Bloody fighting between Hindus and Muslims engulfed parts of the Indian subcontinent this month. By mid-January the death toll was reported to have passed the 100 mark. Hundreds more were injured in the clashes.

The violence apparently was touched off by the theft December 27 of a three-inch strand of hair from a mosque near Srinagar, Kashmir. The hair was said to have been from the head of Mohammed, founder of the Islamic (Muslim) religion. It was therefore esteemed as a sacred relic nearly 1,400 years old.

Fighting flared despite the announced recovery of the hair in its silver-capped glass vial.

Mobs clashed with police in Calcutta and in suburban and rural areas stretching up to East Pakistan.

The day following the theft of the hair saw thousands of mourning Muslims demonstrating in Srinagar, and mourning soon turned violent. The city was paralyzed by a general strike. Mobs burned stores and houses. In Jammu, Kashmir, two copper idols of Hindu gods were reported missing.

Following the reported recovery of the hair, announced by Prime Minister Khwaja Shamsuddin of Kashmir, the Muslim masses converged on their mosques to offer thanks. The hair and the glass container were said to have been intact, although no details of the recovery were immediately announced. Indian Prime Minister Nehru was quoted by Shamsuddin as saying that he was “greatly relieved and happy” to learn of the recovery.

However, violence subsequently flared anew, although both the Indian and Pakistani governments seemed reluctant to release details of the flareups. Army leaders were sent from New Delhi to Calcutta to put down waves of looting and arson by roving bands taking advantage of the upheavals.

More than 1,000 persons were reported to be under arrest. One source said some 73,000 were homeless.

Kashmir has been the center of a dispute between predominantly Hindu India and mainly Moslem Pakistan since the Indian subcontinent was divided in 1947.

Protestant Panorama

A study group of the Presbyterian Church in the U. S. came out against proposed legislation to combine men’s work with women’s work in a Board of Lay Activities. The group decided that “historical and psychological differences” weighed against such a merger.

Methodist Board of Education expressed “shock and shame” at declining Sunday school membership and attendance. The board, at its annual meeting in Dallas, called for a “comprehensive endeavor” to reverse the trend.

A series of radio programs on sexual topics spawned a controversy between Lutheran bishops in Norway and the Norwegian Broadcasting Company. Refusal to give air time to allow the reading of a pastoral letter from bishops prompted a debate in the Norwegian parliament.


The Church of England has organized a new commission on Roman Catholic relations to pursue “informal friendly discussions” on theological questions.

President Johnson’s first weekend at Camp David included a ten-mile Sunday morning trip to attend services at Harriott Chapel, a 100-year-old Protestant Episcopal church in the village of Catoctin Furnace, Maryland.


HUCH REDWOOD, 81, journalist and leading Christian layman, best known for his bestseller God in the Slums; in London.

DR. DONALD GORDON DAVIS, 59, former professor of church history at Talbot Theological Seminary; in Los Angeles.

THE REV. CHARLES H. MENCEL, 84, former Evangelical Congregational bishop; in Allentown, Pennsylvania.

A former student at Oklahoma Baptist University killed himself by purposely crash-diving his light plane into a campus building. No one else was hurt.

A twenty-year-old Scottish model who paraded in the nude at last year’s Edinburgh Festival was acquitted of charges of “shameless and indecent behavior.”

Covenant College of St. Louis announced the purchase of a resort hotel atop Lookout Mountain in Chattanooga, Tennessee, which will be turned into a new campus.


Dr. Landrum R. Bolling elected president of the Council of Protestant Colleges and Universities.

Dr. L. A. Slaght, pastor of the First United Baptist Church of Lowell, Massachusetts, named editor of The Watchman-Examiner. He succeeds Dr. John W. Bradbury, who is retiring after twenty-five years at the helm of the independent Baptist weekly.

Dr. Winburn T. Thomas named secretary of the United Presbyterian Department of Interpretation and Stewardship.

The Rev. Raymond L. Wiechmann named executive secretary of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod’s General Board for Home Missions.

Msgr. John Tracy Ellis resigned as professor of church history at the Catholic University of America to take up a similar post at the University of San Francisco. He had charged publicly that Catholic University has been undergoing a “type of suppression” for nearly a decade.

They Say

“You are to be commended for your determination, the way in which you harnessed your skill and disciplined your spirit. Your country and your church are proud of you.”—President Oliver P. Harms of the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, welcoming home Davis Cup champion Chuck McKinley.

“Millions of churchmen are merely backseat Christians willing to be observers, ready to criticize or to applaud, but not willing even to reconsider the possibility of real participation.”—Dr. D. Elton True-blood, in an address at the New England Conference on Evangelism.

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