Episode 139, Tales of Catholic Resilience in the Face of Communist Oppression with Kristen Thierault



Today, Kristen delves into her book, “When the Sickle Swings: Stories of Catholics Who Survived Communist Oppression,” accessible at SophiaInstitute.com. She points out that throughout over half of the twentieth century, across nearly half the globe, the Catholic faith encountered repression, restrictions, or outright illegality amid the atheistic, false messianic doctrine of communism. This ideology, pledging "equality for all," often led to totalitarianism, slavery, and slaughter, with the Catholic Church as a primary target.

Confronting Fidel’s Regime

In the interview, she explores Fidel Castro's regime, highlighting his ruthless approach despite a Catholic Jesuit education. Properties and belongings were confiscated, and numerous priests were deported or killed. Catholic holidays gave way to secular ones. Kristen shares stories of individuals who maintained their faith under great duress, emphasizing the enduring faith demonstrated when Saint Pope John Paul II visited Cuba in 1998.

Challenges in Eastern Europe

Kristen also delves into events in Czechoslovakia under Russian authoritarianism, where active movements aimed to eradicate priests and Catholic laity. The government established the Czech Nationalist Church with priests loyal to the state, not Rome. Father Toufar, who resisted, witnessed miracles in his church, but when he denied contriving them, he succumbed to beatings from government officials.

A Witness to Faith Amidst Persecution

The book serves as a testimony to those who stayed true to the faith, with many becoming martyrs. Peaceful Catholic protests played a vital role in overthrowing these regimes, as communism's worldly utopia contradicts the Catholic faith. These accounts stand as powerful witnesses for our time. May we stand firm in the Lord and the truth of our faith.

Viva Cristo Rey! Long Live Christ the King!


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