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The Godless Congress of 1938: Christian Fears About Communism in Great Britain


  •  I would like to thank Professor Stephen Constantine for his comments and suggestions.

Ben Edwards is an Honorary Research Associate at Lancaster University, U.K.


In September 1938, the World Union of Freethinkers held a conference in London. Fascistant Protestants and many Catholic intellectuals and clerics called the event the “Godless Congress,” and they viewed it as a part of a communist attack on Christianity in Britain and wanted it to be banned. Mainstream Protestants were also provoked by the conference, but most believed that the congress provided Christianity with an opportunity to re-assert itself. These varied but substantial reactions show that many Christians were ready and able to defend publicly their Christian faith against what they saw as atheistic communism.