Everett Ferguson, in Church History, I, 23.I.D, discusses the brutality of the crusades in the early 13th century, when Constantinople was sacked. One point I found particularly interesting was a comparison between the persecution then and the harsh anti-religious campaigns of the early 20th century in the USSR:
Memories are long in the East, and Orthodox Christians in the twentieth century affirmed that they had more religious liberty under the Marxists than they did under the crusaders.
Wikipedia's article on the persecution in the Soviet Union indicates that that was no walk in the park either – tens of thousands of clergy were murdered and many members were sent to labor camps, transforming an openly Christian nation into one with no public expressions of religion.
Yet some Eastern Orthodox Christians apparently judged that persecution as preferable to that of the crusades. I'd love to understand why, but to do so I need to know who Ferguson is referring to – which Orthodox Christians positively compared Marxist persecutions to the crusades? Was this a statement by an Orthodox church, or a group of clergy, or just a few individuals speaking for themselves?