The following story was distilled from several news sources, including a report filed by correspondent Nancy Hamilton. It was written by Deborah Miller.

A twenty-month dispute between the Farah Manufacturing Company of El Paso, Texas (probably the nation’s largest non-union garment maker), and the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has developed into a nationwide “battle of the clergy.” The views of priests and clergymen have sometimes carried more weight than those of the labor leaders and others who are involved in the dispute.

As El Paso’s major industrial employer with about 8,000 workers in five plants, Farah has been the target of the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America (ACWA), which has tried to organize Farah since 1969. Cutting room employees voted in 1970 to have the ACWA represent them. The NLRB ruled that the union won the election, but Farah is appealing on the contention that the voters could not have the same classification (because of their work skills and machinery) as cutting room workers in other clothing factory collective bargaining units. In retaliation, some Farah workers organized a strike against the company, a move opposed by many workers outside the cutting rooms. It may take two or three years for a final court ruling.

The Most Reverend Sidney M. Metzger, long-time Roman Catholic bishop of El Paso, supported a boycott of Farah products. “We are doing everything we can to contribute to your cause,” Metzger told strikers. “My advice to others in the church is to continue and support the boycott.” Eight thousand non-striking Catholic Farah workers signed an open letter to Metzger, explaining that his comments were “disheartening to all of us Catholics who are working at Farah and who know the true facts. We realize that the clergy is human, and therefore is entitled to mistakes. Your mistake is not to seek the two sides of the question before giving your support to the boycott of Farah pants.”

Syndicated columnist David Poling wrote several articles refuting Metzger’s allegations. “The bishop’s strongest weapon is the historic stance of the Christian church for the downtrodden and poor. Out of this came support for the union movement,” Poling acknowledged. But, said he, “In three years of campaigning, the union has not made much of a dent in the 8,000 employees of Farah. It appears that the people on the production line prefer the paternalism of a Willie Farah to that of a James Hoffa.”

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An anti-boycott booklet by Dr. Paul Newton Poling, the columnist’s father and retired pastor of El Paso’s First Presbyterian Church, was published and distributed by Farah. “This boycott is designed to so seriously injure the industry that the workers will be forced to accept the ACWA as their bargaining agent—the union they have rejected for nearly three years,” he asserted.

But Episcopalian Francis B. Sayre of the Washington (D. C.) Cathedral endorsed the strike. “I, for one, am in sympathy with the strikers at Farah. In this instance, these so-called ‘Chicanos’ may have a keener perception of our American way than do those who simply ignore their long struggle for a decent standing,” he said.

The Committee on Social Development and World Peace of the United States Catholic Conference also issued a resolution supporting the strike and urging a nationwide boycott of Farah products.

Perhaps the strongest voice is that of Father Daniel Lyons of New York, a union member and teacher of labor union history. In a column for the National Catholic Register, he expressed doubts about the “wisdom, the knowledge and the balance of many clergymen who have sided against the Farah Manufacturing Company. So what is the boycott all about? It is a direct result of the fact that the union has failed to interest the workers in joining the union, but it wants their dues anyway.”

Alfred Belles, an El Paso Lutheran minister, registered yet another view: “It is inappropriate in any case for the church and its ministers to take a stand on ambiguous moral situations where there is probably some right and wrong on both sides. I feel it cheapens and weakens the Church’s moral authority, which should be reserved for pronouncements on more clear-cut and fundamental moral issues.”

The legal questions will eventually be settled in the courts, but religious fervor over the moral and social implications will not die easily in the near future. Meanwhile, the boycott has been blamed in the closing of several Farah plants, resulting in the layoff of hundreds of workers, mostly Mexican-Americans.

Educating Every Jew

Educators representing Conservative, Orthodox, Reform, and secular Jewish studies are organizing a major effort aimed at giving every Jewish child in the United States a Jewish education.

They exchanged views and suggestions on ways to meet this common need at a conference on ‘The Future of Jewish Education in America,” held in New York last month under the sponsorship of the American Jewish Congress. Less than half of U. S. Jewish children get a Jewish education, it was reported.

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Rabbi Arthur Hertzberg, president of the American Jewish Congress, proposed that a “national census” be taken by the Jewish community “to find every Jewish child and redeem his birthright to a Jewish education” by providing aid to those who need it.

