Unexpected Liberty

When Dr. Camilo Ponce Enriquez, arch conservative, triumphed by a slim margin in Ecuador’s presidential elections last June, most evangelicals predicted difficult days ahead.

They had reason. As Minister of Government in a former regime, ardent Roman Catholic Ponce ran roughshod over the principles of religious liberty. He prohibited the entrance of Protestant missionaries, outlawed open-air Gospel services and threatened sterner measures against the Protestants.

Things have been different, however, since President Ponce took office in September. He has leaned over backwards to maintain a democratic government. He has not infringed on the liberties of opposing political or religious groups. In recent speeches he has insisted that he will follow this course of action throughout the four-year term.

Different reasons have been advanced for such a commendable attitude on the part of Ecuador’s leader. Many evangelicals feel that the large volume of prayer focused on Ecuador since the martyrdom of the five missionaries has been the key factor.

—A.V.D.P.

1960 World Congress

The first Baptist World Congress south of the equator will be held in July, 1960, at Rio de Janeiro.

Arnold T. Ohrn, general secretary of the Baptist World Alliance, visited the city recently to discuss arrangements. He conferred with Joao Soren, pastor of the First Baptist Church of Rio de Janeiro and others.

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