SAMUEL SANDMEL, 68, noted Reform Jewish theologian and author, the first Jewish scholar to publish a study of the New Testament; November 4 in Cincinnati, Ohio, after a long illness.

WELLINGTON MULWA, 61, bishop since 1970 of Kenya’s Africa Inland Church; begun in 1895 by the Africa Inland Mission, the 2,000-congregation, 500,000-member body is Kenya’s largest Protestant church; November 11, in Nairobi, from complications resulting from pneumonia.

The Southern Baptist Convention is speeding after a goal of presenting the gospel to everyone on earth by the year 2000. But moving faster up the denominational agenda has been the issue of biblical inerrancy. In recent months, the nation’s largest Protestant body has been almost hamstrung by it.

The issue has been building since the denomination’s national convention last June in Houston, where a group of Baptists vigorously campaigned to elect a proinerrancy SBC president, Adrian Rogers of Memphis, Tennessee. Of the 34 Baptist state conventions held during the past two months, at least 10 were affected directly or indirectly by the conservatives versus liberals debate over Scripture.

In Georgia, conservatives (meaning in this context those who advocate full biblical inerrancy and most often the verbal plenary inspiration method) failed, at least for the time being, in their attempt to remove Jack Harwell as editor of the Christian Index, the official publication of the Georgia Baptist Convention. At issue was a letter written by Harwell five years ago in answer to an inquirer, in which he said Adam and Eve represented mankind and womankind, not one historic man and one woman.

The Dodge County Baptist Association, representing 38 churches, had voted at its annual meeting for Harwell’s dismissal because of his “lack of faith in the entire Bible as the infallible word of God.” Conservatives then had organized three meetings across the state, prior to the state convention, in which they encouraged churches to vote to dismiss Harwell.

Publicizing and promoting this effort was William Powell, editor of the Southern Baptist Journal of the Baptist Faith and Message Fellowship (an organization formed in 1973 to promote inerrancy and expose liberalism in Southern Baptist schools).

Prior to the state meeting, the convention’s executive committee had voted to request a meeting between its own administration committee and the Christian Index board of directors. These groups would consider the charges against Harwell, and then report back to the executive committee sometime this month.

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This action was presented to delegates “as a matter of information.” They then approved a resolution reaffirming the Baptist Faith and Message Statement. Drafted in 1925 and revised by the SBC in 1968, the statement says Scripture has “truth, without any mixture of error, for its matter.”

Then W. Henry Fields, Christian Index board chairman, told the delegates that Harwell repeatedly had affirmed loyalty to the Faith statement. He asked the convention for a vote of confidence for Harwell so that the executive committee would “know the sentiments of the messengers.”

By a 4-to-1 margin, the 3,000 state convention delegates voted to express their confidence in Harwell’s “personal and professional integrity.”

Twice during later sessions Powell and other proinerrancy conservatives tried to raise their request for Harwell’s removal, but each time they were defeated. In addition, the delegates voted to ask Powell to change the name of his publication from the Southern Baptist Journal, saying it misleadingly appeared to be an official publication of the church. He said he would not do so.

In Texas, the inerrancy controversy focused upon Baylor University and the use by its religion department of the textbook, People of the Covenant. Faculty member H. J. Flanders found his position as chairman-elect of the department in jeopardy after Baylor trustee Jimmy Draper charged that the book presents Adam and Eve as symbolic figures and the Jonah story as a parable. Flanders had coauthored the book 17 years ago, along with two Furman University religion professors; it is used as a primary text for the Baptist school’s freshmen religious courses.

Draper, pastor of the Euless First Baptist Church, told the Baptist Press he had received numerous complaints that the book is “liberal, built on the premise that the Bible is man’s attempt to explain God, and does not even suggest that it is God’s revelation of Himself.” His problem with the book, now being used in 24 Baptist schools and more than 70 overall, is that it “presents no alternative to the literary study of Scripture.” Draper admitted that his written critique of the book, which he presented to the trustees, set off a series of meetings between the Baylor trustees, administration, and religion department faculty (both Draper and Flanders were included).

