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Remembering Jac. Lissenberg

It gives me great joy that the middle initial in my name refers to my maternal grandfather Jacobus Lissenberg (1894-1970), who from 1929 until his retirement in 1964 worked as a minister in a small Dutch denomination, the Covenant of Free Evangelical Congregations in the Netherlands, and was a prominent voice in that community. Yesterday I attended the presentation of a book that has been written about him by the church historian Leo Mietus and which tells the hitherto forgotten story of Lissenberg's activities as an opponent of fascism and national socialism.

Like the members of many other Dutch denominations during the 1930s, Free Evangelicals were often hesitant and undecided about what to think of Mussolini and Hitler; and according to the dominant view among historians of this community, their narrow millenarian focus on the imminent arrival of the eschaton resulted in a passive attitude towards current political events. Leo Mietus corrects this picture by showing that Jac. …

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