* The Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) is negotiating with Romanian officials in an effort to air four television programs on the resurrection of Jesus, which the government pulled in April. The shows—the first produced by CBN in Europe—had been slated to air on state television in the country, which is 70 percent Orthodox. But Romanian officials claim CBN inserted unauthorized religious material after scripts had been checked, and that the programs were designed to promote Baptist, Pentecostal, and evangelical churches. CBN says changes had been explained clearly, and the government had consented.
* Morris Watkins, 70-year-old founder of Lutheran Bible Translators (LBT), died May 19 in Colorado Springs of liver cancer. Watkins and his wife, Lois returned to the United States from Nigeria in 1964 after a tropical epidemic caused the death of their youngest child, Mary Ann. A few months later he started LBT and served as its first director. He left LBT in 1972 to help form All Nations Literacy Movement.
* Dutch-born Holocaust rescuer John Henry Weidner, 81, who organized the Dutch-Paris line that rescued more than 1,000 people from the Nazis in World War II, died May 21 in Monterey Park, California. Weidner was one of the Gestapo's most-wanted men because of his rescue of 800 Jews and 200 others including Catholic priests, political figures, and more than 100 Allied airmen.
* Israel and the Vatican formally established full diplomatic relations June 15 after two years of negotiations. The Jewish state and the headquarters for the Roman Catholic Church will also exchange ambassadors soon. The Vatican will put its embassy in Jaffa.
* Two high-ranking National Council of Churches staff members have resigned in the wake of $8 million lost when an investment in a Czech bank went awry (CT, May 16, 1994, p. 45). Robert Soong and Emilio Carrillo were suspended in March pending an audit into the loss of the money, which was to pay for retiree health-insurance premiums.
* For the first time, a federal judge has ruled that a public school's legal holiday of Good Friday is unconstitutional. U.S. District Judge Ann Claire ruled that dismissing students for classes on Good Friday gives "the impermissible message that Christianity is a favored religion." The ruling affects Illinois, where Good Friday has been a state holiday since 1941. A suit had been brought by Chicago schoolteacher Andrea Metzl and the American Jewish Congress.
* Three Regent University law professors who had criticized last year's firing of dean Herbert Titus (CT, Jan. 10, 1994, p. 40) were dismissed May 23 by new dean J. Nelson Happy due to "a lack of scholarship." Roger Bern and Lionel Postic had taught at the school for eight years and had complained to the American Bar Association that Titus had been wrongly fired. Paul Morken, who also criticized Titus's dismissal, had been at Regent for two years.
* The Perkins Library, a national research and resource center for urban ministry work, was inaugurated May 22 at Chicago's Lawndale Community Church in honor of John and Vera Mae Perkins. The library will house John Perkins's books, speeches, correspondence, and manuscript notes, plus other books on racial reconciliation, service to the poor, and community development.
* Federal Judge Leonie Brinkema of Alexandria, Virginia, on June 16 rejected the first legal challenge to the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act (FACE). American Life League (ALL), which is headquartered in Stafford, Virginia, had filed suit immediately after President Clinton signed FACE into law on May 26 (CT, June 20, 1994, p. 48), claiming it violated constitutional guarantees of free speech and religion. ALL is appealing Brinkema's decision.
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