The IZMIR Fellowship of Jesus Christ reopened for worship December 19, 1999, 14 weeks after Turkish police sealed the church's doors and arrested 40 of its members (CT, Nov. 15, 1999, p. 29). The church wrote to local authorities indicating its intention to resume worship. The document also clarified the church's compliance with laws governing religious meetings and a review of the church's constitutional rights to religious freedom. In a rare gesture, the governor of Izmir telegrammed Christmas greetings to the church.Billy Kim, pastor of Central Baptist Church in Suwon, South Korea, is the new president of the Baptist World Alliance.Richard and Sabina Wurmbrand received the 1999 Pro Fide Award from the Finnish organization Friends of the Martyred Church for their efforts on behalf of the persecuted church. Richard Wurmbrand, 90, spent 14 years in prison for his faith in his native Romania during the 1950s and 1960s.
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