Paul Popov is the CEO of Door of Hope International. Door of Hope is a voice and a helping hand to persecuted Christians worldwide. In 1948, when he was just five years old, his father, prominent Protestant minister Haralan Popov, was brutally taken from his family by the KGB and arrested on false charges of being a ‘spy for America.’ It was 15 years later that Paul saw his father again. Having grown up without a father in a communist nation, he was deprived of many things. The Popov family was branded as ‘enemies of the state.’
Paul began by discussing his recent visit to Bulgaria, a time of reflection and victory that lies in suffering for Christ because as he noted, the communists put many people to death.
What’s interesting is how he described his father’s ten-day trial under the communists. The New York Times, the BBC and others were actually invited to attend. That tells you the trial was different. It wasn’t to simply destroy the church. It was to destroy it, as Paul put it, ‘in a refined, modern, contemporary way by not killing them, but having them confess that they had done evil things.’ This was part of the communists cold-war propaganda attempt to blacken Christians so that no one would have anything to do with them.
One of the things that was done on Haralan’s birthday (March 7th) was to publish a book based upon secret police file evidence. This 500 page book tells how legally the trial looked very proper in terms of those involved; the prosecutors, the defense lawyers, etc. However, from the secret police documents, it was discovered that this proper formatting was all pre-determined in advance.
Paul described how this was the beginning of the propaganda war between East and West and two cultures, the Judeo-Christian worldview in the West vs. the communist/materialist worldview of atheism from the East.
Jim mentioned that very few university students are aware that communist concentration camps had existed in Bulgaria. Paul responded by noting that Bulgaria, like other Eastern European nations, is still facing the socialist/communist ideology. It’s permeated the nation in such a way that many are still indoctrinated in what Paul described as ‘that religion’ and therefore the people, ‘don’t see beyond their own internal cult.’
What one word caused communism to crumble? Is Paul optimistic that believers in Bulgaria will continue to have the freedom to worship? How are things going for Christians in Eastern Ukraine? What is his warning to America concerning socialism? Get the answers to these questions and hear what listeners had to say when you review this edition of Crosstalk.
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