1. In an unprecedented step, a delegation of evangelical leaders brought official greetings to Roman Catholics at the annual meeting of the Latin American Bishops' Council. Oscar Rodriguez, outgoing president of the bishops' group, called the May gathering in Quito "a historic step along the ecumenical path" because of participation from evangelicals. "The differences between our churches have not disappeared, but rather we do not place so much importance on them," Rodriguez said. "What unites us is far greater than what separates us."
  2. Retired Protestant Three Self Patriotic Movement leader Bishop K. H. Ting recently criticized evangelical theology in a Chinese communist government newspaper. Ting declared that "socialism is the best social system which has appeared in human history" and suggested that any theology that is "incompatible with socialism should not be preached."
  3. Christian prisoner Ayub Masih, who has been on death row in Pakistan for more than a year, recently survived an attack by four Muslim inmates in a Multan jail. Masih, 32, sustained minor chest injuries from a stabbing before guards rescued him. He earlier had escaped a shooting in a courtroom. Masih's sentence, based on being convicted of slandering Islam, sparked the suicide of Roman Catholic Bishop John Joseph and subsequent riots (CT, June 15, 1998, p. 18).
  4. The city court in Magadan, Russia, ruled that allegations brought against a Word of Life Church pastor for hypnotizing congregants to extort donations are groundless. Most members of the Pentecostal church had applied for U.S. asylum on the grounds of religious discrimination (CT, April 5, 1999, p. 22) after oppressive acts by local government officials. The court on May 21 reprimanded the prosecutor and ruled that he had violated privacy rights of church members.

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