Skip to main content

The Christians Associated for Relationships with Eastern Europe (also Known as the U.S. Committee for the Christian Peace Conference) Manuscript Collection

Identifier: SCM 251

Scope and Content

The CAREE Manuscript Collection consists of approximately 20 linear feet of documents and publications. Inclusive dates of the collection are from 1964 to 2012, equally disbursed. The collection is divided into eight distinct series, arranged in order of receipt (accession) by Princeton Seminary and chronologically within each series. These series are 1- Christian Peace Conference (CPC) and Christians Associated for Relationships with Eastern Europe (CAREE), 1964-1996, 2- CAREE/CPC files received from Dr. Charles West in 2003 and 2005, 1966-2002, 3- International CPC files, accession date unknown, 1966-2002, 4- Papers from Dr. Walter Sawatsky co-editor, Religion in Eastern Europe, received 2008, 1993-2008, 5- Papers from Dr. Charles West, received April 2013, 1980-2006, 6- Papers from James R. Payton Jr., received May 2013, 1992-2007, 7- Papers from Rev. Paul Mojzes, received May, 2013, 1969-2012, 8- Publication - Occasional Papers on Religion in Eastern Europe and Religion in Eastern Europe, 1981-2012, and 9- Papers from Rev. Paul Mojzes, received September, 2013.

Currently the collection contains materials of not only CAREE and its antecedents, but also several other related organizations and meetings. These include the international CPC and its commissions, the Institute for Peace and Understanding [IPU] (a sub-organization of the CPC), the Asian Christian Peace Conference, the Presbyterian (PCUSA) Symposium of 1992, and various conferences.


  • 1964-2012

Language of Materials

English, German, Russian


The materials contained in this collection may be examined by library patrons under the normal rules and conditions of Special Collections, Princeton Theological Seminary.