Draper denied having a vendetta against Flanders. He acknowledged that Flanders disagreed with his critique of the book, but says Flanders has a “great respect of the word of God” and a “positive commitment” to Christ.

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Aware of the Baylor debate, delegates preparing for the annual session of the Baptist General Convention of Texas expected an inerrancy fight as heated as the one that occurred during the national convention in Houston. Primarily because of the religion department’s own initiatives, however, the volatile issue was defused before the state meeting.

Through the Baylor administration, the religion department asked the trustees’ academic affairs committee for counsel in the textbook controversy. The department also opened itself to a complete study by the trustees committee of its entire teaching program. It asked for suggestions that “would help it to more nearly meet guidelines of the board of trustees as representatives of Texas Baptists.”

Finally, the department submitted what seemed to be a conservative statement of faith, with the signatures of all department members except one who was out of town. The statement affirmed Flanders as a “true spokesman for the Baptist faith,” while declaring “full sympathy with the Baptist Faith and Message Statement.”

Critics noted that the statement was submitted just three days before the state convention, and called it a case of the faculty telling Baptists exactly what they wanted to hear, while not necessarily changing their own positions. Flanders’s view that Adam and Eve are symbolic figures would be regarded as liberal by most Baptists, they said.

Apparently, the same Baptist Faith and Message statement can be affirmed by persons having very different interpretations of inerrancy and inspiration of Scripture. At least one Baylor religion professor, said a Baptist theologian, adopts the existential view of inspiration. In this view, Scripture becomes the Word of God only when it speaks to its reader. For the agnostic who reads Scripture and is unmoved, Scripture is not the Word of God. Most Baptists would find this view unacceptable and liberal, he said.

The Houston convention had reaffirmed the Faith statement after first agreeing that it meant that the original manuscripts are scientifically, doctrinally, historically, and philosophically without error. Interestingly, the Texas state convention also reaffirmed the Faith statement. But it rejected an amendment to have this fuller definition included. (The Northwest Convention, composed of Oregon and Washington, reaffirmed the Faith statement as approved by the national convention.)

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Within this atmosphere, SBC president Rogers has stood firm against a “witch hunt.” Rather than create a special committee to investigate liberalism, he said, Baptists should work through present systems, such as trustee boards.

So far, Baptist observers point out, the inerrancy controversy has circulated mostly at the seminary and church hierarchy level. No one denies that disagreements exist among Baptists on the matter of biblical interpretation. Few persons dispute the authority of Scripture. But whether so many views of scriptural interpretation can fall under the single umbrella of “historic Baptist beliefs” remains the question.

Roman Catholicism
Catholic Bishops: No Generics Yet

At one point in the liturgy of the mass, Roman Catholic priests say that Christ died “for all men.” To some Catholics, however, that is a sexist remark, and they have been trying to get it changed to something more inclusive. Under such prodding, the nation’s Catholic bishops instructed their liturgical specialists to study the matter and offer advice. The specialists responded with a two-part proposal: delete “men,” making the sentence say simply that Christ died “for all,” and permit priests at their discretion to substitute inclusivist language elsewhere in liturgical prayers where “the generic term ‘man’ or its equivalent” is found.

Both parts of the proposal, though, failed to get the necessary two-thirds approval at the semiannual meeting of the bishops last month in Washington, D.C.

Representatives of women’s groups in the church said they were “dismayed” by the bishops’ “lack of concern,” and some women picketed the hotel where the prelates were meeting.

Archbishop Rembert Weakland of Milwaukee, chairman of the bishops’ committee on liturgy, explained that many bishops favored the change but wanted to wait and include it with other changes that may be recommended when all the language of the mass is overhauled. He acknowledged that some priests might defy church authority and use inclusivist language in their services anyway.

