October 20, 2017
When we are courageous for what we believe in, God will use us for His purposes in ways we can never imagine. This is one of the great lessons we can learn from the lives of John Paul II and Ronald Reagan, and the extraordinary partnership they shared in the 1980's that led to the eventual downfall of communism in Eastern Europe. Best-selling author Dr. Paul Kengor recently shared with FRC some of the highlights of this extraordinary untold story in his new book A Pope and a President, detailing the striking similarities between the two leaders that would lead to the formation of an intimate bond. Both men were nearly assassinated just six weeks apart in 1981, only to recover and come back stronger than ever determined to defeat communism.
The first words of John Paul II's papacy were "Be not afraid!" -- and to the shock of the Soviets, he decided that his first official papal visit would be to his homeland of Poland in 1979, which at the time was gripped by an atheist communist regime. At the same time, Ronald Reagan was contemplating his foreign policy strategy for fighting the Soviet Communist Bloc, and witnessed on TV the jubilant crowds of millions that attended the pope's visit, despite the decades-long suppression of Christianity perpetrated by the communist regime. At that moment, Reagan saw his answer, and expressed his desire to make John Paul II his ally in the fight against communism. To the astonishment of the world, the Soviet Communist Bloc would fall within just ten years.
Dr. Kengor's insights on this incredible partnership are based on two decades of declassified (and sometimes still secret) documents and interviews, so don't miss this inspiring FRC Speaker Series event. The lessons we can learn from these two great men are timeless, and particularly relevant to our work here at FRC, as Dr. Kengor pointed out. When we stand with character and conviction in the face of naysayers and ridicule and fulfill the duty of our God-given talents, just as John Paul II and Ronald Reagan did, God will multiply the works of our hands.
Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.