religionless, adj.
/ri lij"euhn/, n.
1. a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, esp. when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.
2. a specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons or sects: the Christian religion; the Buddhist religion.
3. the body of persons adhering to a particular set of beliefs and practices: a world council of religions.
4. the life or state of a monk, nun, etc.: to enter religion.
5. the practice of religious beliefs; ritual observance of faith.
6. something one believes in and follows devotedly; a point or matter of ethics or conscience: to make a religion of fighting prejudice.
7. religions, Archaic. religious rites.
8. Archaic. strict faithfulness; devotion: a religion to one's vow.
9. get religion, Informal.
a. to acquire a deep conviction of the validity of religious beliefs and practices.
b. to resolve to mend one's errant ways: The company got religion and stopped making dangerous products.
[1150-1200; ME religioun ( < OF religion) < L religion- (s. of religio) conscientiousness, piety, equiv. to relig(are) to tie, fasten (re- RE- + ligare to bind, tie; cf. LIGAMENT) + -ion- -ION; cf. RELY]

* * *

Relation of human beings to God or the gods or to whatever they consider sacred or, in some cases, merely supernatural.

Archaeological evidence suggests that religious beliefs have existed since the first human communities. They are generally shared by a community, and they express the communal culture and values through myth, doctrine, and ritual. Worship is probably the most basic element of religion, but moral conduct, right belief, and participation in religious institutions also constitute elements of the religious life. Religions attempt to answer basic questions intrinsic to the human condition (Why do we suffer? Why is there evil in the world? What happens to us when we die?) through the relationship to the sacred or supernatural or (e.g., in the case of Buddhism) through perception of the true nature of reality. Broadly speaking, some religions (e.g., Judaism, Christianity, and Islam) are outwardly focused, and others (e.g., Jainism, Buddhism) are inwardly focused.
(as used in expressions)
establishment of religion clause
Finno Ugric religion
religion philosophy of
Religion Wars of
Religion of the Heavenly Way
Afro Caribbean Afro Brazilian and Afro American religions
American Indian religions North
American Indian religions South
Arabian religions ancient

* * *

▪ 2009

The world's religions were plagued in 2008 by division and strife—including clashes between Christians, Hindus, and Muslims in India and further moves toward the realignment of the worldwide Anglican Communion—yet ecumenical efforts continued; and the influence of religion on politics was demonstrated in France, Turkey, South Korea, and the United States.


Religious Violence.
      In March Asma Jahangir, the UN special rapporteur on freedom of religion, warned that renewed communal violence was a possibility in India unless authorities took preventative action. She declared that “institutionalized impunity for those who exploit religion and impose their religious intolerance on others has made peaceful citizens, particularly the minorities, vulnerable and fearful.” Three months after her warning, the Indian government's plans to transfer land adjoining a Hindu shrine in Kashmir, India's only state with a Muslim majority, led to unrest that left five people dead and hundreds wounded. The government argued that the transfer of 40 ha (99 ac) of land to the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board was necessary to accommodate pilgrims to the Amarnath cave, one of the holiest shrines in Hinduism, but Muslim protesters said that the move was part of a conspiracy to settle Hindus in the valley and reduce Muslims to a minority. Authorities reversed the land transfer in late June, which in turn touched off Hindu protests and demonstrations by Muslim separatists who called for independence for Kashmir.

      At least 35 people were killed in Orissa state, India, after the Aug. 23, 2008, deaths of Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati, a Hindu leader, and four of his followers. The police declared that Maoist rebels had killed the swami, who had been trying to reconvert Christians to Hinduism, but many Hindu groups blamed the slayings on Christians. In subsequent weeks more than 4,000 Christian homes and 115 churches were destroyed in Orissa, and Hindus attacked Christians in the states of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and Madhya Pradesh. In separate violence, an Islamic group called the Indian Mujahideen claimed responsibility for bomb blasts in Jaipur, Bangalore, Ahmedabad, and New Delhi in which more than 100 people were killed, saying that the violence was in revenge for attacks on Muslims.

      A series of terrorist attacks in Mumbai (Bombay) in late November that killed more than 170 people was attributed to Lashkar-i-Taiba, a Pakistani-based Muslim organization. (See Special Report (Terror in Mumbai ).) Six of the victims died at the Nariman House, where an outreach centre run by Chabad-Lubavitch, an ultra-Orthodox Jewish Hasidic movement, was located. Indian Muslim leaders refused to allow the bodies of the nine attackers killed in the assaults to be buried in Islamic cemeteries, saying that the men were not true Muslims.

      A spokesman for the Dalai Lama said that 80 people were killed when more than 500 Buddhist monks participated in independence demonstrations in March in Lhasa, capital of the Tibet Autonomous Region of China. The Buddhist leader accused Chinese officials of having promulgated a rule of terror and cultural genocide, but the government-controlled New China News Agency reported that police had exercised “great restraint” while mobs stoned, stabbed, and clubbed them.

Anglican Rifts.
      The worldwide Anglican Communion faced renewed pressures in 2008 that could lead to a major realignment within its 38 national churches, which comprise about 77 million members. (See Special Report (A Serious Fracture in the Anglican Church ).) In June more than 1,000 conservative Anglicans, including 291 bishops, met in Jerusalem for what they called the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON). They issued a statement saying that although they were not breaking away from the communion, they “do not accept that Anglican identity is determined necessarily through recognition by the Archbishop of Canterbury.” The GAFCON statement announced plans to form a new council of archbishops to oversee Anglicans who upheld traditional theological tenets and opposed moves to ordain homosexual clergy and bless same-sex unions. In response, Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams countered that a self-appointed council “will not pass the test of legitimacy in the communion.”

      In July more than 650 bishops attended the decennial Lambeth Conference and acknowledged that the issue of homosexuality “has challenged us and our churches on what it might mean to be a communion.” The bishops added, “Confidence in the validity of the Anglican Communion, the bonds of affection and our mutual interdependence is severely damaged.” Archbishop Williams warned that the communion would “continue to be in grave peril” if its churches in the United States and Canada were to refuse to accept moratoriums on the consecration of gay bishops and same-sex unions.

      Bishop Robert Duncan of Pittsburgh was deposed in September from ministry in the Episcopal Church by a vote of the House of Bishops, which declared that Duncan's attempts to persuade his diocese to leave the church constituted abandonment of communion. (A similar action in 2007 by the diocese of San Joaquin, based in Fresno, Calif., had led to the deposition of its bishop, John-David Schofield, in January 2008.) In the fall the Pittsburgh diocese became the second to leave the Episcopal Church, aligning with the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone, and the dioceses of Quincy, Ill., and Fort Worth, Texas, also voted to leave. The Common Cause Partnership, a federation of more than 100,000 North American Anglicans, announced the formation of the Anglican Church in North America in December and appealed for its recognition as the 39th Anglican province. Meanwhile, American churches and dioceses that broke with the Episcopal Church were embroiled in litigation with the denomination over ownership of parish properties.

      In early July the General Synod of the Church of England voted in London to approve a process by which women could be consecrated as bishops. The vote called for church officials to draw up a code of practice to govern the change, and further enabling legislation was to go before the synod in February 2009. Church officials said that the first female bishops would not be appointed before 2014. The July vote spurred threats of a walkout by conservatives who opposed such a move, and proponents of adding female bishops warned against a compromise that would permit some dioceses to keep an all-male episcopacy. In April a similar measure had failed to garner the required two-thirds majority of clergy in the Church of Wales, although consecration of women bishops had been endorsed by the House of Bishops and the House of Laity.

Orthodox Christian Conflicts.
      Russia's conflicts with Ukraine and Georgia tested relations between the Russian Orthodox Church and its counterparts in the other two countries during 2008. In July, during celebrations in Kiev of the 1,020th anniversary of the advent of Christianity in the Slavic kingdom that predated Ukraine and Russia, Ukrainian Pres. Viktor Yushchenko called on Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew to bless the creation of an independent Ukrainian church. Bartholomew, the spiritual leader of the world's 250 million Orthodox Christians, stopped short of taking sides but said that divisions in the church would have “problematic consequences for Ukraine's future.”

      In August, when fighting broke out between Russia and Georgia, Russian Orthodox Patriarch Aleksey II and Georgian Orthodox Patriarch Ilia II issued separate statements lamenting the warfare between Orthodox Christians. Aleksey, who had rarely disagreed with the Russian government in public, conveyed letters of appeal from Ilia to Russian Pres. Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. Aleksey died in December at the age of 79. Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk and Kaliningrad was appointed interim patriarch.

American Controversies.
       Gay rights issues occupied the Presbyterian Church (USA) during 2008. In February the denomination's high court, the General Assembly Permanent Judicial Commission, ruled that candidates for ordination must practice fidelity if married and chastity if single. The court said that the standard was mandatory but could be changed by amending the denomination's constitution; moreover, presbyteries and congregations were not allowed to create their own standards for ordination, as some had done. In June delegates to the church's General Assembly in San Jose, Calif., voted to reinterpret the constitutional provision regarding chastity, but the action awaited votes for approval by a majority of the 173 presbyteries.

      In Washington, D.C., in April during his first visit to the United States, Pope Benedict XVI held an unprecedented meeting with five victims of clergy sex abuse. In an address to American bishops, he said that the crisis was “sometimes very badly handled” and pledged that the church would pursue healing and reconciliation with those “so seriously wronged.” In late October the Vatican issued guidelines that recommended the use of psychological testing to help evaluate candidates for the priesthood and to screen out those with “psychopathic disturbances.” In June a church court found Episcopal Bishop Charles E. Bennison of Pennsylvania guilty of conduct unbecoming of a member of the clergy for having concealed his brother's sexual abuse of a teenage girl during the 1970s.

      A committee conducting an internal investigation of financial improprieties in the Orthodox Church in America found that church leaders had either spent millions of dollars on personal expenses or taken part in a cover-up of the diversion of the money. The report prompted the resignation of the church's top leader, Metropolitan Herman, one of the leaders for whom the commission had recommended discipline. The church spokesman, the Rev. Andrew Jarmus, said that it had appointed a management team to provide more supervision and more effective checks and balances. In November Metropolitan Jonah, who had recently been named bishop of Fort Worth, was elected to succeed Metropolitan Herman as leader of the church.

Ecumenical Gestures.
      In March, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia called for dialogue between representatives of all monotheistic religions. The appeal was the first of its kind by an Arab leader and was especially significant because of Saudi Arabia's ban on non-Muslim worship services and imposition of the death penalty on Muslims who had converted to another religion. In Les Versets douloureux, a book published in June, a rabbi, an imam, and a Roman Catholic priest each explain passages from the holy book of his faith that others have found objectionable. In October at the Vatican, the grand rabbi of Haifa, Israel, Shear-Yashuv Cohen, became the first non-Christian to address an international synod of Catholic bishops. He said that the event was a signal of hope in the wake of “a long, hard, and painful history” between Catholics and Jews.

      Pope Benedict marked the 50th anniversary of the death of Pope Pius XII by saying that his predecessor “often acted in a secret and silent way” to help Jews during the Holocaust because he sensed that by doing so he could save the greatest possible number. The Rev. Peter Gumpel, the official advocate for the canonization of Pius, said that Benedict was delaying the signing of a decree to recognize Pius's “heroic virtue” because of interfaith disagreements on whether Pius had done enough to save Jews. Gumpel also said that Benedict would not visit Israel unless the Yad Vashem Holocaust museum removed a plaque suggesting that Pius had been indifferent to the survival of the Jews. Israeli Pres. Shimon Peres responded that a papal visit “should not be tied to controversy over Pius XII.”

