MOSCOW, January 8 (RIA Novosti) – Raising eyebrows of Christians and Soviet loyalists alike, a printing house affiliated with the Russian Orthodox Christian Church produced a calendar of one of the church’s worst oppressors.
The monthly calendar by Dostoinstvo (“Dignity”) publishing house offers a series of pictures of the bloody Soviet dictator Josef Stalin.
The calendar comes complete with biographic snippets and Stalin’s nicknames, including Soso, Pockmarked and Lord.
It was printed by the Patriarch Publishing Center of the Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius, according to the calendar’s overhead.
Photos of the calendar were first published by blogger Mikhail Babkin on Tuesday.
The Russian Orthodox Church has not commented on the issue as of this article’s publication.
The Patriarch Publishing Center, located at Russia’s most famous monastery outside Moscow, was set up with the church’s endorsement and handles many publications of the Moscow Patriarchate.
Dostoinstvo is a conservative publisher whose back catalogue comprises a motley mix of pro-Stalin and pro-Church publications.
Last year, it offered a monthly calendar with pictures of Russian tsars, which, inexplicably, cost twice as much as a Stalin calendar – 400 rubles vs. 200 rubles ($12 and $6, respectively).
Stalin, who has studied at an Orthodox seminary, supervised the destruction of hundreds of churches and widespread repressions of clergy under the atheist Soviet regime.