Government and Religions

 •  4 min. read  •  grade level: 11
The sentences imposed on Cardinal Mindszenty and his associates in Hungary and the Protestant leaders in Bulgaria emphasize the ages-old conflict between governments and religions. Communism will not brook any interference with the state; the state must be supreme and even God (in their thinking) made subservient.
Diversity of religions forms one of the greatest obstacles to unity in a nation or an empire. Nebuchadnezzar found this out when he consolidated his conquests. He had brought together nations and peoples with many deities (all false ones, but Jehovah of the Jews) and then decided on a plan to superimpose a grand national deity over them all. His image of gold was set up in the plain of Dura and edicts issued to enforce a single religion. (See Dan. 3)
We do not attempt to speak of the justification, or the lack of it, in any of these trials of and sentences imposed on various church leaders, but only of the principles that lead to conflict within nations. The freedom of
India was long delayed because of the division of the teeming millions of that vast country into opposing and hostile religions. Their independence was granted only when a plan was devised to separate the peoples and divide the country. Even then the separation was not accomplished without bloodshed.
In the early days of the Bolshevik revolution there was a concerted effort to drive God and religion out of Russia. While there was not much conflict between religions in Russia, there was an insurmountable barrier between communism and religion in that communism admitted of no allegiance to God—all must he to the state. While communism is not a religion it savors of one for it is more than a form of government; it is something that takes hold of the inner being of a man, forming deep-rooted convictions. When this is achieved there can be no middle ground; no allegiance can be tolerated to anything or anyone else, even to God.
Therefore, in the early days of communism in Russia, atheism was advanced to take the place of God and religion in the minds of men. Any even formal recognition of God acts as a deterrent to man's unbridled will, and communism has its roots in that throwing off of all restraint—lawlessness, that in the hands of a few becomes law.
But man is inherently religious, and after years of unrestrained atheistic activities more than half of the people still held to some belief in a Supreme Being; therefore there was a change in the U.S.S.R. attitude. Churches were tolerated and religion given a limited, recognized place, but it was to be made a national religion wholly subservient to the state, and its instrument in wielding power over the minds of the people. This attitude is the underlying cause of the present campaign against the religious leaders in the Russian satellite countries. If there is to be a religion in these countries it must be the tool of Moscow to mold the minds of men so that the Soviet state retains its supremacy.
The Vatican sees in all this a challenge to its very life, and therefore will not give or concede anything; the battle is joined to the death. They have made good use of the sentencing of their Hungarian leader to arouse public sympathy outside of the iron curtain. It has been a capital gain for them in many countries, and they have used it as a means to draw people and support to themselves. And last, but not least, the same thing happening to the Protestant leaders in Bulgaria has given Protestants and Catholics a common cause. • All this is definitely leading up to Roman Catholicism's ascendancy for exercising her great sway over the Roman Empire, so-soon to be revived. It also paves the way for that "Babylon the Great" character which will no doubt draw some of lifeless Protestantism within her fold. Yes, things are shaping up for the end, and that rapidly.
As stated in a previous issue, there are "leftist" elements within the sphere of the to-be-revived Roman Empire, and these will be ready to help destroy that great religious system when the time comes in God's calendar of events (see Rev. 17 and 18).