      The World Council of Churches (WCC), which encompassed more than 560 million Christians in 349 church bodies, in March urged its members to open a dialogue with Muslim scholars. The WCC noted that the two faiths have several major differences, including Christians' difficulty appreciating Muhammad as a prophet and Muslims' difficulty appreciating Jesus as God incarnate. Jean-Louis Cardinal Tauran, head of the Pontifical Council of Inter-Religious Dialogue, said that his group did not focus on Islam during a meeting in June because “we are being held hostage by Islam a little bit.” He added, “Islam is very important, but there are also other great Asiatic religious traditions.” Despite those comments, the Vatican hosted a three-day forum of Catholic and Muslim scholars in November. The group called on Catholics and Muslims to renounce “oppression, aggressive violence and terrorism” and affirming the rights of religious minorities to their own places of worship. Anglican Archbishop Rowan Williams stirred controversy in January when he told the BBC that the introduction in Britain of some aspects of Islamic Shariʿah law seemed unavoidable. A spokesperson for Prime Minister Gordon Brown said in response that Shariʿah law could not be used in a civilian court, and Williams clarified that he was not talking about establishing parallel jurisdictions.

Church-State Relations.
      Critics accused French Pres. Nicolas Sarkozy of having violated the country's tradition of church-state separation by making several positive references to religious faith, including his description of Islam as “one of the greatest and most beautiful civilizations the world has ever known” during a visit in January to Saudi Arabia. A month later he told the Representative Council of Jewish Institutions in France that the violence and wars of the 20th century were caused by an “absence of God.” In response to criticism by French secularists, Sarkozy, who had described himself as a lapsed Catholic, declared, “I never said that secular morality is inferior to religious morality.” In September, during a four-day visit to France, Pope Benedict met with the French president at the Elysée Palace and called for “a new reflection on the true meaning and importance of laïcité,” a term usually translated into English as secularism. In response, Sarkozy said that it was “legitimate for democracy and respectful of secularism to have a dialogue with religions.”

      In June Turkey's constitutional court overturned constitutional amendments passed by the parliament in February to permit the wearing of Islamic head scarves in universities, ruling that the amendments violated some articles of the constitution, including one describing the Turkish Republic as a secular state. (See Special Report (Turkey's Secular/Islamic Conundrum ) .) In a related matter, leaders of the Turkish Religious Affairs Directorate denied that the country was attempting to reform Islamic teachings. Reports to that effect were based on a project at Ankara University's divinity school to reinterpret the Hadith, a collection of the words and deeds of the Prophet Muhammad. Mehmet Gormez, deputy head of the Religious Affairs Directorate, said that the project “does not aim to change the theological fundamentals of the religion. It is a study aimed at interpreting and understanding these theological fundamentals.” Ali Baradkoglu, head of the directorate, said later, “We have continually noted that there can be no reform in Islam because there is no need for that.”

      In August tens of thousands of Buddhists rallied in Seoul against what they described as South Korean Pres. Lee Myung-bak's favouritism toward Christians in his government appointments. Lee, a Presbyterian, later expressed regret for any offense his government might have caused, and the government revised the code of conduct for public officials to instruct them to maintain religious neutrality when carrying out official duties.

Social Trends.
      A survey conducted by the Pew Research Center in Washington, D.C., found that the prevalence of anti-Muslim and anti-Jewish sentiments was increasing in several European countries. Only the United Kingdom did not show a substantial increase in anti-Semitic attitudes; there only 9% of those surveyed rated Jews unfavourably. An international survey by Germany's Bertelsmann Foundation found that religious belief was strong among young people aged 18–29: 85% described themselves as religious believers, and 44% were defined as deeply religious because they often prayed and based their everyday behaviour on their beliefs. Martin Rieger, head of the Religion Monitor project, said, “The notion that religion continuously declines from generation to generation can be clearly disproved, even in some of the industrialized nations.”

      In the U.S. presidential election in November, support for President-elect Barack Obama among religious groups equaled or exceeded that for John Kerry, the 2004 Democratic nominee. The shift was particularly notable among Catholics, who supported Obama over Republican nominee John McCain by a nine-point margin (54% to 45%); in 2004 Catholics had favoured Republican incumbent George W. Bush over Kerry by a five-point margin (52% to 47%). Obama also increased the percentage of white evangelicals who voted Democratic, winning 26% of this vote, compared with Kerry's 21%. At the same time, among religious categories Obama's biggest percentage of support came from religiously unaffiliated voters. He won 75% of their votes, compared with 67% for Kerry.

      In December the Vatican released a new document that addressed an array of bioethical questions. Among other issues, the document described the church's opposition to human cloning and embryonic stem cell research.

In the News.
      The Rev. Michael Heller (Heller, Michael ), a Catholic priest, professor of philosophy at the Pontifical Academy of Theology in Krakow, Pol., and the author of 30 books on such topics as the history of science and general relativity, received the Templeton Prize for Progress Toward Research or Discoveries About Spiritual Realities. Fernando Lugo (Lugo, Fernando ) received a dispensation from the pope allowing him to step down as a bishop before he assumed office in August as president of Paraguay. The Rev. Orlando Antonini, the papal nuncio to Paraguay, said that it was the first instance in which a member of the Catholic hierarchy had been given papal permission to return to lay status. In April, Cable News Network founder Ted Turner, who once called Christianity a “religion for losers,” apologized for his past criticisms of religion as he launched a $200 million partnership with Lutheran and Methodist groups to fight malaria in Africa. Thomas S. Monson (Monson, Thomas Spencer ) became president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in February following the death of Gordon B. Hinckley (Hinckley, Gordon Bitner ) at age 97.

      Other prominent religious figures who died in 2008 included Archbishop Christodoulos (Christodoulos ), head of the Greek Orthodox Church; Chiara Lubich (Lubich, Chiara ), founder of the Catholic Focolare spiritual renewal movement; Avery Cardinal Dulles, a prominent scholar who had never served as a bishop before being appointed a cardinal; Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (Mahesh Yogi, Maharishi ), the Transcendental Meditation leader who associated with both scientists and celebrities; Warith Deen Mohammed (Mohammed, Warith Deen ), who moved thousands of black Americans into mainstream Islam after breaking with his father's Nation of Islam organization; Sir John Marks Templeton (Templeton, Sir John Marks ), founder of the Templeton Foundation and creator of the Templeton Prize; Alfonso Cardinal Lopez Trujillo (Lopez Trujillo, Alfonso Cardinal ), president of the Pontifical Council for the Family; Metropolitan Laurus (Laurus, Metropolitan ), the Czech religious leader who worked to reconcile the Russian Orthodox Church with the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia; and the Rev. Marcial Maciel Degollado (Maciel Degollado, the Rev. Marcial ), founder of the Catholic Legionaries of Christ congregation, who was disciplined by the Vatican for alleged sexual abuse.

      Among the other losses were Bible scholar David Noel Freedman, who oversaw the Anchor Bible Series; Thich Huyen Quang, supreme patriarch of the Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam; Taktser Rinpoche, eldest brother of the Dalai Lama and himself revered as a reincarnate lama; and Krister Stendahl, former Lutheran bishop of Stockholm and former dean of the Harvard University Divinity School.

Darrell J. Turner

▪ 2008

      For figures on Adherents of All Religions by Continent, see Table I (Worldwide Adherents of All Religions by Six Continental Areas, Mid-2007); for Adherents in the U.S., see Table II (Religious Adherents in the United States of America, 1900-2005).

A higher public profile for atheists, efforts to reconcile Islam with secular societies and religious pluralism, protests led by religious groups against government authorities in Zimbabwe and Myanmar (Burma), and growing moves toward schism in the worldwide Anglican Communion were among the significant developments on the religious scene in 2007.

Issues and events

Unbelief and Belief.
      In March, California Democrat Pete Stark became the first member of the U.S. Congress to publicly acknowledge being an atheist. In response to a search by the Secular Coalition for America to find the most prominent nonbeliever holding political office, he said that he looked forward to working with the group “to stop the promotion of narrow religious beliefs in science, marriage contracts, the military and the provision of social services.” Books by atheists remained best sellers, including God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything (2007), by American essayist Christopher Hitchens, and The God Delusion (2006), by British biologist Richard Dawkins. The Golden Compass, a film adaptation of a book by religious skeptic Philip Pullman, divided Roman Catholics. The Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights denounced the film as selling “atheism for kids,” but a generally favourable review by the film office of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops said that it represented a “generalized rejection of authoritarianism.”

      In an encyclical released in November titled Saved by Hope, Pope Benedict XVI declared that atheism “has led to the greatest forms of cruelty and violations of justice” ever known. At the same time, he said that modern Christianity has “failed to recognize sufficiently the greatness of its task” by focusing on the salvation of individuals. In an October lecture in Swansea, Eng., Rowan Williams, the Anglican archbishop of Canterbury, said that many Christians would not recognize their religion as it was portrayed by writers such as Dawkins and Hitchens. “Don't distract us from the real arguments by assuming that religion is an eccentric survival strategy or an irrational form of explanation,” he said.

Focus on Islam.
      In an unprecedented letter to world Christian leaders in October, 138 Muslim scholars issued an appeal for peace and understanding between the two religions, saying that “the very survival of the world itself is perhaps at stake.” Signers of the letter included the grand muftis of Egypt, Palestine, Oman, Jordan, Syria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Russia and representatives of both Shiʿite and Sunni communities in Iraq. The message was addressed to Pope Benedict, Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, Archbishop Williams, Orthodox Christian patriarchs, and leaders of the World Council of Churches and the world alliances of the Lutheran, Methodist, Baptist, and Reformed churches. The appeal was welcomed in a response issued by Vatican Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone on behalf of Pope Benedict, noting its “positive spirit” and praising its “call for a common commitment to promoting peace.” The appeal was also praised in a response drafted by four scholars at Yale Divinity School and endorsed by nearly 300 Christian leaders.

      In June the Los Angeles-based Muslim Public Affairs Council said that prejudice and discrimination against Muslims was a “root cause” of radicalism. The organization issued a report that called for “fighting bad theology with good theology” through such means as forming a U.S. government advisory board of young Muslims and placing Muslim chaplains on every American college campus. In an effort to improve intrafaith relations, Shiʿite and Sunni leaders who were gathered in Costa Mesa, Calif., Detroit, and Washington, D.C., signed a Muslim Code of Honor that denounced takfir—the labeling of another Muslim as a heretic—and hateful speech about the practices and leaders of other Muslim groups.

      Outgoing British Prime Minister Tony Blair announced in June that the government had created a fund to help train Muslim imams in British universities in an effort to reduce the reliance of mosques in the U.K. on religious leaders from abroad who might not understand British society. Islamic studies were designated as “strategically important” to the British national interest. In May security officials from countries in the European Union announced a plan to profile mosques on the continent and to identify extremist Muslim leaders.

      The Washington Post reported in September that the U.S. military had created religious training programs for Iraqi detainees to attempt to persuade them to adopt a moderate, nonviolent form of Islam. The report quoted Marine Maj. Gen. Douglas M. Stone, commander of the U.S. detention facilities in Iraq, who said that the courses were led by moderate Muslim clerics and that detainees who promised to change after undergoing the program were given polygraph tests in an effort to gauge their sincerity.

       Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul (Gul, Abdullah ) won parliamentary election as Turkey's president in August after having campaigned with the Islamic-influenced Justice and Development Party. The wearing of a head scarf by his wife, Hayrunisa, had been criticized by secularists during the campaign, and she was not present when he took the oath of office. Gul affirmed Turkey's status as a secular democracy, and he pledged to “defend and strengthen” the country's values.

 In July more than 100 people in Islamabad, Pak., were killed during eight days of conflict that began with street battles between Islamic fighters and security forces and ended with a raid on the compound of the Red Mosque. The mosque's leaders and the radical students who supported them in the streets wanted to impose conservative Islamic law ( Shariʿah) in the capital city; their spokesman, a Taliban supporter named Abdul Rashid Ghazi (Ghazi, Abdul Rashid ), was among the dead. In August about 100 Muslim protesters disrupted a news conference in Hyderabad, India, and assaulted exiled Bangladeshi novelist Taslima Nasrin, who was promoting the Telugu translation of her book Shodh (1992; published in English as Getting Even, 2003). Nasrin's writings accused Islam and other religions of denying women's rights and provoking conflict. The Indian government condemned the attack on the author and said that it would extend her six-month visa, which had been scheduled to expire.

      Gillian Gibbons, a British teacher, was convicted in November in Khartoum, Sudan, of having insulted Islam by allowing her predominantly Muslim students to name a teddy bear Muhammad. The court sentenced her to 15 days in prison, to be followed by deportation, but she was pardoned after two prominent British Muslims appealed to Sudan's Pres. Omar al-Bashir.