In other actions, the bishops in a resolution lavished praise on the Pope for his recent visit, but 27 prelates proposed an amendment urging that “opportunities for dialogue” be scheduled during future papal visits. An author of the amendment acknowledged later that it was aimed at papal consideration of the problems many Catholics have in following the strict teachings of the church on such issues as contraception and divorce. Cardinal John Cody of Chicago bitterly attacked the measure, saying the church’s leaders need to be forceful in upholding the teachings of the church. “We ought to be very careful in talking about dialogue,” he said. The amendment was referred to a committee for study (and almost certain death).

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The bishops also approved a major position paper that contends racism still abounds in American society. It commits the church and its institutions to strong affirmative action policies and equal opportunity programs.

A survey released at the meeting shows that there has been a serious decline in candidates for the priesthood and that many men entering seminary in their mid-20s and early 30s have inadequate previous religious training. Surprisingly, 13 percent (634) of the students in U.S. graduate-level Catholic seminaries are women. Barred from the priesthood, they and 327 male students not seeking ordination plan to pursue other church vocations. Altogether, there are 3,914 candidates for the priesthood in the seminaries. Thirty-six women work as seminary administrators and 74 as seminary professors, according to the survey.


The Church Finds Its Role in a Socialist State

Participants at the Second Latin American Congress on Evangelization (Dec. 7 issue, p. 44) listened with special interest to the five representatives from Cuba. They acknowledged that a special information sharing session conducted by the five laid to rest a number of rumors that had been circulating. The Cubans represented Baptists (three), the church launched by the West Indies Mission (now Worldteam), and the Salvation Army.

The Cubans’ spokesman, Obed Gorrín, a professor at the Los Pinos Nuevos Evangelical Seminary (formerly WIM), described the church on the eve of the 1959 revolution as a young one—less than 70 years old. Although begun by Cubans who had returned after emigrating to the United States, the church had become dependent on mission agencies economically, administratively, and ideologically, said Gorrín. It was growing numerically, especially the Pentecostal wing, but it was largely divorced from Spanish culture.

The church enjoyed a honeymoon relationship with the new regime ushered in by the revolution—that is, until Fidel Castro in 1961 declared his government Marxist. This sent the church into shock, said Gorrín, and rapid exodus of most of the church leadership followed; many members either emigrated or deserted the church. Those who remained were disoriented and afraid. They turned to the church primarily as a shelter, conserving the familiar, and shutting out the pervasive change being engineered in every other sector of life, such as the system of universal work, participatory education, and socialized medicine.

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Church members who had emigrated considered those who remained to be collaborators. Those who remained considered the exiles traitors. They saw themselves as heroes, or perhaps martyrs, since some of them, too, had previously laid plans for escape.

During the 1960s, perceptions changed. Christians began seeing themselves simply as witnesses—and acknowledged that the exiles, too, were bearing a valid witness. (Recently, 16 exiled pastors met in Cuba with church leaders there, facilitating a process of mutual reconciliation.) The church mentally began to unpack its bags and adjust to the new society.

By 1969 the transition had substantially been made. The church had restructured itself and established complete economic independence. A younger generation that took the revolution matter-of-factly was developing its witness with enthusiasm, moving out into society and confronting secularism. As the government saw the church move from a negative to a constructive interaction, it looked on the church with more favor, attempting to improve relationships, Gorrín said.

The Cubans say they enjoy freedom to conduct every kind of service on their church premises—including evangelistic meetings. Pastors also may conduct funerals elsewhere. Six seminaries operate in the churches (an annual women’s society offering fully supports the two Baptist seminaries). There are five campsites operated year around. There are no curbs on personal witness.

Mass evangelistic campaigns and Christian radio programs are banned in Castro’s Cuba. But the believers say they believe that evangelism that works within, rather than invades, the new society is more effective anyway. They stress such themes as “man shall not live by bread alone,” pointing out those human problems experienced under all social systems, insisting that the gospel provides solutions, and that Jesus Christ imparts abundant life.

They note a pinch on the economic side, however. No money may be sent out of Cuba, eliminating the possibility of financing foreign missionary efforts.

Partly because of the U.S. embargo of Cuba, building materials and paper are scarce, making it difficult to build new churches, repair existing ones, or publish church materials. But this squeeze is gradually lessening.

