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Authors share stories of the East-Central Europe martyrs of communism

2017-05-07

In the years following the second World War, communism was widely spreading throughout East-Central Europe. The communist regime was greatly affecting those in the area, especially Catholics, many of whom died fighting for their faith. 

Now, many Catholics from these countries have collaborated to share their memories and expertise on this difficult time in history. 

MSGR. TOMO VUKŠI
Ordinary Military, Bosnia and Herzegovina
I was ordained a priest in '190. Thus, I lived under the Communist Regime for a number of years. I had the experience of being a priest for 10 years under it because I was ordained at age 25. So I lived under the Communist Regime for 35 years. In that world of injustice with the Regime here, in this country created on hate, created on discrimination, we were also discriminated against. Even though we were discriminated against, even though we were hated, our pride and our mission was to give a testimony to live as a priest, to live as Christians, and this is the starting point.”

Stories like these from 50 authors in total have been shared in a new book presented in Rome, "Testimonies of Faith,” recalling the martyrs who gave their life defending their faith from each of these affected countries. 

CARD. ANGELO AMATO SDB
Prefect, Congregation for the Causes of Saints
"We see them as the extraordinarily glorious witnesses of the Gospel. They suffered so much in a tremendous Hell, but have kept the faith, kept the same Christianity. Even more, they prayed for their persecutors, forgave them and loved them. So they have impersonated the Gospel in a more sublime way that we can imagine.”
 
Each country had a different experience and the different set of sufferings the martyrs and those persecuted endured, which are all included in the 1,250 pages of this text. 

JAN MIKRUT
"Testimoni della Fede”
Hence the experience was very different in different countries. For example, in the Czech Republic, the Communists practiced a harsh persecution. They arrested priests, and sent them to prison. So, it was not possible for the Church to carry out its pastoral work. Another situation was, for example, in Eastern Germany, where it was not a physical persecution, but it was an ideological battle.”

Regardless of the type of suffering and barriers put up in society that these brave Catholics endured, the persecutions from the last century in East-Central European countries can offer a spirit of hope and encouragement to all Christians today.

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