How did a Russian Jew, raised as an atheist to love communism, become one of the Soviet Union's greatest defenders of Evangelical Christians?
The short answer is Josef Stalin. The ruthless dictator's anti-Semitic campaigns turned Arkady Polishchuk, once a true believer in communism, into a dissident.
Polishchuk, a journalist, was writing about Stalin's anti-Semitic show trials when he made an eye-opening visit to an underground Pentecostal church. After that, Polishchuk started documenting human rights abuses against Christians.
"They (Christians) looked very Jewish to me," said the 88-year old Polishchuk to Publishers Weekly. "There were a lot of big lies (told) about them. They were persecuted not only by the government, but by Orthodox Church authorities."
Polishchuk, who eventually moved to the U.S., even turned down the chance to escape the Soviet Union in the 70's so that he could continue to write about the oppression there. He was expelled from the Soviet Union in 1977.
Polishchuk is author of Dancing on Thin Ice: Travails of a Russian Dissenter. He says the situation faced by Russian Christians today is "slightly better" under Vladimir Putin, and he continues to advocate on their behalf.
When asked why he's spent so much of his life helping Christians when Jews also face persecution, Polishchuk said, "It is much easier to help your own. Try to help those who are not with you. Try to help those who are different from you. Try to understand them."