Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed that Soviet communist ideology was similar to Christianity and rooted in Biblical basics and compared Vladimir Lenin to a saint.
Putin made the comparisons while commenting for a state-funded documentary about the recently restored Valaam Monastery, according to Newsweek. Putin declared that the guiding principles for Communist Party members was like a “primitive excerpt from the Bible” and that the internment of Lenin’s remains in a Mausoleum was no different from the display of the remains of Christian saints.
“Maybe I am about to say something that some people will not like, but I will say what I think,” Putin said. “Firstly, faith has always accompanied us. It strengthened when things were hard for our people’s country. There have been harsh, godfighting years when clerics were destroyed and churches were ruined. But at the same time (Soviets) created a new religion. Indeed, communist ideology is very similar to Christianity.”
The October Revolution of 1917, which led to the formation of the Soviet Union, concluded with the shedding of Christian blood as the Bolshevik revolutionaries slaughtered Tsar Nicholas II and his family. The Bolsheviks began the systematic oppression of religion and the destruction of the church under the leadership of Lenin, the staunchly atheistic communist leader who Putin compared to a Christian saint.
Josef Stalin and each successive Soviet leader after him continued that suppression of religion, employing arrest, torture, and summary executions against those who professed faith in any power higher than the state.
The Soviet opposition to the church is well documented in historical and personal accounts from the era. Lutheran minister and founder of Voice of the Martyrs Richard Wurmbrand chronicled the brutality with which Soviet authorities persecuted the Christian church in the autobiographical account of his torture and imprisonment in Romania, “Tortured for Christ.”
Putin nonetheless claimed Communism and Christianity are mutual proponents of “freedom, brotherhood, equality,” and that while in his view the Soviets created a religion of their own in their application of communist ideals, they paid homage to Christianity in the way they displayed Lenin’s remains.
“Lenin was laid down in a mausoleum,” Putin said in the interview for the documentary. “How does this differ to the remains of saints for the Orthodox or even for Christians in general?”
The Russian Orthodox church has repeatedly argued that Lenin, whom the church regards as an apostate and heretic, should be buried.
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