•  
  •  
 

Abstract

Since 1968, liberation theology has emerged as a prominent feature of religion and politics, particularly in South America. Originally stemming from the writings of Peruvian priest Gustavo Gutiérrez, this at-once theological and overtly political ideology decries the institutionalized violence of the world’s capitalist society on the poor and oppressed, and argues that God is particularly concerned with the plight of the suffering masses. Christians should therefore make assistance of these poor souls their highest priority, and advocate for any and all methods of alleviating suffering, especially those that work from the premise that society must be toppled and rebuilt for true change to occur. Shades of Marxism are evident throughout. As such, critics have derided liberation theology as nothing more than a radical wolf in pious sheep’s clothing since its inception, but have gone largely unheeded in the face of its emotional appeal. However, support for their contrasting position has come from an unlikely source. Ion Pacepa, formerly of Ceauşescu’s Romania, and the highest-ranking defector to come from the Soviet Bloc, writes in unexpected support of those who argue for excessive Marxist influence in the ideas of liberation theology. Pacepa’s 2013 book Disinformation was published to expert acclaim and contained a number of disturbing assertions, some of the most intriguing of which were in relation to liberation theology. Particularly, Pacepa alleges heavy Communist influence in both the origination and propagation of liberation theology, allegations that must be confronted to make an honest examination of the validity of this doctrine.