Atheism and communism
Karl Marx said "Religion is the opium of the people". Marx also stated: "Communism begins from the outset (Owen) with atheism; but atheism is at first far from being communism; indeed, that atheism is still mostly an abstraction."
Vladimir Lenin similarly wrote regarding atheism and communism: "A Marxist must be a materialist, i. e., an enemy of religion, but a dialectical materialist, i. e., one who treats the struggle against religion not in an abstract way, not on the basis of remote, purely theoretical, never varying preaching, but in a concrete way, on the basis of the class struggle which is going on in practice and is educating the masses more and better than anything else could."
The atheism in communist regimes has been and continues to be a form of militant atheism which led to various acts of repression, including the razing of thousands of religious buildings and the killing, imprisoning, and oppression of religious leaders and believers.
The persecution of Christians in the Soviet Union was the result of the violently atheist Soviet government. In the first five years after the October Revolution, 28 bishops and 1,200 priests were murdered, many on the orders of Leon Trotsky. When Joseph Stalin came to power in 1927, he ordered his secret police, under Genrikh Yagoda to intensify persecution of Christians. In the next few years, 50,000 clergy were murdered, many were tortured, including crucifixion. "Russia turned red with the blood of martyrs", said Father Gleb Yakunin of the Russian Orthodox Church. According to Orthodox Church sources, as many as fifty million Orthodox believers may have died in the twentieth century, mainly from persecution by Communists.
In addition, in the atheistic and communist Soviet Union, 44 anti religious museums were opened and the largest was the 'The Museum of the History of Religion and Atheism' in Leningrad’s Kazan cathedral. Despite intense effort by the atheistic leaders of the Soviet Union, their efforts were not effective in converting the masses to atheism.
China is a communist country. In 1999, the publication Christian Century reported that "China has persecuted religious believers by means of harassment, prolonged detention, and incarceration in prison or `reform-through-labor' camps and police closure of places of worship." In 2003, owners of Bibles in China were sent to prison camps and 125 Chinese churches were closed. China continues to practice religious oppression today. According to Asian Economic News, in 2004 the atheistic and communist government of China had an internal document which directed the Chinese media to promote atheism, instructed internet media to remove user comments that advocate alternative spiritual views, and called for a ban on publications that disseminate religious material out of step with Marxism or atheism. The efforts of China's atheist leaders in promoting atheism, however, is increasingly losing its effectiveness and the number of Christians in China is explosively growing. China's state sponsored atheism and atheistic indoctrination has been a failure and a 2007 religious survey in China indicated that only 15% of Chinese identified themselves as atheists.
It has been estimated that in less than the past 100 years, governments under the banner of communism have caused the death of somewhere between 40,472,000 and 259,432,000 human lives. Dr. R. J. Rummel, professor emeritus of political science at the University of Hawaii, is the scholar who first coined the term democide (death by government). Dr. R. J. Rummel's mid estimate regarding the loss of life due to communism is that communism caused the death of approximately 110,286,000 people between 1917 and 1987. Richard Dawkins has attempted to engage in historical revisionism concerning atheist atrocities, but was shown to be in gross error.
The theory of evolution played a prominent role in regards to atheistic communism. Communists, in particular Stalinists, favored a version of Lamarckism called Lysenkoism developed by the atheist Trofim Denisovich Lysenko. Lysenko was made member of the Supreme Soviet and head of the Institute of Genetics of the Soviet Academy of Sciences. Later Lysenko became President of the All-Union Academy of Agricultural Sciences. Many geneticists were imprisoned and executed for their bourgeois science, and agricultural policies based on Lysenkoism that were adopted under Stalin and Mao caused famines and the death of millions.
|“|| Communism also took evolution to its logical conclusion. If everything just evolved from ‘natural law,’ then man’s opinion, not God’s Word, determines what is right and wrong. If the working class can take power by armed struggle, then this is ‘right,’ regardless of how many must die to bring in the socialist paradise. Communism’s death toll far outranks the Nazis’—probably more than 90 million worldwide.3
Some have suggested that the bloodthirsty deeds of Stalin were an ‘aberration’ from the revolution’s ideals. However, it was Lenin, the ‘father’ of the Russian revolution, who ‘perfected the science of mass killings,’ and total, merciless brutality as the ultimate method of political control. Evolution was the chief tool used to brainwash communism’s masses into ‘scientific atheism.’ If everything just evolved, then everything is at the whim of the most powerful, and there is no Maker to whom to be answerable. Hence Stalin’s belief that killing millions of people was no worse than mowing your lawn (grass is our cousin in evolutionary doctrine).
Mao’s reign of terror and lies resulted in the deaths of tens of millions. It is no coincidence that his two favorite books were by the evolutionists Darwin and Huxley. With millions dying from his forced famine, his physician records that Mao said, ‘We have so many people we can afford to lose a few.’ His successors have since persecuted and killed hundreds of thousands more.
Soviet Union and morality
See also: Soviet Union and morality
|“|| Peter wrote that his views changed slowly, as he came to see the fruit of atheism. Part of this realisation came when he was working as a journalist in Moscow, during the final years of the Soviet Union. His depiction of this godless society was sobering. He wrote of the riots that broke out when the vodka ration was cancelled one week; the bribes required to obtain anaesthetics at the dentist or antibiotics at the hospital; the frightening levels of divorce and abortion; the mistrust and surveillance; the unending official lies, manipulation and oppression; the squalor, desperation and harsh incivility. Peter wrote of how traffic stops dead in Moscow when rain begins to fall, as every driver fetches wind-screen wipers from their hiding places and quickly fits them to their holders. Any wipers left in place when the car is parked are stolen as a matter of course.
The atheist, humanistic ideology of the state, he believed, had even affected the Russian language. Peter spoke to a descendant of an exile, whose grandparents had fled Moscow in the days of Lenin. Having been brought up to speak pure Russian in his American home—the elegant, literary language of his parents—he was shocked when he visited Russia to hear the coarse, ugly, slang-infested and bureaucratic tongue that was now spoken, even by educated professionals.
See also: Atheism and mass murder
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn offered the following explanation:
|“|| Over a half century ago, while I was still a child, I recall hearing a number of old people offer the following explanation for the great disasters that had befallen Russia: 'Men have forgotten God; that's why all this has happened.'
Since then I have spend well-nigh 50 years working on the history of our revolution; in the process I have read hundreds of books, collected hundreds of personal testimonies, and have already contributed eight volumes of my own toward the effort of clearing away the rubble left by that upheaval. But if I were asked today to formulate as concisely as possible the main cause of the ruinous revolution that swallowed up some 60 million of our people, I could not put it more accurately than to repeat: 'Men have forgotten God; that's why all this has happened.' 
- Dimitry Pospielovsky, (December, 1987), A History of Marxist-Leninist Atheism and Soviet Antireligious Policies, Palgrave Macmillan, ISBN 0312381328
- Dimitry Pospielovsky, (November, 1987), Soviet Antireligious Campaigns and Persecutions (History of Soviet Atheism in Theory and Practice and the Believers, Vol 2), Palgrave Macmillan, ISBN 0312009054
- Dimitry Pospielovsky, (August, 1988), Soviet Studies on the Church and the Believer's Response to Atheism: A History of Soviet Atheism in Theory and Practice and the Believers, Vol 3, Palgrave Macmillan, hardcover: ISBN 0312012918, paperback edition: ISBN 0312012926
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