A thoughtful and informative analysis of the various processes by which the Kremlin has fought the war against religion -- and the countermeasures taken by the Vatican to defeat them. The author, a Vatican correspondent, explores the steps by which the Vatican reached what was hoped an agreement with Hitler, only to have the way cleared for the Nazi attack on Christianity, in relatively mild form in Germany and Austria, and violent form in Poland. With German occupation of Rome, the neutrality of the Vatican was acknowledged, while half of Rome went underground, and the Church foiled manhunts of victims. The story of Father O'Flaherty is a dramatic anecdote in the total story. Following victory, Pope Plus XII devoted himself to the cause of peace until he realized that the USSR was following the same path as the Nazis, developing an offensive against the Church. The balance of the text reveals the varying steps taken in Yugoslavia, Albania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Poland and Italy, depending on whether there was a possibility of using the Orthodox Church as a tool for conversion, or whether the Roman Catholic Church must be eliminated and open anti-religious war declared. And in every case, primary attack was made to secure the allegiance of youth. The Vatican has strengthened their aggressive stand. The results of the election in Italy give evidence of the results, and elsewhere the strength of the Communist party in unoccupied countries has been weakened. The threat of excommunication was accompanied by information intended to enlighten, not to punish innocent fellow travellers. The efforts culminated in the drama of the Holy Year observance, the crusade of the great reform, and the change of attitude as to collaboration with other than Catholic churches on efforts to stem the red tide. An interesting presentation of the battle of religion against atheism. Of interest to Protestant as well as Catholic readers.