What If We Had Repented
‘Unity’, proclaims the wisdom of our day ‘Can be forged only by iron and by blood’. But we shall try to forge unity with love, And then we shall see which is the stronger way.
Two Unities, Feodor Tyutchev, Russian Poet, September 1870
The destiny of the whole world depends on the destiny of Russia.
Metropolitan Benjamin (Fedchenkov), New York, 2 July 1941
Since the destruction of Communism, Russian Orthodoxy now remains America’s only enemy.
Zbigniew Brzezinski, Polish-American Geostrategist, September 1997
A society that accepts the killing of a third of its babies as women’s ‘emancipation’, that considers homosexual marriage to be social progress, that hands out contraceptives to 13-year-old girls at junior high ought to be seeking out a confessional – better yet, an exorcist – rather than striding into a pulpit like Elmer Gantry to lecture mankind on the superiority of ‘American values’.
Patrick Buchanan in What Does America Offer the World?, May 2004
A most dreadful thing awaits us if the human ability to distinguish between good and evil finally is dissolved in the concept of pluralism. It is then that Antichrist will come.
Metropolitan Kyrill of Smolensk and Kaliningrad, January 2006
Contemporary Europe will not now create a new, post-Christian culture and civilization - it will simply vanish from history…Having lost its Christian roots, the peoples of Europe are signing their own death sentence.
Patriarch Alexis of Moscow, 6 December 2007
Suppositional history is the history which asks ‘What if?’ In other words, what would have happened in history, if such and such a thing had occurred instead of something else. The fact is that the balances of human history are so delicate that everything can change because one person lives or dies, or because the weather is good or bad on the eve of a certain battle. Tiny, ‘coincidental’ details have always transformed human history throughout its course. In these details we do not see ‘coincidences’, for we do not believe in coincidences. In them we see by the eyes of faith God’s Will, Providence, even though we often do not understand the meaning of Providence, sometimes until long after historic events have occurred, if we ever understand them.
Thus in Russia, for example. Between 1917 and 1939 the number of open Russian Orthodox churches went from 57,000 to 100. Between 1917 and 1941, 130,000 members of the Russian clergy were massacred. Between 1915 and 1941 the number of non-imprisoned Russian Orthodox bishops inside Russia went from 140 to 4. The total number of direct martyrs for the faith in that time was between 500,000 and 1,000,000. And it is now seventy years since some of the worst Stalinist purges behind those figures began in 1937. They were accompanied by the proclamation of an atheist five-year plan, at the end of which not a single church was to be left open in the whole of the Soviet Union. Our suppositional question concerns the event that occurred during that plan, in 1941. It is: ‘What if, on hearing the news of the Nazi Invasion of 22 June 1941, the Feast of All the Saints Who have Shone forth in Russia, Stalin had died of a heart attack and Communism had given way to Orthodoxy? How might Russian and so subsequent world history have changed?
EUROPE’S SECOND ATTEMPT AT SUICIDE
First of all, the mere fact that the Nazis invaded the Soviet Union in 1941 on the feast of all the East Slav saints was a clear warning that the Russian lands were being invaded, because their leaders had renounced their Orthodox heritage, their own saints. Let us now suppose that, following Stalin’s sudden death, an Orthodox, like the future Marshal Georgy K. Zhukov, had come to power, could those lands, then under the Soviet yoke, not have taken a different path? We can only speculate, but below is a scenario that could have followed.
Firstly, the new military leader could have renamed the Soviet Union ‘The Russian Confederation’, the national emblem changing from a red star back to a double-headed eagle. At once, the new government, proclaiming religious freedom, could have released the millions, some of Russia’s finest, languishing in the Communist concentration camps in Siberia. These included many military officers, for if the Soviet Armed Forces had performed so badly in Stalin’s imperialistic war against Finland in 1940, it was because they had been purged of their best.
Thus, the fact that the Nazis had progressed so rapidly in their Operation Barbarossa invasion of summer 1941 was also because the Armed Forces had been weakened by Stalin’s purges and because Stalin had consistently ignored clear and detailed intelligence that Hitler was about to invade. Little wonder that in many parts of the Ukraine especially, the Nazis, with crosses on their tanks, had been greeted as liberators, for there Stalin’s genocide had been particularly barbaric. Indeed, the first act in all areas under German Occupation was the opening of churches, to which the Nazis, unlike the Communists, had no objection. Of course, soon people would realize that the Nazis were planning the genocide of the Slavs as ‘Untermenschen’, but that would only be later.
