According to the University of Cambridge, historically, the "most notable spread of atheism was achieved through the success of the 1917 Russian Revolution, which brought the Marxist-Leninists to power." See also: Atheism and communism and Soviet atheism
Today, and in the recent past, several nations have mandated state atheism, including the governments of the Soviet Union, Albania, China, North Korea,, Vietnam and Cuba.
- Investigating atheism: Marxism. University of Cambridge (2008). Retrieved on July 17, 2014. “The most notable spread of atheism was achieved through the success of the 1917 Russian Revolution, which brought the Marxist-Leninists to power. For the first time in history, atheism thus became the official ideology of a state.”
- Tʻinatʻin Bočorišvili, William Sweet, Daniel R. Ahern. Politics, ethics and challenges to democracy in 'new independent states'. Berghahn Books. Retrieved on 2011-03-05. “During the past 150 years in Azerbaijan, Islam has experienced an ascendancy over the official Orthodoxy of the Russian Empire and, then, the state atheism of the Soviet Union.”
- Russian postmodernism: new perspectives on post-Soviet culture. Berghahn Books. Retrieved on 2011-03-05. “The seven decades of Soviet atheism, whether one calls it "mass atheism," "scientific atheism," "state atheism," was unquestionably a new phenomenon in world history.”
- William B. Simons, Rijksuniversiteit te Leiden. The Constitutions of the Communist World. Springer. Retrieved on 2011-03-05. “Article 37. The State recognizes no religion and supports and carries out atheist propaganda in order to implant a scientific materialist world outlook in people.”
- Robert Elsie. A Dictionary of Albanian Religion, Mythology, and Folk culture. New York University Press. Retrieved on 2011-03-05. “Article 37 of the Albanian constitution of 1976 stipulated, "The State recognizes no religion and supports and carries out atheist propaganda in order to implant a scientific materialist world outlook in people."”
- Richard Felix Staar. Communist Regimes in Eastern Europe. The Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace, Stanford University. Retrieved on 2011-03-05. “By 1976 all places of worship had been closed. However, the regime has had to admit that religion still maintains a following among Albanians. In order to suppress religious life, the following article has been included in the 1976 constitution: "The state recognizes no religion and supports and carries out atheistic propoganda to implant the scientific materialistic world outlook in people" (Article 37). In its antireligious moves, the regime has gone so far as to order persons to change their names if they are of a religious origin.”
- China in the 21st century. Oxford University Press. Retrieved on 2011-03-05. “China is still officially an atheist country, but many religions are growing rapidly, including evangelical Christianity (estimates of how many Chinese have converted to some form of Protestantism range widely, but at least tens of millions have done so) and various hybrid sects that combine elements of traditional creeds and belief systems (Buddhism mixed with local folk cults, for example).”
- The State of Religion Atlas. Simon & Schuster. Retrieved on 2011-03-05. “Atheism continues to be the official position of the governments of China, North Korea and Cuba.”
- World and Its Peoples: Eastern and Southern Asia. Marshall Cavendish. Retrieved on 2011-03-05. “North Korea is officially an atheist state in which almost the entire population is nonreligious.”
- Jan Dodd, Mark Lewis, Ron Emmons. The Rough Guide to Vietnam, Vol. 4, 2003. p. 509: "After 1975, the Marxist-Leninist government of reunified Vietnam declared the state atheist while theoretically allowing people the right to practice their religion under the constitution."
- Freeing God's Children: The Unlikely Alliance for Global Human Rights. Rowman & Littlefield. Retrieved on 2011-03-05. “Cuba is the only country in the Americas that has attempted to impose state atheism, and since the 1960s onward its jails have been filled with pastors and other believers.”