A year ago leaders of the American Association of Evangelical Students (AAES) feared the organization was on the verge of giving up the ghost. But the AAES is alive and well and was recently seen in Spring Arbor, Michigan, flexing its muscles in preparation for an all-out assault on the spiritual and social evils of the day.
The AAES joined with an independent board of student-body leaders to sponsor the first Evangelical Student Congress, held on the Spring Arbor College campus. The purposes of the congress, which brought together 150–200 student representatives from approximately forty evangelical colleges, were: (1) to provide a forum for evangelical students to speak with an authentic, national voice; (2) to unite students in reaffirming their commitment to Christ; and (3) to demonstrate how the Gospel applies to human problems.
The students, wrestling with the issues at hand, determined to make their voice heard on a wide range of issues. Delegates were “all business”; committee meetings and informal rap sessions continued into the wee hours as students discussed problems and prepared reports. Although debate was vigorous at times, a sense of Christian unity prevailed throughout the congress. There was never any doubt about the students’ commitment to the Person of Jesus Christ or their submission to the authority of Scripture. Differences arose over how to relate scriptural teachings to problems facing the campus, the Church, and the nation.A strong statement of faith committed the delegates to belief in the Bible as “the unique, divinely inspired and authoritative revelation of God to man,” the substitutionary death and bodily resurrection of Christ, and the need for personal belief in Christ for salvation. The statement also committed the congress to “the necessity for Christians to be responsible for a Christ-centered, social, and totally integrated application of the Gospel of Christ.”
Five committees provided the framework for discussion: campus governance, Christian witness, domestic concerns, education directions, and foreign affairs. The congress recorded its feelings through position papers, resolutions, and mandates for action that came before the entire gathering.
Though delegates represented many parts of the country, different kinds of institutions (liberal-arts and Bible colleges), and a variety of church backgrounds, there was strong agreement in several areas.
The congress overwhelmingly passed a resolution condemning all prejudice and racism and calling for broader exposure to minority cultures on the campus, active recruitment of minority students and faculty members, attitudetesting during freshman orientation to reveal racism, and formation of a speakers’ board to make minority speakers available for colleges. The congress enthusiastically endorsed a statement from the black delegates to the U. S. Congress on Evangelism calling the Church to eliminate prejudice from its own ranks.
Despite the strong anti-racist sentiment, the delegates soundly defeated a resolution endorsing the principle of reparations presented in James Forman’s Black Manifesto.
A large majority of the delegates committed themselves, “as part of a community committed to the Creator,” to become more aware of the problems of population control and to support the use of contraceptives, dissemination of birth-control information through Christian medical missions, and legislation furthering birth control. (They also adopted the goal of limiting their families to two natural-born children and called on those desiring large families to adopt disenfranchised children.)
In the area of campus governance, the congress called for student evaluation of teachers and administrators, and student representation on boards of trustees.
Although only one mandate dealt specifically with the Church, many students expressed frustration with the institutional church. Some felt it is fast becoming irrelevant; others felt rejected by local churches because of their views on social issues or, in some cases, because of their physical appearance (“off-beat” dress, long hair, and beards).
The mandate on the Church asked pastors to evaluate their ministry in terms of flexibility of worship experience, involvement with non-Christians, leadership training, contact with the underprivileged and mentally unstable, and rapport with the high-school and college-age generation.
President Nixon’s decision to send ground troops into Cambodia generated the most heated debate of the congress. In an early session the delegates narrowly defeated a statement strongly protesting Nixon’s action, condemning the expansion of the conflict, and saying that the war must be concluded by nonmilitary methods. But they adopted a later statement that questioned U. S. military involvement in Southeast Asia, stated that they couldn’t presently condone the action in Cambodia, and called for more information about it.
The same statement condemned the methods of the North Vietnamese army and Viet Cong and proposed the seventh day of every month as a nationwide day of prayer for evangelical students to ask God’s guidance for U. S. leaders.
The first Evangelical Student Congress provided an opportunity for students to speak out. They were reminded by David L. McKenna, president of Seattle Pacific College, that having spoken out “you are now committed to become involved.” As the congress drew to a close there was a mood of determination to do just that. And, as AAES president Steve Honett of Taylor University noted, “this is only the beginning.”
RICHARD L. LOVE
Open Issues, Closed Doors
How much longer will the National Council of Catholic Bishops be able to keep its door closed to the clamor outside?
