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Secularism, Humanism, and Atheism: Their Crime Against Humanity

The 20th Century has been the bloodiest century in all of history.  And humanism has proven to be the most destructive religion of all time.  Far more people have been killed in the name of atheism than by all other religions combined.  

Historian Paul Johnson has observed that ”the 20th Century state has proved itself the great killer of all time.”  The 20th Century has seen the worst atrocities ever committed.  The word ”genocide”, a new term coined in the 20th Century, describes what has occurred repeatedly in secular humanist states – which had first disarmed their populations. 

Darwinian evolutionism with its ”survival of the fittest” ideology has devalued human life.  If man is not created in the image of God, and if there is no God in heaven Who will judge the living and the dead, if there are no objective standards of right and wrong – then life becomes cheap.  When you devalue God, you devalue life.

What are people according to atheists who believe in evolution?  ”A hairless ape” – Schoenberg; ”A mere insect, an ant…” – Church; ”An accidental twig” – Gould; ”A rope stretched over an abyss” – Nietzsche; ”A fungus on the surface of one of the minor planets” – Du Maurier; ”A jest, a dream, a show, bubble, air…” – Thornbury; and ”I see no reason for attributing to man a significant difference in kind from that which belongs to a grain of sand” – Oliver Wendell Holmes.

When atheism takes hold of a society, moral relativism is inevitable.  Nothing is sacred.  There is no objective standard of right and wrong, no God, no eternal Day of Judgement.  No hope of eternal justice. Life becomes cheap. 

As the existentialist writer Jean-Paul Sartre explained:  ”Without God all activities are equivalent…thus it amounts to the same thing whether one gets drunk alone, or is a leader of nations.

Historian Paul Johnson commented on the advance of atheism in modern history:  ”Nietzsche wrote in 1886:  ’The greatest event of recent times – that God is dead, that the belief in the Christian God is no longer tenable – is beginning to cast its first shadows over Europe.’  Ultimately the collapse of the religious impulse would leave a huge vacuum.  The history of modern times is in great part the history of how that vacuum has been filled.

The Fruit of Atheism

As Dr. James Kennedy in ”What If Jesus Had Never Been Born?” observes:  ”That vacuum has been filled with the totalitarian state, the loss of freedom for millions, the concentration camp and the gulag,  the rise of abortion, infanticide, euthanasia and suicide, crime out of all proportion, and the most savage wars in the history of the world.” 

The triumph of secular humanism with its atheism, evolutionism and situation ethics has led to the rise of gangster statesmen such as Vladimir Lenin, Joseph Stalin, Mao Tse Tung, Fidel Castro, Pol Pot, Robert Mugabe and many more like them.

At least 180 million people have been killed by secular governments in the 20th Century.  And that is a very conservative estimate.  We are not here talking about people who have died in wars caused by secular humanist states, because that would massively increase the body count.  No, over 180 million people have been killed by their own secular humanist governments in the 20th Century.  The greatest threat to life in the 20th Century was not firearm accidents, or crime, or even wars!  More people were killed by their own governments in peace time than were killed by foreign invaders in war time.

Dr. David Barrett, editor of the massive World Christian Encyclopaedia, and author of Cosmos, Chaos and Gospel, and Our Globe and How To Reach It, has documented that Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin was responsible for killing over 40 million people.  Joseph Stalin closed down over 48 000 churches, and attempted the liquidation of the entire Christian Church. 

Similarly, communist dictator of China Mao Tse Tung launched the Great Proletariat Cultural Revolution, ”History’s most systematic attempt ever, by a single nation, to eradicate and destroy Christianity…” Mao was responsible for killing about 72 million people. 

The communist takeover of Cambodia in 1975 resulted in the death of up to 3 million people – a full third of the total population.  When we add to these the death toll of communist regimes in Korea, Vietnam, Laos, Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Angola, Mozambique, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Cuba, and Zimbabwe, the body count is staggering. 

As Dostoevsky so eloquently put it:  ”If God is dead, then all things are possible!

The terrifying thing about secular humanist states is that there is no authority above the state to which one can make an appeal.  The concept of ”inalienable rights” endowed by a Creator are of course impossible in a secular state.  If the state itself is the highest authority, then there are no limits to the abuses and oppression that unrestrained human nature is capable of.  The humanist state inevitably leads to tyranny and despotism.

The publication of The Black Book of Communism created a sensation.  First published in French and later translated into English, the Black Book is a scholarly, detailed account of the crimes of communism, starting with the Russian Revolution and continuing through Eastern Europe, Red China, North Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Angola and Afghanistan.

At almost 900 pages long, the Black Book’s exhaustive indictment of communism is all the more compelling because all six of its authors were once communists.  They are researchers, professors and journalists associated with the Paris-based Centre for the Study of History and Sociology of Communism.  The editor of the Black Book of Communism, Stephane Courtois, is also the editor of the Communisme magazine.

As the foreword declares:  ”Ten years ago, the authors of the Black Book would have refused to believe what they now write…”  However, their ”exploration of the Soviet archives…” forced them, out of a ”duty of remembrance” to the millions of victims murdered under Marxist regimes, to ”spare a little compassion for the victims of the inhumanity so long meted out by so many of its own partisans.” 

