Moral Theology. Chapter 25

Christianity and Communism. The sharing of property in Christianity and Communism. The breach of justice in Communism. The ideology of Christianity and Communism.

Requisition of church valuables. 1922. Artist: Ivan Vladimirov Requisition of church valuables. 1922. Artist: Ivan Vladimirov     

Let us now examine the question of the relationship of Christianity to Communism, to that Communism which now in the eyes of the whole world appears as a fact, as an attempt to realize socialist ideas in life, in Soviet Russia.1

It is well known that Communism openly entered History as a mortal and hardened enemy of Christianity. On its part, Christianity also acknowledges itself to he absolutely estranged and hostile to Communism, to its very spirit, to the entire content of its ideology.

The history of the Church during Apostolic times tells us that during those days it had its own Christian Communism when the faithful held everything in common, as the book of the Apostolic Acts says. Even now this Christian communism exists in the form of monasticism, considered the best form of Christian ascetical life. In such a manner, the sharing of property from the Christian point of view is not only acceptable, but also more than that: it is a bright, ideally noble type of Christian interrelationship, examples of which existed and exist now in the life of the Orthodox Church.

What a great difference between such Christian communism and Soviet Communism! One stands as far from the other as heaven from earth. Christian communism is not an independent goal towards which Christianity strives. No, it is the result and birth of a spirit of love which the Church of early history breathed. Besides this, Christian communism was fully voluntary. In it nobody said, “give away yours, it belongs to us”, to the contrary, Christians themselves sacrificed so that “no one called anything from their own property their own”. Concerning Socialist communism, the sharing of property is a goal which needs to be attained at any price, without any other considerations. Communism attains its goal in a purely coercive form, not stopping at any means, not even at beating those in disagreement...The basis of this communism is not freedom as in Christian communism, but coercions; not self-sacrificing love, but envy and hatred...

Requisition of flour from rich villagers (near Pskov). 1920. Artist: Ivan Vladimirov Requisition of flour from rich villagers (near Pskov). 1920. Artist: Ivan Vladimirov     

In its struggle with Christianity, communism goes to the extremes of even rejecting the most elementary Justice, recognized by all. In its class ideology, communism essentially scorns every kind of Justice. The object of its concern is not the general good of all the citizens of the government, but the interests of the working class and proletariat only. The rest of the government and social groupings of citizens are openly left “overboard”, outside any kind of care by the communist government. They can go hungry, can have not a penny of earnings, have not even the very opportunity of earning a living, yet it is not the business of the “governing bodies”. What is this if not the trampling of justice and a mockery of millions of people?

Communism, speaking about the new structure of a “free” government, constantly persists in calling this structure the “dictatorship-of-the-proletariat”. It has been clear for a long time that in Soviet Russia such a promised dictatorship of the proletariat does not exist; but a dictatorship over the proletariat does exist. Even more so that the manifestations of ordinary political freedoms do not exist there: freedom of the press, freedom of assembly, the inviolability of a home. Only those who lived in [communist] Russia know the extent of the burden and the force of this oppression which rules there. Moreover, there exists unprecedented political terror, executions, murder, exile, and incarceration under incredibly difficult circumstances. This is what communism gave to the Russian people instead of the promised freedom...

In its political propaganda, Communism confirms that it attains the realization of freedom, equality (that is, justice) and brotherhood.

We have already spoken about the first and the second. As concerns “brotherhood”, there is no doubt that this word was stolen from the Christians, who called themselves “brothers”. Apostle Peter says directly to Honor all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the King (I Peter 2:17). But in practical life, communists, as is known, have exchanged the word “brother” for the word “comrade”. This is very indicative, inasmuch as comrades can also be participators in crimes or the members of some criminal gang. One cannot even speak of “brotherhood” where a class struggle ispreached, and there is envy and hatred...

However, all these differences between Christianity and Communism do not exhaust the very essence of the contradictions between them. The rooted primary and explanatory difference between Communism and Christianity lies deeper in the religious ideology of the former. It is no accident that the Communists struggle so maliciously and stubbornly against our faith.

As is known, Communism is atheistic and unconditionally rejects every religion in principle. It seems to be religion in itself—fanatical, impatient, and dark. Christianity is the religion of heaven; Communism is the religion of the earth. Christianity preaches love towards everyone; Communism preaches the class struggle and is based upon egotism. Christianity is the religion of idealism, based upon the faith that God’s Love and Truth will triumph. Communism is the religion of dry, rational pragmatism, actualizing the goal of establishing an earthly “heaven” (a heaven of animal surfeit and spiritual savagery). It is not in vain that a cross is placed on a Christian grave and a red star on a Communist grave. How indicative, clear, and symbolical this is of both sides! On one side, there is faith in the triumph of life over death and good over evil. On the other, utter darkness, gloom, and emptiness, without any consolation, comfort, or hope ahead. While the holy relics of the saints of Christ’s faith flower after death with incorruption and fragrance, the rotting corpse of the embalmed “Ilyich” is the best symbol of Communism...

Metropolitan Philaret (Voznesensky)
Parish Life, October 2023
St. John the Baptist Cathedral, Washington, DC


1 This work was written in the 1920s, when the Soviet Union was a new state and communism on such a scale was a new phenomenon.—OC.

Panagiotis10/7/2023 4:28 am
+++ May Vladika Philaret's Memory Be Eternal +++ He is in Paradise now. He spoke the truth about the monster communists. Communism was the tool that the internationalists used to try to destroy the Orthodox Faith and the Orthodox Monarchies. They succeeded in the latter, but they failed in the former. Our Faith is stronger than ever, and we are still here. Let us pray for the restoration of our Orthodox Monarchies. The wealthy cohesive internationalists had been planning and scheming for many decades before the Revolution. The dark devious ones had a deep hatred for the Orthodox Faith and for the Orthodox Monarchies, including the Holy Romanov Family. The sinister ones hated the Russian People, and they hated Orthodox Christians, and they savagely murdered tens of millions of our people. Alexander Solzhenitsyn was 100% correct. Now we see the same sinister demonic forces are trying to destroy Conservative Russia and the Conservative Russian Orthodox Church. But as sure as the sun will rise tomorrow, I tell you my friends that they will fail, as our Almighty God is with us, and we the Orthodox People are HIS People! They are also trying to DESTROY ALL Orthodox Churches by INFESTING ALL Orthodox Lands with LIBERAL garbage movements, including the defile sodomite movement, feminism, transgenderism, abortion, destruction of the patriarchal family, nihilism, Etc. But some of our Orthodox Brothers are just too stupid to see this. Almighty God and Panagia in heaven we BEG you to open up their eyes so that they WAKE UP. Just my humble opinion.
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