Gorbachev Dispels 'Closet Christian' Rumors; Says He is Atheist





Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev made clear this past weekend that he is an atheist after European news agencies last week claimed that he had confirmed his Christian faith during a visit to the tomb of St. Francis of Assisi in Italy.

Gorbachev, the last communist leader of the Soviet Union, confronted speculations that he had been a closeted Christian during an interview with the Russian news agency Interfax.

"Over the last few days some media have been disseminating fantasies – I can't use any other word – about my secret Catholicism, citing my visit to the Sacro Convento friary, where the remains of St. Francis of Assisi lie," Gorbachev said, according to an Interfax article posted Friday.

"To sum up and avoid any misunderstandings, let me say that I have been and remain an atheist,” he stated.


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