The author of this volume is a young Anglican priest who has made several lengthy trips to the Soviet Union. On the basis of...

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OPIUM OF THE PEOPLE

The author of this volume is a young Anglican priest who has made several lengthy trips to the Soviet Union. On the basis of those visits, he makes an appraisal of the situation of religious belief in a country where the government maintains that religion is dying out. An introductory chapter surveys the religious history of both Tsarist Russia and of the Soviet state, and subsequent chapters deal individually with the condition of the Russian Orthodox Church, the Baptist and Evangelical Churches, the Lutheran Church, and the Armenian National Church. There is also a brief treatment of the Roman Catholic Church. The author's conclusion is that religious belief -- and overt religious practice -- is flourishing, but that recent events presage a new wave of religious persecution. Father Bourdeaux has the knack of expressing himself lucidly and literately, and his observations of life in the U.S.S.R. in its religious aspects are intelligent. The reader may feel that his conclusions are somewhat broader than his premises, and that he has a pronounced tendency to generalize from evidence that is tenuous indeed. Despite these faults, however, the book does shed light, and an unusual light at that, on a land that we view too often through the haze of official propaganda, and there are few readers, clerical or lay, who will not find the book as interesting as it is instructive.

Pub Date: March 7, 1966

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Bobbs-Merrill

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1966