"Forty years ago in February 1981 the first issue of Occasional Papers on Religion in Eastern Europe appeared. The Executive Committee of the now defunct “Christians Associated for Relationship in Eastern Europe” of which I was a member and occasional president supported my initiative to start printing information as one of our tasks is to educate church leaders and scholars with reliable information about the religious situation under communism. Previously a fair number of American church leaders and travelers were misled not only by communist government officials who dealt with religious affairs of their respective countries but even by some local church officials who were not free to disclose the real situation in their churches. Misleading information was passed on asserting that those countries legalized and practiced real and unhindered religious freedom. When more accurate and realistic information was obtained it was necessary sometimes to protect the identity of persons who provided such specific information as they were under close surveillance by the secret police."



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