At the heavily guarded semi-annual NCCB meeting in San Francisco last month (see also May 8 issue, page 37), the bishops in a position paper viewed “with grave concern” the “dissension, controversy, and turmoil” in the church. They appealed for quiet allegiance from the faithful, but they did little to quell the growing unrest.
Taking note of liberal trends in state laws, they hardened their stand against abortion, calling it an “unspeakable crime” (while a women’s liberation group picketed outside in protest).
The Padres, a group of Mexican-American priests, complained of too little brown power in the hierarchy. One-fourth of the 47.5 million United States Catholics are Spanish-speaking, they declared. The bishops voted to finance a $15,000 study proposal for a special mobile ministry to Spanish-speaking Catholics.
The National Association of Laymen, a liberal organization of 13,000 members, served notice that a projected National Pastoral Council under study by the prelates must be a legislative body with full policy-making powers, not merely an advisory group. This issue promises to be the major storm center when an NPC progress report is made at the Washington, D. C., meeting of the NCCB in November.
The conservative National Federation of Laymen, claiming 15,000 members, accused the bishops of negligence in Catholic education. The NFL announced it would withhold all parish offerings in order to establish an independent NFL-styled parochial school system. NFL leaders also planned a national financial boycott of Catholic parishes and schools unless the bishops ban the use next fall of a dozen or more “unorthodox religion textbook series,” considered “more sociology than religion” by the NFL. The boycott would extend to the national offering at Thanksgiving to implement the church’s $50 million anti-poverty program.
The bishops turned down (the vote was one short of the needed two-thirds) a request originating from the Religion Newswriters Association that NCCB deliberations be open to reporters. NCCB president John Cardinal Dearden of Detroit said this would ensure “complete candor” and prevent reporters from lifting “catchy phrases” out of context. But the issue will surface again at the November meeting.
EDWARD E. PLOWMAN
Christian Broadcasters Tune Toward Future
It was spring in Tokyo—cherry blossoms, azaleas, and children in the parks. But to hear speakers at the third congress of International Christian Broadcasters (ICB) tell it, evangelical broadcasting was still in the grip of a winter long past: hardsell preaching, traditional propagation of a “Christian ghetto mentality,” and a timidity to use new methods.
Said “Mennonite Hour” speaker David Augsburger on the first day: “If we do not change our methods, we change our message, because we only reach those who understand old words and techniques.… A good share of Christian communication techniques are still in the 1930s.”
If the congress was any indication, though, traditional broadcasters have decided it is time for change. Some 250 evangelicals from fifteen countries devoted the bulk of their April 13–18 sessions to futuristic thinking. One of the papers provoking the most discussion was by Northwestern University professor Martin J. Maloney (a nominal Catholic) on the communications revolution in the next decade. “If evangelicals try to compete as a small group, to arrogantly say ‘I know something you don’t,’ they may look a bit foolish,” he said. And the conventioners reacted with apparent soul-searching when Maloney accused evangelicals of being among the most “dangerous users of mass media” because many are “committed so absolutely to their cause that they will do anything, even suppress truth, to espouse it.”
India’s Gollapalli John (Far Eastern Broadcasting Company) and Liberia’s Edwin Kayea (station ELWA) won sympathy when they criticized the insensitivity of missionary radio preachers who have “blasted their way with pompous oratory into the privacy of their listener” without regard for his culture. FEBC’s Carl Lawrence attacked methodological rigidity, suggesting, among other things, that broadcasters be flexible enough to ask themselves: “At what point is it theological to say we’ve been broadcasting to this people without response long enough—let’s … turn the transmitter in other directions?”
Sessions went far beyond self-flagellation, however. Four of five final-day speakers discussed evangelical use of satellites. Pioneer broadcaster Clarence Jones (founder of Ecuador’s HCJB) suggested that evangelicals put up their own satellite for broadcasting. ICB executive secretary Abe Thiessen noted in an interview that ICB is now represented on an international commission studying the legal ramifications of religious programming over satellites.
Perhaps the most exciting concrete proposal of the conference, also from Jones, was that Christians around the world jointly stage a three-year TV-centered campaign to saturate Japan with the Gospel. This would be followed by similar mass-media campaigns in Latin America and in Africa.
Some at the conference complained that too little time was given to the role of the Holy Spirit in effective broadcasting. Congress members—with only a handful of non-Western delegates, including just one native African—reflected the failure of many mission groups to turn leadership to non-Americans. Microphone breakdowns and unkept schedules inspired numerous quips about the “communication of professional communicators.”