Lausanne Cuts

Inflation and the energy crisis combined to force a 10 per cent cutback in the number of invitations to the International Congress on World Evangelization, to be held at Lausanne, Switzerland, this summer. The executive committee voted the cut from 3,000 to 2,700 participants when faced with a 10 per cent hike in airline fares, a drop in the buying power of several currencies pledged in support of the congress, and the possibility of charter-flight cancelations because of fuel shortages (see December 21 issue, page 34).

The original budget was prepared in 1972 before the longterm effects of rising prices and fuel cuts could be seen. Even so, the budget is 12 per cent larger than the figure approved in 1972. Planners also point out that the Lausanne congress will be more than twice the size of the Berlin congress in 1966, which had 1,200 enrolled. Already, 1,250 invitations to Lausanne have been accepted.

Chile: The Heat Is On

In the aftermath of the recent military takeover in Chile, churches and clergymen—particularly Catholics—are coming under increased attack for alleged Marxist leanings.

The 2,600-student St. George’s College, a combined elementary-secondary school in Santiago run by the Indiana-based Order of the Holy Cross (it also operates Notre Dame University), was taken over by the military junta. The staff of twelve priests and three nuns was ousted, and the school now has a military administrator. Armed police guard the gates. Military sources said the junta acted on complaints (denied by the order) that the school was infiltrated by Marxist teachings.

The junta is also reported to be studying the possible deportation of more than 500 Catholic priests (40 per cent of the Chilean Catholic clergy) on similar charges, according to a Canadian priest. William Smith, Latin American affairs director for the Canadian Catholic Conference, said the majority of the priests worked in Chilean slums and therefore are identified with the late president Salvadore Allende. Smith said priests fear they might be arrested and “wiped out” by the junta.

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Clergyman Charles S. Yoak, 29, leads three lives. Three days a week he is pastor of the Mendota Heights Congregational Church near Minneapolis. Three days a week he is a Minneapolis taxicab driver. At night he becomes Gentleman Curt Yancy, a tough, hard-punching professional boxer.

His won-lost record in the thirteen matches he’s had since climbing into the ring two years ago isn’t very good, but he won three of his last four bouts. He took home a purse of $350 from one of them.

He sees no conflict in slugging bodies and shepherding souls at the same time. Boxing is a sport, a molder of character especially applicable to youth ministry, he feels, and he wants to set up a boxing program for the church’s youth as soon as his small congregation can afford to install a ring. Also, he says, his presence in the training gym has opened up opportunities for informal counseling he wouldn’t have had otherwise. And finally, the ring is a perfect pressure valve for a preacher, he says. The tension that builds up because of the gentleness required in personal relations and the constant carrying of others’ burdens, he explains, is blown out in punches at a bag—or an opponent.

Two emergency committees—one providing relief for families with relatives arrested or killed, the other assisting refugees seeking ways out of the country—have been set up by the Methodist, Pentecostal, Lutheran, and Catholic churches. Joint leaders of the domestic committee are Lutheran bishop Helmut Frenz and Catholic auxiliary bishop Fernando Arizta of Santiago. The refugee committee intent on assisting more than 13,000 foreigners—mostly other Latin Americans—who want to get out of Chile, has already helped 3,000 to leave. The World Council of Churches has launched a million-dollar appeal to aid the refugees with food, accommodations, legal expenses, and transportation to other Latin American countries.

An Evangelical For Canterbury?

Will an evangelical succeed A. Michael Ramsey as Archbishop of Canterbury and Primate of All England, the titular head of England’s 30 million Anglicans?

Ramsey, the 100th to hold the Canterbury title, turns seventy this year and is expected to retire. Conjectures concerning the next archbishop filled the corridors of power at the recent meeting of the 530-member Anglican General Synod in London.

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Traditionally, the Archbishop of York has been selected to fill the Canterbury see when vacant. (Appointment is by the prime minister upon recommendation of a committee of bishops.) Many observers believe tradition would have been broken and another Ramsey named to the office if Bishop Ian Ramsey of Durham had not died in 1972. Now it appears the new archbishop will again come from York.

