The bolshevik ring leader of the anti Christian group “League of the Militant Godless”

Yemelyan Mikhailovich Yaroslavsky born Minei Izrailevich Gubelman was born to a Jewish family. He was a a Bolshevik revolutionary, Communist Party member, journalist and historian.An atheist and anti-religious polemicist, Yaroslavsky served as editor of the atheist satirical journal Bezbozhnik (The Godless) and led the League of the Militant Godless organization. Yaroslavsky also headed the Anti-Religious Committee of the Central Committee. In his book How Gods and Goddesses Are Born, Live, and Die (1923), Yaroslavsky argued that religion was born under man, lived under man, and would die under communism.

The League of Militant Godless aided the Soviet government in killing  clergy and committed believers. The League also made it a priority to remove religious icons from the homes of believers. Under the slogan, “the Storming of Heaven,” the League of Militant Atheists pressed for “resolute action against religious peasants” leading to the mass arrest and exile of many believers, especially village priests. By 1940, “over 100 bishops, tens of thousands of Orthodox clergy, and thousands of monks and lay believers had been killed or had died in Soviet prisons and the Gulag.”

The League of Militant Godless had reduced the number of religious communities of all faiths from 50,000 in 1930 to 30,000 by 1938 and 8,000 by 1941. The last figure includes, however, 7,000 communities in the annexed western territories (so that only 1,000 actually remained in the rest of the country).

The LMG was disbanded when  when Nazi Germany invaded in 1941. Churches were re-opened under the German occupation, while believers flocked to them in the millions. In order to gain support for the war effort (both domestic and foreign), Stalin ended the antireligious persecution and the LMG was disbanded.Internal pressure to end the persecution came from the need to win the loyalty of religious Soviet citizens for the war effort, while external pressure came from the Allies, who would not support Stalin if he continued the campaign

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