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Communist Influence in the Baptist World Alliance

Jraw me not away with the wicked, and with the workers of iniquity, which speak peace to their neighbors, but mischief is in . their hearts." Psalm 28:3.

by Carl Mclntire 22 of this year a chartered Air France plane brought to Galeon Airport, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, five Russian Baptists accompanied by delegates from Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Yugoslovia, and other European countries. They came to attend the Tenth Congress of the Baptist World Alliance (June 26 to July 3) which claims to represent 23,000,000 Baptists. Jakov Zhidov, the 76 year old veteran at such Congresses, headed the delegation. With him was loquacious Artur Mitskevitch. "The lie is the great sin," said Mitskevitch as he got off the plane carrying his Bible, "and the one who affirms that in Russia there is no freedom of religion is a liar and is sinning against God." Stanislav Svec, secretary of the Baptist



Union in Czechoslovakia, declared, "As for the clash between the Communist and Capitalist bloc, I believe it will terminate through peaceful coexistence." These delegates from the Iron Curtain countries preached Khrushchev's line from the moment they reached the city until the conclusion of the Congress. Public interest and the attention of the press centered upon them as the conflict developed. These Communists presented a spectacular and most effective use of religion to the Western world. The tactic of infiltrating and using religion is one of the Reds major strategies. Benjamin Gitlow, former Communist Party leader in the United States, testified, "The Communist policy for the Communist 93




infiltration of religion is a matter of tactics in the war against capitalism and religion . . . . for enlisting their support for Soviet Russia and for the various campaigns in which the Communists were interested." Herbert Philbrick, for nine years an F.B.I, undercover spy, has written, "It is no accident that your church is the number one target of the Communist conspiracy." Yuri Rastvorov, for II years an MVD secret agent for the Kremlin, testified before the United States Senate Internal Security Subcommittee, April 12, 1956, that the Kremlin "keeps the church under complete control" in Russia. "Report on the Communist 'Peace' Offensive—A Campaign to Disarm and Defeat the United States," a 1951 report by the Un-American Activities Committee, concluded that "the most dangerous hoax ever devised by the international Communist conspiracy is the current worldwide 'peace' offensive." The tactics of the Red delegates in Brazil demonstrated clearly that the 'peace' offensive movement has gained momentum since 1951.

for these Red propagandists. The Saturday session was devoted to "Peace." Immediately preceding the report of the Commission on World Peace, Jakov Zhidkov delivered the devotional address on "The Lord of Peace." Quoting the Scriptures for support, he offered the leadership of the Soviet Government in behalf of peace and disarmament as the only leadership behind which all Christians of the world could unite. In this "devotional" context, Zhidkov preached his Communism. He used the historic Communist phrase, "the defense of peace," and said, "The Christians of the Soviet Union were especially active in this respect." This refers, of course, to the two Communist World Peace Congresses, Paris, April 20-23, 1949, and Warsaw, November 16-22, 1950. Both of these Congresses were partly organized by Zhidkov, and both were cited by the Committee on Un-American Activities of the House of Representatives as Communist. Zhidkov also helped l a u n c h the famous Stockholm Peace Appeal held March 16-29, 1950. The HUAC in its "Report 378" called this, "the boldest and most far reaching maneuver of the whole Communist peace movement."

W program for the Tenth Congress set the stage perfectly





Of Khrushchev's deceptive peace and universal disarmament proposal before the United nations (which was nothing but a ruse in the Soviet's cold war thrust), Zhidkov declared, "In September 1959, the Soviet Government submitted to the United States a Declaration for universal and complete disarmament. . . . This most human Declaration can become the only basis which will unite all Christian Churches for activities in one direction—to beat all swords into plowshares, and all spears into pruninghooks. . . ." Zhidkov insisted, "This Declaration must be dear to the hearts of all Christians, as dear as are the words of the Bible in the book of the prophet Isaiah 2:4. . . ." The Baptist World Alliance has been carefully infiltrated and thousands of Baptists deluded by this "peace" line. Zhidkov climaxed his usefulness to the Kremlin in this bold and sanctimonious appeal. But when he finished, a strained hush fell over the great assembly—no one applauded! This propagandizing b y Communist representatives was anticipated by various Baptist interests in Latin America, particularly in Brazil; and an invitation was extended to Dr. Kenneth R. Kinney, pastor of

the First Baptist Church of Johnson City of New York, and to myself, as president of the International Council of Christian Churches, to come to Rio to question this practice and to present the issue to the Baptists throughout the world.


