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Home Christian Persecution The Long History of Christian Persecution By Communists

The Long History of Christian Persecution By Communists

Let’s talk about the martyrs who went through oppression from the communist party in Central Europe to better understand the situation of our brothers and sisters in China and other countries around the world.

For 40 years, the Catholic church in the area controlled by the Soviet Union went through discrimination, oppression, and attempts to absolutely wipe them out from their countries. Namely for now Czechoslovakia. (I will not write about the situation of the orthodox church in now Russia and Ukraine, I think this could be described later, maybe by someone who lived there, but if you are curious, I think the book from Alexander Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago is the best choice for you to get an inside look on how it worked and looked in the Soviet area.

From the beginning, the Catholic Church (and other churches, too) were meant to be destroyed by the regime. Arrests of priests, reconstruction lawsuits (for example you were sentenced to death or years in prison for a fabricated story made by people, sometimes by your own neighbors, they pushed you into signing a confession, that you committed a crime even when you never heard about that and never were there. For example, you were forced to sign that you were at a place that is described as a crime scene. For this, a person was sentenced to forced labor, execution, and if they were lucky enough, they would just get many years in prison. This was a reality of many people in and outside of the church. 

One of the most “famous” actions in Czechoslovakia made by the communist regime against the church was Action K, violent dissolution of monasteries in 1950. Before the action came to a reality, there was a political lawsuit against 10 Fathers superiors, who were accused of sedition, hatred for the regime and harboring of agents. 

At midnight, on the 13/14th of April 1950, the buses came to monasteries across the country and took away all the friars. They put them into monasteries which were chosen long before and there they were patrolled by prison officers. This was accompanied by violence. Friars were tempted to leave sacred life or were sent to the army. Many books, images, and furniture were stolen. 

The result was the Secret Church. In other words, it consisted of priests and believers, who attended the Holy Mass, preaching, redaction of the Christian literature and newspapers, and hiding while doing so. The situation of the Church in Hungary was not different. Dissolution of monasteries, arrests of friars, nuns, torture, imprisonments, executions after quick processes.

Many priests took the chance for breakaway through the Prague Spring in 1968. 

What all of you should know is that no matter how big deal is being made by the pope, the head of the communist regime does not stop and it has never stopped communists from attempting to destroy the church in their countries. It was never the fault of our pope, it is just the reality which we should all face and deal with. 

So if you think that the communist regime in China respects the will of the pope or his words, you are so wrong.

Martina Šulová
Coming from Slovakia and contributing with many websites to bring Catholicism again into the spotlight, even if in secular media, sometimes. We need true information, not made up by others. I love educating in my faith.

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