Church-State Relations.
      In Myanmar, Buddhist monks—an especially well-regarded and well-organized constituency—were prominent among the groups that in September conducted mass protests against the military government. After violently breaking up the demonstrations, the government announced that more than 500 monks had been arrested and defrocked and that those found to be innocent had been reordained and returned to their monasteries. An article in the government-operated newspaper, The New Light of Myanmar, said that authorities “had to take action against those bogus monks trying to tarnish the image of the Sasana [Buddhist community].” At an interfaith gathering in Amritsar, India, in November, the Dalai Lama condemned the crackdown and urged the Myanmar government to “act according to Buddha's message of compassion.”

      As Zimbabwe's economic crisis worsened and the government cracked down on dissent in 2007, religious groups in and out of the country called for outside intervention. In a pastoral message issued for Easter, the Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops Conference reported that the conflict had reached a critical point at which strikes, boycotts, and demonstrations had been met with arrests, detentions, beatings, and torture. The Council of the Lutheran World Federation approved an appeal by the federation's general secretary, the Rev. Ishmael Noko of Zimbabwe, that asked the African Union to intervene. The World Alliance of Reformed Churches issued a similar appeal. In June, Roman Catholic Archbishop Pius Ncube of Bulawayo, Zimb., said that it would be justifiable for Britain to invade the country and remove Pres. Robert Mugabe. “We should do it ourselves but there's too much fear,” Ncube told The Times of London. In July the state-run Zimbabwe press published photos that were said to show Ncube engaging in a sexual relationship with a married woman; although he contested the allegations, the archbishop was forced to resign his position.

       Malaysia's Federal Court, the country's highest civil court, said in May that only the Islamic Shariʿah court had the power to rule on a woman's petition to have her religious designation changed from Muslim to Christian on her government identity card; the ruling was effectively a final refusal, since a request before the Shariʿah court to leave Islam would be equivalent to admitting apostasy, an offense punishable by fine or imprisonment. Two months later, in another case that involved religious law, Federal Court Chief Justice Abdul Hamid bin Haji Mohamad urged the legislature to clarify which courts had jurisdiction in such cases. Malaysian Shariʿah courts administered family, marriage, and personal cases for the Muslim majority, while civil courts handled such cases for religious minorities. Although the Malaysian constitution established a secular state, it recognized Islam as the official religion.

 Thousands of Buddhist monks demonstrated in Bangkok in April to demand that Thailand's new constitution recognize Buddhism as the national religion. In the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh in June, the government issued an order that banned proselytizing at sites associated with a different religion. The decision came in response to demands of several Hindu organizations that the town of Tirumala be recognized as a “Vatican for Hindus,” but the state's chief minister, Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, said that the order would cover places of worship of all religions.

      In June Pope Benedict issued an open letter to Roman Catholics in China in which he said that the church was not trying to change “the structure or administration of the State,” and he urged the Chinese-sponsored church to acknowledge the Vatican's authority in Catholic affairs. He revoked Pope John Paul II's 1988 directives that had allowed bishops and priests in China to operate without the mandate of the Vatican. Pope Benedict directed Chinese Catholic churches to decide whether to register with government authorities on the basis of local “conditions and circumstances.” In September the Rev. Paolo Xiao Zejiang was consecrated as coadjutor bishop of the diocese of Guizhou with the approval of both the Chinese government and the Vatican.

      In July, 10 prominent Russian scientists sent a letter to Pres. Vladimir Putin protesting what they called the “growing clericalization” of Russian society. They cited Christian teaching in the public schools, Russian Orthodox efforts to obtain government recognition of theology degrees, and the presence of Orthodox chaplains in the military. In response Putin said that it was necessary “to find a form [of recognition of religion] acceptable for the entire society.”

      The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France, ruled in June that mandatory classes on the Christian religion in Norway's elementary schools violated Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

North American Events.
 Bishops of the U.S. Episcopal Church rejected demands from primates of other churches in the Anglican Communion that they pledge not to consecrate more gay bishops and not to permit the blessing of same-sex unions. At a meeting in New Orleans in September, the bishops said that such decisions could be made only by the church's triennial convention, which was not scheduled to meet again until 2009. Although the prelates reaffirmed a resolution that had been passed at the 2006 convention calling on church officials to “exercise restraint” with regard to such matters, conservatives in the Anglican Communion were not satisfied. Four of the 110 U.S. dioceses—Pittsburgh, Pa.; Fort Worth, Texas; Quincy, Ill.; and San Joaquin, Calif.—were debating whether to separate from the U.S. church. Four Episcopal bishops left to join the Roman Catholic Church: John B. Lipscomb of the diocese of southwest Florida, Jeffrey N. Steenson of the diocese of the Rio Grande (New Mexico and part of Texas), and retired bishops Daniel Herzog of Albany, N.Y., and Clarence Pope of Fort Worth, Texas. Nigerian Anglican Archbishop Peter Akinola (Akinola, Peter ) appointed several U.S. and Nigerian clergy to serve as missionary bishops to conservative Episcopalians.

      At a meeting in Winnipeg, Man., in June, the governing body of the Anglican Church of Canada defeated a motion to permit dioceses to approve the blessing of same-sex relationships. Such blessings had been conducted in the diocese of New Westminster, B.C., with the approval of Bishop Michael Ingham. Synods of the dioceses of Ottawa, Montreal, and Niagara subsequently voted to approve such blessings, a move that led Archbishop Gregory Venables of the Province of the Southern Cone (South America) to invite conservative Canadian Anglicans to affiliate with his jurisdiction. The invitation was deplored by Canadian Anglican Primate Fred Hiltz and the Canadian church's four regional archbishops, who said that it contravened “ancient canons of the church going as far back as the 4th century.”

      In January leaders of more than 30 Baptist groups in the United States and Canada announced their support for a New Baptist Covenant led by former U.S. presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton. The organizers said that they reaffirmed Baptist values and would seek solutions to problems such as poverty and racism; they also hoped to counter unfavourable perceptions of Baptists. Carter, who in 2000 had publicly left the Southern Baptist Convention, said that the covenant was “not trying to replace or work against anyone.”

      In November Pope Benedict announced that in April 2008 he would make his first trip to the U.S. as pope. He planned to visit Washington, D.C., and New York City.

Ecumenical Developments.
      A joint Roman Catholic–Orthodox theological commission that met in Ravenna, Italy, in October issued a declaration affirming that the pope had held the highest rank in the Christian church before the Great Schism in 1054. The document also acknowledged that the two sides disagreed on what power came with that rank. Walter Cardinal Kasper, head of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, called the document “a modest first step” while cautioning that “the road is very long and difficult.”

      The World Alliance of Reformed Churches and the Reformed Ecumenical Council agreed in separate votes to create a new global entity with a constituency of 80 million. A draft proposal called for the new body to be named the World Reformed Communion.

Roman Catholic Doctrine.
      Pope Benedict stirred controversy in 2007 with several actions that affected Roman Catholic beliefs and practices. In January he approved the findings of the International Theological Commission, a Vatican advisory body, which said that there were serious grounds to hope that children who died without being baptized could go to heaven rather than to limbo. The commission said that its reassessment of traditional teachings was made because of the growing number of infants (including aborted fetuses and embryos produced for in vitro fertilization) who were dying unbaptized.

 In July the pope allowed priests to celebrate the traditional Latin (Tridentine) mass without the permission of a local bishop; he also approved a declaration from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith that said only the Roman Catholic Church “has the fullness of the means of salvation.” Although the declaration was meant to clarify a phrase in a document from the Second Vatican Council (1962–65) and did not change church teaching, its assertion that other Christian bodies “cannot be called ‘churches' in the proper sense” because they lack apostolic succession was lamented by several Protestant groups.

      In September the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith issued a document declaring that people in a vegetative state should receive food and water unless they were unable to assimilate the nourishment or unless such treatment became excessively burdensome for the patient. The statement was issued in response to questions that had been raised by theologians and medical providers.

People in the News.
 Polish Archbishop Stanislaw Wielgus resigned before his official installation mass in January after a historical commission reported that documents revealed his collaboration with security forces during Poland's communist rule. The Rev. Janusz Bielanski resigned as rector of Wawel Cathedral in Krakow for similar reasons a day later. Richard Roberts, president of Oral Roberts University, Tulsa, Okla., resigned in November after a lawsuit accused him of having misused university money to support a lavish lifestyle for himself and his family. Oklahoma businessman Mart Green subsequently announced that he and his family would donate a total of $70 million to the debt-ridden university, which was founded by and named after Roberts's father.

 In May, Francis Beckwith, a professor at Baptist-affiliated Baylor University, Waco, Texas, resigned from the presidency of (and membership in) the Evangelical Theological Society, an organization that required commitment to the principle of biblical inerrancy—i.e., that the Bible is without errors of any kind. He returned to the Roman Catholic Church, in which he had been baptized and confirmed. He said that his recent reading of the early Church Fathers had persuaded him that the roots of Christianity were “more Catholic than Protestant.” Rajan Zed, director of interfaith relations at a Hindu temple in Reno, Nev., made history in July when he became the first Hindu to offer a prayer before the U.S. Senate. In January Raleb Majadele of the Israeli Labour Party became the first Muslim to win appointment to the Israeli cabinet, serving as minister without portfolio. Charles M. Taylor (Taylor, Charles ), whose writings explored the tension between secularization and spirituality, received the Templeton Prize for Progress Toward Research or Discoveries About Spiritual Realities. A Roman Catholic and a native of Quebec, he was the first Canadian to receive the honour.

      Prominent religious figures who died in 2007 included the Rev. Jerry Falwell (Falwell, Jerry Laymon, Sr. ), an organizer of the Moral Majority political movement and founder of Liberty University, Lynchburg, Va.; the Rev. Rex Humbard (Humbard, Rex ), host of the Cathedral of Tomorrow TV broadcast; the Rev. D. James Kennedy (Kennedy, the Rev. D(ennis) James ), founder of the Evangelism Explosion ministry of Christian outreach and host of the Truths That Transform radio broadcast; Jean-Marie Cardinal Lustiger (Lustiger, Jean-Marie Cardinal ), a Jewish convert to Catholicism who was a champion of interfaith relations; Tammy Faye Messner (Messner, Tammy Faye ), former wife of disgraced televangelist Jim Bakker; the Rev. Bruce Metzger (Metzger, Bruce Manning ), editor of the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible; Abbé Pierre (Abbe Pierre ), founder of the international Emmaus Community for the poor; Maha Ghosananda (Ghosananda, Maha ), a Cambodian Buddhist patriarch who worked tirelessly for peace; the Rev. John Macquarrie (Macquarrie, the Rev. John ), an influential British philosopher and theologian; and Patriarch Teoctist , head of the Romanian Orthodox Church.

      Other significant losses were those of Ruth Bell Graham, author and wife of evangelist Billy Graham; the Rev. Claire Randall, the first woman to serve as general secretary of the (U.S.) National Council of Churches; feminist theologian Letty Russell; Rabbi Sherwin Wine, founder of the Society for Humanistic Judaism; and Senegalese Islamic leader Serigne Saliou Mbacké.

Darrell J. Turner

▪ 2007

      For figures on Adherents of All Religions by Continent, see Table I (Worldwide Adherents of All Religions, Mid-2006); for Adherents in the U.S., see Table II (Religious Adherents in the United States of America, 1900-2005).

Protests by Muslims outraged by cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad, indelicate remarks by Pope Benedict XVI, theological conflict in the Anglican Communion, a sex scandal involving an evangelical leader, and a 1,700-year-old text reporting a conversation between Jesus and Judas Iscariot drew the world's attention in 2006.

Sectarian and Political Issues.
 Early 2006 saw a firestorm of outrage in Muslim communities over a series of cartoons—first published in September 2005 in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten—that made light of the Prophet Muhammad. (See World Affairs: Denmark .) Although protests by Muslims were low-key at the time of publication, they erupted into violence around the world in February 2006, after Saudi Arabia recalled its ambassador to Denmark to protest the cartoons and several European newspapers reprinted them to support freedom of expression. Countries where people were killed in rioting over the cartoons included Afghanistan, Libya, and Nigeria, where 15 churches were burned. In October the City Court in Århus, Den., rejected a lawsuit brought against Jyllands-Posten by seven Muslim groups, saying there was no evidence that the cartoons had been intended to “present opinions that can belittle Muslims.”

