The Christians Who
Upstaged Their Atheist Russian Leader-Unproven!
story talks about Ivanovich Bukharin, a powerful Russian leader in
the early part of the 20th century. In 1930, he is said to
have traveled to Kiev to deliver an address to a large crowd on the
subject of atheism. After a an hour of delivering his best
arguments against faith, he asked if there were any questions.
One man came from the crowd to the front and loudly proclaimed the
ancient Orthodox greeting "Christ is risen!" Then
the crowd responded with the ancient Orthodox response "He is
This story has been told through the years as having happened in
various settings, usually Russia. Some versions it happened in
the 1930's. Others put it in the 1920's. There are
several different names ascribed to the communist leader who was
speaking to the crowd. We have not found a historically
reliable source for the story. Can anyone help us out?
A real example of the story as it has been circulated:
You probably do not remember the name Nikolai Ivanovich Bukharin norshould
But during his day he was as powerful a man as there was on earth. As
Russian Communist leader he took part in the BolshevikRevolution 1917, was
editor of the Soviet newspaper Pravda (which by the way means truth), and
was a full member of the Politburo. His works oneconomics and political
science are still read today.
There is a story told about a journey he took from Moscow to Kiev in 1930
to address a huge assembly on the subject of atheism. Addressing the crowd
he aimed his heavy artillery at Christianity hurling insults, argument,
and proof against it. An hour later he was finished. He looked out at what
seemed to be the smoldering ashes of men's faith. "Are there any
questions?" Bukharin demanded. Deafening silence filled the
auditorium but then one man approached the platform and mounted the
lectern standing near the communist leader. He surveyed the crowd first to
the left then to the right. Finally he shouted the ancient greeting known
well in the Russian Orthodox Church: "CHRIST IS RISEN!"
En masse the crowd arose as one man and the response came crashing like the sound of thunder: