Thursday, April 12, 2012

A Liar for God, a Stooge for the Soviets: A Billy Graham Tale

An undated CIA report "Dissent and Religion in the USSR" reveals that the Soviet regime used Billy Graham and other high-profile evangelists to further government goals. According to the CIA study, visits by Graham and others served Soviet propaganda goals and weakened religious organizations hostile to the government. When Graham and others preached in the USSR, the Soviets were empowered to claim that free of religion was present in the USSR.  Graham and others were allowed to “registered church” congregations which the CIA noted denied legitimacy to unofficial or illegal religious groupings which as documented by the CIA engaged in widespread, near- continual resistance to the regime. In contrast, clergy from registered churches were used by the Soviets for their own purposes. Some clerics served as "propagandists for regime policy," while the Russian Orthodox Church received additional support in the hopes it would poach adherents away from religions likely to pose a challenge to continue government domination. 

Undated CIA Report on Religion in the USSR