The York see is occupied by an evangelical, Donald Coggan, 64. He was principal of the London College of Divinity from 1944 until 1956, when he was consecrated Bishop of Bradford. Five years later he was named to York. He is president of the United Bible Societies, an organization of Bible societies and service affiliates in about one hundred nations. He also helped to lead a British ecumenical outreach effort known as Call to the North. Although he has not spoken out clearly on ordination of women, he has publicly championed the right of women to be involved in ministry.

Coggan’s public statements over the past decade show a drift toward the middle of the road—or even the left side, as some in the evangelical camp charge. Earlier this year he raised a general furor, and many evangelical eyebrows, by pleading on British radio for sympathy with homosexual clergymen. Some feel that this and other free-wheeling statements have seriously tarnished the evangelical image for which Coggan has been known. Others believe that Coggan is too old to take up the Canterbury post.

Still others feel he lacks leadership ability and that he does not speak out enough on issues of the day. (In addition to York, possible candidates for the Canterbury see include Bishop Robert Runcie of St. Albans; Bishop R. D. Say of Rochester, a former general secretary of the British Council of Churches; and Bishop Stuart Blanche of Liverpool, described by a colleague as “substantially evangelical.”)

With a cloud of speculation surrounding the retirement of Ramsey, the entire episcopacy has come under discussion. The Church of England now has forty-three bishops assisted by sixty suffragans and assistants. The annual cost of keeping these bishops surpasses $1.6 million. Many consider this too high a price for such a large company of men who, certain critics accuse; serve mostly as “bazaar openers” and “after dinner speakers.” A more sober description is found in a penetrating study prepared for the General Synod by Canon Paul Welsby of Rochester. It concludes that the bishop must fulfill several functions: guardian of the faith, representative of the Church, disciplinarian and administrator, teacher and prophet to the people. To provide for this pastoral role, several have called for more bishops with smaller dioceses. Some have also suggested the democratic election of bishops.

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To most parishioners the episcopacy is remote; but more relevant matters also appeared on the synod’s agenda. Bishop Robin Woods of Worcester shocked conservatives by proposing the remarriage of divorcees in the Church. “The church must practice Christian forgiveness and compassion for divorced people,” Woods maintained. “Forgiveness implies not a life-long hardening of the situation but the possibility of a new life, and therefore, sometimes, a new marriage.” Reaction to Woods’s motion was fiery. Bishop R. R. Williams of Leicester was outraged by the prospects of a person standing on “the same square foot of church floor” promising fidelity for life to a “parade of partners.” The proposal was defeated 363 to 130.

Rejection by the synod, however, did not bury the marriage matter. Agitation continues at the grassroots, with some clergymen and dioceses holding out for the right to resolve the issue locally. At least one diocese has demanded the right to debate the issue and submit the conclusion at the synod’s spring meeting.

Another synod topic was the dramatic decline in missionary giving. Less than five per cent of the church’s aggregate income is now channeled into Anglican foreign missions, according to a report released at the Assembly. Local churches have attached overriding importance to their bells, organs, and physical plants, complained some synod members. An appeal was issued for parishes to give a tenth to missions.


Pluralism At Harvard

A committee on the future of Memorial Church, Harvard University’s chapel built in memory of its graduates killed in World War I, has recommended that the church’s status as a Protestant place of worship be changed “to take account of religious pluralism.” Dean Krister Stendahl of Harvard Divinity School, who is a member of the Lutheran state Church of Sweden and a frequently mentioned aspirant for that church’s highest preferment (the archbishopric of Uppsala), presented a report calling for reconstitution of the Protestant Board of Preachers into a troika that would include a Protestant minister, a Roman Catholic priest, and a Jewish rabbi.

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“We could consider these preachers to the university as co-equal in their roles and their relations to the university,” said the report. One committee member who did not sign the report objected to the fact that it says nothing about the religions of Africa and Asia. “Harvard,” he said, is a world community.”

The Spirit Of ’76

Explo ’72 … Key 73 … And now, Spirit in ’76. That’s the name of an international celebration planned for May and June of 1976.

