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Christians in Moscow



To The Editors of The Crimson:

In his haste to turn the other cheek for nuclear peace, it seems that Christian Evangelist Billy Graham has bit his tongue by turning his back on the plight of believers in the Soviet Union. In his May 9 sermon in the only Moscow Baptist Church, Dr. Graham refused to acknowledge three large English-language banners unfurled by Soviet Baptists protesting the labor camp incarceration of Baptists caught preaching. He said nothing about religious freedom in his sermon but instead quoted Biblical references about the need for obedience to authorities.

When asked by an American reporter about the young Christian woman who was whisked away by plainclothesmen security (KGB) after unfurling one of the banners, Rev. Graham had this to say:

"Some people are detained for all kinds of reasons. We detain people in the U.S. if we catch them doing something wrong."

A question for Rev. Graham--was the woman doing "something wrong" to let people know Soviet persecution of religions refusing to be state-controlled? Dr. Graham says he saw no evidence of religious repression during his tour--did he have time in his "guided" tour to visit Father Dubko and Father Yakunin, who are in Moscow's Lefortovo prison because of their evangelistic work?

"We will have to repent in our generation not merely for the hateful actions and words of the bad people, but for the appalling silence of the good people."

Those who would buy peace at any price, even at the price of turning their backs on Soviet attacks on freedom inside and outside of their country, may wake up one day to discover that they have neither peace nor freedom. Peace and ethics go hand in hand and where there are no ethics, there can be no peace unless of course you're willing to settle for the awful deadly "peace" of silenced consciences. Richard Panzer   Collegiate Association for the Research of Principles

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