The lure of Marxism — in whatever form — persists today.

I pity clergymen, especially in the United States, who say that Western Christians are not persecuted. The UK has a whole litany of news items going back nearly a decade of employers refusing to allow employees to wear small crosses or keep them in their work vehicles.

Even in the United States, it is becoming more commonplace for Christianity to be restricted in the workplace. I read some months ago on a comments board that one man was threatened with the loss of his job in IT if he ever brought his faith up again in casual conversation.

I have been reading the award-winning historian Simon Sebag Montefiore’s Young Stalin, which I recommend to everyone — teenagers and adults. (US link is here.) This is an excellent book for home schooling and family reading, where parents and children can discuss the work together.

Sebag Montefiore spent several years researching this work, which involved accessing previously hidden archives in Russia and (Soviet) Georgia, Stalin’s homeland.

It is an eyeopener, to say the least. Let it never be said that Stalin was a simple bureaucrat or a bore. He was clearly capable of verbal and physical cruelty from his boyhood.

I’ll write more about this book — objectively written and eminently readable — once I finish it. It is a page-turner and you won’t want to miss a detail.

In the meantime, may I remind you of the late Richard Wurmbrand’s Marx and Satan, which will supply the necessary background to understanding Stalin and his contemporaries. The aforementioned link — excerpted below (consider all of the following highlighted!) — has separate links to each brief chapter of his book, also highly appropriate for homeschoolers of teens and family reading discussions.

It is particularly apposite to call attention to Wurmbrand’s summary of Marx as an adolescent and young adult. These years, incidentally, were also turning points for Stalin.

As I wrote of Marxism, in summarising Wurmbrand:

Marx — who scored highly in religious studies classes at school — turned from Christ as a young man.  He came to hate Christianity, God and his fellow man.  He wrote that people were ‘human trash’.  He often used the word ‘destroy’, which became his nickname in early adulthood …

None of what he wrote was about making mankind equal around the world.  Nor did he write about improving fairness or the human condition.  He merely wanted to destroy the world and preside over it.

It’s interesting that both Marx and Stalin — atheists — were informally referred to by Christian titles by their followers. Stalin, as we’ll see, was often called ‘the priest’. As for Marx, his:

wife referred to him as a high priest and bishop. 

… Marx called himself the ‘Pope of Communism’.

This twisted atheism — far removed from humanism — turned into satanism:

After finishing school, [Marx] began writing plays and poems.  These featured verses to Satan and used a number of verbal inversions, often used in satanic speech. He called his own writings ‘sh-t’ and ‘swinish’.  In one of his plays, he condemns humanity to destruction …

When he found he could not make a living from his writing, he abandoned the creative side of it, as did Hitler as a young man.  Both turned to political or philosophical subject matter with a dose of satanism. Even then, for Marx, ridding the world of religion was his principal goal …

Engels made Moses Hess’s acquaintance … and parted from his company a communist.  Hess was delighted to have made another convert. Engels then wrote of a ‘devilish spirit’ which had been permeating the world since the French Revolution at the end of the 18th century …

Leon Trotsky related that, at the age of 16, Vladimir Lenin tore a cross from around his neck, spat on it and stamped on it.  This is common in satanic circles …

As a child, Bukharin, who was one of the 20th century’s main Marxist doctrinaires, dreamt of being the Antichrist and tried to co-opt his mother into his ambition.  He later wrote that Joseph Stalin was ‘a devil’.

Stalin’s brother-in-law wrote that the iconic Soviet leader was devoid of humanity.  Many of Stalin’s state colleagues termed him demonic.

Stalin believed that believing parents, even those only under suspicion of religious convictions, should be separated from their children. He said that he derived the greatest pleasure from drawing people close to him in perceived friendship, only to plant a dagger in their backs. He considered love and forgiveness to be the greatest of crimes.

A Soviet official, whom Stalin had shot, had a picture of Satan in his room, where, normally, an Orthodox icon would have stood …

Che Guevara, he of the t-shirts, wrote that a revolutionary must be a ‘cool, calculated and cold killing machine’ …

Marx advocated a ‘permanent revolution’.  There would be no goal other than ongoing bloodshed.  Lenin opined that atheism is part and parcel of communism. Fighting against religion was the main goal.  Furthermore, he hoped that the United States would fall into communist hands ‘like overripe fruit’ …

Various interpretations of Marxism around the world led to active and fatal persecution of Christians, particularly clergy and religious:

[In the Soviet Union] priests and pastors were crucified in prison, just as Jesus was.  Some were disemboweled.  One had an unborn baby from a female prisoner placed in his stomach. Life is cheap to communists.  They do not care about humanity, only themselves and their cult of death …

In prisons, guards used various techniques to humiliate and weaken prisoners in an attempt to get them to blaspheme.  They knocked a priest’s teeth out with an iron rod. They raped nuns and Christian laywomen, including girls, sometimes anally.  Others they forced to perform fellatio.

Marx approved of torture, saying it led to ‘ingenious inventions’.  Let it not be said that this man was a humanitarian …

Elsewhere in the world, similar atrocities occurred.  During the Spanish Civil War, the communists killed 4,000 Catholic priests.  In Robert Mugabe’s Zimbabwe, tribe members — trained by the North Koreans — were ordered to kill their own sons.  Those who refused were killed alongside their sons.

The last thing the communists wanted were martyrs for Christ.  So, they brutally tortured their prisoners in order to get them to blaspheme and to renounce Jesus.  They fully intend for Christians to go to Hell and will do everything they can to inflict horrific acts of physical and psychological pain to ensure it happens. Granted, their methods do not always work, but they have the will and many of the ways.  They want their prisoners to praise Satan.

There were ‘show churches’ in the USSR in Stalin’s time. Some of these aberrant priests were at seminary the same time as Stalin was in the early part of the 20th century. Outside of public services:

A branch of the Russian Orthodox Church was given over to Satanist priests.  Human blood was used instead of consecrated wine during the blasphemous communion services.

Also, relating to the Church:

As people who are interested in Satan, communists reword prayers and distort Holy Scripture in order to prey on people’s greed and a false sense of ‘oppression’.  These are ways in which they can ‘re-educate’ people.  Sometimes they use mass-media broadcasts for this purpose.  Sometimes they use school curriculum.

Yet:

despite this, a number of American seminary professors saw no dichotomy between a seminarian professing both Marxism and Christianity.  Sixty-eight per cent of Episcopalian professors and 53% of Lutherans felt that this was acceptable.

In conclusion, in the 1960s:

Khruschev said that those who believed the philosophy of Marx, Engels and Lenin was dead were deceiving themselves.

As Wurmbrand writes in the book, one can be a Christian or a Marxist, but not both. Make sure that you and your children know the reasons why.