Martyred in the USSR: Militant Atheism in the former Soviet Union

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Martyred in the U.S.S.R.: Militant Atheism in the former Soviet Union
Martyred in the USSR Poster.jpg
Theatrical Poster
Directed by Kevin Gonzales
Language English

Martyred in the U.S.S.R.: Militant Atheism in the former Soviet Union is a documentary film about the persecution of believers under the militant atheism of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.[1]


Litvin Vasily Vlasivich: survivor of militant atheism in the U.S.S.R.

“I am an Evangelical Christian. For us, that what we saw with our eyes, heard with our ears, the story still lives within us. This story testifies to the suffering of Christians of all sorts; Catholics, Protestant and Evangelical.” It is evident that the militant atheist in the former Soviet Union targeted all who had faith in God.

Enoch: survivor of militant atheism in the U.S.S.R.

Enoch was a believer who survived the persecution of the KGB. During an interview with Enoch, he stated that “the goal of the Communist [was to] build society without God.” Militant atheist in the former Soviet Union had signs that read, “Religion is the narcotics of the people” or “Religion is the poison of society.” Clearly, militant atheist wanted to eradicate religion from society.[2]

Nikolai: survivor of militant atheism in the U.S.S.R.

“When communist came to power they had a goal to build a new society without any faith in God or any religion." [In order to] "achieve their goal to eliminate religion they were arresting and executing believers, including the Orthodox.” “Many [who were] arrested were simply dying in concentration camps from the amount of time they spent there.” [Usually], “the police and KGB would come at night and they would knock on the door [of the believers] for whatever reason." "Once the door was open, they would storm inside, arrest, bind, and throw the believer in the car and take him away.”[3]

Film Crew

Director and Producer

Kevin Gonzales, having graduated from San Francisco State University with a Bachelor of Art degree in Radio and Television Broadcast Production, has been in the broadcast video production industry for more than a decade. Kevin started his career as a news reporter, which led him on a three year journey in the industry that finally ended in Los Angeles at the famous KFWB in Hollywood California. There he got the bug to start his own company and moved back up to the San Francisco Bay Area where he started 12 Point Productions. Being heavily involved with his church, Christian City Church, he met the Bobarykin family who told Kevin of their persecution horrors while they lived in the USSR. Thus sparked the idea for the documentary.

Director of Photography

Ben is the Director of Photography at Transvideo Studios in Mountain View, CA where he leads the camera and lighting crews in creating live action elements for the company’s outstanding digital imagery. He studied photography at San Joaquin Delta College in Stockton, CA and earned his bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies from California State University, Sacramento. He also teaches Lighting courses for De Anza College in Cupertino, CA and at the Bay Area Video Coalition (BAVC) in San Francisco, CA. Notable projects include: Gila River and Mama: Winner Best Documentary San Francisco Peninsula Press Club 2012. Award winning Crime After Crime – Co-cinematographer – Premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. Broadcast premiere November 2011 on The Oprah Winfrey Network.The Legend of Chloe – Producer & Cinematographer – Winner Best Film 2009 San Francisco 48 Hour Film Project.

Assistant Editor and Second Camera

Matt graduated from California State University, Long Beach, where he studied film and received his B.A. in Film and Electronic Arts. Matt moved back to the Bay Area and began an intense hands-on intenship with 12 Point Productions. Later, he became a video journalist for Voom HDNews, in Denver, CO. After spending a year in Colorado, he moved back to the Bay Area and continued freelancing for production companies such as 12 Point Productions, Salty Dog Films, Eye on the Bay, Paul Lucia Photography and Bella Pictures.


Lead Archivist

John Das, having graduated from Kent State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Integrated Life Sciences, has devoted his spare time researching the persecution in the former Soviet Union. John is a medical student and is currently working in a pathobiology laboratory at the Lerner Research Institute at the Cleveland Clinic. He received is Bachelor of Science degree with magna cum laude and Honors College Scholar distinctions and graduated as the salutatorian of Tuscarawas Central Catholic High School prior to this. Outside of academia, John is active in both the United Methodist Church and the Roman Catholic Church. His interest in theology, linguistics, apologetics, and world history has led him to research the persecution of believers in the USSR, which has helped to make the production of the film Martyred in the U.S.S.R. possible.


Larisa is a native of Samara, Russia, and experienced the persecution of religion first hand. She came to the states and is now is currently pursuing a graduate degree in Church-State Studies at Baylor University. While at Balyor she has become the head archivist for the Keston Center for Religion, Politics, and Society.

Founder of the Keston Institute & Expert in Russian Religious Climate

Rev. Dr. Canon Michael Bourdeaux, founder of Keston College in England, spearheaded a laborious, often lonely struggle to examine and explain the systematic destruction of religion in Iron Curtain nations during the Cold War. From his time as an exchange student in Moscow in 1960, he worked to defend the rights of faiths in these countries to worship as they chose. When the Soviet Union and the Eastern Bloc regimes collapsed, Bourdeaux's efforts for universal religious freedom were embraced by authorities, evidencing the strength of his beliefs. (Bio courtesy from the Templeton Foundation)

Expert in Russian Religious Studies

Dr. Christopher Marsh spent ten years at Baylor University as a professor of Political Science and Religious Studies in Russia. In addition, at Baylor, Dr Marsh was the Director of the Keston Institute Currently he is the Associate Professor of Political Science at US Army School of Advanced Military Studies.



A donation letter
A promotional Bracelet


See Also


  1. Martyred in the U.S.S.R.: Militant Atheism in the Former Soviet Union. 12 Point Productions. Retrieved on 21 February 2013.
  2. Gonzales, Kevin (27 August 2011). Enoch Militant Atheist Survivor. 12 Point Productions. Retrieved on 21 February 2013.
  3. Gonzales, Kevin (27 August 2011). Nicoli Militant Atheist Survivor. 12 Point Productions. Retrieved on 21 February 2013.

External links