by Moody Adams Reagan made a bold effort to convert Gorbachev during their first summit meeting in the 80s. In his book "The Rebellion of Ronald Reagan: A History of the End of the Cold War," James Mann reveals the account from Reaganís records that have now been made public.
According to the notes, Gorbachev told Reagan that "he, himself, had been baptized, but he was not now a believer, and that reflected a certain evolution of Soviet society."
The president proceeded to tell the story of a World War II soldier who wrote a letter saying he was not a believer, but he looked up at the stars and prayed that if he died in battle, he would be accepted by God. That letter was found on a young Russian soldier killed in battle.
Gorbachev tried to switch the subject by saying he hoped their two countries could cooperate in space. Reagan replied that space was in the direction of heaven, but not as close to heaven as some other things that they had been discussing.
Reagan became more direct, telling Gorbachev his son Ron did not believe in God either. "The President concluded that there was one thing he had long yearned to do for his atheist son. He wanted to serve his son the perfect gourmet dinner, to have him enjoy the meal, and then to ask him if he believed there was a cook."