Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
August 11, 1949
NUMBER 14, PAGE 1,5c

It Could Happen Here

J. A. Mcnutt

I have before me an article by William H. Newton, Scripps-Howard staff writer, which gives a close-up of the religious situation in Catholic controlled Spain. According to the article a minority group of 30,000 Protestants, in a country with a population of 28 million people, is being subjected to constant pressure and mob violence by Catholic extremists. One minister describes the raid upon a non-Catholic church building in these words:

Raids On Protestant Churches

"Then I asked them to let me say a few words to them, but they refused in a very rough manner. The one who seemed to be the chief of the group said, 'Now the meetings of the Protestants have come to an end; beware of holding any more meetings.' They destroyed or damaged a bench, a lamp, the book case, a table, my Bible, various window panes, several books of music, and other books that were in the book case."

Mr. Newton says, 'The line of attack generally is that the Catholic Church is the only true church and is therefore the only one which is entitled to liberty. Freedom in religion is an evil which must be tolerated only when necessary to prevent greater evils. There is no excuse for tolerance of dissident sects in Spain, because the number of people involved is so small"' (How does this sound to Americans whose ancestors have died on countless battlefields to preserve the legal rights of religious freedom for all our citizens?)

Protestant Churches In Barcelona

Now I want you to read Mr. Newton's description of a small Protestant church building in the city of Barcelona, Spain, and the humiliating conditions under which the members are forced to live and worship God if they hold to their conscientious convictions:

"Under Spanish law, there may be no "external manifestations" than anything other than a Catholic Church is actually a church. So there is no sign on the door, no church bells or steeple, only a rather humble little square building, squeezed between many others quite like it, where the two or three hundred Protestants may assemble to worship God.

Mostly the people who come look like poor people. You can't hold a government job, or teach, or be an officer in the Army of Spain if you are a Protestant.

There are one or two Protestants in the government, but most people say they are mere 'window dressing'."

General Restrictions

These are some of the general restrictions and disabilities under which Protestants in Spain are laboring:

"Many chapels are still closed in spite of repeated requests for permission to reopen.

No new permits for services have been granted in about two years.

Gatherings for worship in private homes are prohibited.

Permits to build new chapels are not granted.

It is impossible to publish legally the Bible or other religious literature (non-Catholic version), and such literature sent in from abroad generally does not pass the censor.

Spanish Protestants are not allowed to have their own schools, and their children are subject to compulsory Catholic instruction in the state schools."

What About America?

This couldn't happen in America? Use your reasoning powers a little bit. It has happened in every nation that Catholicism has ever dominated. Yet some uninformed religious people send their children to Catholic schools, and this country has an ambassador in Rome. It can and will happen here unless we wake up.

Many Americans have thought that criticisms directed at Catholicism have all originated in prejudice or in ignorance of Catholicism's true intent. Unlike the membership of other religious bodies, the millions of Catholics in this country receive their instructions from a foreign ruler who represents a culture and an idea of government foreign to our democratic way of life. Unless one takes this viewpoint into consideration, he is not capable of understanding the ideas and intentions of this great religious and political body.

Catholicism is on record in its own approved books and documents condemning the American system of separation of church and state. The writings of some of its most prominent leaders clearly show that the Catholic church desires to be the state church in these United States. They do not hesitate to say that Protestants and other religious groups would be suppressed if Catholicism should come into power.

If you doubt the power of Catholicism in this country (the power already possessed), just try criticizing some of its errors over the radio and in the newspapers. Catholic leaders believe in personal liberty and freedom in religion for themselves alone. History will demonstrate this in every nation and country they have ever controlled.