One hundred years ago today, Russian Tsar Nicholas and his family were executed by the Bolsheviks. The legacy of the Romanovs remains in dispute to this day.
The staggering losses suffered by the Russians, during World War One, prefigured the end of the dynasty. But critics say that Nicholas, and his family, were inept, and insensitive to the plight of the people. The Russian Orthodox Church, on the other hand, declared the Romanovs to be Christian saints, in the year 2000.
No matter what you think about the Romanov legacy, what came after that was pretty horrifying. It was the end of so-called “Christian Russia.” Under the eventual Communist leader Joseph Stalin, somewhere between 8 to 20 million people lost their lives, depending on who is counting, one of the great tragedies of atheism run amok in the 20th century.
What can Christians today learn from this period of history? The Smithsonian magazine has an interesting article detailing the controversy, over the bodily remains of the family. Conservative columnist Rod Dreher gives an Eastern Orthodox reflection on the Romanovs.