The over-all mood, however, was one of challenge. “My only fear,” said local vice-chairman Arthur Seely, “is that we evangelicals will do as we so often have—hear without obeying.”
African Challenge: Christian Literature
One factor controlling the future of Africa, a recent Africa Christian Press newsletter observes, is the type of literature that will capture the minds of the continent’s huge and increasingly literate population in the next decade.
But, while literature has gained top priority in the programs of Africa’s churches, it is still difficult to find a book in which an African writer forcefully affirms that Christ is sufficient for his personal problems in contemporary Africa. To find and train African Christian writers is therefore, according to a recent survey, the most urgent need in the field of Christian literature for Africa.
The survey, sponsored by Evangelical Literature Overseas in Wheaton, Illinois, was conducted by the Reverend C. Richard Shumaker, who has now become the director of the new Africa Evangelical Literature Office (AELO) in Nairobi.
The AELO this year launched the Christian Writers Club to stimulate Christian writing. In the past, the only writer-training programs were conducted by a few enterprising Christian publishers and editors. The club seeks to gather writers and writer-trainees into a single force and fellowship; it will accept and appraise African manuscripts and help get worthy ones published. The club will also conduct a writers’ correspondence course and an annual writing contest.
The AELO, literature arm of the Association of Evangelicals of Africa and Madagascar, helps train evangelical literature personnel by providing workshops, seminars, on-the-job training, and scholarships for study at home and abroad.
The other continent-wide organization promoting Christian literature is the Africa Literature Center in Kitwe, Zambia. It was established in 1958 “to help develop … a vigorous African Christian voice speaking through the printed pages of the continent on issues relevant to the African people in politics, economics, health, national development, education and religion.” The center, sponsored by the Committee of World Literacy and Christian Literature in New York and the All Africa Conference of Churches, is run by an international staff of Christian communication experts.
Its nerve center is the Literature Clearing House, which keeps an up-to-date record of publications useful to the churches of Africa and circulates information on publications available and books being planned and commissioned.
The center’s founder-director, Swedish Methodist missionary Bengt Simonsson, travels to all corners of Africa conducting writers’ workshops and counseling.
Ironically, the Africa Literature Center, which in theology and orientation tends toward the ecumenical movement, works mainly through individual denominations, while the AELO works through interdenominational literature fellowships. There are national evangelical literature fellowships in Ethiopia, Burundi, Zambia, Rhodesia, South Africa, the Congo, Nigeria, Ghana, Malawi, Ivory Coast, Senegal, Upper Volta, and Rwanda; there is a regional fellowship for Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania.
The new Centre de Publications Evangelique in Abidjan, the swinging capital of the Ivory Coast, will also pull together literature associations in the French-speaking African states.
Regular journalism courses have been slow to take root in Africa. Only the University of Lagos has a department of mass communications offering degrees in writing and journalism. The University of East Africa this spring starts a two-year diploma course in journalism; it will admit only twenty students a year. Probably the only other formal journalism training in Black Africa is the six-month public-affairs reporting course offered by the International Press Institute in Nairobi.
“The biggest single need,” according to a Ghana market research report on Christian literature published last year, “is to produce books which see Christ, the Christian faith, and the practical implications of the Christian life through African eyes.”
Gordon-Conwell Urban Center Future In Doubt
Increasing financial problems and stiffening requirements by the American Association of Theological Schools are forcing officials at Gordon-Conwell Seminary to consider closing the school’s Philadelphia Urban Center, an inner-city facility for the study of urban and Negro problems.
Students there, sensing a fold-up, last month sent a petition to Gordon-Conwell president Dr. Harold J. Ockenga protesting the alleged irrelevance of the center’s program for blacks and the “emasculation” of the Philadelphia campus in favor of the major facility in Boston. The Gordon Divinity School merged with Conwell School of Theology last fall (see June 20, 1969, issue, page 32).
Dr. Robert Ives, a part-time faculty member at the Urban Center and a minister at Philadelphia’s Tenth Presbyterian Church told CHRISTIANITY TODAY it was his impression that the center will be closed next year, with the possible exception of a part-time urban-study program. “No full-time students there now plan to return, because they understand it won’t be continued,” Ives said.
Ives, two other faculty members, and twenty-two of the center’s thirty-five to forty students signed the petition. Among problems cited by Ives was the fact that two courses in black studies offered at the center the first term of the current year were not offered during the spring term. There were about sixty students attending the center last fall, according to Ives, of whom about twenty were black. This spring there were only five or six blacks, he noted.