I arrived at Galeon Airport the afternoon following the Russians. A reporter explained to us that the Russians had insisted they were not "agents" but had come only for "religious purposes." We replied that we did not expect them to say, "We have come to be spies for the Kremlin." We had prepared a 72page document containing evidence of Communist treacheries and infiltrations entitled, The Russian Baptists, Propagandists for Stalin and Khrushchev, in hopes of exposing some of the masquerading ministers. A reporter from O Globo, Rio's largest evening newspaper, confronted the Russian Baptists with this documentation (in spite of the fact that Congress officials had requested the press in Rio not to ask embarrassing questions or seek special stories from the Moscow delegates, implying that they were laboring under difficult circumstances and that




it might hurt them on their return) Artur Mitskevitch, of the Russian delegation, said the paper was "wholly false," claimed that the infamous Sagorsk Peace Conference was "apocryphal," and again insisted the State has not interfered with the Baptist Church in Moscow. Dr. Theodore F. Adams, president of the Baptist World Alliance, never ceased to defend the men from Russia as "good Baptists." He was reported on one paper as having said, "I do not have knowledge of any Communist infiltration of the Baptist World Alliance. I can affirm that Alexander Karev and Jakov Zhidkov, victims of the accusations, are men above any suspicion." General Secretary Dr. Arnold T . Ohrn, Washington, D. C , was outraged by the attack upon the "good" men from Moscow and he insisted a Communist could not be a Baptist. These honorable but misguided men failed to recognize that the communists have seduced church administrators and made them their mouthpieces and vassals, and they also fail to realize that the Kremlin has instructed its own secret agents to join the churches for purposes of subversion. T o me, the most awesome

and frightening aspect of the communist use of the platform of the Tenth Congress, came on the opening Sunday afternoon when 65 flags were unfurled in alphabetical order. When the USSR, which followed the USA, was displayed, the hammer and sickle got the loudest and most prolonged applause given any flag, dwarfing that received by the Stars and Stripes. Comrade Mitskevitch acknowledged the thunderous applause in true Khrushchevian manner: smiling, gesturing grandiosely with one hand while holding aloft with his other hand—the Bible.

A service, the pastor of the First Ukranian Baptist Church,


Sao Paulo, Brazil, said to me as he stood in a company of other Ukranians, "The red on that flag is the blood of my people." The hangman of the Ukraine, Nikita Khrushchev, has so manipulated the Baptist churches that his flag received the greatest tribute among all the flags presented to the Baptist World Alliance. The International Council of Christian Churches, representing 64 Protestant denominations and associations of churches, presented a formal




petition to the Tenth Congress of the Baptist World Alliance. Although it is proper tor one church to overture another, the petition was ignored and was never formally reported to the Congress. It quoted a recent address by Dr. Robert G. Lee, Memphis, Tennessee. In the June, 1960 Baptist Journal,
Christ for the World, he had said: The churches in Russia were burned or turned into amusement centers or museums, and hundreds of thousands of churches liquidated until Russia was literally turned into a human slaughter house. There, Christians were dragged from their beds and sliced to pieces bit by bit or branded with hot irons, even poking out their eyes to produce untold pain. Others were placed in boxes with their heads and hands and legs sticking out. Then hungry rats would be placed in the boxes to gnaw upon their bodies. Many were tied to horses and dragged through the streets of the city, while the mob pommeled them with rocks and kicked them to death. Pregnant Christian women were chained to trees and their unborn babies cut out of them. Many Christians were forced to dig their graves and then were slowly buried alive.

The petition further specified:
The propaganda of these agents for the Kremlin includes the claim of full religious liberty in Russia, leadership in the Communist World Peace Councils, signing of eulogies to Stalin, the presentation of peaceful coexistence in the same terminology used by Khrushchev, the charging that the West used bacteriological warfare in Korea, the demanding of total disarmament and the ban on nuclear testing without safeguards, and the recent endorsement of Khrushchev's conduct at the Paris Conference. These agents have gone so far as to equate Christianity with Communism and have declared that the Soviet government during the course of the past 40 years has 'acted according to the high ideals precious to Christianity, for these are also the ideals inherent in the Gospel and taught by Jesus Christ.'

