How did religion survive the communist regimes of Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union?
Religion was never banned in any communist country. What happened is that the churches were obliged to hand over lists of their congregations to the police. Your work prospects, your housing allocation, your children’s’ education and your promotion prospects were affected if your name was on one of those lists. The other thing that really hampered religion in the Soviet Union was that churches were destroyed – often with dynamite. In the city where Lenin was born (Simbirsk) there were three cathedrals overlooking the Volga. Lenin’s house was near these cathedrals – the family would have seen them every day. In the 1960s a train loaded with dynamite came from Moscow and they blew all three of them up – so the Lenin house would have a better view of the city. In the republics of the Soviet Union the Muslim communist elites interpreted the sanctions against religion as anti-Christian, not anti-Islamic – so many muslims were able to worship with little interference. So they way it really s