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Council on Religion in Communist-dominated areas. In this report, which was intended only for the Soviet party leaders, a member of the Soviet State Council on Religion, Mr. Furov, states-that in the Russian Orthodox Church:
There is no consecration of a bishop, no transfer, without thorough investigation of the candidate by appropriate officials of the State Council, in close cooperation with the Commissioner, local organs, and corresponding interested organizations.
Mr. Furov's explanation of the way the State intrudes into the affairs of the Russian Orthodox Church is characterized in this way by Alexander Solzhenitsyn in an article that recently appeared in the "Economist" magazine. He says "The Russian Church is ruled dictatorially by atheists-a sight never before seen in two millenia."
The Soviet model-one of religious subversion rather than mere repression-is increasingly becoming the pattern in the Communist world. It prevails in Cuba, where the official Protestant ecumenical organization frequently conducts business on behalf of the Cuban Government.
It is increasingly evident in Vietnam. As the Fellowship of Reconciliation, an American organization which was strongly opposed to the war in Vietnam, recently reported, the Vietnamese Government has stepped up efforts to dissolve the existing Buddhist Church and replace it with a completely controlled organization.
This pattern is evident in China, where, as this year's human rights report explains, the stated aim of the eight patriotic officially sanctioned religious organizations is "to insure that all religious organizations accept the leadership of the party and the state.'
And today this pattern is increasingly clear in Nicaragua, where, as has recently been made clear, the Sandinista Government has organized the subversion of the Nicaraguan Roman Catholic Church through the so-called Church of the Poor, which helped and organized provocations against the Pope on his recent visit.
This kind of government intrusion into religious affairs is not the norm of authoritarian societies. In conducting our foreign policy we should certainly conduct it to encourage greater freedom of religious expression in authoritarian societies. But we should never act in ways which promote the transformation of an authoritarian society into a far worse totalitarian society.
As I gather, this was Ambassador Kirkpatrick's point. I think it is an elemental point and a very sound one. A study of the problems of churches in authorization and totalitarian societies respectively and religious life in general bears out her point.
Thank you very much.
[Mr. Kemble's prepared statement follows:]
PREPARED STATEMENT OF PENN KEMBLE, CONSULTANT AND MEMBER OF THE
The Institute on Religion and Democracy believes that there are important links between the Christian faith and democratic values, and that those links should be strengthened. As the French Catholic theologian Jacques Mauritain once observed: "...democracy is linked to Christianity...and the democratic impulse has arisen in human history as a temporal manifestation of the Gospel."1/
We were organized two years ago by persons holding diverse theological views, denominational affiliations, and social philosophies, who, despite many differences, share the desire to strengthen the role of our churches in the democratic way of
Members of our organization welcome the unprecedented attention this year's Report on Human Rights Practices gives to freedom of religious expression.
There are many sophisticated people today who are inclined to believe that deeply held religious conviction is a threat to liberty and tolerance. It is often imagined that the religious
impulse is authentically personified in such figures as the
Iranian mullah, the Marxist priest, the evangelical general, or
the Jewish Defense League militant and their occasional admirers here in the United States. It is therefore good to be reminded, as we are by the introduction to this report, that the fathers of the American Republic rooted their democratic faith in the belief that all men "are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights." That belief has had a more powerful impact on the world than all the evils of misguided religious zealotry.
We also welcome the stress this Report gives to the relationship between democracy the free participation by citizens and human rights. Human rights are not
in public affairs
granted by governments, nor established by the United Nations, nor can they be extinguished by tyrants or revolutions. are, according to America's principal religious and political traditions, God-given and inalienable. Human rights may,
however, be violated and abused. The only effective means for securing the rights of the individual, as our Declaration of Independence contends, is for governments to be "instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the
In societies where force and violence are the necessary means for deciding conflicts, there will inevitably be violations of human rights. All this argues that those who are committed to securing international human rights must also be committed to strengthening democratic values and institutions throughout the world. This is surely no simple proposition. But the initiative of this Administration
which has been joined by leaders of
business, labor, both political parties, and members of Congress
toward developing a pro-democracy component to our foreign
policy must surely be seen as a deepening of the American
commitment to human rights which the Congress acknowledged in its legislation requiring this Report.
Just as religious conviction inspired the framers of the Bill of Rights, so the experience of free, voluntary, active religious life in America became the model of our democratic political life. (This is a point which bears remembering both by secular civil libertarians and those narrowly pious religious persons who insist that politics is evil.) Students of American Democracy, from Tocqueville on, have generally agreed with his proposition that:
...Religion in America takes no direct part in the
It follows, therefore, that an American foreign policy which seeks to foster democracy should encourage worldwide freedom of religious expression. It should do so with patience and
In order to accomplish this purpose, it will be necessary to study and compare the practices of different countries more fully than we
our government and private organizations
Our organization, for example, has at times been critical of the manner in which some religious leaders
even our own
speak and act on matters which might be called "political. But we would energetically defend their right, even their obligation, to offer moral testimony on the great issues of state and society, as they see them. Freedom of religious expression
involves much more than the right to worship quietly within the walls of the church or synagogue. The murder of a nun who is engaged in Christian work among refugees is a violation of religious freedom, just as is banning Bibles or closing Yeshivas. But the problem of religious freedom is not simple. The societies where the most visible and therefore sensational assaults on religious persons and practices occur are often societies in which the churches already have the will and means to challenge secular powers. The conflict between church and state is often quite apparent in Central and South America, in the Philippines, and in South Korea because the churches there are strong. It is usually less evident with obvious exceptions, such as that of Poland
in the modern totalitarian states, where the churches must struggle for the barest
When considering religious freedom, there is no escaping the distinction between authoritarian and totalitarian regimes. That distinction is sometimes shouted down in public discourse, just as its most eloquent proponent, Ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick, has been denied a hearing at some prestigious Universities. But the distinction is a fact.
Totalitarianism is something different
from traditional despotism, and, when it has at its disposal
Twentieth Century technology and the energy to use it, something