Philippine Outlook

Religious issues may play a big role in the November election of a president in the Philippine Republic, a country officially dedicated to the Order of the Sacred Heart a few months before the airplane crash in which President Ramon Magsaysay was killed.

Presidential aspirant Claro M. Recto is opposed by Catholics and backed by Protestant leaders.

The former Vice President, Carlos P. Garcia, who assumed duties of the high office shortly after the crash, is a graduate of Silliman University, a Presbyterian institution in Manila. He is a Catholic, however, as was his predecessor.

Secretary of Education Hernandez, strongly Catholic, also perished in the crash, which took 24 lives. Undersecretary of Education Martin Aguilar Jr., a logical choice for the vacant position, is a Protestant, and church observers are intensely interested in seeing who will get the key post.

President Magsaysay was a popular figure among both Catholics and Protestants. Nearly a half-million persons swarmed around Malacanan Palace when the body of the 49-year-old chief executive was brought from the Cebu Island mountainside.

“His fight against communism as one of democracy’s staunchest champions …,” said Philippine Ambassador to the United States, Carlos P. Romulo.

‘The Only Weapon’

Thirty missionaries, representing 24 different mission groups, agreed on the following statement of faith before issuing invitations to all missionaries in Japan for the 1959 Protestant Centennial Conference:

“We believe in the Bible as the fully inspired, infallible Word of God, the only rule of faith and practice.”

Words Of Warning

Christians in China who are permitted to communicate with the West are members of “show case” churches maintained by communists for propaganda purposes, Ambassador Hollington K. Tong of Nationalist China said recently.

The ambassador, speaking at a dinner commemorating the 155th anniversary of First Baptist Church in Washington, D. C., said most Christian groups in China continue to feel severe persecution.

Despite such reports, however, according to Japan Harvest, a 13-man Protestant Japanese delegation is making plans to visit Red China in April and May. The Rev. J. Asano, Japan Biblical Seminary professor and pastor of The Mitake Kyodan Church, will be the delegation leader.

The delegation will be in Red China for communism’s biggest holiday, the May Day Celebration.

Worth Quoting

“This is the day of the larger church, handsome buildings, plush furniture and costly appointments. I’m not against these things. I love them. I break the Tenth Commandment every time I go into one of those spacious ministers’ studies in our new churches. Then I have to remember how easy it is to insulate yourself from your neighbor, especially if he is on the poorer side of town. If we forget him and his work, we are judging ourselves and our ministry by the price tag.”—Rev. Homer R. Lane, Toronto, Canada.

“It is not a struggle merely of economic theories or forms of government or military power. The issue is the true nature of man. Either man is the creature whom the Psalmist describe as ‘a little lower than the angels’ crowned with glory and honor, holding ‘dominion over the works’ of his Creator; or man is a soulless animated machine to be enslaved, used and consumed by the state for its own glorification.…”—President Eisenhower.

Digest …

Zondervan Publishing House takes over book publishing business of Sword of the Lord Foundation April 1.… Over 50% of Milwaukee TV viewers watch premiere of “Martin Luther.”

$140,000 fund raised to restore historic Calvin Auditorium in Geneva, Switzerland.… Two leading Christian schools in Seoul, Korea—Chosun University and Severence Union Medical College—merge as Yonsei University. First president, Dr. L. George Paik.

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