"Russian President Vladimir Putin has compared communism to Christianity and likened Bolshevik revolutionary leader Vladimir Lenin to a “saint” in a revealing new interview.
PUBLISHED: 05:10, Mon, Jan 15, 2018 | UPDATED: 03:55, Tue, Jan 16, 2018
Putin claimed communist ideology has all the hallmarks of religion in that it is based on equality, brotherhood and it has its own “holy scripture”. Speaking in an interview for a documentary film called "Valaam”, a clip from which was broadcast by the Russia 1 TV channel, he said: "Faith has always accompanied us, it strengthened when our country, our people faced particularly difficult times.
"There were such severe years of militant atheism during the Soviet period when priests were killed, churches were destroyed. But at the same time a new religion was being created — communist ideology, which is very similar to Christianity, in fact.
“Freedom, equality, brotherhood, justice — all of this is enshrined in the Holy Scripture, it's all there. And what about the Code of the Builders of communism? This is a sublimation, it's really just a primitive excerpt from the Bible, nothing new was invented.”
He also compared leader of the Bolshevik Party and of the Russian revolutions, Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov - better known as Lenin - to Christian saints. When Lenin died in 1924, his body was embalmed and put on display in a mausoleum in Red Square, Moscow. Mr Putin added: “Look, Lenin was put in a mausoleum. How is this different from the relics of saints for Orthodox Christians and just for Christians?
“When they say that there’s no such tradition in Christianity, well, how come, go to Athos and take a look, there are relics of the saints there, and we have holy relics here.”