This remarkable work traces the history of Soviet Catholicism from its rich life in 1914 through its tentative fate in the first sixty years of the USSR. Rev. Zugger tells of the faithful men and women shackled by dictatorship, doomed to deportation, and abandoned by their own church in the west.
Soviet Russia was an empire born of atheism with religion viewed as a threat to the state's notion of individualism. By 1932, dictator Joseph Stalin firmly declared that religion would be extinct in the USSR within five years. In this compelling volume, Zugger details the Soviet campaign against Catholicism among many ethnic groups and worshippers whose devotion would not be shaken. He shows how they kept faith alive in prison camps, in remote villages, in monastery prisons, and in the secrecy of their homes, where the light of faith continued to burn brightly while churches crumbled or became dance halls and office buildings. This is the first book in English to recount the fate of Catholic Russia and the church in the various lands conquered by Soviet rule. It is at once a memorial to those who perished, a tribute to those who survived, and a testament to the enduring power of faith.