The Communist Persecution
of Christians Today
This survey can give some idea of the tragic situation of our brothers in the Faith, persecuted for their beliefs. Through them, the crucified Christ remains present in the Church.
|Pictured above are some of the September 17, 1989, demonstrators in Lviv against Communist repression in the Ukraine.|
Albania (pop. 2,800,000). Since January, 1968, Albania has prided itself as the first atheistic state in the world. All Christians without exception are persecuted. Yet even the official press reports that there are signs of religious resistance.
Bulgaria (pop. 8,900,000). Orthodox majority; the Patriarchate of Sofia gets its bearings from the government and the Moscow Patriarchate.
China (pop. 1,000,000,000). The Christians form a tiny minority (12 million); they are persecuted if they do not join the state-sponsored "Union of China's Patriotic Catholics" which is separated from Rome.
Czechoslovakia (pop. 15,400,000). 75% of the population is Catholic; 15% Protestant. For the time being covert but intense persecution.
East Germany (GDR) (pop. 16,700,000). Protestant majority; 8% Catholic. Intense atheistic propaganda, especially in the schools.
Ethiopia (pop. 39,600,000). The Marxist regime has Christians arrested and tortured. Few leave prison alive.
Hungary (pop. 10,700,000). 66% Catholic; 27% Protestant. Covert oppression here, too.
Kampuchea (pop. 6,900,000). Bloody extermination of Cambodian Catholics by the Communist party. There are no bishops, priests, nor religious. The churches have been completely demolished.
Laos (pop. 4,200,000). Re-education camps for the Catholic minority who remained in Laos.
Nicaragua (pop. 3,060,000). Under the cover of martial law, the pro-Moscow regime relentlessly persecuted bishops, priests, and the Faithful. A bishop and numerous priests have been banished from the country. The regime even humiliated the Pope during his pastoral visit.
North Korea (pop. 19,200,000). Complete uncertainty as to the fate of several hundred thousand Christians who were unable to flee to the South.
Poland (pop. 36,600,000). 94% Catholic. The Church plays a significant role in opposition to the atheistic authorities.
Rumania (pop. 22,700,000). 80% Orthodox; three million Catholics. For the Orthodox Christians religious freedom permitted on condition of government loyalty. The Catholics united with Rome suffer brutal persecution.
|Pictured right: 1989 Communist police are removing some of the Ukrainian Catholics on a hunger strike in Moscow who are demonstrating for the legal recognition of the Ukrainian Catholic Church which has been, since 1946, (and continues still to be to this day) brutally repressed by the Russian Communist tyrants.|
USSR (pop. 276,300,000). Oppression and persecution of Christians in Russia as well as Lithuania, the Ukraine, Latvia, Estonia, etc. More than two million people languish in Russian gulags.
Vietnam (pop. 57,200,000). Covert persecution of Christians, intensive indoctrination, re-education camps; religious conduct of Vietnamese Christians is exemplary. Hundreds of priests in prison.
Yugoslavia (pop. 22,900,000). 32% Catholic, 42% Orthodox; religious life, despite all official obstacles, is remarkably active.