The news media in Colombia was critical of evangelicals, in addition to religious cults, in the wake of the People’s Temple killings in Guyana, say missionary sources there. Wycliffe Bible Translators reportedly bought a full-page ad in a leading Bogotá daily newspaper to explain themselves. Matters have calmed somewhat, but sources say the Colombian government is less willing to let new missionaries enter the country, especially those planning to work with Indians.

Through their Washington embassy, Soviet officials are distributing press releases that extol the health of churches in Russia. The articles give glowing accounts of growth within Russian Orthodox and Baptist church bodies. Lillian Block, the managing editor of Religious News Service, said issuance of the articles is a “very recent development.… We never got [the articles] before.…” She said the releases “would have you believe that religion is thriving in the Soviet Union. I throw them in the wastebasket.”

Communist authorities in Poland censored parts of Pope John Paul II’s Christmas message to his home diocese in Cracow—cutting out references to a martyred eighteenth-century patron, St. Stanislaus, reportedly because he symbolized Polish nationalism. The entire message was read in many Catholic churches there, however. In speeches last month, the Pope increasingly attacked Marxist regimes that take away religious freedoms.

An Israeli architect, Tsvi Lissar, designed plans for a $2 million interfaith house of worship for Muslims, Christians, and Jews that would stand atop Mt. Sinai. He reportedly submitted his idea to Egyptian president Anwar Sadat, who had expressed interest in the idea, and whose ...

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