With the Iron Curtain now a symbol of the past, evangelicals are not the only ones sending missionaries to Eastern Bloc countries. “The Unification Church, the Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Worldwide Church of God, and the Mormons are all committed to missions,” says James Walker, a researcher for the Christian group Watchman Fellowship, “and they have the machinery to move right into the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe.”

After enduring decades of severe persecution, groups such as the Jehovah’s Witnesses are prepared to evangelize the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe openly. Many have applied to the Soviet government for permission to import large amounts of literature. According to Walker, Texas state director of the Watchman Fellowship, “The Watchtower has well-trained translators ready to reach Eastern Europe.”

In the case of Sun Myung Moon and the Unification Church, “machinery” can be taken literally. Panda Motors Corporation, one of many businesses affiliated with the Unification movement, has announced plans to construct a large industrial complex in the Chinese province of Guandong, as reported in the December 1989 issue of the church newsletter, Unification News. It will include an automobile assembly plant and factories to manufacture auto parts.

Moon, an ardent opponent of communism, sees the opening of the Eastern Bloc as an opportunity to bring the principles of democracy to communist societies. “I have long advocated the equal distribution of technological knowledge,” he said at a banquet last October when he revealed the project. According to the Unification newsletter, “Panda Motors Corporation is only one of many projects planned for communist ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Our digital archives are a work in progress. Let us know if corrections need to be made.