      In a September 12 address at the University of Regensburg, Ger., Pope Benedict XVI quoted from a book recounting a conversation between 14th-century Byzantine Christian Emperor Manuel II Palaeologus and a Persian scholar on the teachings of Christianity and Islam. “The emperor comes to speak about the issue of jihad, holy war,” the pope said, continuing in the emperor's words, “ ‘Show me just what Muhammad brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.' ” That portion of the address, in which the pope condemned any religious motivation for violence, was denounced by Muslim leaders in several countries. He subsequently made two apologies for the controversy, emphasizing that he did not agree with the emperor's comments, and met with Muslim diplomats at his summer residence in Castel Gandolfo, Italy, to try to defuse the controversy. During a four-day visit to Turkey in November–December, the pope called for “authentic dialogue between Christians and Muslims”; shared an auditorium stage with Ali Bardakoglu, the head of the predominantly Muslim country's Directorate of Religious Affairs and one of his chief critics; and prayed alongside the grand mufti of Istanbul in the 17th-century Blue Mosque.

 In Washington in February, King Abdullah of Jordan became the first Muslim head of state to address the largely evangelical Christian audience at a national prayer breakfast. He discussed the similarities between Islam, Judaism, and Christianity and described extremism as “a political movement under religious cover.” An interfaith gathering in Moscow in July brought together nearly 300 representatives of religious communities from 49 countries, who condemned “terrorism and extremism in any form, as well as attempts to justify them by religion.” The gathering was addressed by Russian Pres. Vladimir Putin, who warned that “attempts are being made to split the world on the basis of religion or ethnicity, to drive a wedge primarily between the Christian and Islamic communities.” An international group called the Alliance of Civilizations, made up of 20 prominent figures in religion and government, issued a report in November urging leaders and shapers of public opinion to “avoid violent or provocative language about other people's beliefs or sacred symbols.” The report, which was presented to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan at a ceremony in Istanbul, also said that “a symbiotic relationship may be emerging between religion and politics in our time, each influencing the other.”

Gender Issues.
 The election in June of Nevada Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori (Jefferts Schori, Katharine ) (see Biographies) as presiding bishop of the U.S. Episcopal Church at the General Convention of the 2.2-million-member church in Columbus, Ohio, intensified the divisions in the 81-million-member Anglican Communion. The controversy had erupted in 2003 when Jefferts Schori and other bishops and laypeople voted to ratify the election of Bishop V. Gene Robinson of New Hampshire, making him the first openly gay Anglican prelate. The 2006 convention first rejected a proposal for a temporary ban on consecrating more gay bishops and then called on dioceses to “exercise restraint” on the matter. The convention's actions led seven dioceses to ask to be placed under the authority of a primate other than Jefferts Schori and drew a rebuke from leaders of the 17-million-member Anglican Church in Nigeria, who called the U.S. church “a cancerous lump” that “should be excised” from the global communion. Another denomination that had been divided on the gay-ordination issue, the 2.3-million-member Presbyterian Church (U.S.), voted in June in Birmingham, Ala., to permit local congregations and regional presbyteries to make exceptions to the church's ban on ordaining “self-avowed practicing” homosexuals. In December the Conservative Jewish movement's Committee on Jewish Law and Standards issued a decision permitting each of the movement's five seminaries to decide whether to ordain gay rabbis and giving individual rabbis the option of sanctioning same-sex unions.

      The Rev. Ted Haggard, president of the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) and senior pastor of the 14,000-member New Life Church in Colorado Springs, Colo., resigned the NAE position and was dismissed from the church post in November after a male prostitute said Haggard had engaged in sex with him over a three-year period. Haggard, who had been a leading opponent of same-sex marriage, told his congregation, “I am a deceiver and a liar. There's a part of my life that is so repulsive and dark that I have been warring against it for all of my adult life.” Another prominent Colorado evangelical pastor, the Rev. Paul Barnes, resigned from the pastorate of the 2,100-member Grace Chapel in suburban Denver in December after admitting to having had homosexual relations.

Doctrine and Interfaith Issues.
      In an effort toward interfaith understanding, leaders of Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim, and Sikh groups in Great Britain signed an agreement with the Department for Education and Skills under which pupils in religious schools would be taught the principles of the other major religions. The statement said a broad religious-education curriculum would “enable pupils to develop respect for and sensitivity to others and enable pupils to combat prejudice.” In October, British Prime Minister Tony Blair called the full-face veil worn by some Muslim women a “mark of separation” that makes some people feel uncomfortable. He backed the suspension of a grade-school teaching assistant who had refused to stop wearing the veil although some pupils said it made it hard for them to understand what she was saying. The Episcopal General Convention directed the church's Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music to develop materials to address “anti-Jewish prejudice expressed in and stirred by portions of Christian Scriptures and liturgical texts.” The Presbyterian Church (U.S.) General Assembly apologized for the “pain” that it said had been caused by a resolution it adopted in 2004 to study whether to divest from companies doing business in Israel to protest the Jewish state's treatment of Palestinians. A new resolution also called for an end to Israel's involvement in Gaza and the West Bank and emphasized positive steps the church could take to support peace in the Middle East. In a similar move, the General Council of the United Church of Canada, meeting in August in Thunder Bay, Ont., dropped a proposal to sell stock in companies that contributed to the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories and substituted “a pro-investment strategy with companies that engage in ethically responsible business” in Israel and Palestinian areas.

      The Vatican announced in March that Pope Benedict XVI had dropped the papal title “patriarch of the West” because it was theologically imprecise and historically obsolete. The bishops of the ecumenical Orthodox patriarchate of Constantinople said in June, however, that the pope's taking that action without relinquishing the titles “vicar of Jesus Christ” and “supreme pontiff of the universal church” implied “a universal jurisdiction of the bishop of Rome over the entire church, which is something the Orthodox have never accepted.” The World Council of Churches and the Vatican launched a three-year project in May to develop guidelines on religious conversion to promote commitment to one faith without denigrating another. In November, during his visit to Turkey, Pope Benedict XVI met with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, considered “primus inter pares” among leaders of the world's 250 million Orthodox Christians, and called for mutual steps to work toward “full unity” of Catholics and Orthodox.

      Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (also known as the Russian Church Abroad) voted in San Francisco in May to reunite with the Russian Orthodox Church. The action ended a split that began in 1920, when Russian refugees organized the Church Abroad to ensure that it would be free from communist control. Latin Patriarch Michael Sabbah, the Vatican's envoy in the Holy Land, joined with bishops of the Episcopal, Evangelical Lutheran, and Syrian Orthodox churches in Jerusalem in August in a joint declaration on Christian Zionism, accusing the movement of promoting “racial exclusivity and perpetual war.” In a response, leaders of three Christian Zionist groups contended that “the present Palestinian government is totally dedicated to the destruction of Israel” but assured that they had no “thirst for Armageddon.”

Church and State.
      Iranian Pres. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad used religion as an element of foreign policy in May in an 18-page letter to U.S. Pres. George W. Bush. The Iranian leader asked how the American president's faith in Jesus Christ could be squared with the U.S. invasion of Iraq and the country's support of Israel. American officials denounced the letter as a stalling tactic in the controversy over Iran's nuclear program and not worthy of a formal response. (See World Affairs: Iran: Special Report (Iran's Power Dilemma ).) In a book titled The Mighty & the Almighty: Reflections on America, God, and World Affairs, former U.S. secretary of state Madeleine Albright stressed the importance of taking religious beliefs into account in crafting foreign policy, and in an article in the September–October issue of Foreign Affairs magazine titled “God's Country?” Walter Russell Mead of the Council on Foreign Relations wrote that religion “shapes the nation's character, helps form Americans' ideas about the world, and influences the ways Americans respond to events beyond their borders.”

      In May the Vatican excommunicated two Chinese bishops who had been ordained by the government-controlled Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association without the approval of the Holy See. The Vatican also excommunicated the two bishops who had performed the ordinations and criticized the Chinese government for allegedly forcing clergy to participate in “illegitimate” ordinations that “go against their conscience.” In June a federal judge in Des Moines, Iowa, ruled that a joint effort of Charles Colson's Prison Fellowship Ministries and the state of Iowa violated the U.S. Constitution's ban on a government establishment of religion. Judge Robert Pratt said the InnerChange Freedom Initiative program was state-funded, pervasively sectarian, and designed to promote conversion to Christianity.

Religion and Society.
      Ideas on how to preserve a healthy global environment captured the attention of evangelical Christians during 2006. In February a coalition called the Evangelical Climate Initiative (ECI) released a statement calling on the U.S. government to limit carbon dioxide emissions. The 86 signatories declared that “any damage that we do to God's world is an offense against God himself.” In response, a network of evangelical theologians and scientists called the Interfaith Stewardship Alliance (ISA) contended in a July statement that arguments in the ECI statement were “false, probably false, or exaggerated.” The 132 people who signed the ISA statement said a better course of action would be to promote economic development in poor countries to enable them to adapt to whatever climate the future holds. In a book titled The Creation: An Appeal to Save Life on Earth, retired Harvard biologist E.O. Wilson used a series of letters to a fictional Southern Baptist pastor to make the case that people of faith and secular humanists can and should join together in efforts to preserve natural habitats.

      A study released in October found that in 6 of 10 countries surveyed, at least 40% of Pentecostal Christians said that they never pray or speak in tongues. The research, which was funded by the John Templeton Foundation, also found that Pentecostals and charismatics represent 23% of U.S. residents and 60% of Guatemalans. John Green, senior fellow at the Washington-based Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, commented, “These groups are not only growing, but they've reached a point where they can have an enormous impact on the social and political life of the countries that we've studied.”

Historical Religion.
      A 1,700-year-old codex containing a Gospel of Judas that portrays Jesus' betrayer as a friend who acted out of loyalty was made public in April by the National Geographic Society in Washington, D.C. The English version of the text, which was discovered in an Egyptian cavern in the 1970s, quoted Jesus as telling Judas, “You will exceed all of them. For you will sacrifice the man that clothes me.” Bart Ehrman, a religion professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, said the statement indicated that Judas would help to liberate the divine being by helping Jesus get rid of his flesh by turning him over to his executioners. Most mainstream Christian scholars dismissed the significance of the document, however.

   Zambian Catholic Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo was excommunicated in September after consecrating four married men as bishops in a ceremony in Washington, D.C. He had been threatened with ouster in 2001 after he married a Korean woman in a group wedding conducted by the Rev. Sun Myung Moon in New York. Milingo avoided excommunication at the time by announcing three months later that he was ending his marriage. Three men were ordained rabbis in Dresden in September in the first such ceremony in Germany since 1942. The ordinations of Daniel Alter of Germany, Tomas Kucera of the Czech Republic, and Malcolm Matitiani of South Africa were hailed by German Pres. Horst Köhler as “a very special event indeed” in the country where the Holocaust originated. Ingrid Mattson, who was raised a Roman Catholic and converted to Islam, was elected president of the Islamic Society of North America in August and thereby became the first woman to head the 20,000-member organization. In November, Keith Ellison of Minneapolis became the first Muslim to be elected to the U.S. Congress. His electoral victory in the state's 5th district was widely reported in Arab countries and also made him the first African American to be elected to Congress from Minnesota. Arnold Eisen, chair of the department of religious studies at Stanford University, was elected chancellor of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America in April. His selection put him in line to become the second layman to head the Conservative Jewish institution in New York upon assuming the position in July 2007.

