Religion: Back to Darkness

A year ago, the persecution of Protestantism in East Germany was at its height. Then Stalin died, and, like the sudden end of a spring storm, sweetness and light seemed to shine from Moscow. Prime Minister Otto Grotewohl received the bishops of the Eastern Evangelical Churches and a treaty of church-state peace was signed.

Last week, reviewing the year, battle-worn old (73) Bishop Otto Dibelius told his 120-man Evangelical Church Synod, which represents East and West German Protestantism, that the sweetness had turned sour and the light was all but gone. Pressure on Christian students has begun again, surveillance of pastors and...

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