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It began 68 years ago today, December 1st, 1934. Sergey Kirov, a leader of the Russian Revolution and a high-ranking member of the Politburo, was shot to death at his Leningrad office by Leonid Nikolayev. Many believe that the gunman Nikolayev, a member of the Communist Party, carried out the assassination by the urging of the Soviet leader Joseph Stalin. Whatever Stalin’s true role in the murder of his political rival Kirov, the assassination was used by Stalin as a masquerade for eliminating many of his rivals within the Communist Party, the government, the armed forces, and the intelligence community.

Seven different trials were held related to Kirov’s assassination. Although the evidence presented in each trial often contradicted the other trials, a guilty verdict was always the outcome. Different individuals were found guilty of Kirov’s death all with a variety of motives and means for carrying out the murder. The Kirov assassination trials marked the beginning of Stalin’s massive four-year purge of Soviet society, in which millions of people were imprisoned, exiled, or killed.

In a similar way Satan seeks to destroy you and me. Jesus said the devil’s primary objective is to “steal, kill and destroy” (John 10:10). Our enemy is real; a deadly battle rages on. None of us can escape this war for our souls. Satan’s attack against you and me is relentless, but we can have faith to stand!

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