John Heidbrink


Professor Josef L. Hromádka (referred to as JLH in the report) was a theologian of the Church of the Czech Brethren who took refuge in the USA during the Nazi conquest of his native Czechoslovakia and taught at Princeton Theological Seminary. He made what for many seemed a surprising decision to return to Prague after the communist coup d’etat in 1948. Soon he became the best known Protestant theologian on the other side of the “Iron Curtain” as he interpreted communism as a wave of a promising future to which Christians need to adjust in order to assist in the humanization of the revolution. This got him into severe conflict with most Western church leaders and theologians, particularly with John Foster Dulles at the First Assembly of the World Council of Churches in Amsterdam. Nevertheless many Western theologians fundamentally trusted that he did not betray Christian principles and were willing to dialogue with him in order to prevent the total separation of Christians into two hostile blocs. Late in 1966 Prof Hromádka and his wife were guests in the USA to meet the foremost Main Line Christian leaders. They were accompanied by John Heidbrink who was a Presbyterian minister and worked as Secretary for Church Relations for the Fellowship of Reconciliation (FOR) and was an activist for civil rights and peace. The report was written and disseminated shortly after the trip and was faithfully retyped to be used in OPREE as a document of its time.



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