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January 8, 2015

Elder Paisios on Religion and Societal Problems

Elder Paisios the Athonite said the following in June of 1985, shortly before the fall of Balkan and Soviet communism:

They were going to abolish religion, because they thought religion creates problems. Now they slowly see that humans, when they don't have a faith, they don't have boundaries and they become beastly; they have nothing to stand on without ideals.

A journalist went to an old politician, a communist, and asked him: "What should today's politicians watch out for in order to succeed and what so they shouldn't fail?" He replied: "We failed, because we went against the Church." The communists, who say they don't believe, that they have no interest in material or spiritual ascent, understood that you can't go against God.

Now in Serbia they have begun to build churches in certain places. They saw through statistics that where there are churches, there are fewer psychopaths, and thus fewer crimes, etc. They do not believe, but in order to lessen the distribution of psychiatric drugs, they build churches.

Even Ceausescu, despite being completely shameful, despite saying that Christianity is the opium of the people, among other things, he also admitted that Christians were good people. This is because those who had faith, had boundaries; they did not cause mischief. Meanwhile those who did not have faith, they turned everything into smithereens.

How many saints will we have from Russia? Now they are blaming communism. And how are they justifying themselves for everything they did? They say: "Lenin and Marx were in agreement with Christ, but they did not understand His spirit, which is why they committed crimes, etc." They say this because the Christians have risen up, saying: "We want to return to our old tradition, to our religion." And now because the communists can't gather the people around them, they say: "Let us return to our old tradition!" Supposedly this is because they did all they did during the Revolution because they did not understand the spirit of Christ!

The time will come when the faithless rulers also, besides the faithful ones, will understand that if there is no faith, the people will have nothing to stand on, and they will require them to believe in something, in order to keep the people in order. Years later, one day, if you do not pray, they will imprison you! You will give an account before the ruler if you are praying or not. This is how things will be brought into place.

Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos.