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- Three Moroccans and 88-year-old Mehdi Ksara, who holds dual U.S.-Moroccan citizenship, were released from a Moroccan prison August 17 after being held for 12 days on proselytism charges. After an international outcry from numerous human-rights groups, politicians, and churches around the world, the four were acquitted of all charges at an unexpected trial, which took place two weeks earlier than scheduled. Ksara converted to Christianity from Islam 60 years ago and speaks openly about his faith in a country where Islam is the official religion. Two others had converted to Christianity, while the fourth arrested Moroccan was a Muslim who had been given a New Testament.

- The German Constitutional Court ruled in August that a law requiring crucifixes to be placed in public-school classrooms in the heavily Catholic state of Bavaria is unconstitutional. Bavarian officials had argued that the Christian cross is a symbol of Western culture and values. But Germany's highest court declared that schools must be religiously neutral.

- After an outpouring of angry letters and phone calls, the British Safety Council in August withdrew a handbill issued for National Condom Week that featured a picture of Pope John Paul declaring "Eleventh Commandment: Thou shalt always wear a condom." Cardinal Basil Hume, archbishop of Westminster, complained that the ad campaign was "deliberately and gratuitously offensive to the Catholic community."

- Eugene "Woody" Phillips became president of United World Mission (UWM), which has headquarters in Union Mills, North Carolina, in August. He had been Eastern Europe director for UWM, a nondenominational church-planting mission agency with 300 missionaries in 27 countries. Phillips succeeds Dwight P. Smith, ...

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