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Communism and the Church

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Soviet cogitations: 25
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 24 Apr 2014, 02:29
Pioneer
Post 24 Apr 2014, 05:10
Are there Communist governments that do not conflict with the Catholic Church?

Also, when the Soviet Union condemned Religion, how did the Government go about outlawing Christianity. In ever city, did they go door to door taking bibles, sacramentals, icons, and other Religious articles/materials?

How does a Communist Government go about destroying the Faith of it's people?
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Soviet cogitations: 2293
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 10 Aug 2010, 14:21
Party Bureaucrat
Post 24 Apr 2014, 12:47
If the Church is supportive of the State or neutral there is no much reason for a Communist government to attack the Church except on the ground of discussion and philosophy. Anti-religion propaganda is the job of the Party, the job of the State is to protect the rights of the citizens, including religious rights. I think in Cuba the Church is more like an intermediate between the dissidents and the government. I know that the French Communist Party had very good relations with a part of the lower clergy (red priests), and I guess it was the same in Italy. For example, in the 1920's-1930's in France there was a strong opposition between 3 main youth movements: scouting, Communist Youth, and Christian Youth Workers. Then the relations between Communists and christians improved, and today the head of the Christian Youth Workers is a former member of the Communist Youth.
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Soviet cogitations: 4377
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 07 Oct 2004, 22:04
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Resident Soviet
Post 24 Apr 2014, 16:19
The Catholic Church was also a key ally of the Sandinista movement in Nicaragua, and the Latin American liberation theology movement was generally Left-aligned.

Many modern communists in the former USSR (and elsewhere) now consider the extremely harsh approach to the Russian Orthodox Church and others in the early days of the Soviet system to have been a mistake, and the official position of the CPRF was that it was one of the biggest mistakes the revolutionaries made. It should be considered that Orthodox Church of the time was extremely reactionary, decadent and corrupted, and much of the violence, appropriations, etc. were genuinely spontaneous outbursts from ordinary people. These facts must be taken into account for the sake of historical posterity. Still, the ideological animosity toward the religion in the Soviet Union gradually gave way to tolerance and an understanding. Given that the ideals of communism and the ideals of many religions have many points of agreement, and that this is becoming more widely known, any future communist-Church relations should be much improved compared to experiences of the early 20th century.
"The thing about capitalism is that it sounds awful on paper and is horrendous in practice. Communism sounds wonderful on paper and when it was put into practice it was done pretty well for what they had to work with." -MiG
Loz
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 06 Dec 2009, 23:17
Philosophized
Post 24 Apr 2014, 17:15
Quote:
Still, the ideological animosity toward the religion in the Soviet Union gradually gave way to tolerance and an understanding. Given that the ideals of communism and the ideals of many religions have many points of agreement, and that this is becoming more widely known, any future communist-Church relations should be much improved compared to experiences of the early 20th century.

For what reason? Because some "ideals of communism" are supposedly similar to the ideals of religions? Because of what was done in the Soviet Union in a concrete time and place and circumstances?
Why should the relations between 21st century and medieval leftovers be improved if and when you can destroy them or let them rot away? The only places experiencing a religious revival right now are some peripheral reactionary Catholic countries ( but even there things are slowly going in the right place ), Russia with its caricature of a Christian church and 3rd World Muslim and other countries.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 07 Oct 2004, 22:04
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Resident Soviet
Post 24 Apr 2014, 18:34
Loz wrote:
For what reason? Because some "ideals of communism" are supposedly similar to the ideals of religions? Because of what was done in the Soviet Union in a concrete time and place and circumstances?


Yes, because the ideals are similar; yes, because the Soviet battle with the Czarist aligned Church was a battle against a political and social institution that was corrupted to the core.

Relations in the 21st century should be improved because there is absolutely no logic in antagonizing social forces that may have a progressive role to play. Attempting to 'destroy' religions will only result in more support for them, as experience has shown.
"The thing about capitalism is that it sounds awful on paper and is horrendous in practice. Communism sounds wonderful on paper and when it was put into practice it was done pretty well for what they had to work with." -MiG
Soviet cogitations: 1128
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 30 Aug 2008, 18:12
Party Member
Post 24 Apr 2014, 18:37
I think it varies from country to country. In Britain we don't have much of a religious culture compared to some countries. Regular church attendance is currently 6% of the population (down from 11% in 1980) according to Wikipedia. Recently there has been a debate in the press about whether Britain is even a Christian country any more. I think after a revolution it would be best to just leave the church to die a natural death rather than actively attack it. People tend to gravitate towards things like that when they are openly attacked. 'd rather just leave the church as it is (but have the government more secular) and just ignore any ramblings the bishops make.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 12 Jun 2006, 02:14
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Politburo
Post 24 Apr 2014, 19:35
For once, I fully agree with gRed.
It'll eventually fade away, or be limited to its spitirual function.
I'd also add that, where there's one, we should support the progressive wings of the church.


"Where Argentina goes, Latin America will go".
Leonid Brezhnev

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Soviet cogitations: 25
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 24 Apr 2014, 02:29
Pioneer
Post 29 Apr 2014, 00:26
This has been very insightfull! Thank you comrades! Can you give me a list of the occasions where the Catholic Church cooperated with a communist Government?
Soviet cogitations: 25
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 24 Apr 2014, 02:29
Pioneer
Post 30 Apr 2014, 07:51
Quote:

Yes, because the ideals are similar; yes, because the Soviet battle with the Czarist aligned Church was a battle against a political and social institution that was corrupted to the core.