The two-week observance was set in motion late in November at Melodyland Christian Center in Anaheim, California, when thirty-two selected charismatics and Pentecostalists formed an ad hoc committee “for charismatic advance.” Dr. J. Rodman Williams, president of the new Melodyland School of Theology, was named chairman.

“These two weeks, as sketched,” he said, “would include one week of an international theological conference on the Holy Spirit, and a second week of various national charismatic conferences climaxing in a large gathering on Pentecost Sunday [June 6] to express our unity in Jesus Christ.”

The final rally might draw 100,000 to the Los Angeles Coliseum, Williams added. The November 27 meeting was attended by members of charismatic fellowships and renewal in most mainline denominations, the Roman Catholic Word of God Community at Ann Arbor, Michigan, the Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles, the Pentecostal Fellowship of North America, and other groups. Participants stressed that they were acting individually and not on behalf of their constituencies.

The year 1976 was chosen because of the tie with the 200th anniversary of the United States and because it is also the seventieth anniversary of the birth of the Pentecostal movement at the Azusa Street Mission in Los Angeles.

The committee hopes members of an international dialogue team will hold their 1976 meeting in nearby Santa Barbara the week after Pentecost. That year’s meeting will be the fifth in a series organized by the Secretariat for Promoting Christian Unity at the Vatican and by some leaders of Pentecostal churches and renewalists within Protestant, Anglican, and Orthodox bodies.

The dialogue, to include published scholarly papers on the Spirit, might be held at a $10 million former Catholic school and retreat center Melodyland is seeking to acquire for an independent ecumenical research academy. The proposed academy will center on studies of the Holy Spirit and charismatic renewal.

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Along with fervent prayers and “singing in the spirit” at the launching meeting, the committee approved a resolution that since the Spirit in ’76 can’t be limited to any single event, Spirit-filled Christians everywhere should be encouraged to develop additional regional and local programs to give high visibility to the Holy Spirit throughout 1976.


Muslims And Mammon

Black Muslims, once thought to represent a thriving enterprise in the United States, now may be in a big bind. A New York Times story said last month that the so-called Nation of Islam is in “deep trouble.”

If the report is true, the social consequences could be considerable, for the highly-disciplined and industrious Black Muslims have been a major force for betterment in the ghetto.

The Black Muslims themselves never make official statements, so there is no way to determine with precision how prosperous they have been in the past or how they are doing now. The Times story by Paul Delaney was based on an independent investigation over several weeks, coupled with findings of police and other government agencies. Most of the data is attributed to unnamed sources.

Sackcloth For April 30?

A resolution proclaiming a National Day of Humiliation, Fasting, and Prayer was adopted unanimously by the U. S. Senate last month and sent to the House, where early action was expected.

The resolution, introduced, by Republican Senator Mark Hatfield of Oregon, sets aside April 30, 1974, and “calls upon the people of our nation to humble ourselves as we see fit, before our Creator to acknowledge our final dependence upon Him and to repent of our national sins.” In remarks on the Senate floor Hatfield suggested, “Our government and the other institutions of our society would all cease business as usual, as I envision it, so that we all would be free to consider actions appropriate to a time that would symbolize national repentance.”

April 30, which falls on Tuesday this year, was chosen because a similar resolution was issued by Abraham Lincoln in 1863. The Hatfield resolution is modeled after Lincoln’s, and incorporates much of the wording of the older document.


Millions of motorists in the Pacific Northwest are getting the word as billboards pop up along highways announcing “The Lord is coming” and similar messages. It all started when Seattle real estate man Roland J. Hoefer saw red after spotting a billboard that promoted a nudist colony. Now his Maranatha Association is marketing Jesus just as forthrightly. Hoefer cites Habakkuk in the Living Bible as rationale: “And the Lord said to me, ‘Write my answer on a billboard, large and clear, so that anyone can read it at a glance and rush to tell the others.’ ”

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Cardinal Confronts Threat

Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski, in a Christmas Eve address to a group of bishops and priests, said “the greatest threat” to the Church in Poland since Communists came to power—the government’s proposed educational reform—had been “at least formally” repulsed.

At the same time, the Roman Catholic primate complained that local provincial authorities had not abandoned their attempts “to hinder the Church’s work particularly among school children and the young.”

He said that “this could delay and hinder efforts to normalize Church-state relations in Poland, as well as relations between Poland and the Holy See.”

