“During the 1939-45 War, in the darkest days of Russia when the German army was within a few miles of both Leningrad and Moscow, Stalin did a most extraordinary thing.
You might have expected that as a convinced Marxist he would have had readings from Das Kapital on the Soviet radio in order to stiffen up the sinews and summon up the blood of his fellow countrymen.
But he didn’t do that, for the name of Marx was unmentioned in those dark days. What he did do was a characteristic Stalinist thing, he fetched the Patriarch and one or two other prelates from the labour camp where they were languishing and brought them to the Kremlin and set them up in business again.
In other words, he reestablished for the time being the Russian Orthodox Church. It’s one of those very significant incidents that tends to get forgotten.
I wonder what it must have been like in the camp when the poor old Patriarch was told that Stalin wanted to set him up again. The order to get all his vestments and things would have come as quite a shock to him.
But that is exactly what happened, because Stalin knew that to get the Russian people to fight to the end with their backs to the wall, he needed something more than Marxist materialism.”
Malcolm Muggeridge, The End of Christendom, pg. 15