III Russia's Catacomb Saints

Russia's Catacomb Saints

III




O wonderful and glorious army of new sufferers!
Who can worthily glorify you? Truly blessed is
the ground soaked with your blood,
and holy are the places that received
your bodies.
Archbishop John Maximovitch




INTRODUCTORY NOTE

The Soviet persecution of religion which produced the New Martyrs was not a chance or incidental phenomenon. In ancient times the persecution of Christians were the result of a deliberate plan on the part of pagan Emperors like Diocletian and Julian the Apostate - a plan to exterminate the Christian Faith. In the same way, the the plan to exterminate religion and in particular Orthodox Christianity, was a central part of Soviet policy from the very begining, and the cruel measures needed to implement this plan were clearly forseen and commanded by the Communist government at its highest levels. The following excerpt from a letter of the founder of the Communist regime in Russia may be considered a primary document demonstrating this point.

LENIN'S DIRECTIVES
FROM THE LETTERS OF V. LENIN TO MOLOTOV
FEBRUARY 10, 1922
If it is necassary for the accomplishment of certain political aims to resort to a series of cruelties, then it is imperative to accomplish them in the most energetic way and in the shortest span of time possible, for otherwise, the masses of people will not endure a prolonged utilizaton of cruelties... In this connection the larger ammount of representatives of bourgeoisie and reactionary churchmen we will succeed in executing by shooting the better.
LENIN
(Le Messager of the Russian Christian Student Movement, No. 98; Paris, 1970)