POLAND
Abortion Law Debated

In spite of strong debate, the Polish legislature, under heavy pressure from the Roman Catholic Church, is moving toward banning abortion. Some 600,000 to 1 million abortions are performed each year in Poland, giving it one of the world’s highest rates of abortion.

This fall the Senate approved, by a 50-to-17 vote, legislation that provides jail terms of up to two years for doctors who perform abortions. The lower house postponed action on the measure until after Poland’s November 25 elections.

Both leading presidential candidates, Solidarity chairman Lech Walesa and Prime Minister Tadeusz Mazowiecki, have taken positions opposing abortion. Both are Catholics and have said they will not oppose the views of the church on the issue. But demonstrations have been held in opposition to the proposed new law. And opinion polls show a majority of Poles oppose it.

ROMANIA
Evangelical Alliance Meets

Four thousand evangelical believers gathered in Romania’s government palace hall in Bucharest on October 18–20 for the first general assembly of the Romanian Evangelical Alliance. The alliance, formed last March, elected Paul Negrut, pastor of Oradea Second Baptist Church, as its president.

During the assembly, a ten-member delegation of alliance spokesmen met with Romanian President Ion Iliescu. The group urged Iliescu to broaden religious freedoms and asked that evangelicals be given access to state television and publishing facilities, similar to privileges already afforded the dominant Romanian Orthodox Church.

The Alliance includes the Baptist Union, the (Plymouth) Brethren Assemblies, the Lutheran Evangelical Church, the Evangelical Church of Romania, the Pentecostal Church, and the Lord’s Army (the evangelical ...

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