      John D. Barrow (Barrow, John D. ) (see Biographies), a cosmologist whose writings explored the nature of the universe and the limits of human understanding, was the 2006 recipient of the Templeton Prize for Progress Toward Research or Discoveries About Spiritual Realities. The 53-year-old University of Cambridge professor was one of the youngest winners of the $1.4 million prize. Prominent religious figures who died in 2006 included the Rev. William Sloane Coffin (Coffin, the Rev. William Sloane, Jr. ), former Yale University chaplain and peace activist; Archbishop Paul Casimir Marcinkus (Marcinkus, Paul Casimir ), Roman Catholic official and former head of the Vatican Bank; Rabbi Arthur Hertzberg (Hertzberg, Arthur ), a scholar of Jewish history and civil rights activist; Yitzhak Kaduri (Kaduri, Yitzhak ), an Israeli Kabbalist rabbi; Rabbi Moses Teitelbaum (Teitelbaum, Moses ), leader of the Satmar Hasidic movement of Judaism; Jaroslav Pelikan (Pelikan, Jaroslav Jan, Jr. ), author of leading works on Christian history, including the five-volume series The Christian Tradition; and Henry M. Morris (Morris, Henry Madison, Jr. ), an American creationist scientist and founder of the Institute for Creation Research and the Christian Heritage College. (See Obituaries.) Other deaths during the year included those of Johannes Cardinal Willebrands, the Dutch prelate who had headed both the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and the Pontifical Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews; Anthony Li Duan, Roman Catholic archbishop of Xian, China; and Zaki Badawi, a British Muslim cleric.

Darrell J. Turner

▪ 2006

Top names in religious news in 2005 were those of popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI and the Rev. Billy Graham. Deadly attacks on worshippers in mosques occurred in several countries, and relations between church and state and same-sex unions were also key areas of concern.

Religious Leadership.
      Pope John Paul II , who died on April 2 at the age of 84 (see Obituaries), was the first non-Italian to be elected pope in 455 years when he was chosen in 1978. Other historic milestones of his papacy included his becoming the first pope since the 1st century to visit a Jewish house of worship when he visited the Rome synagogue in 1986, becoming the first to visit an Islamic house of worship when he visited a mosque in Syria in 2001, and in the same year becoming the first pope to visit Greece since the Great Schism between the churches of the East and the West in 1054.

      On April 19 Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger was chosen to succeed John Paul II, at the age of 78 becoming the 265th Roman Catholic pontiff. The first Germanic pope since the 11th century, he took the name Benedict XVI (Benedict XVI, Pope ) (see Biographies) to honour both the 6th-century saint who is considered the father of Western monasticism and Pope Benedict XV, who tried to promote the cause of peace during World War I. A month after taking office, the new pope named Archbishop William J. Levada of San Francisco to become prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the office that Benedict had headed for 24 years. At a meeting with leaders of the World Council of Churches at the Vatican in June, Benedict assured them that the Roman Catholic Church's commitment to the search for Christian unity was “irreversible.” In a visit to Germany in August, the pope went to a synagogue in Cologne and lamented what he called “the rise of new signs of anti-Semitism and various forms of a general hostility toward foreigners.” The following day he met with 10 representatives of the country's Muslim community and urged them to work to combat terrorism and steer young people away from “the darkness of a new barbarism.” The main purpose of the pope's visit to Cologne was to preside over World Youth Day, a weeklong festival that drew an estimated 700,000 young Catholics from nearly 200 countries. Later in August the Vatican and Israel resolved a dispute that had arisen in July when Israeli officials complained that Benedict had failed to include Israel in a list of countries that had recently been targeted by terrorist attacks. The Vatican responded by saying that the pope could not condemn every Palestinian attack because Israel often retaliated with actions that would also have to be condemned. After a meeting between Vatican and Israeli diplomats, both sides said the dispute had been resolved, and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon called Benedict “a true friend of Israel.”

      Billy Graham, 86, whose preaching career had extended through six papacies, drew 230,000 people in June to a three-day evangelistic rally at New York City's Flushing Meadows–Corona Park. During the event, 8,400 attendees indicated that they wanted to make or renew a commitment to faith in Jesus Christ. Graham, a Southern Baptist who had preached to more than 210 million people in 185 countries, announced later that he would conduct no more evangelistic crusades because of his poor health.

Sectarian and Political Violence.
 Deadly attacks that appeared to be directed against Shiʿite Muslims by members of extremist Islamic movements killed worshippers at mosques in Iraq, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. Abdul Fayaz, leader of the Council of Clerics in Kandahar, Afg., and a supporter of Afghan Pres. Hamid Karzai, was gunned down in May after he convened a gathering of hundreds of Muslim leaders to strip fugitive Taliban leader Mohammed Omar formally of the religious title “leader of the faithful,” which he had been granted when he assumed political power in the early 1990s. Deadly bombings in July in the Egyptian resort of Sharm al-Shaykh were denounced by Muhammad Sayyed Tantawi, grand imam of al-Azhar University in Cairo, one of the world's leading Sunni institutions. Preaching at Sharm al-Shaykh's Peace Mosque, he declared that if people who carried out such attacks on innocents claimed they were obedient to Islamic teachings, they were “liars and charlatans.”

      Terrorist attacks on three underground trains and a bus in London on July 7 were condemned by two gatherings of British Muslim leaders. Sayed Mohammed Musawi, the head of the London-based World Islamic League, however, later called for “a clear distinction between the suicide bombing of those who are trying to defend themselves from occupiers, which is something different from those who kill civilians, which is a big crime.” American Muslims also disagreed about the proper response to terrorist attacks. The Fiqh Council of North America, an advisory committee on Islamic law, issued an edict in August declaring that nothing in Islam justified terrorism targeting civilians. Muzammil H. Siddiqi, chairman of the council, said the edict applied even when a Muslim country had been taken over by a foreign power. Several American Muslim academics said the edict was too broad to be meaningful, however, and that it should have named specific terrorist groups. Some also noted that Islam had no ordained clergy or central authority and that Islamic leaders frequently issued conflicting edicts.

Doctrine and Interfaith Issues.
      In another intra-Muslim disagreement, Amina Wadud, a professor of Islamic studies at Virginia Commonwealth University, drew the ire of Mideast Muslims when she led a mixed-gender prayer service at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City, an Episcopal house of worship, even after three mosques and an art gallery refused to host the event. After the service Wadud said that men had distorted the teachings of the Qur'an that put men and women on equal footing. Her action was denounced by Grand Mufti ʿAbd al-Aziz al-Sheikh in Saudi Arabia and by Soad Saleh, the head of the Islamic department of the women's college at al-Azhar University, who said that a woman's leadership of a mixed-gender prayer service “intentionally violates the basics of Islam.”

      Jordan's King Abdullah II hosted a conference of 180 scholars from 45 countries in Amman in July that issued a declaration condemning the practice of takfir, or declaring other Muslims to be apostates. In a speech at Catholic University in Washington, D.C., in September, he called on the “quiet majority” of Muslims to “take back our religion from the vocal, violent, and ignorant extremists.” Another notable interfaith event, the First World Congress of Imams and Rabbis for Peace, met for four days in Brussels in January. Notable addresses at the gathering included a talk by Sheikh Talah Sedir, the Palestinian Authority's representative for interreligious affairs, who declared that “anybody who is pleased when a woman or child is killed in a refugee camp or bus does not belong to any religion.”

      In the first major Protestant-Catholic accord on devotion to the Virgin Mary, the Anglican–Roman Catholic International Commission released a statement in May declaring that differences on the subject need no longer be seen as “communion-dividing.” The statement, titled “Mary: Grace and Hope in Christ,” affirmed that the Catholic doctrines of Mary's Immaculate Conception and Assumption were consonant with scripture. It added, however, that the question remained for Anglicans “as to whether these doctrines concerning Mary are revealed by God in a way which must be held by believers as a matter of faith.” While Protestants and Catholics made progress in this area, their 16th-century split was commemorated in April at the opening of the International Museum of the Reformation in Geneva, the Swiss city that was the birthplace of Calvinism and that now hosted the headquarters of the World Council of Churches, the Lutheran World Federation, and the World Alliance of Reformed Churches. Leaders of two of the largest mainline Protestant denominations in the United States, the 8.3-million-member United Methodist Church (UMC) and the 4.9-million-member Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, approved an interim agreement under which members of the two churches might share in the sacrament of Holy Communion. The accord marked the first time the UMC had entered such an arrangement with a group outside the Methodist tradition.

Homosexuality and Gender Issues.
      In July the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America announced that it was planning to leave the National Council of Churches because of its disagreement with positions some other member denominations had taken supporting same-sex unions and the ordination of homosexuals to the ministry. At a gathering in Dromantine, N.Ire., in February, 35 Anglican primates asked the U.S. Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada to forgo attending meetings of the Anglican Consultative Council because of tensions in the worldwide Anglican Communion caused by the election and consecration of a homosexual bishop in the American church and blessings of same-sex unions in the American and Canadian church. The primates also called for a moratorium on such actions.

      The 1.3-million-member United Church of Christ became the largest Christian church to have endorsed same-sex marriage when it adopted a resolution to that effect at its General Synod in Atlanta in July. Delegates to the Churchwide Assembly of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, meeting in Orlando, Fla., in August, rejected a proposal that would have allowed gay people in committed relationships to serve as clergy in certain situations. The gathering adopted another resolution calling for the church to stay united despite differences over the issue of homosexuality. In September leaders of the Pacific Southwest Region of the American Baptist Churches USA said that they planned to leave the denomination as a group because of what they saw as its failure to discipline congregations that defied the church's position that gay relationships are incompatible with Christianity. National leaders of the denomination noted, however, that each of the 5,800 American Baptist congregations was autonomous.

      The United Methodist Judicial Council, the denomination's highest court, in October overturned the ruling of an appeals committee and upheld the December 2004 conviction of the Rev. Irene Elizabeth Stroud of Philadelphia for having violated the denomination's ban on “self-avowed practicing homosexuals” in the ordained ministry. The General Synod of the Reformed Church in America, meeting in Schenectady, N.Y., in June, found that the Rev. Norman J. Kansfield had violated church law by officiating at the marriage of his daughter, Ann, to her partner, Jennifer Aull, a year earlier. Delegates voted to suspend him from the ministry and to remove his standing as a professor of theology until he changed his views. In January trustees of New Brunswick (N.J.) Theological Seminary in New Jersey had decided not to renew his contract as president because of his action.

      In September the Vatican ordered an examination of American Catholic seminaries to look for what it called “evidence of homosexuality,” and two months later its Congregation for Catholic Education released an instruction stating that men with “deep-seated homosexual tendencies” should not be ordained to the priesthood. Both actions reflected studies undertaken when the church's sexual-abuse scandal exploded into public view in 2002. The Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas, which represented the nine major ethnic Eastern Orthodox churches in North America, declared in August that “sexual abuse or misconduct will find no safe haven” in their churches. The bishops added that they would require new priests to undergo criminal background checks.

       Women gained new positions in the Seventh-day Adventist Church and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) during 2005. In July, Ella Simmons, a top administrator at the Adventists' La Sierra University in Riverside, Calif., became the first woman chosen as one of the nine vice presidents of the worldwide church. Adventist spokesman John Banks said that the election was “an incredible development,” because the church “traditionally has not dealt with women's leadership issues in an adequate way.” The Rev. Sharon Watkins, a pastor in Bartlesville, Okla., was elected general minister and president of the Disciples at the 750,000-member denomination's General Assembly in Portland, Ore., in July, becoming the first woman to attain the top elected position in a major mainline Protestant denomination.

Church and State.
      Two rulings by the U.S. Supreme Court on public displays of the Ten Commandments on government property stirred bewilderment when they were issued June 27. In one of the 5–4 rulings, McCreary County v. ACLU, the court said that displays on the wall of two rural Kentucky courthouses had had the unconstitutional purpose of favouring monotheistic religions. In the other case, Van Orden v. Perry, the court said that a Texas monument had secular historical and educational meaning because it was displayed as part of a group of similar markers. In the Kentucky case, the majority opinion written by Justice David Souter declared, “Trade-offs are inevitable, and an elegant interpretive rule to draw the line in all the multifarious situations is not [to] be had.”

