“A spectre is haunting Europe—the spectre of Communism.” So wrote Friedrich Engels and Karl Marx in their celebrated Communist Manifesto published in 1848. If that document were published today it would have to be amended to read: “A spectre is haunting the world—the spectre of Communism.” More than one billion souls have now come under the rule of Communist governments—one-third of the world’s population.
One of the notable characteristics of Marxist tyranny in every country where it has become securely established is its unflagging hostility to religion in every form, and especially to the Christian faith. This is not surprising since, working for human freedom, religion has ever been one of the strongest factors in history. Men and women who believe in God and his government of the world are not good material for any form of slavery. That is why all dictators who wish to make individual citizens subject to the dictatorship of the state, realize that first they must destroy or silence the Christian churches and ministers within their bounds.
The Marxist Cornerstone
This is how Lenin expressed himself on Marx’s dictum, “Religion is the opium of the people”:
“This dictum of Marx is the corner-stone of the entire Marxist world outlook concerning the problem of religion. All contemporary religions, churches and all types of religious organizations, Marxism forever looks upon as organs of bourgeois reaction serving to defend the exploitation and stultifying of the working class.” Lenin, Stalin, Malenkov, and now Khrushchev have steadfastly fashioned their attitude to religion by this statement. There has never been a softening of this rigid dictum except as the hand of Soviet leadership has been forced to relax its pressure.
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