Ockenga, asked about the rumored shut-down, said there was “no intention of closing unless we’re up a blind alley.… But he and others close to the situation said the cost of the Philadelphia operation is all but prohibitive for such a small student body. Among other requirements, the AATS insists on certain library standards and a minimum number of full-time faculty for accreditation. About $300,000 is needed annually to maintain the center’s present program according to these standards. And at least $125,000 is needed just to keep afloat a program in Philadelphia for third-year Gordon-Conwell students, informed sources say.
Ives and several students dismissed as unrealistic an idea that the center might be spun off as a separate seminary for blacks, with local funding alone. Ives doubts there would be enough local evangelical support for such funding. A student said in an interview that restricting the center to blacks would vitiate its potential as an evangelical, interdenominational seminary serving the whole urban community of Philadelphia.
Ockenga, meanwhile, said a committee was studying the matter and that guidelines would be issued soon.
Student signers of the petition, not intended to be made public, were reportedly unhappy that a copy was leaked to CHRISTIANITY TODAY. “We do not want to hinder any of the communication going on,” explained student spokesman William Spencer. He said the petition was “a mere concern, not an SDS kind of thing.… The Lord’s love is apparent here.… We want everything to be considered in that spirit.”
Meanwhile, the stock-market decline and shrinking gift income caused another Philadelphia seminary to consider consolidation. Crozer Seminary in Chester is negotiating with Colgate Rochester/Bexley Hall and the Rochester (New York) Center of Theological Studies over a possible merger by September. The action would mean sale of the Chester property and a move to Rochester.
Black Manifesto’s Birthday: Frosting On The Cake?
The Black Manifesto was one year old last month, and its “legal guardians” are $300,000 richer than they were April 29, 1969, when James Forman first blazoned the document in Detroit.
The first anniversary of the radical document, which originally asked $500 million (later escalated to the neighborhood of $3 billion) in reparations from white churches and synagogues, was marked by a worship service at the Interchurch Center in New York City. About 150 persons, including Forman and the Reverend Calvin Marshall, chairman of the manifesto-related Black Economic Development Conference, attended. Executives of Protestant and ecumenical agencies having offices in the center were also present.
At a press conference following, Religious News Service reported, Marshall said the BEDC had received about $300,000 in the past year; $200,000 came from the Episcopal Church (channeled through the National Committee of Black Churchmen). Marshall said the BEDC is working in community organization and communications through its national New York office and chapters in Philadelphia, Detroit, Cleveland, and Chicago. The BEDC’s Black Star Press in Detroit, plus a printing arm in Philadelphia, are turning out black newspapers for the four cities.
The BEDC has about thirty staff members, most of whom, Marshall told newsmen, receive $50 to $75 a week. Only three or four make as much as $100 a week, he said.
Again calling for church reparations, Forman gave a memorial tribute to Che Robinson, a BEDC staff member who was one of two Negroes killed in an automobile explosion in Maryland this March. The blast was apparently connected with the much postponed H. Rap Brown arson trial. Forman identified Robinson as the one who directed office takeovers last spring in the Interchurch Center.
Meanwhile, the Board of Christian Education of the Presbyterian Church, U. S., followed the lead of the denomination’s Board of National Ministries by dropping out of the controversial Interreligious Foundation for Community Organization (see March 13 issue, page 54). IFCO is the agency that called for and financed the 1969 Detroit meeting from which the Black Manifesto emerged.
The Presbyterian education board said in a statement it had “reluctantly concluded that the value of the [IFCO] membership is outweighed by its cost in terms of misunderstanding and unrest in the church.…”
Although financial contributions to IFCO from the Southern Presbyterian Church have been small, other denominations have contributed more than $2 million since 1968. The Episcopal Church has been the largest giver; other denominations giving more than $100,000 include the American Baptists, United Presbyterians, United Methodists, and the United Church of Christ (see also March 27 issue, page 34).
United Church Observer: No Trees For Forrest
Dr. A. C. Forrest, editor of the 300,000-circulation United Church Observer (organ of the United Church of Canada) is willing to go out on a limb for an unpopular cause. Since 1967 he has found himself in the center of controversy over his alleged pro-Arab coverage of Middle East developments.
The United Church minister is the subject of an Anti-Defamation League (B’nai B’rith) document, “The United Church Observer and the State of Israel.” The author of the document, Dr. Arnold Ages of the classics department of Waterloo Lutheran University, presents selected documentation to show that Forrest is “clearly partisan” and “unfriendly to Zionism and Israel.” A committee of concerned churchmen has joined the attack.
Dr. Douglas Young, an evangelical who heads the American Institute of Holy Land Studies in Jerusalem and a staunch defender of the Israeli position, charged in an open letter that Forrest was an irresponsible critic of Israel and biased apologist for the Arabs. He wrote:
“If war comes to us in the Middle East again, historians will record that your pen, which could have been a contributory to peace, was like a sword of war.… [it] will drip with the blood of the wounded and dead of both sides.…”
Such emotional accusations have been directed against Forrest since 1967, when he made his third and fourth trips to the Middle East. He then said the displaced Arab refugees were the key to any solution of troubles there.
An editorial by Forrest in September, 1967, described “the grave injustice Palestinian Arabs have suffered at Israeli hands.” At the same time, he three times in that editorial mentioned the folly of Arab failure to recognize Israel as a national entity.
Similar articles by Forrest have appeared in his magazine and in church papers in Canada and the United States. The result: a chorus of anti-Semitic charges from Jewish and Christian sources.
“I deeply resent the old Zionist and Israeli technique of discrediting critics of Israeli policies or Zionist philosophy by calling them anti-Semitic,” Forrest says in rebuttal. “Anti-Semitism is evil. Its awful fruits were harvested in agony in Germany in Hitler’s time. The treatment of other people as lesser persons, whether they be Jew, Negro, Arab or something else, is dehumanizing.”
Another Canadian editor, Hugh McCullum of the Canadian Churchman, (Anglican Church), has come to his colleague’s defense. He wrote that Forrest was “the victim of slanderous accusations of anti-Semitism and has had his reputation as an editor and a Christian impugned.”
As charges fly, the soft-spoken Forrest, who maintains he is merely trying to present a side of the Middle East story that is neglected in the Western press, shows no signs of being easily treed.
LESLIE K. TARR
Theology For College Grads
A unique venture in theological education will begin in Canada this fall. Recognizing the need for all Christians—not just potential ministers—to study the Bible and theology seriously, evangelicals from several denominations have started Regent College next to the University of British Columbia in Vancouver.
The all-Ph.D. faculty of eight will feature cross-disciplinary and tutorial studies. College graduates who complete an intensive one-year program will get a diploma in Christian studies.
The new school also plans at least one theological degree program in the future and facilities where outstanding Christian scholars can engage in research leading to publication of scholarly works.
The Disciples’ New Symbol
The recently restructured (1968) Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) has a new symbol. To be used on a trial basis to identify the one million-member denomination is a Communion cup bearing the X-shaped Cross of St. Andrew.
The chalice long has been associated with the Disciples; they celebrate Communion each Sunday. The Cross of St. Andrew is the national cross of Scotland, homeland of Thomas and Alexander Campbell, key figures in the founding of the movement. The chalice is red, to symbolize vitality, spirit, and sacrifice.
Degree Or Not Degree?
The vice-president and academic dean of Carl McIntire’s embattled Shelton College was suspended last month on charges that he doesn’t have a legitimate college degree. The catalogue of the small, fundamentalist school at Cape May, New Jersey, lists Richard E. Coulter as holding a Ph.D. from the University of Virginia through Union Seminary in Richmond, an M.A. from St. Andrews University in Scotland, and a B.S. from Temple University in Philadelphia, and says he “completed work” at Reformed Episcopal Seminary in Philadelphia.
Union Seminary’s registrar curtly told CHRISTIANITY TODAY that Coulter did not receive a degree there, nor was he ever a student at the school. Coulter declined to comment on his background.
The action was taken by the chairman of Shelton’s board of trustees. The school, of which McIntire is president, was put on the griddle last summer by Chancellor Ralph Dungan of the New Jersey higher-education department (see September 12 issue, page 56).
Religion In Transit
The UCLA isotope laboratory has dated an L-shaped beam found at the 13,500 foot level of Mt. Ararat in 1955 at 1,230 years, plus or minus 60. This coincides closely with dates set earlier by laboratories in England and Massachusetts. It would make the wood several thousand years too young to be part of the biblical ark, whose remains are being sought by an expedition party on the slopes of Ararat this summer (see February 13 issue, page 39).
If you earn a thousand points, you go to heaven, but if you lose your points, you go to hell, according to rules of a new Confraternity of Christian Doctrine game invented by an eschatology-minded Catholic priest in Kittery, Maine. Players proceed around a board with descriptions of pre-Vatican II and post-Vatican II approaches to religious education in each square. The game resembles Monopoly and has purgatory, confessional, and “just in church praying” squares at the corners.
