Finding Jesus In… The Bible (A “Duh, No Kidding” Blog Post)
by Marc Gaerlan
Many years ago in Chicago before the fall of the Iron Curtain (No, not the Pittsburgh Steelers) I spoke with a couple whose real names I didn’t, and still don’t know. They couldn’t give me, or anyone they didn’t know well their real names because they were international fugitives. They were wanted by Russian authorities. The United States government wasn’t all that thrilled with them either.
They were international smugglers.
They worked for an organization called “Mission Possible” that smuggled Bibles into the Soviet Union. You see, even though there’s not a whole lot of tolerance and freedom for Christians in communist countries now, it was much, much worse before the Soviet Union collapsed. Owning a Bible was a serious offense, because Soviet Communism is an atheistic doctrine. Marx and Lenin frequently spoke and taught about their hatred for Christianity, how it diverted the minds, and more importantly the hearts of Communists away from the totalitarian rule of Communist leaders and philosophy. They saw the freedom and free-thinking of Christianity as a great threat to their iron-fisted grip on power. To them the Bible was a powerful and dangerous book.
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But here and there among the Communist communities, a small home church would spring up. These home churches would meet under great secrecy, because being caught meant imprisonment, torture, and sometimes death. Christians who were taken away by the authorities were often never seen again. The Soviet police would pay people to try to find and infiltrate these “traitors to Communism”. These small rebel groups of Christians would get a Bible and tear it apart. Literally. They would each take sections of it, or even an individual page, and take it with them, reading what they had at home, taking it all in, and then trading pages with other members when they were ready for more. Bibles were a hot commodity in the Soviet Union. Literally. Once, when smuggling Bibles inside the panels of a van, the couple from Mission Possible was stopped and searched…
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