Keston Center of Religion, Politics and Society Panel to Discuss ‘The Post-Soviet Challenge Today’

Feb. 24, 2015
Keston Center for Religion, Politics and Society

Keston Center of Religion, Politics and Society Panel to Discuss ‘The Post-Soviet Challenge Today’

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Media contact: Terry Goodrich, (254) 710-3321

WACO, Texas (Feb. 24, 2015) – Baylor University’s Keston Center for Religion, Politics and Society will host a lecture and panel discussion titled “Defenders of the Faith: Then and Now” at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 26, in Baylor’s Michael Bourdeaux Research Center. The event will focus on how the history of Eastern European religious persecution applies to current events.

“Religious freedom is not something to be taken for granted,” said Kathy Hillman, director of special collections for the Central Baylor University Libraries. “What’s currently happening in Ukraine and Russia affects the rest of the world. It is important for the public to stay up to date on these issues.”

Keston Institute Chair and Founder Xenia Dennen will present a lecture titled “The Keston Institute and the Defense of Christians in the U.S.S.R. Before Perestroika.” She is a graduate of St. Anne’s College, Oxford University and the London School of Economics and Politics.

Panelists include Wallace Daniel, Ph.D., a distinguished professor of history at Mercer University, James Warhola, Ph.D., professor and chairman of the department of political science at the University of Maine, and Stephen Gardner, Ph.D., chairman of Baylor University’s department of economics and director of the McBride Center for International Business. Warhola, an expert on the relationship between the United States and Russia, testified last year before the Congressional Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe.

The Keston Institute, founded at Oxford University in 1969, publicized stories of religious persecution happening behind the Iron Curtain in hopes of providing help to the persecuted through its efforts. In 2007, the Keston Institute founded the Keston Center for Religion, Politics and Society at Baylor University, entrusting the care of the largest assembled archive of materials from religious persecution under totalitarian and communist regimes to the school.

“The lecture itself is an overview of what the Keston Institute accomplished in the U.S.S.R.,” said Kathy Hillman, director of special collections for the Central Baylor University Libraries. “The panel discussion will bring the current situation in Eastern Europe up to date and examine it from a religious perspective.”

According to Hillman, the panel discussion, titled “The Post-Soviet Challenge Today,” will hopefully bring attention to these current events and how they relate to the larger issue of religious freedom.

The Michael Bourdeaux Research Center is on the third floor of Carroll Library, located at 1429 S. Fifth St.

by Ashton Brown, student newswriter, (254) 710-6805

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