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 means." Such bans are also law in Madhya Pradesh and other smaller states, according to The Hindu. In the recent Gujarat elections, the ruling BJP regained control of the state with assurances that it would ban conversions. At that time BJP national president Venkaiah Naidu told the press that all Indian states should enact anti-conversion laws.
According to the BBC, Gujarat's push for a conversion law is "an attempt [by the BJP] to pursue a more right-wing pro-Hindu agenda" as part of an alliance with the RSS, a conservative Hindu cultural organization. Gujarat has a history of bloody religious tensions. A year ago, rioting between Muslims and Hindus led to the death of hundreds of Gujarat citizens.
Also yesterday, India's deputy prime minister L.K. Advani said the BJP government would bring several issues to India's congress, including banning religious conversion and cow slaughter, if there was congressional support. The Times of India reports that the BJP strategy is to force a national debate about its pet issues, like conversion bans, by prompting state actions like the Gujarat ban.
Since the implementation of the Tamil Nadu law, there have been protests and arrests. Christian and human-rights observers say the law is an attack on religious freedom by fundamentalists within the Hindu majority.
Missions & ministry:
- After Jabez | The author of a phenomenal best-seller takes on a whole new territory (Bruce Wilkinson, Guideposts)
- Local missionary dies in Honduras fall | Bridge accident also injures six others from Gwinnett churches (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
- The quiet crusader | The `Billy Graham of Africa' lives in Florida, is German (Orlando Sentinel/Beacon Journal)
- Earlier: 'Come and Receive Your Miracle' | German evangelist Reinhard Bonnke's mass healings and evangelistic crusades are setting records, but career missionaries say the quality of disciples, not the quantity of the crowd, is the key to reaching Nigerians (Christianity Today, Feb. 2, 2001)
- Chaplain helps seniors deal with loss, find peace | Sandra Anenson, the chaplain of Bethany Manor nursing home in Story City, exhibits the unfaltering belief and the soulful peace of one who has seen faith played out (The Tribune, Ames, Iowa)
- Finances get blurry for Focus on Family | Cutbacks follow stagnant giving (Denver Post)
- Seeking grace, students flock to new church | West coast evangelical attracts Square, student audience (Harvard Crimson)
- Senate may call Bishop McKinney | Bishop George D. McKinney, who has been a religious force in the heart of San Diego's inner city for 43 years, is a candidate for chaplain of the U.S. Senate (Diane Bell, The San Diego Union-Tribune)
- Heeding the call | SoCal Christians gather to pray, fast for revival (Pasadena Star News)
- Christian fest hits town—American-style | Mumbai Peace Festival, organized by the US-based Global Peace Initiative, hit Somaiya Grounds in Sion on Friday night for a three-night run (Mumbai Express, India)
- Christian relief organizations gear up for crisis in Iraq (Crosswalk)
- 'Human shields' take stand in Baghdad | Peace activists hope presence will prevent U.S. attacks on civilian facilities (The Washington Post)
- The Prime Minister has not made the moral case for war | George Bush and Tony Blair have muddied the waters (Editorial, The Independent, London)
- Sacred mysteries: Iraq's fake Christian voice | Although Mr Aziz has been called a "devout" Christian, no evidence has been adduced. To judge from externals, he seems to be a very bad man, and a secular socialist devoted wholly to the Ba'ath party (Christopher Howse, The Daily Telegraph, London)
- War 'should be last resort' | The Archbishop of Canterbury says alternative ways of disarming Iraq have still to be tried before any resort to war. (BBC | video)
- Americans are the chosen people | America believes it has a divine mandate to lead the world (Clifford Longley, The Daily Telegraph, London)
- That wartime religion | Each side in America's greatest conflict claimed to be part of God's army (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
- Clergy set Hill vigil against Iraq war | Anti-war church leaders from the United States and Europe are touring world capitals to meet heads of state, but they haven't gotten an appointment with President Bush (The Washington Times)
- Synod says Iraq attack must be backed by UN | The Church of England's general synod has voted heavily against hostilities unless sanctioned by international law through the UN. (The Guardian, London)
- Bush could fine-tune religious language | Let's also not forget the role religious values can play in our public debate. Even when presidents interject them into it (William McKenzie, The Dallas Morning News)
- Lord have mercy on the church in this country | If Zimbabwe suffers from pathetic political leadership under President Mugabe, the religious establishment is not much better (Chido Makunike, Zimbabwe Standard)
- Churches engaged in soul searching over role in Zimbabwe's crisis | Some leaders fear the church will become irrelevant if it doesn't do more to speak out against the government (The Christian Science Monitor)
- Pastor who joined the genocide | Pastor Elizaphan Ntakirutimina was a man of God, accused of the worst crimes known to man (BBC)
- Credit card stolen from church used to buy Bible studies | Cecil Turner of Louisville has entered a plea of innocent to charges that he broke into at least three churches in Elizabethtown where money and the credit card were stolen (Associated Press)
- Robber of priest is a suspect in 11 holdups in Brooklyn | The police said yesterday that they are linking the man who robbed a Brooklyn priest at gunpoint on Thursday to 10 other holdups at day care centers, churches, offices and small businesses in Brooklyn since Dec. 20.