Nearly 2,000 Catholic nuns, meeting in Cleveland last month, formed the National Assembly of Women Religious as a possible voice and forum for the nation’s 160,000 nuns. Its organizers said they hope the group will develop “political clout” in the church.
Congregations of the 20,500-member Synod of Evangelical Lutheran Churches last month ratified merger with the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, a move approved by the SELC general convention last fall.
A new program to help missionaries and Christian workers overcome emotional and other problems has been set up in Fresno, California, through the Link-Care Foundation.
F. SCOTT MACKENZIE, 86, former moderator (1950) of the Presbyterian Church in Canada; in Houston, Texas.
HUGH A. MACMILLAN, 77, former moderator (1964) of the Presbyterian Church in Canada, long-time missionary and seminary president in Formosa; in Toronto, Canada.
James Cash Penney of the well-known department store received the American Bible Society’s 20 millionth copy of “Good News for Modern Man” this month in New York.
Apollo 13 astronaut John L. Swigert on the subject of prayer for the aborted moon mission: “It really united the world of all faiths and all colors, even if for a brief moment.… I don’t think I’d want to do it that way again, however.”
While Catholic priest Philip R. Berrigan and another fugitive were arrested, brother Daniel Berrigan (S.J.) and several others convicted of burning draft records in 1968 were still at large and evading jail terms early this month.
The U. S. government dropped draft-conspiracy charges against Yale University chaplain William Sloane Coffin last month.
A Navajo Indian, Kenneth Nabahe, 27, a Ph.D. candidate at Brigham Young University, has been ordained a bishop of the Mormon church.
John Edwin Johns, business manager and vice-president of finance and planning at Stetson University, has been named president of the Florida Baptist school.
The Reverend Edmond Perret, 45, a pastor of the National Protestant Church of Geneva, has been named general secretary of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches.
United States Supreme Court nominee Judge Harry A. Blackmun of Rochester, Minnesota, is a member of the United Methodist Board of Publication.
Moody Press has honored Bernard Palmer, author of 165 books, with the Outstanding Author of the Year award. Seven million copies of Palmer’s books have been sold; 130 titles are still in print.
Senator Robert Kennedy’s northern California campaign director in 1968, Josiah Beeman V, has been appointed as a lobbyist in Washington, D. C., for the United Presbyterian Church.
The brother of Eugene Carson Blake of the World Council of Churches will be the chief leader of the Pan Presbyterian Congress on Evangelism to be held in Cincinnati in 1971. He is Dr. Howard C. Blake, a Presbyterian, U. S., minister and general presbyter and stated clerk of South Texas Presbytery.
In the first official recognition granted by the Israel government to a Christian community, the cabinet last month recognized the Anglican Church under the name Evangelical Episcopal Church in Israel. The existing nine recognized Christian communities in Israel were all approved in British mandate times. The newly designated church has about 2,000 members, most of whom are Arabs.
For the first time since its founding twenty years ago, Christian News from Israel, a Ministry of Religious Affairs periodical, is being sold on newsstands in Israel. The magazine, designed to describe Christian life in Israel to 20,000 foreign subscribers, has a new editor and a new format.
Wales will get a new translation of the Bible in its own native tongue, replacing the existing 400-year-old standard version.
The Baptist newspaperRozsievac (the Sower) resumed publication after a seventeen-year suspension by the Czech government. There are 4,200 Baptists in the country, with twenty-six churches and 100 preaching stations.
Disagreement over the Salvation Army’s approach to a hippie musical in Paris resulted in some hair-pulling in the army’s unit in France. After Commander Gilbert Abadie led a protest at the theater where Hair was being performed, six officers opposed the tactic. Three of these rejected transfer orders and resigned.
The United Methodist Church of Pakistan (41,000 members) voted to join Anglicans and Presbyterians in a new Church of Pakistan, to be inaugurated in November at Lahore.
Laos will be a new field (and the seventy-second country) of service for the Southern Baptists, the denominational foreign-missions board decided recently.
Holy Cross Episcopal Church in Castaner, Puerto Rico, is believed to be the first church in the world-wide Anglican communion to install an immersion tank. Baptism by immersion is approved but seldom used in Anglicanism.
Cambodia has nine universities and colleges but at present no student witness in the country, according to the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students. The state religion is Buddhism, and Christians, a minority group, can’t even buy land for their churches.
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