Yasuyuki Takahashi, The Russian Church under Persecution: 70 Years of Orthodoxy in an Atheistic State - What was the state of Christianity in the Soviet era?

Dostoevsky and Christianity

Summary and Comments on "The Russian Church under Persecution: 70 Years of Orthodoxy in an Atheistic State" by Yasuyuki Takahashi - Recommended for understanding the state of Christianity in the Soviet era!

The book introduced here is "The Russian Church under Persecution: 70 Years of Orthodoxy in an Atheistic Nation" by Yasuyuki Takahashi, published by Kyobunkan in 1996.

Let's take a quick look at the book.

Behind the Iron Curtain, the state tried to exterminate and eradicate the Russian Church using various measures, and the Russian Church never died. A priest of the Japanese Orthodox Church reveals the reality of the history of the Russian Church's suffering based on new documents.

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The book is a work that looks at the situation of the Russian Orthodox Church during the Soviet era, when religion was banned.

We have introduced several books on the Soviet Union and Christianity on this blog in connection with Dostoevsky, and the current work, "The Russian Church under Persecution: 70 Years of Orthodoxy in an Atheistic Nation," is a work that discusses this very issue head-on.

The author, Yasuyuki Takahashi, was born in Tokyo in 1948, graduated from St. Vladimir's Theological Seminary in New York in 1972, was ordained a priest of the Japan Orthodox Church in 1974, and has written numerous books on the Russian Orthodox Church.

Yasuyuki Takahashi's work has also been featured on this blog in the past.

Father Takahashi's works are all masterpieces that explain the depth of the Russian Orthodox Church in an easy-to-understand manner, even for the novice student.

And now we have another excellent work that provides a very clear explanation of the Russian Orthodox Church in the Soviet era.

There are many passages that I would like to introduce, but among them, the "Introduction" makes some very interesting points about the Soviet Union, Christianity, and Dostoevsky. The "Introduction" is a very interesting point about the Soviet Union, Christianity, and Dostoevsky.

When I think of Russia and religion, I am immediately reminded of the communist Lenin's disbelief in religion: "Religion is the opium of the people.

Lenin quoted Marx, but there is a degree of mutual dislike for religion. Marx said, "Religion is the lament of the oppressed, the heart of the mindless world, the spirit of lifeless weariness, the opium of the people. Lenin said, "Religion is the opium of the people, a spiritual drink that denies decent life and ruins the human form. Belief in God is no less vile than any sin, any act of defilement, or any act of violence. He also says that all religions are used by the propertied classes as a means to deceive and exploit the working class.

If one has an aversion to religion, it is easy to resonate with the phrase, "Religion is the opium of the people. Some people who consider themselves intellectuals, even if they do not follow Lenin, may firmly believe Lenin's words. Although modern people strive to eliminate prejudice against all things with discretion based on their abundant knowledge, they are unknowingly prejudiced when it comes to religion. To the phrase, "Religion is opium," we can add the proverb, "God has no mercy on those who do not touch him," and finally we arrive at the conclusion, "All religions are the same.

Modern people, who have lost touch with religion, reject the word "religion" at the mere mention of it because they think it is strange or, conversely, accept it because it is bizarre, which is a sign of ignorance about religion. Because they do not change even one of these prejudices, modern people's sense of religion will always remain in the realm of "God only in times of distress" and "religions of benefit. The Soviet regime tried to spread this prejudice and misunderstanding of religion on a national level.

Moreover, the Soviet regime's prejudice against religion went one step further. For the Soviets, any faith is a prejudice that must be corrected, and they tried to teach atheism to their people by saying that they would change their "prejudice against religion.

Prejudice against religion" may seem to be a prejudice or misunderstanding of religion, but for communists, belief itself is a prejudice. For communists, however, belief itself is a prejudice. They believe that only by making people give up their faith can they correct their prejudice.

Communism is thoroughly materialistic. Therefore, since there can be nothing other than material existence, religion is merely imaginary, there can be no god, and the existence of a god is prejudice. Therefore, if we remove prejudice, we find that there is no God, and we can create an atheistic society. No other country in the world, with the exception of the Soviet Union and the Communist bloc, has shown such an extraordinary national interest in religion in the same period. Isn't it ironic that they took interest in religion in order to build an atheistic society?

Kyobunkan, Yasuyuki Takahashi, The Russian Church under Persecution: 70 Years of Orthodoxy in an Atheistic Nation, p. 5-7.