Referring to the visit of Polish Foreign Minister Stefan Olszowski to Pope Paul last November 12, Cardinal Wyszynski quoted the pontiff as saying that he would not undertake any steps to “normalize” relations with Poland “without the agreement of the country’s Catholic bishops.”

The cardinal also quoted the Pope as saying that “problems between the Church and State in Poland” had to be settled before “any permanent system of mutual relations between Poland and the Holy See could be established.”

This was interpreted to cover the exchange of ambassadors and the setting up of formal diplomatic relations between the Communist state and the Vatican—a matter under consideration by both sides.

Turning to the Polish episcopate’s campaign against the state’s planned educational reform, Cardinal Wyszynski said the Church regarded the plan as an attempt “to impose a monopoly of atheistic education at the expense of religious instruction of local parish priests.”

The changes, scheduled to begin in 1975, are aimed at consolidating many church-operated rural schools and require children to spend more time in the classroom than under the present system.

“What we saw as the greatest threat to the Church in the past 25 years,” said the Polish primate, “has been, thank God, at least formally repulsed, but that does not mean that the threat does not in fact still exist.”

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Cardinal Wyszynski expressed support for the social and economic reconstruction of the country by the authorities, but deplored its being “linked” to a struggle against religion.


Religion In Transit

The U. S. Supreme Court agreed to hear an appeal from Bob Jones University over the revocation of its tax-exempt status. The school lost its tax status when the Internal Revenue Service declared the school violated the 1964 Civil Rights Act by turning away prospective black students. Meanwhile, Tennessee Baptists and Methodists face more court battles over a 1969 tax case in which the churches objected to new property assessments. The state supreme court wants to rehear arguments—an unusual step—but gave no reasons.

The Roman Catholic archdiocese of New York is in the midst of a 13-week, $100,000 national advertising campaign aimed at recruiting candidates for the priesthood. The ads drew more than 100 serious inquiries the first week they ran.

Surveys by the National Catholic Reporter show overwhelming approval of abortion by Jews, Protestants, and Catholics alike in cases of danger to the mother’s health, rape, or the chance of a defective child. On a different topic, 76 per cent of the Protestants said homosexual relations are always wrong, 71 per cent of the Catholics said so, but only 31 per cent of the Jews agreed.

A Jewish study indicates that about one-third of the marriages of Jews in recent years have been intermarriages with a non-Jew.

The Canadian Parliament voted 119 to 106 to extend the ban on capital punishment another five years. Legislation limits the death penalty to the killers of policemen and prison guards, but the cabinet has commuted even those sentences in recent years. No one has been executed in Canada since 1962.

A South African tour is still on for United Church of Canada members despite objections by the church’s world-outreach board. The board complained that the tour, sponsored by the church magazine, would give credibility to the “un-Christian” government of South Africa. Not so, said the United Church Observer, which declared that tour members were mature enough to make up their own minds on the situation.

United Methodist Church membership dropped again in 1973, though not so much as 1972. Membership is now 10,192,265—down 142,256. The 1972 drop was 174,677. Church spending, meanwhile, increased by $42.6 million to $885.7 million.

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Project Equality—an ecumenical employment-opportunities program—is cutting back after several major supporters cut back their support. Among the dropouts: two Roman Catholic archdioceses and the Ford Foundation.

A law was passed by the Massachusetts legislature in October requiring a minute of silent prayer or meditation at the start of each day in the public schools, but school administrators are ignoring it. The attorney general says the law is unconstitutional. Some pro-prayer people vow to slug it out in the courts;

The Guild of St. Ives, a group of Episcopal lawyers and clergymen in New York, has urged churches not to make voluntary payments “in lieu of taxes” to local governments in return for police and fire protection. It might jeopardize others who don’t, it might suggest that churches are to be treated differently from other tax-exempt institutions, and it might invite legislation to compel churches to pay, warned the group.

Despite warnings, cigarette smoking is on the rise, especially among young people. Among Americans over 21, 42.2 per cent of the men and 30.5 per cent of the women smoke. Domestic cigarette consumption is expected to reach a record high of 583 billion this year.