Christian Peace Conference (CPC) founded by Joseph Hromádka (Czechoslovakia) and others in order to provide churches in the Communist Bloc a voice for peace without domination by Soviet ideology
The first All Christian Peace Assembly is held. The Working Committee of the CPC is formed. Josef Hromádka becomes the first President of the CPC and Jarolslav Ondra (Czechoslovakia) the first General Secretary.
United States Committee for the CPC is founded as an autonomous body to promote American participation in the CPC while remaining independent of its politics
The Prague (Czechoslovakia) Spring is followed by the Soviet Union’s invasion of Czechoslovakia in August. The CPC condemns the invasion and clashes with Soviet church members of the CPC over this condemnation
Annual Meeting (New York) on the theme, “The Disaster Decade: Is Revolution the Way Out? What are the Alternatives?” Elected for service: Charles West (Chair), Margaret M. Flory (Vice-Chair), W. Harold Row (Member of Working Committee, Prague), Kurtis Friend Naylor (Executive Secretary), W.C. Schmauch (Associate Executive Secretary and Prague Representative to the United Nations), Robert B. Starbuck (Associate Executive Secretary) and Carl Soule (Treasurer)
The Russian Orthodox Church reestablishes ideological control of the CPC. General Secretary Jaroslav Ondra is dismissed from the CPC, and Josef Hromádka resigns from the CPC in protest. Western European, Indian and African groups withdraw from the CPC
Annual Meeting (New York) addresses the future of East-West dialogue
Annual Meeting (Monument Beach, MA) subjects the crucial CPC situation to deep discussion and discernment of proper response. West, Flory and Naylor re-elected to continue in their offices
Metropolitan Nikodim (Soviet Union) is appointed President and Dr. Karoly Toth (Hungary) appointed as General Secretary of the CPC
United States Committee of the CPC changes its name to The Christians Associated for Relationships with Eastern Europe (CAREE)
Annual Meeting (Stony Point, New York) elects to service Paul Peachy (Chair), James Will (Vice-Chair), H. Lamar Gibble (Secretary-Treasurer), and Charles West (Continuation of the Work)
CAREE Annual Meeting (New York) is held jointly with the CPC United Nations sub-committee. Bishop Tibor Bartha and Karoly Toth addressed the plenary on the first evening
The first “Karlovy Vary” meeting is held, to facilitate active consultations of top church leaders of Eastern Europe, the U.S.S.R., and the U.S.A
In light of the drama on the European scene, the CAREE Executive Committee issues “A Declaration of Recommitment,” self-identifying as a “diverse company of persons who profess to be Christians, who happen to be Americans, who are vocationally committed to peace…united in seeking fellowship with peoples of Eastern Europe, whether Marxist or Christian”
CAREE facilitates a CPC-hosted meeting of thirty Episcopal and executive church leaders from the U.S. and six European countries in Prague
CAREE approaches the National Council of Churches for a grant of “Related Movement” status
At an Executive Committee (Washington, DC) it was announced that the Journal of Ecumenical Studies is releasing a special issue featuring CAREE. Elected to service are Bruce Rigdon (chair), Paul Peachy (Vice-Chair), and H. Lamar Gibble (Secretary-Treasurer)
CAREE functions within the National Council of Churches Division of Church and Society
At its Annual Meeting (New Windsor, Maryland) CAREE sponsors and hosts a banquet for the members of the CPC Working Committee. Elected to service are Bruce Rigdon (Chair), Charles West and James Will (Vice-Chairs), William White (Secretary) and Howell Wilkens (Treasurer)
Dr. Karoly Toth becomes President of the CPC and and Lubimir Mirejovsky (Czechoslovakia) becomes General Secretary
CAREE Communicator newsletter first published
The CAREE Annual Meeting (Rosemont, Pennsylvania) caps a two-day program, “U.S. Socio-economic Order in the Next Decade: Christian and Marxist Perspectives,” involving 128 registered participants. Elected to service are James Will (Chair), Bruce Rigdon and Charles West (Vice-Chairs), William L. White (Secretary), Marina Herrera, O.P., (Treasurer)
CAREE-nominated U.S. representatives participate in the Fifth All-Christian Peace Assembly in Prague
CAREE initiates the “Institute for Peace and Understanding,” in order to promote Christian-Marxist dialogue at an international academic level
CAREE sponsors two international colloquies (in Washington DC and New York) on human rights
