by Adriana Sauliuc
When you say Russia, you think of an Orthodox country, with deep roots in Christianity. In the 10th century, the Russian leader Vladimir adopted Greek Orthodox rites, and from that moment, the Russian state, in all its forms and under all the regimes that ruled the country, Russians remained a people of faithful believers. Even in the Soviet era, beginning with 1922, when religion in the Russian state was forbidden and atheism became the official doctrine of the USSR, the communists could not make religious faith disappear from people’s minds and hearts. It was a harsh period, because of the Soviets’ ideology that consistently advocated the control, suppression and, ultimately, the elimination of religious beliefs.
Communists did everything to destroy religion and its symbols: they destroyed holy places like churches, temples and mosques; religious leaders were ridiculed, harassed, deported and even killed. Schools and media were overwhelmed with messages coming from aggressive atheistic propaganda, and at all levels of society, the idea of “scientific atheism” was promoted, as the only truth the Soviet people should accept.
 Soviet Union. Policy towards Nationalities and Religions in Practice, http://www.country-data.com/cgi-bin/query/r-12521.html.