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Source: AEON …But in September 1943, as Stalin imagined a role for a victorious Soviet Union in a postwar world, he began to reconsider his government’s position with regards to the Russian Orthodox Church, and eventually to the entire question of the role of religion in an atheist empire. At this meeting, Stalin presented these men with a bold proposal: the same Soviet state that had destroyed their Church was now going to devote its resources to bringing it back… Read the entire article here

Source: The Washington Post By Harrison Smith As a fifth of Romania’s capital was destroyed, razed by bulldozers and wrecking balls that sometimes erased all traces of a building overnight, the residents of Bucharest developed a new term for the mutilation of their city in the early 1980s. Worse than World War II, more devastating than a strong 1977 earthquake, the massive redevelopment project was dubbed Ceausima, a portmanteau that evoked the name of communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu — who aimed to build the “first socialist capital for the new socialist man” — and the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. Yet as the demolition got…

Source: Bloomberg Their religious roots, not their Communist experience, support authoritarianism and risk aversion. By Leonid Bershidsky Originally published on April 26, 2018 Eastern Orthodox Christianity has done more to shape certain ex-Communist countries than communism. It also, some say, made their people relatively unhappy and anti-capitalist. This theory got a lot of play in 1990s Russia but has now resurfaced in a fresh World Bank working paper.Its authors, former Bulgarian finance minister Simeon Djankov and Elena Nikolova of University College London, analyzed data from the World Values Survey and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development’s Life in Transition Survey to study the correlation between religious background and attitudes. They…