CAREE Executive Meeting (New York) features a spirited discussion of the Afghanistan situation with three invited guests from the CPC
Charles West summarizes for the assembly the major issues addressed during the course of the Second North American Christian-Marxist Dialogue (Dayton, Ohio) on the theme “Dehumanization and Its Curtailment”
Occasional Papers on Religion in Eastern Europe begins publication, founded by Paul Mojzes
Annual Meeting (Washington, DC) elected to service are James Will (Chair), Bruce Rigdon (Vice-Chair), and Allison Rock (Treasurer)
Executive Committee Meeting (Washington, DC) moves to re-situate CAREE within the National Council of Church’s Europe Desk of the Division of Overseas Ministry
United Church Board for World Ministries makes Kenneth Ziebell available to serve as CAREE Executive Secretary
The Annual Meeting (New York) addresses the theme “Disarmament and Peace Witness.” Members of the United Nations Department of Disarmament Affairs, the World Conference on Religion and Peace and the Soviet Peace Mission to the United Nations are among the distinguished presenters, Alice Wimer elected to serve as Chair.
Former Chair Rigdon is serving as chair of a National Council of Churches committee to foster closer relationships between Soviet and U.S. Christians
CAREE Communicator features a report on the 6th All-Christian Peace Assembly, held in July
Howell Wilkens (Chair) informs that the relationship with National Council of Churches Europe-USSR Committee is “proceeding well”
The bylaws for incorporation (in New York State) are published. Instituted are the offices of a single President, two Vice-Presidents, Secretary and Treasurer
Occasional Papers on Religion in Eastern Europe institutes an Advisory Editorial Board composed of sixteen internationally known scholars
Paul Mojzes and Charles West are major participants in the second New Ecumenical Research Association’s Christian-Marxist Dialogue held in Iglis, Austria
The Annual Meeting (New York) addresses “Political and Theological Reflections on Glasnost”
Institute for Peace and Understanding co-sponsors the 15th Annual Christian-Marxist Dialogue on Peace having the theme “International Humanism, New Thinking, and Peace Issues,” in Moscow
Charles West (CAREE President) publishes “A Fresh Look at CAREE,” affirming among other assumed roles, CAREE’s centrality as a churchly but not church organization inspiriting secular contacts
Communism collapses in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union. CAREE shifts focus to deal with rising ethnic enmities and warfare, religious intolerance, and difficulties with living in newly pluralistic societies in the post-Communist world
Institute for Peace and Understanding, along with the International Institute for Peace and the Institute for Peace and Research of the University of Vienna, sponsors the 17th International East-West dialogue at York College, Pennsylvania
Christian Peace Conference ceases to exist
CAREE members (including President Paul Mojzes) attend a planning meeting for a Conference on Christian Faith and Human Enmity in Kecskemet, Hungary
Occasional Papers on Religion in Eastern Europe becomes Religion in Eastern Europe
Bruce Rigdon represents CAREE on the Kecskemet Conference planning committee
The Annual Meeting (Washington, DC) addresses the theme, “Church Leadership for the New Century in Eastern Europe.” Theological students from the former U.S.S.R. and Eastern Europe studying in U.S.A. are received and heard from
Kesckemet Conference, planned with the assistance of CAREE and the Europe Desk of the National Council of Churches, draws 130 participants from 25 countries
Charles West announces CAREE Archives Collection are being placed at the Princeton Theological Seminary
Annual Meeting (New York) on “Culture Wars and Religion in Eastern Europe” is sponsored by the Columbia Center for the Study of Human Rights, The Christian Century, and the Peace Research Center of the University, Vienna, Austria
Elected to serve are Priscilla Felisky Whitehead (President), Jan Erickson-Pearson (Vice President), Charles West (Vice President), Theodosia Robertson (Secretary), Charles Mercer (Treasurer) and James Payton (Executive Secretary)
CAREE’s web site, “” is announced in the December edition of Religion in Eastern Europe
James Payton elected to serve as President of CAREE
Print edition of Religion in Eastern Europe ceases publication
Electronic version of Occasional Papers on Religion in Eastern Europe begins publication