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The Cuban constitution, promulgated in 1976, guarantees citizens the right to practice their religious faith. This, the congress participants acknowledged, is sometimes violated at the petty official level. But when infringements are appealed, redress is obtained. Gorrín related how his wife, a university instructor, had been removed from her post because of her religious beliefs. On appeal she not only was reinstated, but received compensatory, retroactive pay.

Although committed to remain in Cuba, the Cuban participants were as eager to learn about the outside Latin American church as were other participants curious about them. One observer watching the Cubans at the Christian literature exhibits said they reminded him of children in a toy store.


The Soviet Union
Yakunin among Victims of Pre-Olympic Crackdown

The following report was compiled primarily from data gathered by the Society for the Study of Religion under Communism, the United States (Wheaton, Ill.) associate of Keston College in England.

Exiled Soviet pastor Georgi Vins said recently that Soviet authorities are preparing “in their own way” for the 1980 Olympics in Moscow. Apparently they aren’t doing pushups and running wind sprints.

Instead, Soviet authorities are using their muscle against religious dissidents and human rights activists. In a continuing campaign, which began in earnest last spring, human rights documents and documents showing religious repression have been swept up in a series of searches of the homes of leading activists and their associates. Leaders of Orthodox, independent Baptist, and Adventist groups, and other religious leaders, have been arrested and subjected to house searches.

The most repressive measures have been aimed at two Orthodox activist groups, in what may be the harshest crackdown on dissidents since 1978, and an attempt at “cleaning up” potential trouble spots before the summer Olympic games.

On November 1, Soviet police arrested Father Gleb Yakunin, the leading Orthodox religious rights activist. The same day, police arrested Tatyana Velikanova, a member of the Moscow Helsinki Monitoring Group. Police also conducted house searches of five workers in the Christian Committee for the Defense of Believers’ Rights.

Yakunin has been active in the religious freedom movement since 1965, and re-recently he was charged with “anti-Soviet agitation and propaganda” under Article No. 70 of the Russia Criminal code. Soviet KGB agents had seized CCDBR documents and archives from Yakunin’s apartment during a September 28 search.

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The CCDBR has sent out of the Soviet Union documents from or about Orthodox, Baptists, Pentecostals, Catholics, Adventists, and Jews, and over 1,000 pages of documentation have been published in the West. Yakunin and another Russian Orthodox activist, Lev Regelson, whose house was also searched, had been threatened with arrest since a press campaign began against them last year.

The search of Yakunin’s apartment was thought to be connected with the case of Vladimer Poresh. The Leningrad representative of Christian Seminar, a five-year-old, Moscow-based study group of young intellectuals, Poresh was arrested August 1. CCDBR members frequently have appealed in support of Christian Seminar members and other groups that have been targets of repression.

The Seminar’s founder, Alexander Ogorodnikov, 29, now serving a one-year sentence for alleged “parasitism,” was in danger of having his sentence prolonged for his refusal to testify against Poresh. Another Seminar associate, Tatyana Shchipkova, from Smolensk, was arrested in September on charges of “hooliganism.” (At least 29 Seminar members have been subject to state pressure since 1976.) A case had been opened against Shchipkova six months prior, following the February 10 breakup of a routine Seminar meeting in which militia confiscated religious books.

The policing measures represent growing Soviet concerns regarding the exposure of religious repression as documented by CCDBR, and the renewed interest in religion among young intellectuals as typified by Christian Seminar.

Dimitro Dudko, an Orthodox priest who has been influential in the religious renewal among young intellectuals, also has been pressured by authorities in the recent crackdown.

Dudko’s long harassment by Soviet police has been regularly documented by the Christian Defense Committee. CCDBR volumes 7–10, published in San Francisco, California, document the Dudko harrassment by “people dressed in militia uniforms,” who checked documents of visitors to his parish, watched worshipers during church services, made baptisms difficult, and threatened Dudko.

