Church members in Czechoslovakia worked hard to survive Cold War

Four decades of strong-armed Communist rule in Czechoslovakia soon after World War II forced local Czech Latter-day Saints to go underground to worship and practice their religion.

That meant secret church meetings of usually no more than six to eight people at a time in a member's apartment as well as never telling relatives — sometimes even parents or children — of one's church membership.

It meant constantly worrying about government spies and the possibility of arrest and interrogation.

It meant hiding any church literature and painstakingly writing by hand, typing out or — only in the later years — photocopying smuggled scriptures and church manuals.

In the end, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints survived — and even thrived in Czechoslovakia during the Cold War era because of clandestine nighttime baptisms in the backwoods, small copies of the Book of Mormon mistaken for Karl Marx writings and a makeshift yoga education program that doubled as a proselytizing tool.

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