Their intention was that the Black Book serve as both history and as a memorial to those victims whose very memory had been wiped out. 

In his introduction, Stephane Courtois declares: ”The fact remains that our century has outdone its predecessors in its bloodthirstiness…indeed (communism) occupies one of the most violent and most significant places of all…

The Bitter Harvest


The Tuol Sleng prison in Cambodia, a former school, was one of the worst centres for torture and execution. Each prisoner – every man, woman and child – was photographed before being cruelly executed. (Photo Reza / Sygma)

The Black Book indicts the Soviet Union’s communist leaders with the following crimes (amongst many others): 

• The execution (without trial) of tens of thousands of hostages and prisoners and the murder of hundreds of thousands of workers and peasants in Russia from 1918 to 1922 under Vladimir Lenin. 

• Deliberately destroying all food and crops so as to starve to death 5 million people in Russia in 1922.

•The extermination of the Cossacks in 1920.

•The liquidation of 690 000 people in the great purge of 1937 – 38.

•The destruction of 4 million Ukrainians and 2 million other people in the man-made and systematically perpetrated dekulakisation famine of 1932 – 1933.

The Black Book presents a very conservative estimate of the number of civilians murdered by Marxist regimes based on the Marxist regime’s own records:  20 million in the USSR; 65 million in Red China; 1 million in Vietnam; 2 million in North Korea; 2 million in Cambodia; 1,5 million in Afghanistan, and so on.  The Black Book of Communism documents that, according to the communist regimes’ own archives, the total death toll is at least 100 million people killed by communist governments between 1917 and 1991. 

These crimes tend to fit a recognisable pattern…the pattern includes execution by…firing squads, hanging, drowning, battering, and, in certain cases, gassing, poisoning or ’car accidents’; destruction of the population by starvation, through man-made famine, the withholding of food, or both; deportation, through which death can occur in transit (either through physical exhaustion or through confinement in an enclosed space)…or through forced labour (exhaustion, illness, hunger, cold)…Thus in the name of an ideological belief system were tens of millions of innocent victims systematically butchered.

The foreword of The Black Book declares:  ”Communism has been the great story of the 20th Century.  Bursting into history from the most unlikely corner of Europe amid the trauma of World War I, in the wake of the cataclysm of 1939 – 1945 it made a giant leap westward…and an even greater one eastward to the China Seas.  With this feat…it had come to rule a third of mankind and seemed poised to advance indefinitely.  For seven decades it haunted world politics, polarising opinion between those who saw it as the socialist end of history and those who considered it as history’s most total tyranny.

With socialist fables of their ”worker’s paradise” now consigned to what Trotsky called ”the ash heap of history”, it has to be admitted that the secular humanist state has been ”a tragedy of planetary dimensions…the communist record offers the most colossal case of political carnage in history.” 

As The Black Book documents, communist states did not merely commit criminal acts, ”they were criminal enterprises in their very essence, on principle, so to speak, they ruled lawlessly, by violence and without regard for human life.”  What is also remarkable is that these atrocities were committed by regimes who claimed that they were building ”a worker’s paradise”, heaven on earth.  However, rather than delivering paradise, all communism succeeded in was creating hell on earth.

They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity…”         2 Peter 2:19

There is a danger that as we list the statistics and read the mind-numbing numbers of the victims of secular states, we can be hardened. As Joseph Stalin observed: ”The death of one person is a tragedy, but the death of millions is just a statistic.”  But we need to remind ourselves that these were real people, and whole families, that were maimed, mutilated and murdered.


Terror as a means of education in Vietnam: the execution of a”counter revolutionary” provides the opportunity to reinforce a political and
social system. (Photo Coll. Doan Van Toai)

If we were to add to the number of those victims murdered by their own government in the 20th Century, the pre-born babies who have been killed by abortion, and those old and sick people killed by euthanasia, in secular states, the death toll would approach one billion people.  That is 1000 million victims killed by secular states in the 20th Century alone.

”There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God.  All have turned away, they have together become worthless;…their throats are open graves; their tongues practice deceit.  The poison of vipers is on their lips.  Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.  Their feet are swift to shed blood; ruin and misery mark their ways…”  Romans 3:10 – 17

As Dr. James Kennedy observes in ”What If Jesus Had Never Been Born?” the 20th Century was ”one of mass murder, genocide and institutionalised terrorism, the fruits of that phantom faith in the secular state that persists in promising liberation even as it attacks the most fundamental human attachments.

”The fool says in his heart, ’there is no God.’  They are corrupt, their deeds are vile; there is no one who does good.”                              Psalm 14:1

The bitter harvest of atheism proves that humanism is the most destructive religion in all of history.  The secular state is the greatest killer ever, and secular states have made the 20th Century the bloodiest century of all time. 

Peter Hammond is the author of In The Killing Fields of Mozambique, Holocaust in Rwanda and Faith Under Fire In Sudan.

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