Religious Revival in Russia: The Kiev Lavra Monastery complex has been the center for Christianity in Russia for centuries. CBN

How Atheist Communism produced Religious Revival in Russia and caused its return to Christianity


As Americans now turn to Marxism in the hope of a better and more just world, the Communist Soviet experience is worth revisiting.

Submerged in atheist state control, the Soviet media propaganda penetrated society, idealizing the Communist teaching that Marxism would bring happiness and peace to all.

Central to the Communist ideology was the idea that traditional religion must be exterminated. So, why are multitudes in contemporary Russia turning away from Communism and embrace traditional Conservatism, as pointed out by professor Glenn Diesen in his book, Russian Conservatism.

In the Western public sphere, we do not sufficiently comprehend the Soviet experience, except maybe for the words of its dissidents, who were able to escape the Communist “paradise,” writes Hanne Nabintu Herland, historian of comparative religions and author in her regular World Net Daily column, the largest Conservative network in America. (Feature photo: The Kiev Lavra Monastery complex has been a center for Christianity in Russia for centuries, dominating since Christianity came to the region. CBN).

Free speech – or the concept of allowing an honest public discourse that respects differences of opinion – was forbidden in the Soviet Union dominated by its ruthless state atheism. So of the Orthodox religious revivals, we know little.

The mere critical mention of Stalin’s “mustache” in private letters produced years in the Gulag prison camps, such as what happened to the famous novelist and Christian philosopher, Alexandr Solzhenitsyn.


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Religious Revival in Russia: In the Soviet Union, children were taught, much like students in the United States today, that atheist Marxism leads to a classless brighter future without racism or injustice towards minorities.

People were later disillusioned by the totalitarian hypocrisy found among its Communist leaders. Any objection to the one permitted mainstream media worldview quickly resulted in the harshest reaction by the iron fist Soviet authorities, often resulting in Gulag imprisonment.




Religious Revival in Russia: Many gradually understood that Communism was not the freedom that it claimed to be.

Thus awoke the dissident souls, which only produced that they were thrown in prisons and exported to years in the Gulag prison camps. If not killed there by harsh labor conditions, suicide, hopelessness or ruthless winters, their spirit was crushed to silence when returning to civil society. They knew that there was no freedom to be found anywhere – and silence was the only option.

Glenn Diesen new book Russian Conservatism. Glenn Diesen: How Russia left Communism and embraced Russian Conservatism
Religious Revival in Russia: In the attempt to uderstand Russia better: Russian Conservatism. Managing change under Permanent Revolution.

Some opposed the system even then, many of whom were exiled to places far from Moscow, such as the deeply Christian man, Nobel Prize laureate 1970, Alexandr Solzhenitsyn, who was forced to live for many years in Kazakhstan.

From this place of total repression was born the religious rebirth of Russia and the returning belief in the Conservative values that were crushed by Lenin 1917 onward.

The despair that arose from realizing that Communism was not the solution to human suffering fueled the Russian Orthodox religious awakening.

The discrepancy between the ideals about a free classless society and the Marxism created religious revival: gruesome reality of the Gulag for whoever spoke up, illustrated the true nature of the corrupted elites. Precisely this realization caused many to turn to Orthodox Christianity.

Today over 70 % of the Russian population adhere to the Orthodox Christian faith, maybe the most underreported revival in our time.

The dissident Yuri Mashkov explains, as told by the Russian Orthodox priest and monk, Seraphim Rose in God’s revelation to the Human Heart, that: “The boring Soviet life and spiritual dissatisfaction gave me no peace and somewhere at the end of 1955, in my nineteenth year, there occurred an event: I understood what kind of society I was living in. Despite all the naked Soviet propaganda, I understood that I was living under a regime of absolute rightlessness and absolute cruelty.”

This experience caused him to speak up, which led to him being arrested and given the highest punishment for anti-Soviet agitation and many years in prison.

Religious Revival in Russia: Mashkov spoke about these experiences in a Russian conference in New Jersey in 1978, shortly after being permanently exiled from the Soviet Union.

He explains how the totalitarian experience with atheist Marxism led him to embrace Christianity, like so many others inside the totalitarian system. None of this was, of course, reported on in the strictly controlled Soviet media.

Mashkov explains that the metaphysical revelation of God as reality elevated his soul fundamentally to whole other level of existence, and was to him as if a door opened from a dark room and into a sunny street.

Rose recommends The Gulag Archipelago by the 1970 Nobel Prize laureate Solzhenitsyn to anyone who wishes to understand atheism as it was practiced in Russia and what it does to the human soul.

He states that the Gulag prison systems is the natural expression of the atheist experiment in Russia. Because once you believe that there is no God who will judge humanity, the evils in man’s nature no longer faces the moral boundaries of the conscience, everything becomes permissible and new levels of cruelty is born out of the rejection of God.


About the author

The level of censorship in social media and search engines is all-time high. Do like thousands of others, subscribe to The Herland Report newsletter here! Led by Scandinavian bestselling author, Hanne Nabintu Herland, The Herland Report news and opinion website provides independent analysis from leading Western intellectuals and ground breaking YouTube interviews, cutting through the mainstream media rhetoric. It is a great place to watch interviews and read the articles of leading intellectuals, thought leaders, authors and activists from across the political spectrum. The Herland Report believes in freedom of speech and its editorial policy resides above the traditional Left vs Right paradigm which we believe has lost its relevance and ability to describe the current driving forces in Western politics.
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