      In a unanimous ruling issued in May, the high court upheld a federal law that barred government policies that substantially burdened the free exercise of religion by prison inmates and by a person or institution in land-use cases. The decision, written by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, said the law “alleviates exceptional government-created burdens on private religious exercise.” In September U.S. District Judge Lawrence Karlton ruled in Sacramento that reciting the Pledge of Allegiance in public schools was unconstitutional because of its reference to one nation under God. The case had been brought by atheist Michael Newdow, who had had a similar case dismissed by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2004 on the ground that he lacked standing. Newdow brought the new case on behalf of three parents and their children, and Karlton said he was bound by a ruling issued by an appeals court in Newdow's previous case.

      A federal judge ruled in December that a school board in Dover township, Pa., had acted improperly in requiring high-school biology teachers to read a statement asserting that intelligent design offers an alternative theory to evolution regarding the origin of life. In a 139-page opinion, U.S. District Judge John Jones declared that intelligent design “is a religious view, a mere re-labeling of creationism, and not a scientific theory.”

      In March the Israeli Supreme Court ruled in a 7–4 decision that certain types of non-Orthodox conversions to Judaism had to be recognized by the state. The ruling was hailed by leaders of the Reform and Conservative movements and weakened the monopoly that the Orthodox chief rabbinate had exercised over religious affairs.

      A task force report in June concluded that evangelical Christianity had been given a preferred status at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo. The report contained guidelines on how the air force could allow service members to express their faith while on duty without promoting intolerance. A Pentagon report issued in June confirmed that the Qurʾan had been abused in several incidents at the prison in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, used to house terrorism suspects. Earlier, in response to unconfirmed reports of abuse of the Muslim holy book, the Department of State had told U.S. embassies to spread the word that the U.S. respects all religious faiths. In September Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty announced that he would propose legislation to outlaw religious tribunals that had been used by Roman Catholics and Jews to settle family and civil disputes in the Canadian province. The voluntary practice had been used since adoption of an arbitration act in 1991 but had received little attention until some Muslims demanded the same rights.

 Ireneos I was deposed in May as patriarch of the Greek Orthodox Church in the Holy Land by 12 of its 18 bishops because of his having approved a long-term lease of church property in Jerusalem to Jewish investors. He was replaced in August by Metropolitan Theofilos, who was elected by a unanimous vote of the church's Holy Synod after promising to return all the properties that were leased to Israelis. The Rev. Roger Haight, a Jesuit priest, in February was forbidden to teach as a Catholic theologian because of what the Vatican called “serious doctrinal errors” in his work. He had submitted his resignation from the faculty of Weston Jesuit School of Theology in Cambridge, Mass., in October 2004 and was lecturing at the nondenominational Union Theological Seminary in New York City when the order was announced. The Rev. Thomas J. Reese resigned in May as editor of the Jesuit magazine America after his publishing of articles critical of church positions had come under fire at the Vatican. Russia's chief rabbi, Beryl Lazar, was denounced by the World Union for Progressive Judaism in April after he declared in a magazine article that Reform Judaism violated the Torah and “can't be labeled as a religion.”

      Charles Townes, a Nobel laureate in physics and a coinventor of the laser, was the 2005 recipient of the Templeton Prize for Progress Toward Research or Discoveries About Spiritual Realities. The 89-year-old scientist was raised in a liberal Baptist household in South Carolina. His 1966 article “The Convergence of Science and Religion” was one of the first by a major scientist to examine commonality between the two disciplines.

      A number of important religious figures died in 2005. (See Obituaries.) Lucia dos Santos (Santos, Lucia de Jesus dos ), the last surviving of the three children who saw a vision of the Virgin Mary in 1917 at Fátima, Port., and American Sister Dorothy Stang (Stang, Sister Dorothy ), an activist for the peasant farmers of the Brazilian rainforest, both died in February. Archbishop Iakovos , primate of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of North and South America from 1959 to 1996, died in April, and Kenneth N. Taylor (Taylor, Kenneth ), creator of the Living Bible paraphrase of the King James Version, passed away in June. Retired Philippines religious and social leader Jaime Cardinal Sin (Sin, Jaime Cardinal ) also died in June. Brother Roger Schutz, who founded the ecumenical Christian Taizé Community in France shortly after World War II, was killed in August by a mentally disturbed woman during a worship service in Burgundy. Simon Wiesenthal, a Holocaust survivor who pursued Nazi war criminals after World War II, died in September. Other notable religious figures who died during 2005 included—both in September—Robert W. Funk, the New Testament scholar who organized the Jesus Seminar that assessed which sayings were most likely to have come from the historical Jesus, and the Rev. Oswald C.J. Hoffmann, host of The Lutheran Hour radio program from 1955 to 1988. The Rev. Adrian Rogers, a past president of the Southern Baptist Convention and founder of the Love Worth Finding broadcast ministry, died in November.

Darrell J. Turner

▪ 2005

      For figures on Adherents of All Religions by Continent, see Table (Worldwide Adherents of All Religions, Mid-2004); for Adherents in the United States, see Table (Religious Adherents in the United States of America, 1900-2005).

War and Sectarian Violence.
      Suicide bombers killed more than 140 people in attacks on Shiʿite Muslim shrines in the Iraqi cities of Karbalaʾ and Basra in March on Ashura, a holy day marking the anniversary of a 7th-century battle in which the grandson of the prophet Muhammad was killed. Iraqi religious buildings in Baghdad and Mosul were targeted in August by car bombs that killed more than 12 people. In Nigeria attackers from the predominantly Christian Tarok tribe killed more than 500 people in raids on the mostly Muslim town of Yelwa in May. The raids were conducted in retaliation for the killing of almost 100 Christians in Yelwa in February, including 48 who were slain in a church. Fighting between Muslim groups and security forces in Thailand in April claimed more than 100 lives, including 32 who were killed in an attack by government troops on a mosque in Pattani. In October more than 70 Muslim men suffocated or were crushed to death as they were being taken to military barracks in army trucks after a riot in Tak Bai, Thai. Attacks by Kosovo's predominantly Muslim ethnic Albanians on Serbian Orthodox sites in March included the burning of 41 churches and 366 houses.

      Such outbreaks of violence were denounced and repudiated by influential Muslim individuals and organizations. In January, Saudi Arabia's most prominent cleric, Sheikh Abdul Aziz al-Sheik, told about two million pilgrims at the Namira Mosque that terrorists who claimed to be holy warriors were an affront to the faith. Iraq's top Shiʿite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Husseini al-Sistani (see Biographies (Sistani, Ali al- )), described the attacks on Iraqi churches as “hideous crimes.” In his inaugural address in June, Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad Allawi (see Biographies (Allawi, Ayad )), a Shiʿite, denounced Islamic militants as “the grandsons of the heretics of Islam” and said they had been “rejected by history.” A gathering of about 300 Islamic scholars from 49 countries in Jakarta, Indon., in February issued a declaration condemning “acts of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations” and rejected the identification of terrorism with any religion. The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations invited Muslims from around the world to sign an online petition stating that “no injustice done to Muslims can ever justify the massacre of innocent people, and no act of terror will ever serve the cause of Islam.”

      A report prepared by an international Anglican commission, released in October, urged the U.S. Episcopal Church to apologize for having “caused deep offense” to other Anglicans with its approval in 2003 of an openly gay bishop, the Rev. V. Gene Robinson of New Hampshire. The report also said blessings of same-sex unions are not a “legitimate application” of Christian faith and urged the U.S. and Canadian churches to discontinue them. At its General Synod in St. Catharines, Ont., in June, the Canadian church affirmed the “integrity and sanctity” of same-sex relationships. Otis Charles, the retired Episcopal bishop of Utah, became the world's first bishop to wed a same-sex partner in church when he married Felipe Sanchez Paris in San Francisco in April. The Rev. Jeffrey John, an openly gay priest who had declined an appointment as a bishop in the Church of England in 2003, was installed as dean of St. Albans Cathedral in July. In April it was reported that Anglican bishops in Africa had decided not to accept money from congregations in the West that allowed the ordination of gay bishops; Anglicans in Asia, Africa, and Latin America outnumbered those in Europe and North America about two to one but depended on large donations from congregations in the West. The 10-million-member United Methodist Church declared at its quadrennial General Conference in Pittsburgh, Pa., in May that it “does not condone the practice of homosexuality” and opposes the ordination of anyone who is a “self-avowed practicing homosexual.” At its annual meeting in June in Indianapolis, Ind., the 16-million-member Southern Baptist Convention commended Pres. George W. Bush for his support of a proposed amendment to the U.S. Constitution to restrict marriage to heterosexual couples. In contrast, leaders of 26 Christian and Jewish organizations sent an open letter to Congress in June saying that the amendment proposal showed disregard for civil rights and ignored differences between religious traditions.

Ecumenism and Interfaith Relations.
      Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, spiritual leader of the world's Eastern Orthodox Christians, accepted an apology that had been offered by Pope John Paul II in 2001 for the sacking of Constantinople in April 1204 during the Fourth Crusade. While strengthening relations with the Roman Catholic Church, Bartholomew suspended relations in May with Archbishop Christodoulos, head of Greece's Orthodox Church, in a dispute over control of Greek dioceses. The patriarch said the action had won the unanimous approval of a meeting of 41 bishops from around the world. The Southern Baptist Convention voted to sever ties with the Baptist World Alliance, which it had helped to create in 1905, to protest what it considers to be a liberal theological direction in the group of 211 denominations with a combined membership of 46 million.

      In an 80-page booklet titled The Love of Christ Towards Migrants, the Vatican said marriage between Catholics and all non-Christians should be discouraged. Specifically citing “profound cultural and religious differences” between Christians and Muslims, it said a woman is “the least protected member of the Muslim family.” The 2.5-million-member Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) stirred the ire of several Jewish organizations when it voted at its General Synod in Richmond, Va., in June to continue financing congregations that evangelized Jews and to study whether it should divest from companies doing business in Israel to protest the Jewish state's treatment of Palestinians. The Jewish advocacy organization B'nai B'rith International said the “hostile and aggressive” positions had shattered 50 years of interfaith dialogue. The World Council of Churches and the Lutheran World Federation criticized the security wall being built by Israel to insulate itself from the West Bank as a violation of human rights, and several Christian organizations voiced concern over the Israeli government's failure to renew visas or residence permits for religious workers while taxing religious charities that had previously been exempted. Bishop Wilton Gregory, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, wrote to President Bush that the Israeli policies constituted “the most difficult situation in living memory for the Church in the Holy Land.” In October, Interior Minister Avraham Poraz condemned incidents in which Jewish seminary students spat at Christian clergy, including Armenian Archbishop Nourhan Manougian, during processions through the Old City of Jerusalem.At a gathering in Berlin in April, representatives of 55 countries unanimously adopted a declaration pledging to fight “new forms” of anti-Semitism and affirming that Middle East developments never justify attacks on Jews. India's Pres. Abdul Kalam announced in June that the government would adopt measures to protect religious minorities from violence and said recent elections showed that citizens reject forces of intolerance. Following the elections, leaders of the winning Congress Party chose former finance minister Manmohan Singh (see Biographies (Singh, Manmohan )) to serve as prime minister, making him the first member of a religious minority (Sikh) to hold that position.

Church and State.
      Despite protest marches in several major cities around the world, the French Senate voted in March to enact a law banning religious symbols, notably Muslim head scarves, from the country's public schools. The Strasbourg, France-based European Court of Human Rights upheld a similar policy by the Turkish government in June, saying head-scarf bans in state universities were justified if they were designed to prevent “certain fundamentalist religious movements” from pressuring students. In October the Federal Administrative Court in Leipzig ruled that Germany's ban on religiously motivated clothing in schools would have to extend to nuns' habits.

      The U.S. Department of State (DOS) cited Saudi Arabia, Vietnam, and Eritrea for the first time in its annual list of countries whose restrictions on religious freedom caused concern. It asserted that in Saudi Arabia, “basic religious freedoms are denied to all but those who adhere to the state-sanctioned version of Sunni Islam.” In August the United States revoked a visa that had been granted to Tariq Ramadan, a prominent Swiss Muslim theologian of Egyptian descent, who had been appointed to a professorship on religion, conflict, and peacebuilding at the University of Notre Dame, South Bend, Ind. Authorities gave no explanation for the action against Ramadan, who had delivered a lecture on European Muslims in a visit to the DOS in 2003. In June, Pope John Paul II expressed disappointment that the preamble to the newly approved constitution of the European Union did not include a specific reference to Christianity despite lobbying by 7 of the union's 25 member countries. Also in June, the Moscow City Court upheld a lower court ban on activities by Jehovah's Witnesses in the Russian capital, saying its activities and beliefs promoted “alienation from traditional religions.”