We appeal to the Baptist World Alliance to renounce any further collaboration or peaceful coexistence with these propagandists and to repudiate all Communist use of religion by identifying the subtle Communist propaganda and dislodging its spokesmen from all positions within the churches




of the free world. We call upon the Baptist World Alliance to join in a vigorous Christian crusade to win the cold war to the end that righteousness may be exalted among nations and that the Gospel of Jesus Christ, as revealed in the Scriptures, may be faithfully preached. Not only was the petition ignored, but the delegates from the Iron Curtain countries were always cast in the most influential spiritual roles. The Rev. Iaszlo Szabo from Communist Hungary, president of the Baptist Union of Hungary, opened the Tuesday morning session with prayer. The Rev. Vaclav Tomes of Prague, president of the Baptist Union of Czechoslovakia, opened the Wednesday morning session with prayer. The Rev. Aleksander Kircun, Warsaw, Poland, president of the Baptist Union of Poland, opened the Monday evening session with prayer. None of their prayers were translated, but the record of these men over the years, praising Communism and the Red regime, make their praying a travesty of Christianity. The Hungarian C h u r c h Press, February 15, 1959, published by Bishop Dr. Lajos Veto, a member of the Communist parliament (incidentally a member of the Central Com-

mittee of the World Council of Churches, too) reports the declaration signed by the leaders of the churches in Communist Hungary in behalf of the tenth anniversary of the launching of the World Peace Council. Baptist president, Laszlo Szabo, is one the sponsors of the declaration. The declaration "protests against the arming of Western Germany with atomic weapons, against rocket bases under construction in England, West German, Italy and elsewhere, the English and European experiments with atomic weapons and rockets, the system of military bases and the artificially treated lack of confidence." "Then it is explained in the declaration how decisive has been the role played by the World Peace Council in transforming the moral public opinion of the world in favor of the idea of peace. . . . For all this we offer our thanksgiving to God, but we wholeheartedly thank also all those who have fought, in a true spirit and with dedication, for the cause of peace, above all, to the leaders and workers of the World Peace Council." was bold C enough to send three agents whose stand for ComZECHOSLOVAKIA




munism has been boldly proclaimed in the widely circulated "Conference of the Baptist Unity in Czechoslovakia," published by the Baptist Unity of Prague. Reporting their Unity Conference, December 12-13, 1953, these men declared: "We can unfold our religious life with unrestricted freedom. . . . It is for the first time in the history of our church that the preachers of all our congregations live in material security." Glorious Communism gave them such! There are only 26 Czech congregations, but Pastor Tomes audaciously insisted, "Our members participated with a great joy in various peace and cultural activities . . . we may boldly say that our members are working exemplarily in their occupations and in the fight for peace and a better future." This is the same Pastor Tomes who literally drove the nails in the coffins of his brethren who were executed because, as Christians, they resisted godless Communism. Tomes hypocritically confesses, "We have, however, to admit one painful fact which affected very deeply the life of our Church. We must say with a great sorrow that several of our pastors, among whom were many who had a leading position in the Church, misused the

confidence which we and our country bestowed upon them and got involved in an activity which had nothing to do with religious and church life." Then, to confess his complete obedience to the state, he wrote: "But even though a number of our pastors were guilty of such acts, the activities of our church were not affected. The best evidence of this fact is today's conference. Representatives of the State expressed their trust in us and thus the peaceful life of our Church is safeguarded." In their formal report, the Czech delegates had this to say concerning their liquidated brethren: "By their illegal actions they endangered the results of the diligent labor of the whole nation and they were also punished accordingly. It was with a deep sadness that we witnessed confessions of their grave guilt." Moscow itself, the birthplace of the infiltrative tactics, has deigned to retain only one Protestant Church, the Evangelical Baptist. The reason this church has been allowed to remain is that the Baptist World Alliance has built influence in its 55 year existence, and the Communists can now control and exploit it successfully. They use this organization for




the issuance of propaganda, and the church in Moscow, which is owned by the Communists, has become their great show-place. The headquarters of Zhidkov and Alexander Karev have recently been enlarged; J:hey ride around in the iinrst of Russian automobiles; Evangelist Billy Graham commended their work; and President Eisenhower was scheduled to worship in this one church, had he gone to Moscow.


