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Author's note to readers:
This article is written to help you understand the spiritual tragedy that has happened to the people of Russia since 1917, and to show why we must reach Russia now. Read both sections of this article all the way to the end - you will rejoice to see the power and truth of God's Word, and you will better comprehend why Russia must be reached now!
On October 25, 1917, Vladimir Lenin and his hooligan revolutionaries and thugs stormed the Imperial Winter Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia. They arrested and overthrew the ruling government, initiating the total destruction of classic Russian culture. One year later, Lenin issued orders from the Moscow Kremlin for the czar and his entire family to be shot to death in the basement of the Ipatiev home in the city of Ekaterinburg, located in the Russian Ural Mountains.

Prior to their execution, the czarist Romanov family had been held under house arrest in the Ipatiev home while Lenin amassed his power in Moscow. One night the Romanov family members were rudely awakened by the guards who held them captive. The guards urged them to quickly get dressed and get ready to go. The family assumed they were about to be secretly escorted out of Russia into Finnish territory where they would be safe. After hastily dressing, the family took what few possessions they had left and started down the stairs to the carriage they hoped awaited them.

But as the Romanov family walked down the stairway of the massive Ipatiev home, the guards directed them to the basement, not to a carriage waiting outside. The Romanovs were then misled to believe that a family photograph was about to be taken to record their capture. They were instructed to pose for the photograph; however, when the doors to the basement opened, it wasn't a photographer who entered the room. Instead, a group of men entered the room carrying guns. At the orders of their captain, the gunmen pointed their guns at the family and loaded the bodies of the entire czarist family with multiple rounds of bullets.

On that cold night in 1918, in a dark basement in the Ural city of Ekaterinburg, 300 years of the Romanov dynasty came to a devastating, horrendous conclusion - and Russian history was forever and unalterably changed.

A Policy Against Faith
Lenin, the new Russian leader, and his associates were atheist and maliciously hostile to any kind of faith in God. Lenin mocked:

"Religion is one of the forms of spiritual oppression that everywhere weighs upon the masses. In their struggle against their oppressors, the working class produces a belief in life after death...just as the weakness of the savage in his struggle against nature leads to a faith in gods, devils, and miracles.

"Religion is the opiate of the people, a sort of spiritual liquor meant to make the slaves of capitalism drown their humanity and their desires for a different existence."

Similarly, one of Lenin's early government leaders proclaimed:

"The communist party never hid and does not hide its negative attitude toward religion. Religion is a superstitious hangover from the Capitalist past. It must and will disappear with the full re-education of the Russian people. Religion must Go!"

To help carry out this desire to eradicate faith in God from the Russian landscape, the early Soviet government created the "Law on Religion." The new law gave local governments the right to shut down and demolish church buildings for any reason. This authority in the hands of God-haters resulted in 55,000 churches being demolished in just five years. Churches that remained standing were converted into barns for livestock and storage units to hold salt for use on winter streets.

Religious workers from every Christian denomination were ostracized, ridiculed, and mocked by the new government leadership. Through the use of Soviet propaganda, the masses became suspect of church officials and church workers. Spiritual leaders who previously were respected were now sneered at, belittled, mocked, and scorned.

But that wasn't the worst of it. This festering attitude toward the church grew so quickly and became so violent that by the year 1922, 90 percent of all full-time religious workers had been massacred. Only a handful who had ministered before the 1917 revolution remained alive after that time.

However, it wasn't only the full-time church workers who suffered under Soviet rule. Members from the Baptist, Pentecostal, Lutheran, Orthodox, and other Christian denominations were also persecuted. The Soviet government ridiculed all people who held firmly to faith, looking upon them as idiots of an obsolete, backward age; unintelligent fools who held on to superstitious beliefs; and leftovers from the czarist past.

As horrific as the persecution against Christians was during Lenin's life, it only intensified when he died and Joseph Stalin became the leader of the USSR. From 1924 to 1953, innumerable masses of believers were arrested, packed into cattle cars, and sent to prisons in Siberia and northern labor camps, where frigid temperatures were often a deadly weapon in Soviet hands.

Christians were considered to be the scum of society; therefore, they were used like animals to mine coal that would then be burned in huge Soviet factories. They were also used to mine marble, needed for use in Soviet architecture. Only God knows how many Christians were sent away during these tragic years and never heard of again - worked to death or ruthlessly murdered.

The fortunate believers were spared the cattle cars; nevertheless, they were discriminated against on a daily basis. This discrimination touched every part of their lives. Their children were rejected from participating in special school activities. They were forbidden from participating in any form of higher education. Viewed as dangerous to the mental condition of the State, they were also not allowed to hold any high-ranking job or profession.

This measure of intense pressure against the Church of Jesus Christ had not been experienced since the large-scale persecution of Christians that was conducted under the Roman emperors nearly two thousand years earlier.

The New God of the Soviet State
When Stalin came to power, he idolized Lenin, using his image as a device to strengthen and unify the Soviet State. He portrayed Lenin almost as if he were the god of the Soviet State. Lenin was looked upon as "the enlightened one," whose teachings and doctrines would usher them all into a new age where all restraints of the past no longer applied and an ideal Soviet world would be created.

In every conceivable way, Stalin and the KGB (the Soviet security police) deified Lenin. For instance, Lenin's writings replaced the teaching of the Bible. The book of his writings was even printed with a black leather cover that looked similar to the Bible. Lenin's face was also plastered all over the Soviet Union - on buildings, trains, factories, government documents, newspapers, magazines, billboards, posters, banners, etc.

This man had illegally overthrown the government in 1917; murdered its leaders in 1918; massacred thousands of religious workers between 1917 and 1922; and confiscated all private property before his death in 1924. Yet he was now venerated as the glorious father of the Soviet Union.

Lenin actually became the symbol of the Soviet empire. Society was completely structured around him. Children from the age of six to nine were inducted into a communist organization called Children of October (in honor of Lenin's achievements in the October Revolution when his troops stormed the Imperial Winter Palace in St. Petersburg).

Children from the age of ten to fifteen became Pioneers - The Young Followers of Lenin. Young people who were age 16 and older became Komsomols - The Young Communist Party. Membership in the Komsomols was the final step to determine if a young person was actually worthy to become a communist.

Children in these organizations proudly wore badges impressed with the image of Lenin's face. His face was prominently printed in the front inside cover of their textbooks, and his portrait hung in the foyer and classrooms of every school.

Twenty-six thousand official government-issued copies of Lenin's portrait were hung in factories, public stores, and places of public transport. The public transportation system was even renamed after him. The main street of every city was renamed Lenin Avenue. Cities were renamed after him - Vladimir Lenin _________. Full-length, oversized statues and monuments of Lenin towered over cities and villages across the Soviet Union by the thousands.

Lenin's Writings became the Scriptures of The Young Communist Party. The Moral Code of the Communist Party took the place of the Ten Commandments. And Lenin's face became the image - the icon - of a new communist religion.

The deification of Lenin was so complete that a Soviet poet rewrote Hebrews 13:8, replacing Jesus Christ with Lenin. The scripture says: "Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever." The poet's rewritten Soviet version was "Lenin lived, Lenin lives, Lenin forever lives!"

Copyright © Rick Renner Ministries
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Author Biography

Rick Renner
Web site: Rick Renner Ministries
Rick and Denise met while they were each on an individual quest to wholeheartedly follow God’s plan for their lives. Rick was a college student, growing in his teaching ministry. Denise was a talented vocalist. She chose not to pursue a course that held the prospect of performing with the Metropolitan Opera so that she could instead pursue a relationship with Rick and fulfill her heart’s desire to enter full-time ministry.

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