In other words, had Stalin died in the summer of 1941 and Communism collapsed, the patriotic forces of Russia could have been harnessed at once, instead of waiting until 4 September 1943, when Stalin finally allowed the Church the relative freedom to reorganize itself under Metropolitan Sergius. If Stalin had died at the beginning of the War, his catastrophic strategic errors would not have occurred. The patriotic forces, marshalled by a free Church, that in fact won the war for the East Slav and other peoples (and not for the Soviet Union), could have begun their task that much earlier.
The end of the anti-Russian Communist ideology, which had been imported by the anti-Orthodox intelligentsia from Western Europe in 1917 and imposed by terror on the people, would have meant the fall of the Soviet Union, but not a Russian Confederation. The War could have ended earlier, perhaps as early as 1944, making the US-led invasion of Western Europe on D-Day unnecessary. The concentration camps of Nazi Germany with their millions of Slav and Jewish victims would have been liberated that much earlier. The tragic allied error of bombing Dresden in March 1945 (carried out at Stalin’s request) would not have happened.
THE POST-WAR WORLD
And what could have happened at the end of the Second World War in Europe?
With the Soviet Union dissolved, a settled Russian Confederation could have been formed from those parts of the former Soviet Union which wished to belong to it. No doubt, some parts of the old Soviet Union would have left and become independent States, much as Western European colonies became independent after 1945. Thus, the opportunities that some countries had to wait for until 1991, would have come nearly fifty years earlier. Inside a Russian Confederation, there would have been no renewed persecution of the Church after 1945.
Those citizens freed from Nazi concentration camps in 1945 would not have been sent to Soviet concentration camps for the ‘crime’ of having been taken prisoner and enslaved. In other words, 1945, or 1944, if victory over Fascism had come earlier, would have been an epoch of triumph. The Russians forcibly repatriated by Great Britain and the USA from Austria and Germany, in their Operation Keelhaul from 1945 on, would not have been slaughtered or sent to their deaths in Siberia. Instead they would have gone back to a free Russian Confederation voluntarily, where they would have been welcomed by the post-Communist world.
Internationally, the Russian Confederation forces, which could have fought as far as the French border, could in 1945 have divided up conquered Germany into free component States. This would have undone the disastrous work of the Prussian Bismarck, who in 1871 had presided over the fateful unification of Germany. This division would have ensured that Germany could never again become the dominant country in Western and Central Europe. Then in, say, 1946, with help from Great Britain, France and others, the forces of the Confederation could have evacuated Germany, as well as Poland, the Baltic States, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia and Albania, leaving those countries to govern themselves in political freedom.
Thus, the monstrosity of Eastern European Communism and the Warsaw Pact would never have developed. And in that case, there would never have been any need for NATO. Moreover, perhaps with Germany divided into its component States, Roman Catholic and Protestant European countries would at last have learned to get on with one another. They could have formed a European Free Trade Zone (as opposed to the American-imposed, anti-European United States of Europe, or ‘EU’, as it is called for the moment). Some sort of spiritual and therefore cultural revival could even have taken place in those countries, in which the Christian would not, as now, be viewed as abnormal and the insane would not, as now, be viewed as normal.
The borders of the new Russian Federation and Eastern Europe, could have been fixed far more justly than they were. Thus, Stalin’s imperialistic snatch of Moldova would not have happened and north-eastern Romania would have been left with Romania. Confederation borders with Finland, Poland, Slovakia and Hungary could have been settled justly, with age-old Orthodox lands on the Confederation side, Uniat nationalists and Roman Catholics on the other side, and not as Stalin imposed. Thus, the borders of the Baltic States, Poland, Slovakia, Romania, Hungary, Belarus and the Ukraine could have been fixed justly. Carpatho-Russia, with real borders, a component State of the Russian Confederation, could have come into being.
At the same time the Orthodox world of Eastern Europe could have been freed by Confederation troops. The borders of a Serbian Confederation, composed of Serbia, Southern Bosnia, Montenegro, Macedonia, could have been fixed justly, which would have avoided the Balkan Wars of the 1990s. In 1945 Albanian settlers in Kosovo could also have been moved back to Albania in humanitarian conditions, thus solving the problem of Kosovo for all time. Constantinople could at last have been freed and occupied by Greece, becoming the Greek Capital. Thus, there would have been no more Ottoman Empire in Europe and the Patriarchate of Constantinople would have been freed from dependency on Non-Orthodox.
