but pupils were to be indoctrinated with atheism and antireligious teachings. For example, schoolchildren were asked to convert family members to atheism and memorize antireligious rhymes, songs, and catechisms, while university students who declined to propagate atheism lost their scholarships and were expelled from universities. Severe criminal penalties were imposed for violation of these rules. By the 1960s, with the fourth Soviet anti-religious campaign underway, half of the amount of Russian Orthodox churches were closed, along with five out of the eight seminaries. In addition, several other Christian denominations were brought to extinction, including the Baptist Church, Methodist Church, Evangelical Christian Church, and the Evangelical Lutheran Church. Before the Russian Revolution, there were more than fifty thousand Russian Orthodox clergymen, by 1939, there were no more than three to four hundred left. In the year 1922 alone, under the militant atheistic system, 2691 secular priests, 1962 monks and 3447 nuns were martyred for their faith. According to Rudolph Joseph Rummel, professor emeritus of political science at the University of Hawaii, 61,000,000 people were killed under the Communism of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. Due to the militant atheistic campaigns against Judaism, the religion was inaccessible to its followers; most Soviet Jews focused on a national identity, which fueled a mass dissident movement. Marxist-Leninist militant atheism resulted in the administrative elimination of the clergy, the housing of atheist museums where churches had once stood, the sending of many religious people to prisons and concentration camps, a continuous stream of propaganda, and the imposing of atheism through education (and forced re-education through torture at various prisons). Specifically, by 1941, 40,000 Christian churches and 25,000 Muslim mosques had been closed down and converted into schools, cinemas, clubs, warehouses and grain stores, or Museums of Scientific Atheism.

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