In October, Dudko’s apartment was searched by 20 Soviet officials, and a report dated October 15 states that Dudko recently was summoned to the bishop heading the Moscow diocese, Metropolitan Yuvenali, who warned Dudko about his sermons at Grebnevo, near Moscow, which have been gathering crowds.

Independent Baptists, Adventists, and Pentecostals also have been the targets of recent repressive measures. There have been concerted attempts to curb the unofficial publication and dissemination of religious literature, independent Baptist work among Soviet young people, and the emigration movement among Pentecostals.

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The present campaign against Orthodox and evangelicals may be part of a Soviet pre-Olympics plan for stilling the voices of those who might blacken the picture of religious and human rights there.

Vins, who spent eight years in Soviet labor camps, has warned that all unregistered Christians would be transported out of Moscow during the Olympics “so that Westerners cannot make contact.” (Soviet contacts indicate that such action already has been taken on a limited basis against Reform and independent Baptists.)

The head of the Russian Orthodox Church in America voiced a concern similar to Vins’s in a recent letter to U.S. Secretary of State Cyrus Vance. Reacting to the arrests of Father Yakunin and other dissidents, Metropolitan Theodosius said the Soviet actions may be “pre-figuring attempts at suppressing the voices of freedom in the USSR, during the Olympic games, since many foreigners will visit Moscow then.

“It is essential that repressed Christians receive the support of world public opinion,” he said.

World Scene

Argentinians and Chileans were shaken by the appeal of Pope John Paul II for the disclosure of the fate of thousands of missing political prisoners. This may have been because the Roman Catholic military commanders who rule the two countries did not censor press reporting of the Pope’s late October remarks, as has been their practice with other charges of human rights violations. An Argentinian industrialist, who has been promilitary and skeptical about reports of killings and torture of prisoners, told journalist Juan de Onis that the pontiff’s words “really brought the problem home to me.”

The Orinoco River Mission is merging with TEAM (The Evangelical Alliance Mission) effective January 1. ORM, which has operated in eastern Venezuela for 60 years, currently has 28 missionaries. ORM-related churches number 116, with about 4,000 baptized believers. TEAM has 84 missionaries working in western Venezuela. The TEAM-related churches number 55, with some 2,400 members.

The Latin American Council of Churches (in formation) has named its first staff personnel. Meeting in Bogota, Colombia, last August, the board of directors of CLAI appointed Gerson Meyer of Brazil as general secretary. Also named were Ann Beatriz Ferrari of Argentina as associate secretary, Mortimer Arias of Bolivia as director of evangelization, Juan Marcos Rivera of Puerto Rico as director of pastoral services, plus three regional officers. CLAI has World Council of Churches ties.

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The Churches’ Council for Covenanting in England has drawn up a draft covenant for unity among five major British denominations, and expects to have a final draft ready in time for their individual summer sessions. Reportedly still at issue is the inclusion or exclusion of bishops in church structure, and recognition of women ministers. The denominations involved are the Church of England, the Methodist Church, the Churches of Christ, the United Reform Church, and the Moravian Church. Baptists, Congregationalists, and Roman Catholics withdrew from the formal unity process two years after it was begun in 1974.

The government of Transkei last month declared as illegal within its borders the World Council of Churches and the South Africa Council of Churches. These were just 2 of 34 socially activist organizations, many of them church-related, banned by this black tribal “homeland” under its Public Security Act. Transkei was proclaimed an independent nation by South Africa in 1975, but has failed to receive recognition by any country outside southern Africa.

The vice-chairman of the Namibian Council of Churches has resigned over the hiring of a SWAPO partisan onto the NCC staff. Paul G. Kauffenstein, provost of the German Evangelical Lutheran Church in South-West Africa, said he fears that employing Daniel Tjongarero will create the impression that the NCC is losing its political impartiality, adding that council officers did not approve the appointment.

About 200 missionaries have been forced to leave Indonesia in the last few months, according to the Press Service of the Swiss Church and Mission; in most cases authorities declined to renew work permits. Evangelical missions and the Roman Catholic Church are said to be most affected. The evangelicals are accused of aggressive missionary methods, while the Catholics are faulted because most key positions are held by foreigners.

