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Looking Back: January 1940

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Einstein claimed no religious faith. But even he admitted that the Church stood against tyranny when others failed. 

Einstein’s Tribute to the Church

In the French journal Evangile et Libertie, Einstein, the famous scientist, himself a Jew who professes no religious faith, is reported to have paid the following remarkable tribute to the witness of the Christian Church for freedom:

“Having always been an ardent partisan of freedom, I turned to the Universities, as soon as the revolution broke out in Germany, to find defenders of freedom. I did not find them. Very soon the Universities took refuge in silence. I then turned to the editors of powerful newspapers, who, but lately, in flowing articles had claimed to be champions of liberty. These men, as well as the universities, were reduced to silence in a few weeks. I then addressed myself to the authors, individually – to those who passed themselves off as the intellectual guides of Germany,  and among whom many had frequently discussed the question of freedom and its place in modern life. They in their turn were dumb.

Only the Church opposed the fight which Hitler was waging against liberty. Till then I had no interest in the Church, but now I feel great admiration and am truly attracted to the Church which has had the persistent courage to fight for spiritual truths and moral freedom.

I feel obliged to recognise that I now admire what I used to consider of little value.”

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