Letter from a Soviet concentration camp

 

 

“On Easter Day all of us who were imprisoned for religious convictions were united in the one joy of Christ.  We were all taken into one feeling, into one spiritual triumph, glorifying the one eternal God.  There was no solemn Paschal service with the ringing of church bells, no possibility in our camp to gather for worship, to dress up for the festival, to prepare Easter dishes.  On the contrary, there was even more work and more interference than usual.  All the prisoners here for religious convictions, whatever their denomination, were surrounded by more spying, by more threats from the secret police.  Yet Easter was there:  great, holy, spiritual, unforgettable.  It was blessed by the silent Siberian stars and by our sorrows.  How our hearts beat joyfully in communion with the great Resurrection!  Death is conquered, fear no more, an Easter is given to us!  Full of this marvelous Easter, we send you from our prison camp the victorious and joyful tidings:  Christos voskres!  Christ is Risen!”

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