The government of Taiwan has shelved its draft law on religious organizations that would have required all services to be conducted in the Mandarin Chinese language (Oct. 5 issue, p. 74). The proposed legislation was withdrawn after sharp criticism by Buddhist, Muslim, and Christian groups.

“Unbelievers trust scientific things,” a young Russian immigrant told the Slavic Gospel Association staff. “As Christian radio missionaries, you should apply this fact to your programming.” Elis challenge “clicked,” resulting in a radio series in Russian, called the Radio Academy of Science, that will be released beginning January 1. Aimed at students, teachers, scientists, and other professional people—some 25 percent of the Soviet population—the goal of the weekly half-hour program, according to SGA general director Peter Deyneka, Jr., is to “open the minds of Soviet listeners to the gospel—to make room for it in their thinking.” Each program will feature a Christian scientist, who will be interviewed or speak about his specialty, adding a testimony of his faith in Christ. Trans World Radio and Far Eastern Broadcasting Company will air the programs from short-wave transmitters located in the Caribbean, Monaco, the Philippines, and Guam.

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National Religious Broadcasters has appointed as its legal counsel Richard E. Wiley, Washington, D.C., lawyer who brings to the post three years’ experience (1974–77) as chairman of the Federal Communications Commission. A long-time supporter of religious broadcasting, in 1977 he was awarded the NRB Distinguished Service Award for his contributions to religious broadcasting. He succeeds John H. Midlen, Jr., who has served on an interim basis since the death of his father, John, Sr.

Franklin Graham has been elected president of Samaritan’s Purse U.S.A. and Canada relief agency that has been without a president since the death of its founder, Bob Pierce, more than a year ago. Graham, son of the famous evangelist, promised to continue the agency’s policy of responding to immediate “people needs,” rather than funding building and long-term projects. He presently is head of World Medical Mission, which will merge next month with Samaritan’s Purse.

Princeton Theological Seminary has named a faculty member for ministry and evangelism effective September 1980: Richard Stoll Armstrong, at present an Indianapolis pastor, who has held evangelism seminars for the United Presbyterian Church and occasionally at the Princeton campus. The faculty chair in evangelism reportedly was created after numerous requests from evangelical students at the seminary, which is the largest and the oldest connected with the United Presbyterian Church.

Evangelicals Fare Better than in the Bad Old Days

In a Communist state and under difficult circumstances, an evangelical Protestant seminary is experiencing significant growth. With 50 students enrolled for classes this fall, the Matthias Flaccius Illyricus Theological School of the University of Zagreb has doubled in size since its inception in 1976. Although theological faculties in Yugoslavia have been officially separated from their respective universities since 1952, they still maintain university standards and receive appropriate recognition. The positive reputation of the three-year-old Protestant theological faculty at Zagreb has spread rapidly throughout Eastern Europe.

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The school was established to train students for leadership positions in the evangelical churches of the nation. It has also tried to provide continuing theological education for active pastors and interested lay leaders. Moreover, in its statement of purpose, the school has expressed its desire to “try to reawaken the legacy of the Reformation among the Protestant communities” of the country. Fittingly, the new school was opened on Reformation Day, October 31, 1976.

As Trevor Beeson noted in Discretion and Valor, his excellent survey of religion in Eastern Europe, “Yugoslavia is the despair of tidy minds.”

Originally created as a federation of South Slavs under a king following World War I in 1918, present-day Yugoslavia emerged in 1945 when Communist partisans led by Josip Broz Tito grasped political power. Thirty-four years later, Tito still presides over a population of 22 million in an area approximately the size of Colorado, composed of six republics and two autonomous provinces, with four principal languages and two alphabets.

Moreover, religious allegiances in Yugoslavia historically are not simply matters of personal faith but also serve as badges of national identity. Thus, to be a good Slovene or Croat is to be a Roman Catholic, while most Serbs, Macedonians, and Montenegrins are members of the Serbian Orthodox Church. There are two man Islamic groups, one in Bosnia and one in Kosovo and western Macedonia.

