An insight into Andrei’s engagement with the IoC was provided by Dr Philip Boobbyer, Professor at Kent University. Dr Boobbyer is a historian who specialises in Russian history, and the interaction between religion and politics in the twentieth century.
Andrei Mironov had a longstanding interest in Initiatives of Change (formerly called Moral Re-Armament), a movement dedicated to applying moral and spiritual principles in public life that had a record of promoting reconciliation in troubled parts of the world. Andrei’s involvement in it started when he met one of its Norwegian representatives, Leif Hovelsen, on a visit he made to Moscow in April 1989. Hovelsen had been active in the Norwegian Resistance during World War II, before being arrested and tortured by the Gestapo. In prison he had some powerful spiritual experiences—some of which he described in Out of the Evil Night (1959). He believed that it was important not to respond to evil with evil, and after the war embarked on trying to build bridges with Germany. Mironov was impressed by Hovelsen’s experience and message, and often translated for him on the many visits he made to Moscow over the next two decades. Another Russian who was supportive of Initiatives of Change was the philosopher Grigory Pomerants, and Andrei translated for him on some of the visits he made to the Initiatives of Change conference centre in Caux, Switzerland. Indeed he came to admire Pomerants’s outlook and philosophy of life.