Not A Breakaway Bishop
Although Church of England Bishop Graham Leonard has lent his support to a traditionalist movement in the worldwide Anglican communion, he says he is “not prepared to lead a breakaway church.”
Leonard, the bishop of London, is considered the unofficial leader of Anglicans in several countries who oppose women’s ordination, the acceptance of homosexuality, and the revision of the church’s liturgy. During a recent appearance at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri, Leonard predicted new alignments across denominational lines among church traditionalists. “In time,” he said, “[the movement] could acquire the dimensions of a second Reformation.” He also praised a move to establish a central register of traditionalist Episcopalians in the United States. The registration effort is being coordinated by the Church Information Center and the United Episcopal Church of North America, which maintains a toll-free telephone number to sign up traditionalist allies. Episcopalians in the United States are part of the worldwide Anglican communion.
“… I am prepared to support others who support the orthodox Christian tradition,” Leonard said. “I would only define my role as being one of those bishops, of whom there are a number, who would be perfectly happy to be known as wanting to maintain the orthodox faith as we know it within the Anglican community.”
An Indian Martyr
Antonio Zuma, a 28-year-old Quichua Indian who pastored a group of 80 Christians in Totoras, Ecuador, was killed in a mob attack during a Sunday morning worship service.
Zuma and others were attacked with boards and stones during a service at a church member’s house. The mob also destroyed the congregation’s unfinished church building and some of the believers’ houses, and stole many of their animals and other possessions.
According to Missionary News Service, the mob was incited by Catholic priests and owners of local bars whose business has been hurt by the growth of the church. Quichua Indians who have become conservative Protestants make up nearly 38 percent of Totoras’s population. Quichua Christians in several of Ecuador’s mountain provinces have been persecuted in recent years, including two believers who were killed in 1985.
Fueling Missions Efforts
Since Korea sent out its first cross-cultural worker in 1912, the country’s foreign missions force has grown to 511 missionaries serving in 47 nations.
According to Luis Bush, president of Christian Nationals Evangelism Commission, the number of Korean missions agencies has grown to 89, up from 47 just five years ago. Bush said the Korean church plans to send out 10,000 missionaries by the year 2000 and to have at least one missionary working in every country of the world.
Nonwhite Church Merger
Two nonwhite Reformed denominations in South Africa have agreed to begin a merger process, but they will not try to include the country’s major white Dutch Reformed body. In the past, the white Nederduitse Gereformeerde Kerk (NGK) rejected all merger proposals from its nonwhite daughter churches.
The black Nederduitse Gereformeerde Kerk in Africa (NGKA) and the Nederduitse Gereformeerde Sendingkerk (NGSK), made up of mixed-race South Africans, hope to merge within five years. They plan to form a Dutch Reformed church that will be open to all races.
Four Pastors Sentenced
Four clergymen in the Evangelical Church of Vietnam have been convicted and sentenced on charges of preaching against the revolution, organizing boat trips for refugees, and receiving U.S. currency from abroad.
Two senior pastors, Ho Hieu Ha and Nguyen Cuu Cuong, were sentenced to eight years imprisonment. Their assistants were sentenced to five years and four years respectively.
The senior pastors have been in jail since their arrest in 1983. The church formerly pastored by Ha was closed by the government. The cross was removed from the front of the building, which was turned into a center for the Communist Youth League.
Eighteen pastors of the Evangelical Church of Vietnam are known to be in prison, according to Reg Reimer, president of World Relief Canada and a former missionary to Vietnam.
Growing Student Movement
Christian student groups from 13 countries joined the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students (IFES) earlier this year during the fellowship’s quadrennial meeting in Bogota, Colombia.
The new members brought the total number of national affiliates to 80, most of which represent Third World countries. One of the new IFES affiliates is a Christian student movement from Cuba, the first member organization from a Communist country.
At its quadrennial meeting, IFES made plans to expand evangelization efforts and to begin student ministries in countries not represented at the Bogota meeting. Some 100 countries still do not have an evangelical student witness.
IFES was founded in 1947 with 10 member organizations. Today it works with students in 130 countries. InterVarsity Christian Fellowship-USA is a charter member.
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