E.V. Hill, 69, dies of pneumonia
The Rev. E.V. Hill, the pastor of Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church in Los Angeles, passed away Monday night at the age of 69. Hill, an influential player in politics and the National Baptist Convention, died of an aggressive form of pneumonia.

Pastor of Mt. Zion for 42 years, Hill had continued to preach at the church despite diabetes and a condition that weakened his legs so much that he had to deliver sermons sitting down for the last eight months. His wife, Jane, passed away from cancer several years ago.

Bishop Charles E. Blake, pastor of West Angeles Cathedral in Los Angeles, told the Los Angeles Times that Hill was "one of the most significant personalities in the clergy over the past 30 or 40 years."

Hill grew up in poverty and rose to become not only an influential pastor but also a figure in the civil rights movement and confidant of Martin Luther King Jr. The Los Angeles Times said Hill was also known for standing by figures in the midst of scandal. In 1998, as a leader in his denomination, Hill stood by the Rev. Henry Lyons after he was found guilty of racketeering. Hill also supported televangelists Jim Bakker and Jimmy Swaggart when sex scandals brought them national attention.

Sermons by Hill are available on Christianity Today International's Preaching Today.

Gujarat to pass anti-conversion law
Following up on his campaign promises, the state governor of Gujarat, India, announced yesterday that a ban on religious conversions will be brought before the state assembly during the current legislative session. The bill will be drafted at a cabinet meeting next week.

The southern state of Tamil Nadu passed a similar law last fall that forbade conversion "by force, allurement, or fraudulent ...

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