—A plane carrying short-term missions volunteers with Caddo Mills, Texas-based Living Water Teaching International crashed into a mountain in western Guatemala November 1, killing 11 people and injuring 7. Rain from Hurricane Mitch may have contributed to the crash. The volunteers were returning from a medical outreach in Playa Grande. Mission founder James Zirkle, 57, and his son, James II, 30, one of the aircraft's pilots, both died in the accident.
—Graham Hutt, a British yachtsman convicted of smuggling Bibles in Morocco (CT, Aug. 10, 1998, p. 27), sailed out of the country October 6 in his yacht, which had been impounded four months earlier. Hutt was allowed to keep the yacht after paying a $10,000 customs duty fee, but charges of smuggling are still pending.
—The Supreme Court of Khakassia has ordered the closure of the Evangelical Lutheran Mission in Tuim in the Russian republic. The mission has been subjected to several court cases during the past year in an attempt to stop its activities. Witnesses reported that judges, under pressure from local secret police, repeatedly tried to intimidate them during a two-day hearing.
—Daniel Manase Zindo, 54, acting archbishop of Sudan, died in a car crash October 20 en route to Kampala, Uganda, to set up a regional office for the Episcopal Church of Sudan. His wife was murdered last year.
—Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew presided over a pan-Orthodox convention in October that mended a rift between rival factions in the Bulgarian Orthodox Church. More than 30 Orthodox leaders acknowledged Patriarch Maxim as the legitimate head of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, and former followers of Patriarch Pimen agreed to end the schism.
—South Africa's Constitutional Court struck down the country's sodomy laws October 9. The laws classified sodomy, along with rape and murder, as an offense punishable by life imprisonment.
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