      The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in June that the phrase “under God” may remain in the Pledge of Allegiance as recited in public-school classrooms. In overturning a federal appeals court decision, five of the eight participating justices cited procedural grounds, ruling that Michael A. Newdow, the atheist who brought the case, lacked legal standing to sue. In February the high court ruled 7–2 that the state of Washington could deny a scholarship to a student studying for the ministry. The California Supreme Court ruled 6–1 in March that Catholic Charities had to offer birth-control coverage to its employees in their health plans despite the church's position that contraception is a sin. Several U.S. bishops, as well as a senior Vatican official, Francis Cardinal Arinze, said that Catholic politicians who favoured abortion rights, including Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry, should not be given communion because their positions contradicted church teachings. Bishop Michael Sheridan of Colorado Springs, Colo., announced in May that anyone voting for a politician who supported abortion rights, same-sex marriage, stem-cell research, or euthanasia would be denied communion. Later in May, 48 Catholic Democrats in Congress signed a joint letter saying that such statements were “miring the church in partisan politics.”

Sexual-Abuse Issues.
      Researchers commissioned by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops reported in February that 4% of all U.S. priests who had served since 1950 had been accused of having sexually abused children. Bishop Gregory said the church would “do everything possible to see that it does not happen again.” In November the lay review panel that monitors the bishops' efforts against clergy sexual abuse announced the start of a long-term study of the causes of the scandals. The archdiocese of Portland, Ore., and the diocese of Tucson, Ariz., filed for bankruptcy protection because of the multimillion-dollar expenses they faced as a result of such abuse cases. Desmond Cardinal Connell, archbishop of Dublin, who had drawn criticism for his handling of Ireland's priest sex scandals, was replaced in office in April; Bernard Cardinal Law, who resigned as archibishop of Boston following a sex scandal there in 2002, took up his new position as head of a basilica in Rome. In August the Vatican closed the St. Pölten Seminary outside Vienna after Austrian authorities said they found 40,000 videos and photographs of child pornography on computers at the theology school. Bishop Kurt Krenn, who had dismissed the pornography as a “childish prank,” resigned in September. Also in September, the former bishop of Springfield, Mass., Thomas L. Dupre, became the first U.S. Catholic bishop to be charged with sexual abuse when he was indicted by a grand jury on child rape charges dating to the 1970s.

      The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and its seminary in Columbus, Ohio, reached settlements totaling $32 million in molestation cases involving Gerald Patrick Thomas, a former pastor in Texas who had been sentenced to 397 years in prison in 2003. Nine plaintiffs in a separate lawsuit involving Thomas won a jury award of nearly $37 million in April. Antiochian Orthodox Bishop Demetri Khoury of Toledo, Ohio, who oversaw churches in eight states, was sentenced in April to 28 days in jail and fined $200 after he pleaded guilty for having grabbed a woman's breast in a casino in Michigan. Thomas O'Brien, the resigned Catholic bishop of Phoenix, Ariz., was sentenced to four years on probation in March for a hit-and-run accident that killed a pedestrian. He was believed to be the first U.S. Catholic bishop to have been convicted of a felony.

Religion and Popular Culture.
       Mel Gibson's (see Biographies (Gibson, Mel )) much-anticipated film The Passion of the Christ drew praise from Christians in the United States and Muslims in the Middle East for its portrayal of the crucifixion of Jesus. Although Jewish leaders voiced concern that the film could stir anti-Semitism, Gibson insisted that its message was about “faith, hope, love, and forgiveness.” Dan Brown's (see Biographies (Brown, Dan )) best-selling novel The Da Vinci Code (2003) prompted a spate of nonfiction books by Christian authors attempting to debunk its claims that Jesus married Mary Magdalene and fathered a child and that the Bible was commissioned by the Roman emperor Constantine for political purposes. The novel was banned by Lebanese authorities in September after Catholic leaders there said it was offensive to Christians. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints allowed Doubleday to publish the Book of Mormon; this was the first time since the scripture's initial publication in 1830 that a trade publisher had been in charge of its distribution outside Mormon circles. Madonna, a Catholic-born singer-actress, drew attention to the mystical Jewish philosophy known as Kabbala when she spoke at a conference in Tel Aviv in September. While the Los Angeles-based Kabbalah Centre drew followers such as Madonna by saying the philosophy was available to all seekers of healing, happiness, and wisdom, several Orthodox Jewish leaders said the organization's approach was unfaithful to the original intent of Kabbala as uniquely Jewish.

      George F.R. Ellis, a South African cosmologist, was the winner of the $1.4 million Templeton Prize for Progress Toward Research or Discoveries About Spiritual Realities, the world's largest monetary award to an individual. Ellis, a Quaker, was the son of atheists. The Rev. Clifton Kirkpatrick, top executive of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), was the unanimous choice to be president of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches at its General Council meeting in August in Accra, Ghana. The alliance was made up of 218 church bodies with a combined constituency of 75 million people. The Rev. Jack Hayford of Van Nuys, Calif., was elected president of the four-million-member International Church of the Foursquare Gospel following the resignation of the Rev. Paul Risser in March. In the wake of $14 million in investment losses, Risser and the corporate treasurer, Brent Morgan, resigned for not having followed church governance rules. Among those sending personal greetings to Hayford at his confirmation ceremonies on October 1 was the Rev. Rick Warren, best-selling author and pastor of another huge and quickly growing international church movement. (See Biographies (Warren, Rick ).)

      Bartholomew became the first Orthodox patriarch to visit Latin America when he went to Havana in January to consecrate a new church and meet with Cuban Pres. Fidel Castro. Church officials said the St. Nicholas Cathedral was the first new church of any faith to be built in Cuba during Castro's 45-year rule. In October, the pope beatified five persons, including Emperor Karl I, who led the Austro-Hungarian Empire from 1916 to 1918; and Anna Katharina Emmerick, a German nun whose 19th-century visions of Christ were recounted in a book titled The Dolorous Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ and were an inspiration for Gibson's movie. Dr. David Hope, the Anglican archbishop of York, Eng., announced his resignation from that post in August to serve as a parish priest in Ilkley.

      Sheikh Ahmed Yassin (Yassin, Sheikh Ahmed ), an Islamist leader who founded and provided spiritual inspiration for the Palestinian militant organization Hamas, was killed in an Israeli helicopter missile attack in March; the Most Rev. Ted Scott (Scott, the Most Rev. Edward Walter ), liberal archbishop and former leader (1971–86) of the Anglican Church of Canada, died in June, and James Cardinal Hickey (Hickey, James Aloysius Cardinal ), the activist Roman Catholic archbishop of Washington, D.C., died in October. (See Obituaries.) Orthodox Patriarch Petros VII of Alexandria, spiritual leader of Greek Orthodox Christians in Africa, was among 17 people killed in a helicopter crash in September en route to the monastic community on Mt. Athos, Greece. Other religious figures who died in 2004 included Franz Cardinal König, retired archbishop of Vienna (1956–85) and a former president of the Vatican Secretariat for Non-Believers, in March, and dissident Russian Orthodox priest Dmitry Dudko in June.

Darrell J. Turner

▪ 2004


Sexual Issues.
      The election, confirmation, and consecration as a U.S. Episcopal bishop of the Rev. V. Gene Robinson, a man in an openly homosexual relationship, created an uproar both in his denomination and in the worldwide Anglican Communion during 2003. His confirmation at the church's triennial General Convention in Minneapolis, Minn., in August was denounced by several bishops and primates of other Anglican bodies, as was the convention's declaration that ceremonies to bless same-sex relationships were “an acceptable practice in the church.” The unity of the 70-million-member Anglican Communion had already been threatened in May when a homosexual couple was blessed in Vancouver, B.C. The rite had been approved by Bishop Michael Ingham of the Diocese of New Westminster and came just one day after an international gathering of Anglican primates warned that it could lead to schism. In June the openly gay Canon Jeffrey John was nominated as suffragan bishop of Reading, Eng., but an uproar by evangelical parishes in the Church of England led him to withdraw his nomination. After Robinson's election as bishop in New Hampshire was confirmed, Archbishop Rowan Williams of Canterbury (who had been enthroned in February), called an emergency meeting of the primates in October. The 37 Anglican leaders who participated warned that if Robinson's consecration proceeded as scheduled on November 2, “the future of the communion itself will be put in jeopardy.” Following the consecration, several Anglican jurisdictions and the Russian Orthodox Church suspended relations with the Episcopal Church. The consecration also led to the cancellation of a meeting of the International Anglican–Roman Catholic Commission for Unity and Mission and the resignation of Episcopal Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold as cochairman of a sister organization, the Anglican–Roman Catholic International Commission.

      The Uniting Church in Australia voted in Melbourne in July to accept gay and lesbian clergy, and the United Church of Canada voted in Wolfville, N.S., in August to urge the Canadian government to recognize same-sex marriages in the same way as heterosexual unions. In response to court rulings in Ontario, British Columbia, and Quebec that bans on gay marriages violated Canada's constitution, the government promised to introduce legislation permitting them. Prime Minister Jean Chrétien said in June that the measure would “protect the right of churches and religious organizations to sanctify marriage as they define it.” The Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith declared in July that Catholic politicians had a “moral duty” to oppose laws granting legal rights to gay couples and that non-Catholics should do the same because the issue concerned natural moral law. The 16-million-member Southern Baptist Convention, the largest Protestant denomination in the U.S., took a similar stand in June in Phoenix, Ariz., at its annual meeting, and the Coptic Orthodox Church stated its opposition to homosexuality in general in August. The Cincinnati (Ohio) Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.) voted in June to remove the Rev. Stephen Van Kuiken from membership in the denomination after he defied a directive from a church court against performing marriages for same-sex couples. In October the Russian Orthodox Church announced that it had defrocked the Rev. Vladimir Enert, who had conducted the first reported gay wedding in Russia, in the diocese of Nizhny Novgorod. On another issue involving sexual orientation, the General Synod of the 1.4-million-member United Church of Christ voted in Minneapolis in July to encourage the participation and ministry of transgender persons in the life of the church.

      The sex-abuse scandal that had rocked the Roman Catholic Church in 2002 continued to reverberate in 2003. Massachusetts Attorney General Tom Reilly reported in July that there were probably more than 1,000 people in the Boston archdiocese who had been victimized by more than 250 clergy and other church workers over a period of six decades. The archdiocese announced in September that it would pay $85 million in settlements to more than 550 people who said that they had been sexually abused by priests. In August John J. Geoghan, the defrocked priest who had been convicted in 2002 of child molestation and whose name was emblematic of the scandal in the Boston archdiocese, was killed by a fellow prisoner at a correctional centre in Massachusetts.

      The diocese of San Bernardino, Calif., sued the Boston archdiocese in April for allegedly having concealed the record of sexual molestation by former priest Paul Shanley when he moved to California in 1990. Two Arizona bishops, Manuel Moreno of Tucson and Thomas O'Brien of Phoenix, resigned after they were criticized for allegedly having withheld information on such cases from secular authorities. O'Brien had agreed to relinquish authority over abuse cases in an agreement with prosecutors that enabled him to avoid indictment on obstruction charges. After a fatal hit-and-run accident led to his arrest in June, he resigned. In another resignation in June, former Oklahoma governor Frank Keating gave up his post as chairman of the U.S. church's sexual-abuse review board in the wake of his comparison of the secretive ways of some bishops to those of the Mafia.

