HERBERT BUTTERFIELD, 78, eminent preacher and spokesman for British Methodism, author, and professor of modern history at Cambridge University for 19 years; in Cambridge, England.

Robert Baptista resigned in May as president of Taylor University, Upland, Indiana, because of a “conflict in management philosophy” between Baptista and the board of trustees. Milo Rediger, chancellor and former president of the college for 10 years before Baptista became president, has again assumed the presidency.

M. Wendell Belew is the new president of the American Society of Missiology. Belew, who has been with the Southern Baptist Home Mission Board since 1956, reportedly is both the first Southern Baptist and the first missions strategist to head the society, which has about 600 members in the United States and Canada.

Missionaries again will be able to work in Brazil under resident visas, according to church sources in Rio de Janeiro. Last year the Brazilian government tightened restrictions on foreign visitors, issuing only tourist visas. The change reportedly was in reaction to the United States government’s stand on human rights and its subsequent pressure on Brazil.

Rehearsals are under way for an altered shorter version of the famed Oberammergau Passion Play. The small Roman Catholic Bavarian village has presented the seven-hour spectacle almost every decade since 1680. However, the 1980 version contains changes in response to criticisms from the Jewish community, which is upset with implications in the 170-year-old script that all Jews of Jesus’ time called for his death and that all of Jewry has inherited their guilt. An Anti-Defamation League spokesman said last month that the changes “have significantly reduced the anti-semitic potential” ...

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