Major Conference In Africa

A major challenge facing the churches throughout Africa is preparing enough leaders to keep up with rapid church growth. Representatives from 91 theological schools in 26 African countries met recently to address this and other issues facing the church.

Sponsored by the Accrediting Council for Theological Education in Africa, the event is believed to have been the largest, most representative gathering of theological educators in Africa. Delegates launched the ACTEA Islamics Network and a librarians fellowship. And despite financial sacrifices incurred through travel and accommodations, delegates contributed more than two thousand dollars to purchase theological textbooks for students in war-torn Mozambique.

‘Golden Calf’ Discovered

Archaeologists excavating Canaanite ruins near the ancient port of Ashkelon in Israel have discovered a “golden calf” from about 1550 B.C. The team said the five-inch-high copper-and-silver figurine is the first such calf replica ever found, smaller but similar to the golden calves referred to in the story of Moses and Aaron at Mount Sinai and in other Old Testament accounts.

The figurine was found lying next to a shattered pottery shrine, in which the calf was mounted when in use. Archeologists believe the calf was either a symbol of the Canaanite god himself or of the animal on which he rode. The unexpected find means excavation of the ruins, believed to be a Canaanite temple, will continue for at least a decade.

Lausanne To Meet In Moscow

Next month more than 850 Soviet pastors and lay leaders will meet in Moscow for the October Moscow Congress on World Evangelization. Lausanne Congress for World Evangelization (LCWE) director Tom Houston confirmed that final arrangements had been made for the use of the Izmailovo Complex, composed of a 1,000-seat auditorium, smaller meeting rooms, and a major hotel.

Houston said the idea for the congress came from the 70 Soviet pastors who attended Lausanne II in Manila last summer. “These leaders returned to their country inspired to use their new freedom to increase evangelistic activity,” Houston said.

At Lausanne II, the pastors were given 60 prints of the Campus Crusade-produced film Jesus. By June 1, more than 1 million Soviets had seen the film. Four major radio stations broadcast the audio portion of the film at Easter.

Houston said the entire event is being planned by Soviet church leaders, and that all costs that can be paid in rubles will be covered by Soviet Christians. Additional costs that must be paid in hard currency will be met by fund-raising efforts of LCWE, Leighton Ford Ministries, and the Issachar Frontier Mission Strategies.

Meanwhile, more than 30,000 people attended an 11-day crusade in Moscow led by evangelist John Guest. A five-minute excerpt from one of his sermons was broadcast on Soviet television.

Missionaries Warned

Officials of the United States Embassy in the Philippines have told representatives from 20 mission groups that they could be targets of attacks by Communist guerrillas. According to embassy officials, the New People’s Army (NPA), the armed wing of the Philippines’ Communist party, issued a threat to an American missionary organization in Manila. The embassy would not identify the organization.

Although embassy personnel consider the threat to be serious, the missionaries plan to continue their work in the country. Embassy officials advised missionaries to “keep a low profile” and to avoid traveling alone or in areas of known NPA activity.

Briefly Noted

Formed: 84 new congregations resulting from a massive Southern Baptist-sponsored evangelistic effort in Kenya over a four-week period last summer. More than 56,000 persons made commitments to Christ.

Convened: The first meeting of the fourth phase of Roman Catholic-Pentecostal dialogue at the Swiss Pentecostal Mission in Emmetten, Switzerland.

The general topic chosen for this phase of the dialogue was evangelization.

Killed: Anglican Bishop Alexander ’Muge of Kenya in an automobile accident on August 14 in the country’s Busia district. Two days earlier he was warned by a cabinet minister that he might be killed if he entered the area. ’Muge had been in conflict with the government over the unsolved murder of former foreign minister Robert Ouko. CT reported earlier on an unrelated incident involving ’Muge (July 16, 1990, p. 44). He recently offended officials of the Episcopal Diocese of California when on a visit he observed that “homosexuals and lesbians have taken over church leadership.”

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