- Cleric guilty of soliciting murder | Abdullah el-Faisal called for deaths of Christians, Jews, Hindus and Americans (ThisIsLocalLondon.com)
- Evolving Christianity prompts Divinity curriculum review | As religion traverses more numerous cultures, professors consider future of clergy education (The Chronicle, Duke U.)
- Local faith-based abstinence program going nationwide | Thanks to a $700,000 federal grant, the Ohio Township-based Silver Ring Thing will be expanding to 75 other cities (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review)
- West Virginia science standards won't include evolution alternatives | State Board of Education refuses to insert intelligent design in guidelines despite lobbying by evolution foes (Associated Press)
- Tennessee pagans claim daughter harassed at school | Parents say Union County school officials tried to have child participate in Christian activities, failed to protect her from physical, verbal abuse (Associated Press)
- Respect, righteousness and a mirrorball lemon | A response to Christianity Today's editorial on Bono (Beth Maynard, Thunderstruck)
- Earlier: Bono's Thin Ecclesiology | Any person can stand outside the church and critique its obedience to the gospel. (Editorial, Christianity Today, Feb. 21, 2003)
- Rocking the Gospel | Ashley Cleveland's message is strong, not pushy (Knoxville News-Sentinel)
- Italians prefer God over Big Brother | Reality TV shows and Hollywood blockbusters may scoop top viewing in most countries but in Italy religious films are attracting almost as many viewers to the small screen as soccer (Reuters)
- 'Church of Oprah' lectureship class bridges new-age spirituality gap | The "Church of Oprah" filled faster Monday than most mainstream churches could ever hope on a Sunday (The Abilene [Tex.] Reporter-News)
- Earlier: The Church of O | With a congregation of 22 million viewers, Oprah Winfrey has become one of the most influential spiritual leaders in America. (Christianity Today, Mar. 22, 2002)
Clergy sex abuse:
- Victims, Clergy Testify on Abuse-Reporting Bills in Md. | Legislation is aimed at tightening the state's child abuse reporting requirements for clergy members and increasing the amount of time victims have to seek financial damages against their abusers. (The Washington Post)
- Grand jurors interrogate Cardinal Law (The New York Times)
- Archdiocese turns to Appeals Court | Seeks higher jurisdiction in abuse crisis (The Boston Globe)
- N.H. bishop rebuts calls to step down | Handling of abuse allegations decried (The Washington Post)
Church of England:
- Church of England 'defunct in 60 years', warn traditionalists | The authors claim that liberal experiments within the Church, especially within the liturgy, are principally to blame, and are calling for an "audit" (The Independent, London)
- Also: Church of England 'facing oblivion' (The Times, London)
- Also: Bishops must go, say traditionalists (The Guardian, London)
- New Testament scholar for Durham | In his elevation to Durham, N.T. Wright is about to become the incumbent of the fourth most senior see in the Church of England (The Times, London)
- Also: Prince 'targeted' in new bishop's attack on adultery | The cleric who is to become Bishop of Durham has condemned the 'morals of the street' practised by adulterers (The Observer, London)
- Archbishop to be enthroned with poetic flourish | The Archbishop has added South African songs, Methodist readings, an Urdu melody and Welsh hymns to the oath and enthronements of Thursday's ancient religious service (The Times, London)
- It is rare to have a prophet as an archbishop | Nothing like Williams, with his intellectual powers, poetic language
- and natural authority, happened since William Temple. (Andreas Whittam Smith, The Independent, London)
- It is necessarily so | Mary Wakefield talks to the Revd William Taylor about sex, sin and the Archbishop of Canterbury (The Spectator, U.K.)
- Job fears prompt clergy to put their faith in trade union | In God they believe, but in Amicus they trust (The Scotsman)
- Led by laity | Non-ordained Catholics filling void left by priest shortage (The Dallas Morning News)
- Scandal's fallout: the new struggle of Catholic schools | School closings are now a fact of life in American Catholic education, especially in urban neighborhoods (The Christian Science Monitor)
- Firemen seeking sainthood for 9/11 priest | Few of the victims of the World Trade Center attacks caught the public imagination like Father Mychal Judge (The Times, London)
- Et tu, Tony? In a crisis, all roads still lead to Rome | At times of international uncertainty, the traffic rises (Peter Stothard, The Times, London)
- French Catholics: absolve 'gourmandise' | The association of gourmandise and ''gluttonerie'' has long rankled local epicureans (Religion News Service)
Other stories of interest:
- Religion news in brief (Associated Press)
- Robertson returns to work a week after cancer surgery | Dr. Arnon Krongrad, the urologist who performed the surgery, said in a telephone interview that Robertson was "unusually resilient" (The Virginian-Pilot)
- Is boredom bad? | Forget novelty. Trying to escape monotony makes it worse (Roy Rivenburg, Los Angeles Times)
- Honor guardsman loses job in name of God | Firing Patrick Cubbage for offering a blessing during a flag presentation ceremony at the express consent of a survivor of a deceased veteran was wrong (Jeff Mullin, Enid [Okla.] News & Eagle)
- Yoga gaining popularity with Christians (The Billings Gazette)
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