Overall, about 40 percent of the Yugoslav population is Serbian Orthodox, about 32 percent Roman Catholic, and about 12 percent Muslim. Most of the remaining 16 percent are nonbelievers; only about 2 percent is affiliated with evangelical churches.

The fortunes of evangelical Christians in the country have improved in the last 34 years despite the handicap of national-religious allegiances and despite the advent of a Communist government in 1945. For one thing, their numbers have slowly but steadily increased; and for another, they are no longer persecuted by the various state churches. For example, the Baptists had been subjected to rather severe persecution in pre-World War II Yugoslavia, but since 1945 have enjoyed the same freedom as all other religious bodies. There are still restrictions, harassment, and occasional persecution of the evangelicals under the Tito regime, but nothing as extensive as before the war.

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The Communist order has taken an ambivalent stand toward religion. All of the post-World War II constitutions (1946, 1963, 1974) have guaranteed freedom of worship and legislated separation of church and state. But, as in most Communist nations, the official party line is atheistic. It regards religion as springing from the material conditions of society and as a result of the individual’s alienation from the product of his labor. Religion will wither away when the individual’s alienation has disappeared. Meanwhile, it must be separated from the socialist state that will remove its very reason for existence. This has been the Yugoslav government’s public position since 1945.

One major problem is that although the constitution guarantees certain basic religious freedoms it also defines the church’s sole province as “religious affairs,” a field that now tends to be interpreted more and more narrowly. Thus, on the one hand, Bibles freely circulate throughout the country and new translations are being prepared in all the principal languages of the land. Church services are not monitored nearly as closely by the authorities as they are in East Germany or the Soviet Union. On the other hand, in order to be allowed to own real property and enjoy government recognition in the form of various kinds of subsidy, a religious group must be officially registered and meet only on premises officially licensed for the purpose. There is antireligious propaganda in the schools, youth organizations, and the army. It is difficult to obtain permission to build new churches, and school teachers are pressured not to attend church. Religious publications are suppressed from time to time for alleged “interference in politics,” and individual Christians are often discriminated against in the professions.

It was in this context that evangelical leaders in 1976 decided to establish a university-related theological faculty at Zagreb. The school of theology is organized with a traditional curriculum for a Western graduate theological seminary.

The school has eight faculty members (six men and two women) representing three denominations: Lutheran, Reformed, and Baptist. Two distinguished senior members are Josip Horak, who holds a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Zagreb and currently serves as president of the Baptist Union of Yugoslavia, and Vlado Deutsch, who recently earned a Ph.D. in systematic theology at the University of Bratislava in Czechoslovakia and is the presiding minister of the Evangelical Church (Lutheran) in Croatia. Horak is dean and Deutsch is prorector of the faculty.

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Students come from all over Yugoslavia plus two from Finland. Students are expected to “give themselves over to Jesus Christ, His Word, and His Church; to lead a consistently Christian life; and to participate in the life and work of the Church.”

The new theological school has enjoyed a steady stream of noted guest lecturers from around the world. These have included Carl F. H. Henry, C. Stacey Woods, W. Stanley Mooneyham, and Gilbert W. Kirby. G. Noel Vose, principal of the Baptist Seminary in Perth, Australia, was a visiting professor last month.

What are the prospects for the future? Most Yugoslavs look Westward and yearn for the day when they can buy their own car and perhaps their own apartment or small house. Many Yugoslavs with whom I have talked in the past three years have expressed deep concern over what will happen when 87-year-old President Tito dies. In anticipation of that event, the 200,000-man Yugoslav army appears to be massed along the eastern frontier facing the Soviet Union.

Despite this uncertain political situation, the prospects for evangelicals appear fairly bright. The evangelical churches are attracting and holding young people, especially in the university towns. Baptists, Adventists, and Pentecostals especially have experienced gradual growth in recent years. Each of these groups is unhampered by nationalist loyalties that have often hindered evangelization in the past. The future is uncertain, but then uncertainty is part of the air breathed by the Yugoslav people.


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