Historical Information

Christians Associated for Relationships with Eastern Europe (CAREE) is a fellowship of Christians concerned to promote world peace by deepening the understanding and community between Christians in Central and Eastern Europe, and those in the United States. CAREE originated from the work of the Christian Peace Conference (CPC), an international body founded in 1958 through the efforts of Joseph Hromádka and others. The United States Committee of the CPC was founded in 1965, and developed as an autonomous body, changing its name to CAREE in 1972. The international CPC continued as a separate body until 1992, and CAREE existed until 2012.

In the early 2000s, Dr. Paul Mojzes and Dr. Charles West wrote an internal CAREE paper entitled “CAREE: Who We Are and Whence We Have Come.” The following text from this paper provides a historical sketch of CAREE.

“It all started in the Cold War. It is hard to remember those days as the new millennium dawns. It is even harder to imagine oneself back into it. A world in which two great ideological systems, one Communist, the other pluralistic, open and less self-confident, confronted each other with nuclear weapons across an Iron Curtain, seems like a distant nightmare. But that was the world until ten years ago. We are still living with its consequences. In Europe at least we are still building on its ruins.

Believers too were divided by the Cold War. Across the Soviet world, from Germany to Siberia, established churches, Orthodox and Catholic, Lutheran and Reformed, were attacked, marginalized, infiltrated and suppressed. Minority churches, Baptist, Methodist, Mennonite and Pentecostal, fared no better. Atheist humanism was the ideology in power. It was enforced by the police, taught in the schools, and enacted in collectivized factories and farms. Christians from that world sent confusing signals as they struggled to survive and find their witness. Many Christians in the west reached out to them in this struggle. Peace church groups were among the first with their practical, nonjudgmental serving witness. Others tried where they could. But how and to whom should one reach out? Whom could one trust? How should one understand what one hears in a society where few could speak openly? How should one act so as to help, and not hurt, believers and the church?

It was in this context that Josef Hromádka formed the Christian Peace Conference (CPC) in Prague, and invited Christians in the west and the third world to participate. He was one of the few who could do so. A Czech theologian of world-wide reputation who affirmed the revolution in his own country, his aim was twofold: to provide the churches in the east with a Christian voice for peace not dominated by the Soviet-organized World Peace Council, and to open relationships and dialogue with Christians in the rest of the world alongside the official contacts of the World Council of Churches. He knew the ambivalence of the project. Political authorities who must approve it had another agenda: support by churches in the east and west for Communist governments and Soviet foreign policy. Christian faith wrestled with political infiltration, intimidation and sometimes coercion at every CPC meeting and in every report or resolution in produced. Still, Hromádka and many others believed that open dialogue and serious theological work which the CPC made possible were worth the wrestle.

Many in the west and the third world agreed with him, and in the early years, from 1964 to 1969, their confidence was wonderfully justified. There were constant negotiations and struggles over the language of resolutions, over the agenda of study and working committees, and over policy decisions made in Prague, but influenced by Moscow. The United States Committee for, not of, the Christian Peace Conference was formed in 1965 to organize and promote American participation in its work while maintaining our independence of its politics. But the participation was fruitful beyond our dreams. Thousands of personal friendships were formed, in which Christians from east and west shared each other’s burdens and strengthened each other’s faith. Honest dialogue took place in the Communist world about Christian faith and about freedom, justice and peace. Christians met Marxists and, around the edges of CPC meetings, then independently, Marxist-Christian dialogue began.

It all came to flower during the Prague Spring of 1968. Czechoslovakia was transformed, and its spirit radiated into all of Eastern Europe. Only Soviet churchmen and a few hard-bitten Germans seemed untouched by it. Modern Communists committed to “socialism with a human face” in an open democratic society came to power. Ideological domination melted away. The secret police were no longer feared. Christians and their churches were freed of restrictions and invited to play their part in building the new order. Hromádka’s hope seemed fulfilled. The CPC Assembly in Prague that year, over which he presided, was a celebration of this new reality. Many east European Christians spoke freely in public for the first time, in the presence of west Europeans, Americans, Africans, Indians and Japanese. Assembly resolutions were almost free of Soviet political jargon. New committees, more international and less political, were formed to carry on the work.

Then came the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in September. The political reform was crushed. The new Working Committee of the CPC condemned the invasion despite vigorous objections from Soviet church members. Hromádka wrote an eloquent public letter of protest to the head of the Soviet state. For another year the struggle for control of the Christian Peace Conference went on. Then, in September of 1969, Soviet control, led by the Russian Orthodox Church, reestablished itself. The Czech General Secretary, Jaroslav Ondra, was dismissed. Hromádka resigned the Presidency in protest; he died three months later. For the next three years the new Russian leadership tried to revive the organization it had so damaged, finally turning to the Hungarian leader Dr. Karoly Toth as General Secretary with a program emphasizing dialogue and downplaying political statements.

