The Inventor of the AK-47 Assault Rifle Was a Devout Christian

Though his gun gave Kalashnikov fame, it did not give him peace. He found that in prayer

This article originally appeared onRussian Faith, a new website with news about the Christian renaissance in Russia. See their introductory video at end of article.

Mikhail Kalashnikov, the great Russian general, and inventor had an old maxim. He would say “Man does not need what is complicated, but the most useful things to man are simple.” That simplicity is reflected in the design of his rifle, known for its legendary reliability, due to its uncomplicated design.

If only life was that simple. The old Russian hero, who died in 2013  at the age of 94, never wanted to be a weapons designer. He wanted to invent agricultural equipment before life in his country changed drastically due to WWII. He was called to defend the Motherland as a tank commander.  

There, he developed the world's most famous rifle; he always joked that had he gotten a chance to built a lawnmower, it would have probably looked like an AK anyway.

Despite his love for simplicity, Kalashnikov did not have a simple life. In his old age, he was deeply tortured by the knowledge that his rifle was used to do evil, even though he knew his weapons were also used to destroy evil and defend the Motherland.

In an attempt to find peace, like Nobel and Oppenheimer, this old weapons designer also turned his eyes to a quiet life in the hopes of seeing a silver lining. Seeking redemption, he wrote a letter to Patriarch Kirill, the head of the Russian Church, saying:

“My soul ache is unbearable and has one irresolvable question: if my rifle took lives, does it mean that I, Mikhail Kalashnikov, aged 93, a peasant woman’s son, an Orthodox Christian in faith, am guilty of those people’s deaths, even if they were enemies?"

Though he was told, reportedly, that he was not condemned for this, his sadness continued. Whenever I thought of this famous old man whom I had always admired for his humility, his endless search for forgiveness, I ruminated on his old maxim again, on his love of simplicity, and then something amazing occurred to me...

Did you think America was the only country that loves God and Guns? Do you want to read more about this legendary Russian General who invented the deadliest weapon since the spear, and his humble, penitent, Christian life? Click here to read more!

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