Author: Archimandrite Damascene (Orlovsky)
In Russia during the communist era, every family was affected by the godless tyranny. Practically every extended family had at least one person who was the victim of arrest, imprisonment, and/or execution. Right after the communist revolution in Russia, the émigré press abounded with firsthand accounts of communist oppression. However, due to political fear, and Western support of socialist aspirations, most of the texts were soon hidden. Within enslaved Russia, all attempts to record the lives of the heroes of Orthodox confession were ruthlessly suppressed, and thus their stories remained alive only in the hearts of the faithful, who awaited a more favorable time to tell their God-inspired stories and the truth to the world. Now these accounts are being brought to light, together with information from newly opened KGB files, and Archimandrite Damascene’s volumes are among the most important fruits of these efforts. His monumental labor of collecting and publishing whatever has been miraculously preserved in Russia, and of verifying it with already existing information, is now presented in the English language. “Out on the street a car drives quietly by, as if creeping along the land, and in its tracks like a grayish demon the dreadful thought slithers into the soul: they’ve come for Vladika Barnabas. But no, this time it’s not for him.… Should one rejoice that it is not for you or your close ones … or grieve for your neighbor? And that is how it was every day.” –excerpt from the Life of Blessed Bishop Barnabas, NEW CONFESSORS OF RUSSIA The many eyewitness accounts draw the reader into personal contact with these righteous confessors, and bring a view of this martyric era into sharp focus. Their stories contain a vast wealth of inspiration and strength to endure trials for Christ’s sake, and thereby to achieve union with God.
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