Liberation theology refers to forms of local or contextual theology that proposes that knowledge of God based on revelation leads necessarily to a Christian theological praxis that opposes unjust social and political structures. It has been described as
"an interpretation of Christian faith through the poor's suffering, their struggle and hope, and a critique of society and the Catholic faith and Christianity through the eyes of the poor". Detractors have called it Christianized Marxism.
… Ion Mihai Pacepa has seen his share of excitement, serving as general for Communist Romania’s secret police before defecting to the United States in the late 1970s.
The highest-ranking defector from communism in the ‘70s, he spoke to CNA recently about the connection between the Soviet Union and Liberation Theology in Latin America. Below are excerpts of the interview. All footnotes were provided by Pacepa.
In general, could you say that the spreading of Liberation Theology had any kind of Soviet connection?
Yes. I learned the fine points of the KGB involvement with Liberation Theology from Soviet General Aleksandr Sakharovsky, communist Romania's chief razvedka (foreign intelligence)
adviser – and my de facto boss…
On October 26, 1959, Sakharovsky and his new boss, Nikita Khrushchev, came to Romania… Khrushchev wanted to go down in history as the Soviet leader who had exported communism to Central and South America. …
Was the Theology of Liberation a movement somehow
by Sakharovsky's part of the KGB, or it was an existing movement that was exacerbated by the USSR?
The movement was born in the KGB, and it had a KGB-invented name: Liberation Theology. …
This program demanded that the KGB take secret control of the World Council of Churches (WCC), based in Geneva, Switzerland, and use it as cover for converting Liberation Theology into a South American revolutionary tool.
How did the Theology of Liberation start?
I was not involved in the creation of Liberation Theology per se. From Sakharovsky I learned, however, that in 1968 the KGB-created Christian Peace Conference, supported by the world-wide World Peace Council, was able to maneuver a group of leftist South American bishops into holding a Conference of Latin American Bishops at Medellin, Colombia. The Conference’s official task was to ameliorate poverty. Its undeclared goal was to recognize a new religious movement encouraging the poor to rebel against the “institutionalized violence of poverty,” and to recommend the new movement to the World Council of Churches for official approval.