By Editorial Staff
Published June 1, 1989
NEW YORK CITY, NY (FR) – An intriguing report in the Wall Street Journal (April 28, 1989) has raised serious questions about the religious beliefs of Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, and has top-level government leaders throughout the world wondering if the Communist Party chief is actually a Christian.
“The Russian Reformation,” an article by Mark Helprin, states that President Reagan’s press secretary, Larry Speakes, recorded in his memoirs that Mr. Gorbachev confided in Reagan while they talked at the Geneva Summit in 1985 – saying that he was a Christian. Helprin says that evidence has now accumulated to verify this claim.
Reagan’s pre-summit intelligence research indicated that Gorbachev was indeed a baptized Christian, and that his mother Maria goes to church. “Maria Panteleyvna does not merely attend services,” the article stated. “She is devout. Her son, baptized during Stalin’s terror, worshiped at a time when doing so was an elemental commitment and an act of courage. In what may have been a prophetic metaphor, his paternal grandparents hid religious icons behind portraits of Lenin and Stalin. Today, when President Gorbachev visits his mother each year on his birthday, she serves an Easter cake decorated with the initials for ‘Christ Is Risen.’ “
Because the Communist Party in the USSR has a long record of disinformation tactics, and with regard for Mr. Gorbachev’s political survival, President Reagan did not report his findings to the American people.
Although Gorbachev could never have advanced in the Communist Party leadership without taking some direct actions against the church and religious practices, Helprin noted that the Soviet leader has made numerous positive references to Christianity in recent years. He told Time magazine in 1985, “Surely, God on high has not refused to give us enough wisdom to find ways to bring us an improvement in our relations.” He also stated to Newsweek, “Jesus Christ alone knew answers to all questions and knew how to feed twenty thousand Jews with five loaves of bread” – and added that things may work out politically “if the Politburo and God are well disposed toward me.”
After remarks commencing his first American visit, he turned to Secretary of State George Schultz and said, “The visit has begun. So let us hope. May God help us.”
After the devastating earthquake which rocked Soviet Armenia in the fall of 1988, Gorbachev shocked onlookers as he made a forthright statement about his political opponents: “They’re striving for power. They should be stopped, by using all the power at our command – political and administrative. Let God judge them. It’s not for them to decide the destiny of this land.”
Is all this talk of God just a public relations measure rigged by the Kremlin? Helprin proposes that it is not. “Were this language merely for export it might unambiguously be a ruse,” the article stated, “but (Gorbachev) also speaks it at home. Alert Muscovites have commented that he frequently invokes the name of God, he has recommended that Soviet youth go ‘back to church,’ and the men of the cloth whom he brought on his first visit to the U.S. may have been more than just hostages, for religion in the USSR appears truly to be benefiting from glasnost.” At the Jubilee Mass in Kiev last June, as thousands of Russians crowded the streets to celebrate the Millennium of Christianity in their country, the message was shouted out, “God has given us Gorbachev, but Satan wants to kill him.”
Helprin says that if Gorbachev truly is a believing Christian, “the implications are stunning. … For if he believes in an omnipotent presence above all, he is probably not as enthusiastic as his predecessors about the ‘perfectibility of man,’ social engineering, or the precedence of governments over the rights of the individual.”
Forerunner - Home » The Forerunner Newspaper » Russia, Ukraine and former USSR
Your comments are welcome!
Special Two-Disc Set!
After 40 years of intense study and world-wide ministry, Dr. Francis Schaeffer completed his crowning work of scholarship – to present profound truths in simple film language. Dr. Schaeffer’s brilliant analysis of the past and predictions for current trends have proven so uncannily accurate that this amazing series still feels contemporary almost three decades after its initial release. Ultimately, Schaeffer concludes that man’s only hope is a return to God’s Biblical absolute, the truth revealed in Christ through the Scriptures.
