Sunday, April 24, 2011



Here's a story originating from the former Soviet Union. It was Easter, but since religious persecution was at its height, the churches were closed and anti-religious propaganda was in full swing. A Soviet officer came to a village and the entire population to the go to the village center, where he harangued them about the "scientific" proofs that there is no God.

Finally, an old man spoke out. He was the village priest, who for a long time had been prevented from exercising his ministry among the people. (In some versions of the story he's Catholic, in other versions he's Orthodox.) He asked to be allowed to say a few words. The smug Soviet official, confident that the old man can do no harm to the atheist cause, let him go to the front of the people so he can speak.

Upon arriving at the front, the old priest simply said, "My people, Christ is Risen!"

First, there was an uneasy silence. Then, an old woman croaked back: "Indeed, He is Risen!" A few voices followed, "Christ is Risen! Indeed He is Risen!" Before long the entire crowd was singing the great Paschal song of the Eastern Churches: "Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death and upon those in the tombs bestowing life!"

The Soviets, alarmed, arrested the old man, and he was never seen again. But he had struck a blow against atheism that won't be forgotten for a long, long time...

- Carlos Antonio Palad

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