Tolstoy on Christianity

In his wonderful book The Kingdom of God is Within You, Russian writer Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910) relates the story of the Hindu convert to Christianity, a careful student of the Gospel and the esentials of Jesus’ thought. The convert left India for Europe only to be horrified at what he discovered when he witnessed the actual life of professed Christians. Relates Tolstoy:

He could not recover from his astonishment at the complete contrast between the reality and what he had expected to find among Christian nations. … We need only look at our life from the point of view of that Indian who understood Christianity in its true significance, without any compromise or concessions, we need but look at the savage brutalities of which our life is full, to be appalled at the contradictions in the midst of which we live often without observing them.