Congressman Morgan Griffith said, â€śThis Easter Sunday, my family and I will reflect on the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and celebrate his resurrection. As a Christian, I believe Christ sacrificed himself for us so our sins could be forgiven and we could be redeemed. On religious holidays such as Easter, I am particularly thankful for our religious freedom. No matter what you believe, we are lucky to live in America where we have religious freedom. I am deeply troubled by attacks with religious motivation, such as the recent bombings at Palm Sunday services in Egypt.
"I am reminded this Easter of a story I included in a 2014 newsletter, the story of a journey reportedly taken by a Russian Communist leader, Nikolai Bukharin, who had taken part in the Bolshevik Revolution. As the story goes, Bukharin traveled from Moscow to Kiev (which is now the capital of Ukraine, an independent nation) in order to address a large crowd of Communists on the subject of atheism.
"You see, communism was officially atheistic. As stated by Karl Marx, one of the founders of communist thought, 'Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.'
"Following his remarks against faith, Bukharin looked at the audience and asked if there were any questions.
"A man then approached, and he mounted the platform. Looking out at the crowd assembled before him â€“ despite Bukharinâ€™s anti-faith remarks that had preceded him â€“ this second man is said to have shouted, 'Christ is risen!' Those before him stood and shouted back, 'He is risen indeed!'
"This story involving Nikolai Bukharin is told often. We have not found a primary source historical reference to it. However, I cannot imagine that this is a story that the Communists would have ensured was officially recorded.
"But what a powerful story it is! 'He is risen indeed!'
"On this Easter Sunday, I extend my prayers to all of you: Christians, those of other faiths, and yes, also atheists, because I believe all mankind needs redemption, myself particularly."