Pants-of-dog wrote:No, atheism is not central to Marxism. Nor is it inherent to Marxism, or necessary.
If I recall correctly, I believe Marx originally started off thinking the religion is the root of all the worlds evils. However, as he grew/studied more. He came to realize that religion isn't really a problem, it's capitalism. Someline @Potemkin might be able to correct or expand that understanding though.
I'm guessing people falsely believe that Maxism is anti-religion because of those early beliefs by Marx.