Relations in the 21st century should be improved because there is absolutely no logic in antagonizing social forces that may have a progressive role to play. Attempting to 'destroy' religions will only result in more support for them, as experience has shown.


How can you destroy religions without it resulting in more support for them? Could you explain a little bit more on how attempting to destroy Religions will only result in more support for them? I know what you're getting at but would appreciate it if I could see your explanation.
Soviet cogitations: 1128
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 30 Aug 2008, 18:12
Party Member
Post 30 Apr 2014, 18:33
Quote:
How can you destroy religions without it resulting in more support for them? Could you explain a little bit more on how attempting to destroy Religions will only result in more support for them? I know what you're getting at but would appreciate it if I could see your explanation.


Purely based on observation. I suppose it can be like a forbidden fruit thing. People can be drawn to things which are officially banned out of curiosity. Also suppression of freedom of religion is often something that bourgeois elements bash communists for. I think it would be good to show we don't give a shit about religion by just completely ignoring it and letting people believe what they want to believe.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 19 Mar 2005, 20:08
Embalmed
Post 01 May 2014, 01:30
popematthew wrote:
How can you destroy religions without it resulting in more support for them? Could you explain a little bit more on how attempting to destroy Religions will only result in more support for them? I know what you're getting at but would appreciate it if I could see your explanation.


Enver Hoxha's Albania did it, even today it has a 60% self-identified atheist population, which is pretty high for countries in the region, but at some point it was almost 100% atheist. There's some cool stories that Ismail can bring up.
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"Bleh, i don't even know what i'm arguing for. What a stupid rant. Disregard what i wrote." - Loz
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Soviet cogitations: 670
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 01 Mar 2011, 14:10
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Komsomol
Post 01 May 2014, 01:31
"The first public mass was celebrated November 4 [1990], in a cemetery chapel in Shkodra, by Simon Jubani, released in 1989 after twenty-six years of imprisonment. The crowd of 5,000 worshipers was made up of Catholics, few of whom could remember this central rite of the Church. Interestingly enough, there were also substantial numbers of Muslims present, most of them apparently unaware of the difference between Christianity and Islam. Here already was a sign of the [anti-religious] campaign's success." - Denis R. Janz, World Christianity and Marxism, 1998, p. 108.
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Soviet cogitations: 4377
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 07 Oct 2004, 22:04
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Resident Soviet
Post 01 May 2014, 06:12
I very much agree with what gRed said in this matter. Ignore religion and you'll get potential support and cooperation on certain issues. Try to eradicate it, and you'll get the many good, ordinary religious people lined up against you for no good reason. It must be reiterated that in post-Revolutionary Russia, one of the only reasons the Orthodox Church had so little mass support from the beginning was because it was an organization so absolutely corrupted that even most poor and simple religious peasants prone to supporting the Church couldn't take it anymore.

Also, re Simon Jubani, what was done to him sounds extremely harsh and unwarranted for what I want to say is 'this day and age'. Not only would such a thing not work in a comparatively normal Eastern Bloc country or the USSR; it would be confirming all the worst anti-communist propaganda in the Western world. Maybe Albania is where 70s and 80s Hollywood got all its craziest stereotypes about the USSR.
"The thing about capitalism is that it sounds awful on paper and is horrendous in practice. Communism sounds wonderful on paper and when it was put into practice it was done pretty well for what they had to work with." -MiG
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Soviet cogitations: 15
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 02 Jun 2014, 03:12
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
New Comrade (Say hi & be nice to me!)
Post 02 Jul 2014, 04:26
I would take issue with premise of the initial question referring to the "Catholic" church - instead of just the Church?!

I was just reading today about the effect of the Reformation on Britain and especially Scotland, where the Presbyterian form of Church government was established. The emphasis on the Word of God preached plainly (the bible) and that it should be read by as many common folks as possible, was a great incentive to general literacy. The involvement of the "laity" in Presbyterian church government (as elders) was a huge democratic surge in perceptions that ordinary people could be trusted to rule!

Certainly the Reformed Scottish Church's (Church of Scotland) emphasis on establishing schools to teach literacy was revolutionary! To think that a few centuries before the R Catholic Church was burning people alive at the stake for translating the Bible into English is almost unimaginable!

The Reformation was a great flowering of education and literacy - as never seen until the advent of the Socialist countries!
"When I feed the hungry, they call me a saint. When I ask why people are hungry, they call me a Communist." Dom Helder Camara, Brazilian Archbishop

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Soviet cogitations: 16
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 17 Nov 2011, 12:25
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
New Comrade (Say hi & be nice to me!)
Post 02 Jul 2014, 13:39
Kirov wrote:
Enver Hoxha's Albania did it, even today it has a 60% self-identified atheist population, which is pretty high for countries in the region, but at some point it was almost 100% atheist. There's some cool stories that Ismail can bring up.

The 2011 census in Albania actually puts it at only 2.5% atheist.
Quote:
In the 2011 census the declared religious affiliation of the population was: 56.7% Muslims, 13.79% undeclared, 10.03% Catholics, 6.75% Orthodox believers, 5.49% other, 2.5% Atheists, 2.09% Bektashis and 0.14% other Christians.[14]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographi ... ffiliation
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