Marxist Theology and The Marxist Assault on the Church

QUESTION: Marxist Theology – The Marxist Assault on the Church

ANSWER:

The Marxist hatred of anything supernatural—and especially anything Christian—is most often vented on religious peoples and institutions in Marxist countries.

Although the July 10, 1918 Constitution of the former U.S.S.R. recognized freedom of both “religious and anti-religious propaganda” as the right of every citizen, the Soviet state constantly worked to suppress theistic religion. Article 65 of the 1918 Constitution declared priests and clerics to be “servants of the bourgeoisie” and had them disenfranchised. This meant, among other things, that priests were denied ration cards and their children were barred from attending school above the elementary grades. Paul Kurtz, a Secular Humanist, points out that from 1918 to 1921 “religious persecution continued unabated....All church property was nationalized, and it is estimated that tens of thousands of bishops, clerics, and laymen were killed or imprisoned.”1

Marxist Theology – The Church is Counter-Revolutionary
In the former Soviet Union, church after church was declared counter-revolutionary and shut down.2 Churches were turned into cinemas, radio stations, granaries, museums, machine repair shops, etc. Before the revolution, Moscow had 460 Orthodox churches. On January 1, 1930, the number was down to 224, and by January 1, 1933, the figure was about 100.

Even though the 1936 Soviet Constitution again guaranteed “freedom of religion,” Marxist attacks on religious peoples continued unabated. In the days following the new Constitution, some Christians attempted to conform to laws by registering with the government. The Soviet government required these believers to collect fifty signatures. When the Christians presented the signatures to the government officials, all fifty “conspirators” would be deemed “members of a secret counter-revolutionary organization”3 and arrested.

Such persecution will continue as long as the Marxist worldview rules any country. Modern times have not made Marxists more tolerant of religion. In 1993, in the People’s Republic of China, Marxist leaders tore down an Islamic mosque, ostensibly because it was not “government sanctioned.” The Marxist government can sanction only one religion: the religion of atheism—the “ABC of Marxism.”

Notes:

Rendered with permission from the book, Understanding the Times: The Collision of Today’s Competing Worldviews (Rev. 2nd ed), David Noebel, Summit Press, 2006. Compliments of John Stonestreet, David Noebel, and the Christian Worldview Ministry at Summit Ministries. All rights reserved in the original.

1 Paul Kurtz, “Militant Atheism Versus Freedom of Conscience,” Free Inquiry (Fall 1989): 28.
2 See Stephane Courtois, et al., The Black Book Of Communism (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1999). Also, see R. J. Rummel, Death By Government (New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers, 1994), 79f.
3 Robert Conquest, Harvest of Sorrow (Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 1986), 209. Many of the facts concerning the closing of the churches are found in Conquest’s chapter “The Churches and the People.”

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