Church and State in the Modern Age: A Documentary History

By J. F. MacLear | Go to book overview
b. If in any words of ours, spoken or written, you should find anything that you judge contrary to the teachings of our Church, we shall respectfully and conscientiously think over your corrections. . . .
c. I am ready and willing to take part in further dialogues, if I receive a guarantee that at the meetings not a single participant will revile us or our aims. . . . It is very sad for me to think that in 1952 under the Rakosi regime, the atheist major who interrogated me at the secret police headquarters . . . for sixty days showed more respect for my person and my activities than was my lot at the abovementioned meetings. . . .

It may seem superfluous, but to avoid any misunderstanding I must mention that my frequent use in this letter of the first person plural means unequivocally that I do not state these things alone, but together with all my brethren of the same persuasion.

Source: Religion in Communist Lands, Vol. XI, No. 1 ( 1983), pp. 105-108; Vol. XII, No. 1 ( 1984), pp. 38-41.


SUGGESTIONS FOR BACKGROUND AND REFERENCE

J. Broun, Conscience and Captivity. Religion in Eastern Europe ( Washington, D.C., 1988), pp. 127-162.

F. Hainbuch, Kirche und Staat in Ungarn nach dem Zweiten Weltkrieg ( Munich, 1982).

J. K. Hoensch, A History of Modern Hungary, 1867-1983 ( London, 1988).

P. Michel, Politics and Religion in Eastern Europe ( Oxford, 1991), pp. 116-122.

N. C. Nielsen, Revolutions in Eastern Europe. The Religious Roots ( Maryknoll, N.Y., 1991), pp. 49-64.


184
Hungarian Diakonia Theology: Dóka's Letter to the Lutheran World Federation and "A Brotherly Word" of the Lutheran Reform Group (Extracts) July 10, 1984, and March 1986

Protestant minorities in Eastern Europe, seeking to adjust to the ascendant communism, often developed theological themes emphasizing the gospel duty of service to a reconstructed and more beneficent social order and of cooperation with political authority in building such an order. These themes were found in both Lutheran and Reformed churches and, with forceful state endorsement, often became official and obligatory doctrine, intolerant of any difference or criticism. In the West and (more dangerously) at home, opponents charged that the trend prostituted Christianity to political and secular ends in a manner reminiscent of the "German Christians" in the Nazi era, a judgment angrily rejected by the accused theologians.

From Religion in Communist Lands, XIII, No. 1 ( 1985), XIV, No. 3 ( 1986). Copyright, 1985, 1986 by Keston College, publisher. Reprinted by permission of the publisher.

-493-

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