Communist doctrine is anti-religious in the established denominational sense. The ideal is the practical brotherhood of man through the international communist movement. Measures to superimpose the communist ideal on the traditional cultural heritage in the form of forced assimilation to the newly-created ideal may be brutal and do nothing to bridge the social and cultural gap. The repression of religion has not been successful in many communist countries, where it derives an increased fervour from the fact of persecution.
Roman Catholicism flourishes in Poland although it is in deep conflict with the communist regime, and the recent murder of a Catholic priest by the military set off a world-wide protest. In other communist countries of eastern Europe (notably Russia), Jews, Evangelical Protestants, and Roman Catholics appear to suffer more than the Russian Orthodox, but all who profess their religious beliefs openly may lose their jobs, be harassed, imprisoned or tortured, especially if they attempt to proselytize or to criticize the regime. In Albania and Ethiopia, all religions are suppressed.