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(1918) With: Jesse W. Brooks - Tema: Russia
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By DR. V. J. VITA of Immanuel Bohemian Baptist Church, Chicago
WHAT has struck me more than anything else in this confer-
ence has been the spirit of non-denominationalism pervad-
ing all the proceedings, and I do rejoice and am very glad
of it.
Now I would say just a few words in regard to the work among
the Bohemian people. The work of evangelization in Bohemia began
before the Reformation; that is, about a hundred years before Martin
Luther’s time, the Reformation was going on in Bohemia. John
Huss’s martyrdom was in 1415, and Martin Luther’s work began in
1517 or thereabout. But, of course, the work was broken up or sup-
pressed through the persecution of the Romish Church and the com-
bination of the Romish Church and the State. That work was inter-
rupted, and later it was revived, especially in the last century; but
the evangelization was through, the various denominational bodies
and so denominationalism began to creep in and divisions came.
Denoininationalism Not Needed
It is, however, a beautiful thing that American men have gone in
and learned the Bohemian language, which is very difficult for an
American to learn—that they might be able to preach the Gospel in
Bohemia; and they have done it on denominational lines, of course
there has been blessed work done there along these lines, but I
believe that denominationalism is not needed there or anywhere.
It is almost a curse that our people in the European as well as the
American Bohemian churches are not united; although many try
to make excuses and say denominationalism has been a blessing, yet
I believe it has not been a blessing but a curse, because we know
the devil does not like anything so much as to see the people of God
divided and quibbling about this and that, instead of in a union of
love and service.
Now the Bohemians are divided into two great bodies: that part
which is influenced and controlled by the Roman Church, and that
which is controlled by the ideas of the so-called Freethinkers. Now,
these are the two great forces at work among the Bohemian people.
The Freethinkers have three dailies in Chicago alone; and weekly
and monthly papers innumerable, working to turn the people who
are yet loyal to the Romish Church, and to strand them in infidelity;
and here we are powerless. Why? Because we have no hold upon

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