The United States Committee for the Christian Peace Conference played a unique role in these events. Several national committees outside the Soviet bloc—the French, the German, the British and the Dutch—broke with the CPC after the 1969 Russian power-play. The Japanese Committee split. In each case the result was dissension, conflict and rival groups. The U.S. Committee pursued a different tactic. We protested vigorously. We attended only those meetings where we could make our voice heard. But we did not withdraw. Rather, we broadened our contacts with churches and Christians in eastern Europe through other channels and in 1972 changed the name of our group to “Christians Associated for Relationships with Eastern Europe (CAREE), an Ecumenical Association to Promote World Justice and Peace,” to which we added a subtitle, “and for relations with the Christian Peace Conference.” For years in this way we held partisans and severe critics of the post-Hromádka CPC together in one organization with a broad agenda of which the CPC was only a part. We developed academic relations with theological faculties and pastoral relations with congregations. We sponsored east European visitors from schools and churches. We helped initiate a series of official meetings between American church leaders and those from Eastern Europe outside the Soviet Union—known as the Karlovy Vary meetings from the city where they first took place. We participated in Christian-Marxist dialogues when they again became possible. We have become in recent years, and now are, an unofficial study and support group for the Europe Committee of the National Council of Churches.

In the 1990s CAREE diversified its activities. A number of our annual meetings were held in conjunction with the Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion and attracted a good attendance, with diverse guests and participants from Europe and Russia. At one of our annual meetings we listened to the voices of young seminarians who had come to study in the USA as a result of the removal of travel restrictions. Due to initiatives by members of CAREE a study group was formed by the American Academy of Religion dealing with “Religion in Eastern Europe and the former USSR.” Cooperation with two Vienna institutes, the Vienna University Center for Peace Research and the International Institute of Peace, resulted in about a dozen meetings of Christians and Marxists working for peace. These meetings commenced in the middle of the 1970s; three of them took place in the USA (Rosemont, PA, Detroit, MI, and York, PA).

The war in the former Yugoslavia elicited a response by many members of CAREE who became engaged in various facets of peace-making. One such effort brought about the cooperation of CAREE with the Ecumenical Study Center in Budapest and the Hungarian churches, resulting in a conference in Kecskemet, Hungary, where church leaders from throughout the region sought to explore ways to deal with ethnoreligious conflicts.

Three publications emerged out of CAREE. The oldest…is the Caree Communicator, our newsletter, published occasionally. The second was the Christian-Marxist Newsletter, that had a sporadic publication schedule and ceased publication by the late 1980s. The most significant is Religion in Eastern Europe, which appeared in 1981 under its original title Occasional Papers on Religion in Eastern Europe. This is a bi-monthly publication that features serious analyses of religious developments in all former socialist countries of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union…the sole publication on the subject matter in the U.S.A., and only one of three in the world.

Today the whole scene has changed. Soviet power and Communist ideology are gone. So is the Christian Peace Conference. But central and eastern Europe face challenges greater than ever before. Ethnic and religious divisions, rooted in centuries of history, are tearing some countries apart. Economic life is in turmoil, often because of the reckless invasion of western capital into the void left by the breakdown of the securities and the rigidities of the socialist system. Each nation faces its own crisis of identity in relation to its neighbors. Each church, whether majority or minority, is struggling to rediscover its ministry and its mission in a world of new religious conflicts overlaid by a new form of secular power. How can Christians in America be of help? What can we learn from their experience that will help us be more faithful witnesses? These are the questions we need to explore.”


20 Linear Feet (20 Boxes)


The Christians Associated for Relationships with Eastern Europe (also known as the U.S. Committee for the Christian Peace Conference) Manuscript Collection has been grouped into a logical arrangement of nine major series, documenting the activities of CAREE and its related organizations. The collection contains administrative information regarding meeting planning, minutes, and reports, published and unpublished writings, CAREE newsletters, scholarly journals, and correspondence, mainly between CAREE leadership and individuals worldwide.

Series I: Christian Peace Conference (CPC) and Christians Associated for Relationships with Eastern Europe (CAREE), 1964-1996 (Boxes 1-6)

Arranged chronologically, this series represents the initial acquisition of CAREE materials originally sorted by Dr. Charles West in 1996. It contains administrative information, meeting minutes, notes, and reports, published and unpublished writings, newsletters and correspondence.

