The victims of the Communism worldwide are said to be approximately one hundred million. There were/are many more, who are physically and spiritually crippled by the oppressing regime. In the countries formerly occupied by the Soviet army one cannot find a single family, which would not be affected - due to the lost members for political reasons, relocations, broken careers, etc - by the mercilessness of the system.
In the more than 44 years between the end of World War II and the regime change, in Hungary circa seventy thousand people were imprisoned for political reasons. According to the historians’ researches and estimates from the 600 thousand Hungarian taken to Soviet labour camps, 200 thousand perished on the GULAG, far from their homes and loved ones.
On a way everyone was affected by the oppression of the Communist dictatorship: those, being either educated or illiterate, wealthy or poor, believer or atheist, even the party members, or the ones speaking out openly or secretly against the Communism, or who just stood with it. Anyone could become an enemy of the regime. No one was safe. The power systematically got rid of the orders and closed down their schools.
Even in the time of fear, ferocity and intimidations there were people -nameless and known-, who were not afraid to be good, to remain human in inhumanity.
Free in Captivity
The Benedictine monk, Placid Olofsson spent one decade on the GULAG. In his captivity he worded the five rules of survival.
The third one says: “We are different from our captors! If I don’t agree being an ant against them, then I have to show them in that situation that I’m indeed worthy than them, I’m indeed nobler than them, I’m different from that guy with the machine gun. This mobilises the energies.”
Of course, this did not call for arrogance or superiority, but to the choice, which was given even to the prisoner: if they behaved with their captors as the captors did to them, then they could change places, there would be no difference. But if they show that there is a choice between good and bad, then it proves their freedom.
The family of the Greek Catholic priest, Konstantin Szabó (coming from priest families from both the mother’s and father’s side), But mainly his father has suffered the ferocity of the Soviet Union. He had to do forced labour in Karaganda between 1950 and 1955. He remained a priest amongst the ordeals. After his return , he secretly continued his mission, with such a naturalness that affected even his family. Thanks to this his son, Konstantin was secretly ordained in 1986. Even his family could not be present, since the Church people were under surveillance. Even his siblings learnt about his priesthood years later, when he gave the communion to their sick mother. His first official mass was held in 1989, he could only feel then, that he is really a priest. Konstantin Szabó will also be present at the Congress, on the 14th September we can listen to him among the other witnesses at the HungExpo.
Dialogue Instead of Fear and Silence
Thank God, by now we can talk about the Communist regime in past tense. But in other parts of the word there are still oppressing systems, where Christians are persecuted due to their religion. In South Korea Cardinal Andrew Yeom Soo-jung is working to bring the Christian world closer to North Korea, and to establish a peaceful dialogue between the two countries. In 2014 he made a historical step, by crossing the border of the atheist North Korea. Today let us remember all the innocent people whose life was ruined by the Communist dictatorship! Let us not to forget that there are parts of the world, where even today gunshots and exploding bombs can be heard! Let us pray for our Christian brothers and sisters, who every day undergo trials for their faith, should witness Christ’s love in a war controlled by hate! Let us give thanks for the heroes, who protect, hide and help the innocent by risking their own lives!