By Paul Charles Merkley
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At very least, they expected to keep it off the agenda in the opening meeting. They did not reckon with John Foster Dulles, however - the principal foreign policy adviser to Republican Presidential candidate Thomas Dewey - who was there to warn fellow delegates that the Christian way of life was doomed if the Church did not categorically denounce atheistic communism. Organizers had already assured the various Church leaders who lived under communist regimes that no such thing would happen. In any case, Eastern Orthodox churches within the jurisdica- go Christian Attitudes towards the State of Israel tion of the Moscow Patriarchate had been forbidden by their governments to attend.
Typically, evangelical Christians see the practice of Judaism as more crucial, for the time being, to this unfolding scenario than the fortunes of the Christian communities. Liberal Protestant journals (notably, the Christian Century)^ were oddly inconsistent in their approach to the question of religion and religious practice in Israel. On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, over the years, the Christian Century has denounced Israel for irreligion. " The Jewish friends of liberal Protestants were likely to be enrolled in Reform or Conservative congregations; not surprisingly, therefore, their own critique of Israel echoes the complaints of these two constituencies against the monopoly of the public role of religion by the Orthodox.
The newsmagazines have little interest in the council, and the journals of opinion have none. The current college textbooks that I have consulted on us or world history do not so much as mention the wcc in their indexes; neither does the World Almanac and Book of Facts (1999). In its thousand-odd pages, the popular reference book Chronicle of the Twentieth Century never mentions the wcc, not even in the twenty-page section on the year 1948. Yet many Christians had been working nearly as long and some at least as hard for the birthday of the wcc as Zionists had been working for the birthday of their state.