In this way, Orthodox Eastern Europe would have been free. Then those countries could either have remained with Orthodoxy, with Greece and Romania returning from the masonically-imposed new calendar, or else continued to follow the spiritual dissolution of the West, ‘Westernization’, as their leaders had forced them to do after 1917. In any case, they would not have suffered Communist persecution. At least Greece, Serbia, Bulgaria and Romania would have had the opportunity to take part in a restored Orthodox Commonwealth. This could have become ‘a common Orthodox home’, not ‘a common European home’, a unity in Christ, not a politically correct ‘unity in sin’, formed under the mask of humanist ‘tolerance’. For that was the actual ‘alternative’, as proposed by Euro-Atlanticist globalism and its polytheist idolatry (‘pluralism’) and human sacrifices (abortion) on the altars of ‘comfort’ and ‘convenience’.
The Middle East situation could also have been quite different. With Hitler defeated and no Communism, surviving Jews could have stayed in Germany, Poland, Hungary and elsewhere. This would have left Palestine to evolve as an Arab State, centred around the International Free City of Jerusalem, where Christians, Muslims and Jews would have been free to worship. As a result of only minimal Jewish settlement on Arab land, the hatred of the Arab world for the West would not have developed, since Western-backed Israel would not have come into existence.
As regards the eastern borders of the Russian Confederation, Communism would perhaps not have developed in China and Korea and so there would have been no Korean War. And if there had been no Communist China, surely there would have been no Communist Vietnam and no Indo-China/Vietnam War. The United States would have been left to involve itself in Latin America, the Caribbean and the Pacific, including Japan, which it would anyway have defeated in its war for control of the Pacific. Thus, the US presence would have been far less important in Western Europe than it turned out to be. As for the Third World as a whole, perhaps decolonization could have occurred without much of the war, violence and chaos that did occur. A Non-Communist Russian Confederation would not have distributed kalashnikovs and land-mines to the Third World, but Gospels and Orthodox Christianity (1).
Life is full of lost opportunities, presented by God, but which we reject through spiritual blindness. All the above were lost opportunities. Why, between 1945-1991, did the Soviet Union continue to exist as an anti-human, atheist Empire, whose first victims were Russians, Ukrainians and Belorussians, then the other peoples of the Soviet Union, then Eastern Europe, and finally many Third World countries? Why did the nightmare go on, allowing atheist globalism, with its Western cultural revolution of the 1960s (spiritually no less dreadful than that in Maoist China), to develop all the more rapidly in the Non-Communist world? Simply because the peoples of the Soviet Union, especially the majority Slavs, were not ready to return to Orthodoxy, not repentant, and so still endured and spread Communist ideology. We have to be spiritually worthy of the opportunities given to us by God. So the Soviet nightmare lasted three generations and not one.
What if we had repented? We did not. But we can still repent now. And today, in this time before Antichrist, we have all the more to restore. We hurry to save anything that can be saved from the rising floodtide of globalist secularism, spreading from its spiritual homelands in Brussels and Washington. In a Russia which is today only just staggering to its feet, after the twin blows first of Communism and then mafia-led Westernization in the 1990s, Russian Orthodoxy has only just begun to rise from the dead. It is by no means certain how long the Resurrection will take. As yet, it is still the darkness of Easter Night. Only some have heard the rumour, carried through the night air, that ‘Christ is Risen’ and most have not yet managed to reply ‘Truly He is Risen’.
It is by no means certain how long it will take to overcome the three generations of atheist poison which runs through the ex-Communist (Soviet humanist) and the Capitalist (secular humanist) world, in terms of abortion and alcoholism, crime and hatred, drugs and prostitution. But if all these opportunities for repentance have been lost in the past, then let us make all the more use of the opportunities that we have now, before it is too late, for the choice is ever starker: Resurrection as offered by the Church of Christ - or Death as offered by global humanist secularism, the ‘Church’ of Antichrist. In a word: in our hearts we can stay inside the Temple in Jerusalem – or else we can altogether leave it for the furnaces of Babylon.
Priest Andrew Phillips,
Leavetaking of the Presentation in the Temple of the Most Holy Virgin
1. See the author’s The Saints of Russia and the Universality of Orthodoxy in Orthodox Christianity and the Orthodox Tradition, 1995 and 1997.