Available for the first time on DVD, this documentary spectacular also includes intimate in-depth conversations with Francis and Edith Schaeffer. With the on-disc study guide, this presentation forms a unique course of comprehensive study. While this series forms an innovative analysis of the past, this outstanding work is more than history. Each episode focuses on a significant era, yet speaks clearly to 21st-century man with answers for modern problems.
$49.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Exposes the Dangers of Abortion to Women!
These shocking eyewitness accounts expose the dangers of abortion not only to unborn children, but to the health and lives women as well. An antidote to the smokescreens of the liberal media, these short clips show what really happens in and around abortion clinics.
Although the content is emotionally gut-wrenching, these videos have been used in church seminars and small groups to educate Christians on the abortion issue and to lead people toward a pro-life position. Contains 2 hours and 40 minutes of materials that can be shown separately.
Watch these pro-life videos on-line.
“These videos helped change my mind from pro-choice to pro-life. Your videos are what did it for me. I will be walking in next year’s March For Life in San Francisco.” — A. Jackson, California
“I was going to have an abortion until I saw your video. Praise Jesus!”
— M. Drew, YouTube Commenter
$4.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
“Give me liberty or give me death!”
Patrick Henry’s famous declaration not only helped launch the War for Independence, it also perfectly summarized the mindset that gave birth to, and sustained, the unprecedented experiment in Christian liberty that was America.
The freedom our Founders envisioned was not freedom from suffering, want, or hard work. Nor was it freedom to indulge every appetite or whim without restraint—that would merely be servitude to a different master. No, the Founders’ passion was to live free before God, unfettered by the chains of autocracy, shackles that slowly but inexorably bind men when the governments they fashion fail to recognize and uphold freedom’s singular, foundational truth: that all men are created in the image of God, and are thereby co-equally endowed with the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
This presentation is a similar call, not to one but many. By reintroducing the principles of freedom that gave birth to America, it is our prayer that Jesus, the true and only ruler over the nations, will once again be our acknowledged Sovereign, that we may again know and exult in the great truth that “where the Spirit of the LORD is, there is liberty” (2 Cor. 3:17).
Welcome to the Second American Revolution!
This DVD features “Liberty: The Model of Christian Liberty” along with “Dawn’s Early Light: A Brief History of America’s Christian Foundations.” Bonus features include a humorous but instructive collection of campaign ads and Eric Holmberg’s controversial YouTube challenge concerning Mitt Romney’s campaign for president.
$14.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Download the Free Study Guide!
Just what is Calvinism?
Does this teaching make man a deterministic robot and God the author of sin? What about free will? If the church accepts Calvinism, won’t evangelism be stifled, perhaps even extinguished? How can we balance God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility? What are the differences between historic Calvinism and hyper-Calvinism? Why did men like Augustine, Luther, Calvin, Spurgeon, Whitefield, Edwards and a host of renowned Protestant evangelists embrace the teaching of predestination and election and deny free will theology?
This is the first video documentary that answers these and other related questions. Hosted by Eric Holmberg, this fascinating three-part, four-hour presentation is detailed enough so as to not gloss over the controversy. At the same time, it is broken up into ten “Sunday-school-sized” sections to make the rich content manageable and accessible for the average viewer.
Running Time: 257 minutes
$19.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Who is the dreaded beast of Revelation?
Now at last, a plausible candidate for this personification of evil incarnate has been identified (or re-identified). Ken Gentry’s insightful analysis of scripture and history is likely to revolutionize your understanding of the book of Revelation — and even more importantly — amplify and energize your entire Christian worldview!
Historical footage and other graphics are used to illustrate the lecture Dr. Gentry presented at the 1999 Ligonier Conference in Orlando, Florida. It is followed by a one-hour question and answer session addressing the key concerns and objections typically raised in response to his position. This presentation also features an introduction that touches on not only the confusion and controversy surrounding this issue — but just why it may well be one of the most significant issues facing the Church today.
Ideal for group meetings, personal Bible study — for anyone who wants to understand the historical context of John’s famous letter “… to the seven churches which are in Asia.” (Revelation 1:4)
Running Time: 145 minutes
$17.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)