Infamous for the arbitrary and paranoid persecution of their own
citizens, it is a little known fact that the Soviet Union also
waged a vicious espionage war against the Catholic Church and its
followers. From the targeting of local priests to an assassination
order against Pope John Paul II, the KGB viewed Catholicism as a
threat to stability in Eastern Europe and treated the Church as an
enemy of the State. Former U.S. Army Intelligence Officer John
Koehler has written the definitive book on this startling history.
Using never before seen documents and transcripts, including an
order against the Pope that was signed by Gorbachev, Koehler paints
a vivid picture of the network of spies and double agents who were
working to infiltrate the Church's infrastructure, from the Vatican
down to local parishes. But what is most impressive is the
overwhelming evidence of the extreme courage of everyday believers
who offered shelter and protection to the persecuted, despite the
danger of their own arrest or execution. The KGB's efforts to purge
the Soviet Union of the Church's "conspiratorial influence" would
eventually backfire. This unprecedented history of the Soviet
Union's cold war against the Catholic Church is a vital and
important contribution to the works of twentieth century history.
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