Cigarette smokers must kick the habit or face expulsion, Jehovah’s Witnesses were warned in their official publication.

While it hasn’t been banned in Boston—or anywhere else for that matter—twenty-six lay people and fourteen ministers picketed a Baptist bookstore in Nashville, Tennessee, to protest the selling of “The Living Bible.” The reason: “vulgarities” in the paraphrase.

Former White House aide John Dean considered Eugene Carson Blake, a United Presbyterian and retired general secretary of the World Council of Churches, a White House “enemy.” But the Internal Revenue Service, according to a Congressional investigation, ignored his request to audit Blake’s and two other ministers’ tax records.

Seven Jewish agencies petitioned the U. S. Supreme Court not to allow public school teachers in non-public schools—even when teaching non-sectarian subjects under a federal law. At issue, said the seven is the use of public funds to support remedial programs in sectarian institutions.

The Executive Council of the Episcopal Church has authorized the purchase of interest-bearing U. S. Treasury certificates in the amount of $60,000 to be used as bail bonds for those involved in the Wounded Knee uprising last sumtner.

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Recently formed Beth Simchat Torah, “The House of Joy” in New York City, is this country’s second homosexual synagogue. The other, Beth Chayim Chadashim, or “House of New Light,” in Los Angeles, is awaiting a decision on its application for membership to the Union of American Hebrew Congregations (Reform). Both temples have received requests from such places as Rhode Island, New Orleans, and Mexico City for help in forming gay synagogues.


The president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Harold B. Lee, 74, died suddenly of heart and lung failure just hours after he checked into a Salt Lake City hospital for a routine examination. His seventeen-month tenure as head of the 3.3-million-member denomination was the shortest in Mormon history. The church elected Spencer W. Kimball, 78, as the new president.

Pedro Roderiquez, 19, a Catholic who preaches an evangelical message, started preaching in a shopping center two years ago and now has a movement that involves thousands of Puerto Ricans, mostly Catholics, according to the Evangelical Press news service. He maintains an outdoor “church” with a congregation of about 600 known as Catacumbas who preach on street corners, hand out tracts (many of them Protestant), visit the sick, and distribute food to the poor.

Dr. T. A. Patterson, retired executive secretary of the (Southern) Baptist General Convention of Texas, was named executive vice-president of the Dallas-based World Evangelism Foundation, a missionary organization headed by Dr. W. H. Jackson, an ordained Southern Baptist. Jackson organizes groups of American ministers and laypersons to work alongside local church members in cities overseas in connection with evangelistic campaigns.

Walter H. Smyth, a former Youth for Christ leader who has directed all of evangelist Billy Graham’s crusades for the past ten years, will now oversee international relations and team activities of the Graham organization.

World Scene

Reports from Nigeria indicate that quiet but fruitful evangelistic outreach is being carried out in the Nigerian army by chaplains and—to a larger extent—by Christian soldiers and their dependents.

The Church Missionary Society, Britain’s largest Anglican mission, will bring three evangelists from Uganda to work in the homeland next year. “African Christianity has a lot to teach the churches in Western Europe,” commented CMS executive John Taylor.

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President W. R. Tolbert of Liberia, a Baptist World Alliance leader, invited Campus Crusade for Christ to send through its Agape Movement American lay persons having vocational skills to help with development needs in his west African country. To date, requests for 2,500 Agape workers have come from thirteen countries, says Crusade. The first group of 23 volunteers will report to three countries within a few months.

Campus Crusade for Christ reports it now has 162 staff members at work in South Korea, with more than 150 monthly College Life meetings scheduled near university centers and a monthly average of 15,000 enrollees in evangelism training institutes. A year ago 13,000 village leaders and teachers were trained, and they report the conversion of 42,000 others, says Crusade director Joon Gon Kim.

As a result of a consultation between leaders of local churches and representatives of overseas churches and mission agencies, the word “missionary” is likely to drop out of the vocabulary of the thirteen Lutheran churches in South Africa. The consultation was called to bring about more uniformity in dealings between churches in South Africa and those in Europe and America that have sent aid and missionaries for decades.

Researchers report that in Colombia approximately 12,000 Jews and 50,000 Arabs live together in peace, apparently untroubled by the differences between their compatriots in the Middle East.

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