The war against Christmas has only recently come to this nation, but repressive governments in other parts of the world have banned that holy day for many years. From 1969 to 1997, Christmas was banned in Cuba. Christianity Today in 2002 reported that in the Vietnamese province of Dak Lak, children's choirs were forbidden to sing "Silent Night." Such examples are endless. Repressive forces have always had the same goal - to first secularize and then to eliminate Christmas.
Communist leaders of the former Soviet Union banned Christmas, changed the words to Christmas songs and folded all Christmas celebrations into a New Year celebration.
Christians exhibited bravery and courage in confronting Communism's anti-Christmas campaign. One person recalled how the young people would go out in the streets and sing Christmas carols, knowing that if police heard them, they would be arrested. In Communist Romania, Geza Palffy, a priest, delivered a sermon in 1983 protesting against the fact that December 25th had been declared a work day instead of a holiday. The next day he was arrested by secret police, beaten, imprisoned and died.
Before becoming President, Ronald Reagan delivered more than 1,000 three-minute radio broadcasts, writing nearly all of them himself. In one broadcast he told a fascinating story about how Communists gradually changed Christmas in the Ukraine.
Reagan's broadcast recounted that both inside and outside the Iron Curtain, Ukrainians never stopped singing: "We beg you our Lord, we pray to you today. Grant us freedom, return glory to our Mother Ukraine." He ended with: "I guess we all hope their prayer is answered."
And indeed it was.