The war on religion that vile communism continues to wage.
One Government’s War on Religion
A priest’s collection of Soviet propaganda posters offers lessons for contemporary America.
CENTENNIAL, Colo. — While strolling through a popular flea market outside Moscow in 1999, Father Doug Grandon spied an old Soviet poster that spoke to him because it was about religion.
But it was a rabidly anti-religious broadside he had just found, a remnant from an intense, long-lasting effort by communist ideologues to drum religious devotion out of Russian lives.
Father Grandon’s collection of Soviet posters, produced between 1918 and 1983, grew to over 60, as he kept finding more exemplars on subsequent trips to Russia.
Over the last eight months, he has helped organize several exhibits in Colorado for the public to experience these dramatic examples of a 20th-century war on religion.
“The Soviet War on Religion” exhibit was first sponsored by the Archdiocese of Denver last October at the Cathedral-Basilica of the Immaculate Conception.
Among the boldly colored images, priests are mocked as greedy hypocrites. God is portrayed as a slothful drunkard. Clergy are linked with capitalists as enemies of the Soviet working people. Parents are warned to avoid baptizing children because the sacrament spreads germs.
“The posters are eye-openers,” observed Father Grandon, parochial vicar at St. Thomas More Church in Centennial, Colo. He also serves as a board member of the Mary, Mother of God Mission to the Russian Far East, which is reviving the Catholic community in Russia’s easternmost territory, the largest diocese in the world.
“They’re shocking historic documents, vividly harsh, and, I fear, they’re particularly relevant today,” the priest told the Register.
The posters offer “a warning that this could happen again. Where you have a disrespect for the freedom of religion, a rampant kind of secularism, this could happen again,” observed Father Grandon.
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