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A Cold Warrior Dies


The Rev. Werenfried van Straaten has died at 90. The Dutch priest worked after the Second World War to build reconciliation between the German people and those they had conquered, in part by encouraging Europeans who had suffered under the Germans to offer food aid to their former tormentors. Fr. van Straten was an ardent anti-communist, and became a key advocate for and helper of churches suffering persecution behind the Iron Curtain. His religious name, “Werenfried,” means “warrior for peace.” The good priest knew that fighting for peace was not an oxymoron, because peace is not the absence of conflict. Rather, true peace is found only in freedom and justice, for which those of us who enjoy the blessings of liberty, must fight. R.I.P.