Series II: CAREE/CPC files received from Dr. Charles West in 2003 and 2005, 1966-2002 (Boxes 7-10)

Arranged chronologically, this series contains additional CAREE information through 2002, including International Institute for Peace documents, correspondence, conference papers, budgetary reports, newsletters, and correspondence from Ken Ziebell and James Payton while they were Executive Secretaries of CAREE.

Series III: International CPC files, accession date unknown, 1966-2002 (Box 11)

Arranged chronologically, this series contains information documenting the International Christian Peace Conference organization activities. It includes meeting materials, reports, newsletters and correspondence.

Series IV: Papers from Dr. Walter Sawatsky co-editor, Religion in Eastern Europe, received 2008, 1993-2008 (Boxes 12-14)

Arranged chronologically, this series contains information mainly pertaining to Dr. Sawatsky’s activities as co-editor of Religion in Eastern Europe, including submission drafts and editing activity. It also contains meeting materials, reports, and correspondence.

Series V: Papers from Dr. Charles West, received April 2013, 1980-2006 (Boxes 15-16)

Arranged chronologically, this series documents additional CAREE related activities of Dr. Charles West, primarily project and committee related. It also contains meeting materials, reports, and correspondence.

Series VI: Papers from James R. Payton Jr., received May 2013, 1992-2007 (Box 16)

Arranged chronologically, this series documents the CAREE activities of Dr. James R. Payton Jr. while he was both Executive Secretary and President of CAREE. It contains meeting materials, project related files, reports and correspondence.

Series VII: Papers from Rev. Paul Mojzes, received May, 2013, 1969-2012 (Box 17)

Arranged chronologically, this series documents the CAREE related activities of Dr. Paul Mojzes. It contains materials pertaining to the Institute for Peace and Understanding, meeting materials, reports, and correspondence.

Series VIII: Publication - “Occasional Papers on Religion in Eastern Europe” and “Religion in Eastern Europe,” 1981-2012 (Boxes 18-19)

Arranged chronologically, this series contains all issues of the above named publications of CAREE.

Series IX: Papers from Rev. Paul Mojzes, received September, 2013, 1993-2012 (Box 20)

Arranged chronologically, this series provides additional documents from Rev. Mojzes, mostly pertaining to the publication and editing of Religion in Eastern Europe. Also contained are additional indexes and copies of Religion in Eastern Europe, 1993-2012.

Published and unpublished works as well as correspondence are filed throughout the collection as they originally were filed. For ease of finding written works by title and correspondence by recipient/sender, complete alphabetical indexes of both areas appear behind the Box/folder list in the finding aid.

Related Material

See also the following materials in Special Collections: The Charles West Manuscript Collection (inventory).

Processing Information

This collection was formed through the actions of the CAREE organization, which designated Princeton Seminary to be the official repository of its documents. Dr. Charles West was instrumental in facilitating this arrangement. Dr. West is Stephen Colwell Professor of Christian Ethics Emeritus at Princeton Seminary and was Chair of CAREE from its founding until 1972. He donated his own copies of various documents which, along with a large collection of similar documents donated by Professor James Will of Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, formed the original nucleus of the collection. It was originally organized in September of 1996, at which time archival preservation procedures were performed on the collection. Since 1996, additional CAREE materials have been received from Dr. West, Robert F. Smylie, Dr. Walter Sawatsky, Rev. Dr. Paul Mojzes, and Dr. James R. Payton Jr., all active within the leadership of CAREE.

Final processing of the collection, including the writing and publishing of the finding aid, was done by Bob Golon, Manuscript Librarian, with the assistance of Kenneth Henke, Curator of Special Collections.

The Christians Associated for Relationships with Eastern Europe (also Known as the U.S. Committee for the Christian Peace Conference) Manuscript Collection
Bob Golon
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Princeton Theological Seminary. Library. Special Collections Repository

Princeton Theological Seminary
Wright Library
25 Library Place
Princeton NJ 08540 USA