By Rev. Ben Johnson | 6 November 2017
ACTION INSTITUTE — As the world remembers the hundredth anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution, Spain commemorates the thousands of Christians martyred by the Communists during the Spanish Red Terror. Historian Stanley G. Payne called this period the “most extensive and violent persecution of Catholicism in Western history, in some way even more intense than that of the French Revolution.”
Every November 6, the Roman Catholic Church in Spain remembers those martyred for their faith by socialists during this anti-Christian persecution, which peaked at the outset of the Spanish Civil War in 1936.
Ángel Manuel García Carmona brings this tragedy, and the intellectual trends that created it, to life for readers of Religion & Liberty Transatlantic. He writes those regions of Spain controlled by the Popular Front – the alliance of socialists and Communists largely controlled by Moscow:
were the scenes of dramatic religious persecution. Some 6,832 religious were murdered between 1936 and 1939 – including 13 bishops and 4,184 priests. As many as 20,000 churches were destroyed, many of them before the war commenced.
One of the deadliest massacres came in the autumn of 1936. At least 5,000 citizens were killed in the city of Paracuellos del Jarama (Madrid) by order of Madrid Committee of Defence, which was ruled by communists. People, especially women, were murdered for attending Mass.
By the end of the Spanish Civil War in 1939, an estimated one-fifth of the nation’s Catholic clergy lay dead. […]