WHAT DICTATORS CANNOT DO—A poignant episode—the attempt of 32 Siberian peasants to escape from under the heel of Russia’s godless rulers—struck officials here Friday as proving a truth: A dictator may do many things, but he cannot eradicate religion from the hearts of men.… The Communists, however, have made considerable progress in wiping out religion. One recent estimate was that in the past two years 2,000 of the 12,000 Russian Orthodox churches have been closed.… Cosmonaut Pavel Popovich laughingly said he failed to see God in space.… Apparently the peasants from Chernogorsk have seen visions the Red spacemen could not discern.—RAYMOND CROWLEY, AP, Washington, D. C., dateline.
LESSON FOR FREE WORLD—Superficially, there is religious freedom in Russia. Yet stories repeatedly emerge about oppression of various religious groups within the country. They are not easy to confirm. But this incident very dramatically puts the spotlight on at least one instance of people trying to practice their religious beliefs under enforced atheism. To that end, the case will serve a useful purpose in acquainting the free world of the inviolable rights it enjoys—in contrast to Communist-ruled nations.—Scripps-Howard newspapers.
THE SAME ICY WIND—From the depths of the Russian winter has emerged a tale worthy of the most misanthropic pages of Tolstoy and Chekhov.… So pathetic an episode cannot be reconciled with the talks of new, relaxed winds blowing through the vast Soviet empire. The winds are the same icy blasts of oppression that have always moaned over that tragic land.—San Francisco Examiner
GOVERMENT RESPONSE—The United States can do many things.… It can compel Nikita Khrushchev to remove his missiles and bombers from Cuba.… But it can ...1
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