—An art exhibit at the National Gallery of Victory in Melbourne closed October 13 after attacks on the controversial Piss Christ photograph of New York artist Andres Serrano. On October 11, a 51-year-old man damaged the frame when he grabbed the picture off the wall. The following day, the artwork itself sustained heavy damage when an 18-year-old man attacked it with a hammer. The gallery decided to close the display because it could not guarantee the safety of visitors. Earlier in the week, a court had rejected the Roman Catholic church's request to close the exhibit on the grounds that Piss Christ is blasphemous.
—Samuel Habib, 69, president of the Protestant Churches of Egypt since 1980 and general director of the Coptic Evangelical Organization for Social Services, died of a stroke October 6 while visiting Pasadena, California.
—Two denominations have expressed reservations about the evangelism to India ministry of Kilari Anand Paul, the 34-year-old leader of the Houston-based Gospel to the Unreached Millions (GUM). The Southern Baptist Missions Board unanimously expressed "no confidence" in Paul, citing a lack of financial accountability and exaggerated claims about the ministry. Assemblies of God Southeast Asia director David Grant told CT the denomination will not endorse or recommend Paul's ministry, based on Paul's different philosophy of ministry and other questions.
December 8, 1997 Vol. 41, No. 14, Page 741