Lenin would be rolling in his grave, if he had one: Russian Communists back plan to put 'God' in constitution
It's not so long ago that they were known as the "Godless Communists." Which means it still comes as a surprise that the party has no objection to the idea of including a reference to the man upstairs in Russia's constitution.
A century on from the Bolshevik revolution, things have come a long way. Russian and other Soviet Communist officials once reveled in their promotion of state atheism, so present leader Gennady Zyuganov's reasoning has also raised a few eyebrows.
Far from being the ‘Opium of the People,’ Zyuganov said that Communism is actually derived from Christianity. Leaving no doubt that party founder Vladimir Lenin would be to rolling in his grave – if he had one.
“When I studied the Bible, in the gospel of the Apostle Paul ... there was the main slogan of Communism. He who does not work does not eat.” he explained. “Actually, in many ways, the moral code of a builder of Communism is built on the Bible.”
While Orthodox Patriarch Kirill and the rest of his church surely welcome the sentiment, they may also dwell on the fact that the Soviet-era Communist party brutally suppressed Christians and murdered thousands of clergy.
Although Zyuganov’s beliefs are very far from Marxism and traditional communist doctrine, his colleagues in the State Duma weren't hugely surprised by his views. This isn’t the party leader’s first flirtation with religion – he once called Jesus Christ the first communist on earth.
Before the establishment of the Soviet Union, Russia was a profoundly religious country. The integration of the Orthodox Church into the government meant that Lenin considered them an organ of the bourgeoisie. Thus, the revolutionary leaders adopted an official atheist policy and, after decades of propaganda, religion in the Soviet Union was absent from mainstream thought.
The break-up of the USSR led to faith being thrust back into the limelight within Russia, and many former staunchly Communist Russians began to turn to Christianity. With over 80 percent of the modern Russian population believing in a God, it's not a shock to see products of the Soviet system simultaneously promoting God and Communism.
There is no confirmation yet if God will be included in the new Constitution. A working group is currently designing all the proposals, and a confirmatory national vote is due to be held on April 22, 2020 – Lenin’s 150th birthday.
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