Christian Science in East Germany: The Church that Came in from the Cold
Sandford, Gregory W. Christian Science in East Germany: The Church that Came in from the Cold. Scotts Valley, CA: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2013.
A definitive account of the history of Christian Science in the German Democratic Republic (GDR), from the country’s founding after WWII until the reunification of Germany. The solidly established church was initially tolerated, but as hostility toward the U.S. grew it soon came under suspicion, both as a foreign institution and because of its healing practice. Church properties were confiscated, practitioners were outlawed, and importation and possession of Christian Science literature was severely restricted. Forty years of effort by Christian Scientists in both Germanies, supported by The Mother Church, eventually led to relaxation of the restrictions and finally resulted in recognition of the church and re-establishment of rights, just days before the Berlin Wall fell. Sandford is a specialist in GDR history and a Christian Scientist; as a diplomat in the U.S. State Department with postings in East Berlin and Munich, he was an eyewitness to the final developments. For this book he has drawn on personal acquaintance with many of the participants, and on extensive research in official GDR archives. He finished his professional career as a professor and Chair of the History Department at Principia College in Elsah, Illinois.