The core of the book deals with his nonresistance to evil, a principle Tolstoy passionately advocated. Gandhi was won over by the book. Tolstoy clearly describes the hazards that bullying governments and false beliefs produced. “The situation of the Christian part of humanity—with its prisons, forced labor, gallows, saloons, brothels, constantly increasing armaments, and millions of confused people ready like trained hounds to attack anyone against whom their masters set them—this situation would be terrible if it were the product of coercion, but it is above all the product of public opinion.”
Abhorring the violence of revolution, Tolstoy calls on Christians to remember that the only guide for their actions is to be found in the divine principle dwelling within them, which in no sense can be checked or governed by anyone or anything else.