Saturday, February 05, 2005

"It was total cruelty."

Bolsheviks turned priests into columns of ice (December 1995)
MOSCOW (Reuter) - A Russian presidential commission has announced that 200,000 clergy were systematically murdered under Soviet rule in a horrific cycle of crucifixions, scalpings and "bestial tortures." Commission chairman Alexander Yakovlev, presenting the report at a news conference, seemed unconcerned that it might deter electors from voting communist or nationalist in parliamentary elections on December 17.

"If it has an influence, I will be very satisfied," he said.

The report by the Commission for the Rehabilitation of the Victims of Political Repression also found that another 500,000 religious figures suffered persecution in the decades after Vladimir lenin's Bolsheviks seized power.

"documents relate how clergymen, monks, nuns were crucified on royal gates and shot in the basements of the Cheka (secret police), scalped, strangled, drowned and submitted to other bestial tortures," he said.

...I was especially shocked by accounts of priest turned into columns of ice in winter...But that's not all, there were crucifixions...It was total cruelty.

He said hundreds of people were shot for not giving up church property, and only a fraction of the proceeds were spent on the poor as the authorities had promised.

...He said that of the 48,000 churches in Russia before the 1917 revolution, only 7000 remained by 1969... "It's a tragic story which has not provoked repentance and which has not been properly heard," said Mr. Yakovlev.