Religion: The Case of the Red Hadjis

Religion may be the opium of the people, but to a Russian propagandist it can be a mighty handy gadget. Last week the Kremlin's latest piece of religious propaganda dropped right out of the sky over Turkey.

At Ankara airport landed a Russian transport plane, ostensibly out of fuel. Out popped 21 gaily clad Mecca-bound pilgrims, Communists all, yet Moslems to a man. Two of them, their passports showed, were Red army officers. While the prospective hadjis were still scattering affable salaam aleikums around the airport, Russian-embassy personnel arrived. Their eagerness was understandable : Russia is trying hard to woo not only...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!