Baptists Hold World Congress

More than 10,000 Baptists from 85 countries gathered in Seoul in August for the sixteenth Baptist World Congress. Their number included 177 pastors and laity from Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union, which sent a delegation of 150, the largest Soviet group to attend any religious event outside the country.

Some 50,000 Korean Baptists welcomed the international delegates to the meeting, held once every five years, at ceremonies held in Seoul’s Olympic Stadium. About 10,000 new Korean Christians were baptized at the Olympic rowing site during the five-day congress.

Participants elected Danish Baptist leader Knud Wumpelmann, 68, to a five-year term as president of the alliance. They endorsed the Seoul Covenant, a seven-part agreement committing Baptists to make evangelism a priority through the end of this century. They also denounced by resolution religious persecution and intolerance, particularly anti-Semitism, and called on Baptists to foster movements of peace, justice, and preservation of creation. The next congress will be held in Buenos Aires in 1995.

Montt’S Popularity Grows

Efrain Ríos Montt, former military leader of Guatemala and self-described born-again Christian, is steadily gaining popularity in his bid to return as president of the Central American nation. Montt seized power in a palace coup in 1982 and was removed two years later. During his time as leader, critics faulted his human-rights record. Yet they also acknowledged that he brought order to the country. It is that same appeal for order that has propelled him in public polls to within only a few points, and in some cases ahead, of the other leading presidential candidate.

A constitutional provision bars anyone ...

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