I'm not going to pop on the internet and tell you all a big lie that Joseph Stalin was a dedicated Christian, truth is he wasn't he eventually denounced his faith. However, he was indeed raised as Christian, not only that at the ripe young age of 16 he received a scholarship to a Georgian Orthodox seminary.
From what I've read on this background as a youth growing up, he was mistreated by the religious authorities, causing him to rebel. An official soviet record even goes to suggest that Stalin was expelled for reading "illegal literature". I think its more than obvious what went on here, the religious authorities were clearly trying to censor young Stalin, by getting rid of him completely by expelling him from the seminary.
They certainly didn't encourage him to question everything or apply critical thinking, they tried to control him and it clearly backfired.
Is it not quite evident that Stalins mistreatment of this religious order had a damaging effect on his mind and that in of itself was the cause of his corruption and complete hatred for religions and the religious? If they had of been more accepting of his views would he have become a communist I wonder?
Is it not possible that even though he rejected religion it left a psychological scar on him?
[see references as proof of legitimacy of this Wikipedia article]
I read about Stalin recently that he was manic depressive. The manic depression along with paranoia were the main culprits in his extreme aggressive pursuit of power. We know though how hard religion can be on young and impressionable minds.
Hitler was raised a catholic and used it in his speeches to control and manipulate. People will do anything for god and country.
Another very important factor to acknowledge. This reinforces my views. Thanks
Although I have no doubt that Stalin's religious upbringing shaped him, I cannot help but wonder what else shaped him. Most people have a need for 'certainty' - even if that means being certainly wrong. In Stalin's case, what certainty could he achieve after losing his faith and Tsar? There was no model available to him.
Communism moved into the unknown, lacking a role model. Stalin also had no Atheist social model to study. He wasn't a nation unto himself, and if he understood one thing it was that 'the people' looked for certainty in their leader. I think he tried to provide that, even when he knew full well that he had no idea what the fuck he was doing.
This is part of the reason I've been giving more thought to Humanism. Atheism doesn't provide morality, a model for government, or a basis for family - nor should it. I don't feel as compelled to find certainty as most people, but I feel that choosing some acceptable (if not arbitrary) 'foundation' for a worldview is necessary when it comes to arguing morality, government model, etc.