We observe today an astonishing spectacle. Just as during the worst period of the French Revolution, Christianity, and particularly the Catholic Church, is under systematic attack in wide parts of the world, in the Soviet Union, in its European satellites, and in Red China. These countries are under control of groups which profess an atheistic doctrine. The official doctrine of the Soviet world expresses the belief that religion will disappear; it permits the application of tactics which strangulate Church life slowly, but successfully. Leading members of the hierarchy have been arrested and sentenced; schools and monasteries have been closed down; religious orders disbanded; missionary work of centuries has been destroyed. All this is accomplished by systematic and carefully planned campaigns. Every means of deception is used. In profoundly Catholic countries like Poland, caution prevails; in others brutal terror is applied. And all measures against Church life are presented, despite the clear atheism of the official doctrine, as measures against reactionaries and political counter-revolutionaries; churchmen are accused of being American agents and allies of Imperialism and Capitalism
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