Evangelism, Inc., is sponsoring the first-ever national conference on the persecuted church, March 26-28 in Columbia, South Carolina. The gathering will bring together experts, scholars, and authors familiar with persecution of Christians around the world, including professor Walid Phares, authors Paul Marshall and Bat Ye'Or, and religious-rights activists Steven Snyder, Jim Jacobson, Steve Haas, and Ann Buwalda. For information, phone 803-252-4146.

—Georgi Vins, founder of Russian Gospel Ministries International in Elkhart, Indiana, died January 11 at age 69. He had been diagnosed with an inoperable malignant brain tumor last fall. Vins had served as general secretary of the Council of Evangelical Baptist Churches, an organization of 2,000 persecuted congregations in the former Soviet Union. He spent nine years in prison and labor camps before being exiled to the United States in 1979.

The Mongolian government has agreed to release 10,000 children's Bibles seized by customs officials last May. The government had received hundreds of letters of protest from around the world at the confiscation of Scriptures, which had been shipped to the Mongolian Bible Society. The government continues to hold 600 impounded Christian videotapes.

—World Concern Asia director Terril Eikenberry, 47, died January 11 in Bangkok from complications associated with scleroderma. Eikenberry had been with World Concern since 1980. For the past three years as Asia director, he provided leadership to 37 relief-and-development projects.

Alan Bergstedt, 61, has become the first chief executive officer of the Orange, California-based Wycliffe Associates, which is the support ministry of Wycliffe Bible Translators. Bergstedt had previously been chief financial officer for World Vision and founder of Visionary Management Group.

—Alexander S. Haraszti, a 77-year-old Hungarian-born physician, professor, and Baptist minister who helped secure invitations for Billy Graham to hold crusades in five Eastern European countries in the 1970s and 1980s, died January 16 in Atlanta of complications from a hip fracture.

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