Messenger, their one organ, is packed full of the Communist propaganda. On the first page of the last issue of Messenger in 1957 is a greeting to the Soviet Government, on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the October Revolution. It claimed, "The Soviet government during the course of the past 40 years has acted according to the high ideals precious to Christianity, for these are also the ideals inherent in the Gospel and taught by Jesus Christ." Again, "A fellowship is daily built up on the USSR which in all areas of life is recreating the righteousness of the Kingdom of God." Zhidkov and Karev were among the 12 Baptists who signed this greeting.

The famous Sagorsek Peace Conference, 1952, with Zhidkov signing the letter to Stalin, claimed that Josef Wissarionowitsch (Stalin) is "the beloved leader of the countries of our great state and the wise pilot of its policy of peace and the standard bearer of the peace of the whole world." They insisted, "We esteem your courage, your efforts, and your consistency in the execution of the policy of peace . . ." and asserted, "our strong belief in the final victory of our righteous cause." These are "good Baptists" rejoicing over Communism. The depth with which this Communist infiltration had taken hold on the Baptist World Alliance is fantastic. The permanent Peace Commission has on it the Rev. Stanislav Svec of Czechoslovakia. The Resolutions Committee of the Conference included Zhidkov and his son Michael (their meeting produced n o t h i n g which reflected adversely in any way upon Communists or the satellite lands.) The Nominating committee includes Mitske vitch and Kircun, who placed themselves on the Executive Committee. Michael Zhidkov and Alexey Stoyan also took part in the Youth Section. Jakov Zhidkov was re-elected




vice-president for the next five years. The first results of this Communist play to the Baptists manifested itself in 1946 when the then president of the Southern Baptist Convention, Dr. Louie D. Newton and Dr. Ralph Sockman, a Methodist, were invited to Russia. Dr. Newton's report, with an introduction by Bishop G. Bromly Oxnam, then president of the Federal Council of Churches, was circulated in this country by the Communist Party of Illinois, and was published by the American-Russian Institute (which the Attorney General's office declared Communist.) The June 1960 issue of the Southern Baptist Sunday School Board's publication Open Windows, ran a devotional entitled, "Our Example of Prayer" which eulogized the Moscow Baptist Church as an example of prayer and accessions by baptism, which "seem to be the key to the spiritual power of these Christians." Thus, represented as men of faith and prayer, and as men serving under difficult circumstances, the Russian Baptists were given the cloak and the cover which they desired for us-

ing of the Baptist World Alliance for the finest kind of Kremlin propaganda. Instead of Christianity being used to resist Communism and expose its subtleties, it is being used to protect and defend the Red agents and propagandists from exposure by those who comprehend the nature of their subversion within the churches. receive top level co-operaW tion in broad daylight for such

a program, one wonders just how effective is their underground conspiracy. The Baptists in Rio first applauded the Soviet flag; but their hesitancy in applauding Zhidkov's speech six days later may mean that many are beginning to have their misgivings. With all the controversy in the United States over the small reference in the Air Force Training Manual to "Communism in Religion" and the mention of the National Council of Churches, this diabolical use of the Baptist World Alliance by the Reds should alert every Christian and patriot to the reality and effectiveness of the Communist strategy.

The person who said walking is a lost art must be pretty lucky in always being able to park his car close to where he wants to go.—Dan Bennett

A BROOKLYN MAN returned from a Texas visit with a few trinkets for his wife: three mink coats, four Cadillacs and stacks of money. "How in the world did you come by this?" she gasped. "Easy, sweetie. Bunch of us happened to be in Houston over Halloween and we went out playing trick-or-treat."
MAN TODAY is that smart creature who can see a billion years into space, but can't see around the next car.

His SPEECHMAKING OVER, the Congressman stepped from the hall in the Western town, gazed at the high mountains all around and took a deep breath. "My, the air in these mountains is marvelous," he exclaimed, "fabulous, isn't it?" "Fair to middlin,' fair to middlin,' " responded an old-timer nearby. "But nothin' compared to what it was back in Roosevelt's administration." T o BE INTELLIGENT is only luck; it is not a merit, as many believe it to be. A VOLUBLE THRONG was partaking of the after-theatre buffet in the lounge of the Algonquin in New York. Two middle-aged ladies from Bloomington observed a waiter pass with a tray of three steaming frothy-topped cups. "Oh, doesn't that look delicious?" they murmured and called the waiter over. "What was that you served those gentlemen?" one asked. "Irish coffee, madame. A cup of coffee with a shot of whiskey and some cream on top." The ladies mulled this for a moment and then one asked "It sounds delightful, but do you think you could make it for us with Sanka?"