Vital Signs

Christophobia, Communist and Otherwise

Orthodox Archbishop Hilarion Alfeyev has recently warned Europeans of the dangers of building a completely atheist and secularized society.  That was the situation in Eastern Europe under communism.  Some of the methods may have been different, but the outcome is the same: the notion of God is expelled from society, religion is confined to the private sphere, and Christians are forced to endure persecution.

Indeed, there is a close connection between contemporary Christophobia and the Red Terror of the 20th century.  Many historians agree that the 20th century was the bloodiest in the history of mankind.  It was the era of totalitarian regimes, world wars, worldwide revolutions, genocides, and religious persecutions.

The Black Book of Communism (edited by Stéphane Courtois) has lifted the veil on the crimes of communism, giving us a rough estimate of the number of dead as a result of the October Revolution, the Stalinist dictatorship, the Chinese Revolution, as well as the Cambodia of Pol Pot and the Cuba of Fidel Castro: 85 million.  This figure could be at least doubled if we consider that, in China alone, the communist regime was responsible for 80 million deaths just during the so-called Great Leap Forward devised by Mao and implemented between 1958 and 1961.

The real problem is not the quantity but the ideological quality of this crime.  An analysis that merely catalogs the practical...

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