The Christian Peace Conference and its connections with the Communist state: the case of Hungarian churches in the early 1960’s
Issue: Issue No. 20 (2013)
Page Range: 197-214
No. of Pages: 18
Keywords: Christian Peace Conference, church under communism, Communist state security, East-West church relations, Ecumenism
Summary/Abstract: The present article analyzes the practical role of the Communist state in the activities of the Christian Peace Conference. The main subject of interest includes the attitude of the different agencies of the Socialist state towards the CPC; the source and form of interest they had in the activities of the organization; the level of control they applied over the participants and their activities; their interplay and possible division of labor. There were two main agencies that were interested in the Hungarian participation in the CPC: the State Office for Church Affairs and the state security. Both instances produced reports, which offer the source base of the article. The paper concludes that there is no doubt that the CPC served to fulfill certain needs of Socialist foreign policy. It seems also apparent that the participating church leaders were strictly instructed by both governmental authorities and Security officers in specific issues. However, in so far as they delivered the tasks they were expected to accomplish, they were able to create international contacts and in questions not related to their tasks even to pursue whatever activities they felt important as churchmen. Additionally, the interest of the different agencies of the state was rather limited. Therefore the CPC was definitely taken advantage of, but nevertheless, it was first and foremost a stage for East-West religious cooperation, and it was at certain moments probably the biggest and most influential of its kind.
Open access on CEEOL: NO
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