IRAN

Khomeini Snubs Qur’An

Speaking on the relationship between government and religion, the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, supreme guide of the Islamic Republic of Iran, claimed his government may override the precepts of the Qur’an. Muslims believe the Arabic text of the Qur’an is the literal word of God.

Khomeini’s remarks were made in response to Iran’s president, Ali Khamenei, who had issued the usual view that an Islamic government “has its authority in the framework of God’s religious laws.” The ayatollah said Khamenei’s views “completely contradict my beliefs,” adding “I openly say that the government can stop any religious law if it feels it is correct to do so.… The ruler can close or destroy the mosques whenever he sees fit.”

In effect, Khomeini has claimed authority over the Qur’an’s five pillars of Islamic faith: injunctions to daily prayers, the month of fasting, the Haj pilgrimage, the declaration of faith, and the charitable tax on believers.

REPUBLIC OF CHINA

President Has Church Ties

When the president of the Republic of China (Taiwan), Chiang Ching-kuo, died earlier this year, an active Christian layman moved into the presidency. Former vice-president Lee Teng-hui, who was led to faith by missionaries 29 years ago, will serve out Chiang’s term until regularly scheduled presidential elections are held in 1990.

According to retired missionary Mary Simpson, whose late husband introduced Lee to Christ, the new president is an active speaker in churches throughout the island nation. His testimony was one of several by influential Chinese Christians broadcast during a three-year “Bold Mission Taiwan” evangelism ...

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