05 March 2008, 14:58
Stalin era should never return – Russian Orthodox Church
Moscow, March 5, Interfax - On the day of the 55th anniversary since Stalin's death the Moscow Patriarchate has warned against glorifying Stalin's era and called for a realistic evaluation of the period.
"Present and future Russian citizens should be aware of what Stalin's era really was and should not be painting idealistic pictures of the time," Reverend Georgy Ryabykh, the acting secretary for relations between Church and the public at the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations, told Interfax-Religion.
Stalin's era is "a lesson of great historical significance for today's Russia and other countries," he said, adding that the era "should never return."
Under Stalin the country was able "to recover after the civil war, to preserve its unity, to carry out industrialization, to win the war, and to build its scientific potential," he said.
"But these achievements in social building cannot be justified by the victims of the Soviet regime during the years of Stalin's rule," he said.
The example of other nations shows "how the same achievements could have been made otherwise, without sacrificing our own citizens," Fr. Georgy said.
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