Brian Stiller

Podcastor

Author

Global Ambassador @ WEA

Brian Stiller

Podcastor

Author

Global Ambassador @ WEA

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How Moral Authority is Lost

January 10, 2000 Articles

The Mitrokhin Archive: The KGB in Europe and the West (The Penguin Press, 1999) is authored by Christopher Andrew professor of Modern and Contemporary History and Chair of the Faculty of History at Cambridge University, and chair of the British Intelligence Study Group and Vasili Mitrokhin who worked for 30 years in the foreign intelligence archives of the KGB.

The KGB got one of their agents Aleksei Buyevsky on the drafting committee, preparing for the 5th Assembly of the WCC in Nairobi in 1975 who effectively insured that nothing would be said which would bring any sort of discredit to the Soviet block on their violation of human rights. During the ’75 Assembly as they slammed the west for its failures of “racism, sexism, classism and imperialism.” the WCC refused to consider the non-white racist issue of Uganda who had rejected Asians from their country in 1972. In his August 1976 report on the progress of religious liberties, General Secretary of the WCC, Andrew reports that Dr. Philip Porter said nothing about the religious persecution in the Soviet community, even though violations were well known and being widely reported.

Then at the 1983 WCC Assembly in Vancouver, chaired by our beloved Christian statesman, former Canadian Archbishop Ted Scott, there was a letter sent from a Russian Orthodox deacon Vladimir, who appealed to delegates at Vancouver to “stop treating the propagandistic claims of Soviet delegates as the only source of information” on matters of religion in Soviet Union. At the same assembly, Andrew reports that another letter was send speaking for 35 imprisoned Soviet Christians and 20,000 persecuted Pentecostalists. Again, “neither letter . . . was discussed at the assembly.” This despite the history of a communist regime which slaughtered more in its path than the demonic hordes of Nazism ever imagined possible.

The moral impotence of the WCC in the face of the open violence and persecution to Christians and minorities of all sorts, is quite unbelievable. While the WCC members poured hundreds of thousands of dollars into their regional WCC office in South Africa to bring the white supremacist government to its knees, this world body of historic churches and denominations, fell to the prevaricating and intimidating tactics of the KGB and by so doing, lost her moral authority and power. This is a terrible story of the failure of the Christian community, led by the power brokers of world-wide denominations. It will be decades before the Christian community can look a survivor of the gulags and prison camps of the Soviet block with any sort of credibility. We failed them. We ask those who led the WCC, where were you? Why were you so blinded? How was it that you only saw the sins of South Africa and yet pretended (at least to the outside world) that the dirty tricks of the KGB were sufficient proof that the reports of Keston College in England and others were anything less than true?

Poland.
The election of Karol Wojtyla, Archbishop of Krakow, as Pope John Paul II, October 16, 1978.
“The undermining of the empire built by Stalin after Yalta was begun not by the military might of the West but by the moral authority of the first Polish Pope, which rapidly eclipsed that of the Polish Communist Party.” 662

What the world body of the WCC seemed impotent to even offer a public word of support, a priest from Poland.
First Secretary Jaruzelski, an unbeliever, said that when he met Pope John Paul II “My legs were trembling and my knees were knocking together . . . The Pope, this figure in white, it all affected me emotionally. Beyond all reason . . .”

Moral authority has a way of unnerving the guilty.
Brian C Stiller
ChristianWeek Jan 21/00