I find this commentary on Lenin and Marx and the phrase "religion is opium" invaluable.

From here, the Soviet Union and the acceptance of Christianity in Japan are discussed, as well as Dostoevsky. This is another important section.

This prejudice against religion in an atheistic nation has unwittingly become an obstacle to understanding Russian culture, art, and literature in Japan. Compared to the general interest in the West, interest in Russia has always been secondary, and few people other than those interested in Russian culture, art, or literature pay attention to Russia unless there is a political statement that affects Japan's national interests. Anyone interested in Western art, culture, or literature should know a little about Christianity, even if he or she does not believe in it.

However, few people who are interested in Russian art, culture, or literature are interested in studying Christianity in Russia in the same way. Even if there are those who are seriously interested in considering the influence of Christianity, they are not able to face it squarely because they cannot escape from the idea that Christianity is a Western concept.

There was a misunderstanding arising from two things: not knowing much about Greek Orthodoxy, the Christianity of Russia, and being influenced by the ideas preached by the atheistic state.

There is no Christian influence in Russia. Christianity is a myth. Russian Christianity is associated with Russian paganism. Furthermore, Russian Christianity was the official religion of Imperial Russia. Therefore, the separatists who opposed it were the right kind of Christians. These clichés have tidied up the Russian faith because Russia was an atheistic state.

Because they think that only European Christianity is Christianity, they also tend to misunderstand Russian Christianity as a product of Russian religiosity or religiosity rather than being Christianity. To add interest to the conversation, they develop the idea that the paganism and sects that preceded it are more expressive of their religiosity than Russian Christianity. Then Orthodoxy is one of the faiths for Russia, along with paganism and sects. Here again is an ideological Russian mentality in which historical reality is ignored.

Not a few of those who studied Russian literature under the communist regime were similarly spellbound by atheism. When studying literature in an atheistic state, they either did not mention Orthodoxy or, if they had to discuss Orthodoxy, they were habitual in raising the influence of paganism.

Atheists equate Christ and the Bible with the Greek gods and myths, which were not real. No one in the West, unless they are very educated, believes that Christ and his disciples are fictitious. The existence and deeds of Christ and his disciples, which are completely unquestionable in history, were considered fictitious and mythical in communist Russia because of their belief in atheism. For the sake of their own ideology and principles, they treated historical facts as if they had never existed. Those with no connection to Christianity would take the atheists at their word. Then they would misunderstand Dostoevsky's serious approach to Christianity as dealing with myths. I do not even doubt that Dostoevsky, a realist, would argue against myth.

Kyobunkan, Yasuyuki Takahashi, The Russian Church under Persecution: 70 Years of Orthodoxy in an Atheistic Nation, p. 7-10.

The above commentary suggests that the theory that Dostoevsky was an atheist and a revolutionary who favored the assassination of the Czar was also a product of this Soviet ideology.

We have previously discussed this on our blog, "The History and Culture of the Russian Orthodox Old Ritualists" - Dostoevsky an Atheist and Revolutionary? A Consideration of Misunderstandings about Dostoevsky."I hope you will also refer to the article "The Role of the Founder in the Development of the New Business Model.

In the main part of "The Russian Church under Persecution: 70 Years of Orthodoxy in an Atheistic Nation," the history of the Russian Orthodox Church will be explained first. We tend to think of Catholicism and Protestantism when we think of Christianity, but we will first learn about the characteristics of Russian Orthodoxy that distinguish it from these religions.

And on top of that, you will see a spectacular trend of church oppression during the Soviet era. It is a horrendous oppression that makes you want to turn your eyes away. You will learn how the church responded to such a situation and how people spent their time defending their faith.

The Soviet era may be difficult for those of us living in the modern world to imagine. Even for those who lived in the Soviet Union during the same period, information was limited, so they were able to learn about the actual situation only to a limited extent.

In such a situation, religion, which was a taboo subject under the Soviet regime, was a particularly secretive matter.

The relationship between the Soviet Union and the Russian Orthodox Church can be known only now that the Soviet Union has collapsed.

This book is a very valuable book to learn about this.

I think this book is a very significant work in terms of knowing Dostoevsky.

I would highly recommend this work.

The above is "Yasuyuki Takahashi, The Russian Church under Persecution: 70 Years of Orthodoxy in an Atheistic State" - What was the state of Christianity in the Soviet era?

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