1. Cardinal Basil Hume, archbishop of Westminster, the highest ranking Roman Catholic official in England and Wales, died June 17 of cancer. Hume, 76, had been archbishop for 23 years. During the mid-1960s while the impact of the reforms of Vatican II were being absorbed by the English church, Hume held dissident factions of English Catholics together and encouraged ecumenism.
  2. After 230 days in captivity, The Evangelical Alliance Mission missionary Herb Gregg was released in southern Russia in June. Gregg, 51, had been abducted in the Republic of Dagestan (CT, Feb. 8, 1999, p. 22), and his captors sawed off his right index finger in an unsuccessful attempt to extract a ransom.
  3. The Bolivian Catholic Church will no longer refer to evangelical and Pentecostal churches as "Protestant sects," according to Moises Morales, executive secretary of the Bolivian Bishops' Dialogue Secretariat. Many Catholic church leaders and media have been critical of the booming neo-Pentecostal movement in Bolivia, but Morales says it is unfair for Catholics to use such a term about churches acknowledged as brothers "by the wealth of Christianity."
  4. Catholicos Karekin I, head of the Armenian Apostolic Church, died June 29 of larynx cancer at his pontifical residence in Echmiadzin near the Armenian capital, Yerevan. Karekin, 66, had been leader of Armenian Orthodox Christians since 1995, when he succeeded Vazgen I.
  5. Police shut down a "tolerance room" set up by Wayside Chapel in Sydney ten days after the church allowed drug users to inject themselves with illegal drugs. But Ray Richmond, director of Wayside Chapel, which ministers to numerous homeless people, says the room is no longer needed because the state government in New South Wales has agreed to establish on a trial basis several legal injecting rooms.
  6. Paul-Gordon Chandler, U.S. CEO of the International Bible Society, has been appointed president of Partners International, effective October 1. The San Jose, California–based ministry works in 52 countries with indigenous Christian ministries to plant new churches. Chandler, 35, replaces the retiring Chuck Bennett, who has been with Partners since 1991.

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