Loren Wilkinson, author of this issue’s lead article, was also CT’s representative at last June’s Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. Our budget is normally unable to send reporters to distant venues, but special gifts have allowed us to create an Excellence Fund, which helps CTi’s various magazines reach special goals not within our normal editorial budget. Loren combined small grants from Regent College and CTi’s Excellence Fund with some personal hospitality in order to observe the Earth Summit up close.
On the final day of the summit, while government leaders were in session, Loren decided to see the area around the conference grounds. Returning from his excursion (on which he encountered a rock bearing the remains of several animal sacrifices), Loren was arrested by the soldiers of the Brazilian army, who were patrolling the conference center.
Perhaps he looked suspect, or perhaps the presence of the world’s top politicians made the security forces extra nervous. It was hard to tell what the problem was, since none of the soldiers spoke English, and Loren didn’t speak Portuguese. For two hours, they interrogated him, but with no success. Only once did he feel he made contact: when they catalogued his personal effects, one young militiaman noticed his Bible and his CHRISTIANITY TODAY press badge. “My brother,” he said to Loren as he reached his linguistic limits.
The Brazilian guards eventually released Loren, but since he was still in a high-security zone, he was immediately rearrested by United Nations guards. They confiscated his press credentials and expelled him from the grounds. It was, however, the last night of the Earth Summit, so Loren considered his work done and decided to kick back for the evening.
DAVID NEFF, Managing Editor
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