When Theological and Political Convictions Lead to Espionage: A Conversation with Elisabeth Braw


By Andy Hale 

Certainly, the least severe results of the COVID-19 crisis is the rescheduled release of Daniel Craig’s final Bond film. We can wait another seven months of the conclusion of the greatest of all Bonds.

And yes, Craig’s gritty and dark bond outpaces Roger Moore, David Niven, Timothy Dalton, and Connery. The only good thing to come out of Pierce Brosnan’s Bond films was the GoldenEye multiplayer Nintendo 64 game.

Who doesn’t like a good old cloak and dagger story? But what about if it involves the church?

During the Cold War, the East German Ministry of State Security endeavored to spy on the church, using unexpected agents to gather information and evidence against political dissenters.

“In infiltrating East Germany’s church-based opposition and partially emasculating its churches, the ecclesiastical department of the Stasi arguably helped prolong the German Democratic Republic’s life,” said Elisabeth Braw, author of God’s Spies: The Stasi’s Cold War Espionage Campaign Inside the Church.

We sat down with the author to talk about her new book, along with its implications for the church today.

Along with contributing to Newsweek, the Wall Street Journal, and the London Times, Braw is the director of the Royal United Service Institute’s Modern Deterrence Project.

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This podcast episode is brought to you by Fuller Seminary, The Center for Congregational Health, and Equal Exchange.

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Andy Hale created and hosts the podcast of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. Hale is the senior pastor of University Baptist Church of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, following eight years as the founding pastor of Mosaic Church of Clayton and five years as CBF’s church start specialist. Follow on Twitter @haleandy

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