Voices of the Voiceless, from Baylor University Press, 2019, on Amazon, edited by Zoe Knox and Julie de Graffenried, is a valuable cache evidencing that the Soviet antireligious hegemony was prosecuted with cruel determination in many eastern countries and resisted by the faithful of many religions with great conviction and hardship. One-page documents reveal how antireligious governments not only forbade practice of religions, but demanded obeisance to the totalitarian atheism, as satirised in Orwell’s book 1984.
Evidence of persistent religious devotion, dissent, competition, extremism and martyrdom, is juxtaposed against evidence of official prejudice, ignorance, repression, persecution, destruction, illegality, greed, corruption and murder.
Voices of the Voiceless presents evidence of a heartless social experiment that failed harming millions of wholly innocent people. Most books seek to divert, amuse, chronicle, record, access, discuss, support, inform, expose, confront, shock or persuade. This book is different. The editors have cleverly separated the pieces for readers to reach their own conclusions.
Your conclusions from preview may be different to mine. To prompt you to check the evidence in this marvellous book, mine are that the Soviet anti-religion policy was considered necessary but its failure unexpected. It was prosecuted by malignant totalitarianism, not by toxic atheism. It was a failure of humanity as much as by religious intolerance.
The materials do not include conforming voices that may have been voiceless but had nothing to say. Atheism presumably proceeded in school science lessons without much objection. There is no indication how prevalent or minor was religious dissent overall. Was it so limited authorities didn’t acknowledge futility until the 1980s?
Soviet atheism and ultimately communism failed because they misconceived faiths could be suppressed. The atheists attempted to amputate a rich part of Russian culture, not just religious worship, but also Christian art, idealism, critical thinking and social reform. The Soviet authorities were ruthless and determined, as if religion could be excised from the mind like a dysfunctional growth from the body, when it has already metastasized. This wonderful book showed me that the Soviet anti-religion experiment could not succeed because individuals’ rights to their religion were deeply engraved on their psyches. When you check the evidence, your take might be different. I recommend this wonderful resource.