Terrorism and Violence.
      A car bombing at the Imam Ali shrine in the Shiʿite Muslim holy city of Najaf, Iraq, in August claimed the lives of more than 80 people. Among the dead was Ayatollah Muhammad Baqir al-Hakim, leader of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq and the most influential Iraqi cleric who had sided openly with the U.S. occupiers of the country; he had returned in May after 23 years in exile. The shrine, the burial place of the son-in-law of the Prophet Muhammad, was also the scene of a riot in April in which two clerics were hacked to death in what appeared to have been a clash between rival Muslim groups. An attack on a mosque in Quetta, Pak., killed more than 40 people and touched off a rampage by Shiʿite Muslims in July. In Mecca, Muhammad's birthplace and Islam's holiest site, Saudi Arabian police killed five people in June who they said had been preparing a terrorist attack. Imams at mosques in London (February) and Rome (June) were forced to quit because of their inflammatory language. Simultaneous car bombings at two synagogues in Istanbul in November killed at least 23 people.

      A memorial site in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh was opened to Hindus in April after a five-year ban. Both Hindus and Muslims had claimed the 11th-century site in the Bhojshala area of the state's Dhar district. Since 1997 Muslims had been allowed to pray there every Friday, but Hindus were barred except for the worship of the goddess Saraswati inside the complex once a year. The Archaeological Survey of India lifted the restrictions on Hindus after several clashes between Hindus and Muslims. In another development, a report by the government agency on a four-month excavation of the site of the 16th-century Babri Mosque in Ayodhya failed to resolve a dispute between Hindus and Muslims over its history. In 1992 a Hindu mob tore down the mosque, claiming that Muslims had built it after razing a Hindu temple. The government report was not made public, but a lawyer for Hindu groups said it showed that there had been a Hindu temple at the site, while a lawyer for Muslims said that it indicated only that there had been a structure there. In September an Indian court imposed a death sentence on Dara Singh, a Hindu activist who had led a deadly attack on Australian Baptist missionary Graham Staines and his two sons in 1999.

      In February a United Nations tribunal convicted a Rwandan Seventh-day Adventist minister and his son of having aided and abetted genocide during the violence in the African country that resulted in 800,000 deaths in 1994. The minister, the Rev. Elizaphan Ntakirutimana, was sentenced to 10 years in prison and became the first clergyman to be convicted of genocide by an international tribunal. In Israel in July a wrecking squad sent by the Interior Ministry tore down a mosque that was being built without a permit next to the Basilica of the Annunciation in Nazareth, where Christians believe the Archangel Gabriel foretold the birth of Jesus.

      A joint statement issued in March by officials of the Vatican and Israel's Orthodox Chief Rabbinate denounced religious terrorism and declared that “any attempt to destroy human life must be rejected.” In the U.S. the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, meeting in Baltimore, Md., in February, urged Jewish communities to work jointly with evangelical Christians on issues of mutual interest. Evangelicals and Jews found themselves divided, however, in their opinions on The Passion of the Christ, a film directed by Mel Gibson that some Jewish leaders feared would reopen accusations that Jews were responsible for the crucifixion of Jesus. A Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod panel reinstated the Rev. David Benke as president of the denomination's Atlantic District and reversed the suspension he had received for having taken part in an interfaith prayer service in New York in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

      In an encyclical issued in April, Pope John Paul II said that joint celebrations of the Eucharist between Catholics and Protestants would be an obstacle to full unity by blurring differences between the two Christian groups. In response, the Rev. Ishmael Noko, general secretary of the Lutheran World Federation, said that “an indefinite status quo in this area is clearly not satisfactory” for the Roman Catholic Church or its ecumenical partners. Representatives of 30 denominations meeting in Pasadena, Calif., in January issued a blueprint for an organization that could bring together Roman Catholics, Protestants, and Orthodox Christians in what would be the most broad-based ecumenical organization in the U.S. The group, called Christian Churches Together in the U.S.A., would be formed if 25 denominations formally agreed to participate. In Ireland, Roman Catholic and Protestant scouting organizations agreed in May to end almost a century of sectarian divisions by creating a new joint body called Scouting Ireland, with more than 30,000 boys and girls as members. Leaders of the Church of England and the Methodist Church of Great Britain signed a covenant in London in November pledging to work toward the organic unity of the two churches, which had been separated for more than two centuries.

Church and State.
      U.S. courts reached different conclusions over whether the display of the Ten Commandments in public buildings violated the Constitution. In the most publicized case, Chief Justice Roy Moore of the Alabama Supreme Court initially defied the ruling of a federal appeals court in July to remove a 2,400-kg (5,300-lb) granite monument of the Commandments from the rotunda of the state judicial building in Montgomery. Moore later relented after he was suspended for having violated the federal order and all eight associate justices of his court overruled him. He was removed from office by a state disciplinary court in November. Although the federal court that ruled in the Alabama case said that the display was an unconstitutional state establishment of religion, another federal court permitted a small Ten Commandments plaque to remain on a courthouse wall in West Chester, Pa., on the grounds that its historic context outweighed its religious symbolism. Americans United for Separation of Church and State reported in September that a survey it had conducted found that courts had ordered 15 Decalogue displays removed from government buildings while 8 had been allowed to remain. Germany's Federal Constitutional Court ruled in September that the federal constitution did not bar the wearing of Muslim head scarves in classrooms in state-run schools. The court also said, however, that German states could draft laws banning head scarves if the laws also applied to symbols of other religions, such as Christian crosses. French schools grappled with the same issue as Pres. Jacques Chirac endorsed a recommendation of a government-appointed commission calling for a ban on conspicuous religious symbols. A vote by the Israeli cabinet in October to dismantle the Religious Affairs Ministry and transfer authority over rabbinical courts to the Justice Ministry was denounced by the National Religious Party, which threatened to leave the coalition government over the issue if the Knesset (parliament) approved the move.

Religious Liberty.
      The Saudi Arabian defense minister, Prince Sultan, announced in March that the government would bar the construction of Christian churches in the country because their construction “would affect Islam and all Muslims.” In February the Cambodian government barred Christian groups from proselytizing in the predominantly Buddhist country. The Vatican criticized the republic of Georgia in September for responding to pressures from Orthodox Christians not to sign an agreement granting religious freedom for Catholics. In a more positive development, Haitian Pres. Jean-Bertrand Aristide issued a decree in April declaring that voodoo was “an essential part of national identity” and allowing the faith's adherents and organizations to register with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Religion. In November the 240-member Forn Sidr movement, which worships ancient Norse gods, won approval to conduct marriages from the government of Denmark. Tove Fergo, a Lutheran pastor and the minister for ecclesiastical affairs, described the movement as the country's indigenous religion. The opening of the Great Mosque of Granada in July marked the opening of the first Muslim house of worship in Spain since Boabdil, the last Moorish king, rode into exile five centuries earlier. A Sikh temple accommodating 3,000 worshipers, believed to be the largest outside India, was opened in March in London. An interfaith group of 33 South African religious leaders met with Pres. Thabo Mbeki in Pretoria for two days in April and said they had agreed on the need for religious groups to be involved in nation building. In contrast, the Zimbabwe Council of Churches apologized in July “for not having done enough at a time when the nation looked to us for guidance” on such issues as political violence, hunger, and economic problems.

      A husband-wife team of archaeologists, Jonathan Haas and Winifred Creamer, and their colleague, Alvaro Ruiz, reported in April that they had found a 4,000-year-old Peruvian gourd fragment decorated with the image of a fanged deity. According to Haas, it “appears to be the oldest identifiable religious icon found in the Americas” and “indicates that organized religion began in the Andes more than 1,000 years earlier than previously thought.” Other archaeological scholars debated whether an ancient stone burial box contained the remains of James, the brother of Jesus, after the Israeli Antiquities Authority concluded in June that the inscription had been forged. (See Anthropology and Archaeology: Eastern Hemisphere (Anthropology and Archaeology ).) In India a committee appointed by the Culture Ministry looked in the Indus Valley for evidence that the Saraswati was an actual ancient river and not a Hindu myth. The panel said such evidence would push back the birth of Hinduism at least 1,000 years.

      Issues of belief and nonbelief occupied the attention of religious groups and secularists in 2003. In February the Vatican published what it called A Christian Reflection on the “New Age,” in which it said that while such practices as feng shui and yoga were evidences of a “spiritual hunger of contemporary men and women,” Christians should respond by highlighting the riches of their own spiritual heritage. More than 40 Southern Baptist Convention missionaries lost their jobs after they refused to sign the denomination's 2000 Baptist Faith and Message statement, which called on wives to “graciously submit” to a subservient role under the leadership of their husbands. The American Humanist Association released Humanist Manifesto III in April, in which it reaffirmed its rejection of religious beliefs and declared that “the responsibility for our lives and the kind of world in which we live is ours and ours alone.” The statement was signed by 19 Nobel laureates and 57 other intellectuals.

      Holmes Rolston III, an American Presbyterian minister and environmental ethicist, was the recipient of the 2003 Templeton Prize for Progress Toward Research or Discoveries About Spiritual Realities. (See Biographies. (Rolston, Holmes )) The Nobel Prize for Peace was awarded to Shirin Ebadi, an Iranian jurist who has asserted that the abuse of women in Islamic countries is based on a misreading of the Qurʾan and other Islamic teachings. (See Nobel Prizes .) Two international ecumenical organizations welcomed new leaders as Presiding Bishop Mark S. Hanson of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America was elected president of the Lutheran World Federation at the LWF's Tenth Assembly, meeting in Winnipeg, Man., in July, and Kenyan Methodist minister Samuel Kobia was elected general secretary of the World Council of Churches at the WCC's Central Committee meeting in Geneva in August. Pope John Paul II appointed 31 new cardinals in September, including Vatican Foreign Minister Jean-Louis Tauran and the pope's personal theologian, Swiss-born George Marie Cottier. The sole American on the list was Justin Rigali, the new archbishop of Philadelphia. During a visit to Madrid in May, the pope created five new saints, and in October he beatified Mother Teresa, placing her on the first step toward sainthood. Concerns for the pontiff's health were voiced during his four-day visit to Slovakia in September but a month later he celebrated the 25th anniversary of his papacy. Jaime Cardinal Sin, the archbishop of Manila for almost three decades, retired in September.

      Rabbi Janet Ross Marder of Los Altos Hills, Calif., became the first female head of a major rabbinical association when she was elected president of the Reform movement's Central Conference of American Rabbis at its meeting in Washington, D.C., in March. In October a 53-member committee chose Alison Eliot of Edinburgh as the first female moderator-designate of the Church of Scotland in the Presbyterian body's 443-year history. An elder, she was also the first non-minister chosen since the 16th century. The Rev. Susan Andrews of Bethesda, Md., became the first woman pastor to serve as moderator of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.) when she was elected at its General Assembly in May in Denver. The Rev. Barry C. Black, a Seventh-day Adventist minister and chief of the U.S. Navy's chaplain corps, became the first black chaplain of the U.S. Senate when he was chosen for the position in June. Bill McCartney, founder of Promise Keepers, resigned the presidency of the evangelical Christian men's movement in October to care for his ailing wife, Lyndi. Imam W. Deen Mohammed, who steered the American Society of Muslims from black separatism to Muslim orthodoxy after the death of his father, Elijah Muhammad, in 1975, resigned as leader of the organization at its national convention in Chicago in September. Dalil Boubakeur, the leader of the Paris Mosque, resigned as president of the national council of Muslims, an agency created in December 2002 to give Islam the same representation before the French government as other religions.

      Notable religious figures who died in 2003 included Raphael I Bidawid , patriarch of the Chaldean Catholic Church; Garner Ted Armstrong (Armstrong, Garner Ted ), longtime voice on The World Tomorrow radio and television program and founder of the Intercontinental Church of God; and William Bright (Bright, William Rohl ), founder of Campus Crusade for Christ and the 1996 Templeton Prize winner. (See Obituaries.) Others who died during the year were Rabbi Emil Fackenheim, a philosopher who examined the effects of the Holocaust on Jewish theology; Carl F.H. Henry, an influential evangelical theologian and founding editor of Christianity Today; and James P. Shannon, former Catholic auxiliary bishop of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minn., who was excommunicated in 1969 after he submitted his resignation and got married.

Darrell J. Turner

▪ 2003

      (For figures on Worldwide Adherents of All Religions by Six Continental Areas, see Table (Worldwide Adherents of All Religions by Six Continental Areas, Mid-2002); for Adherents in the United States of America, see Table (Religious Adherents in the United States of America, AD 1900-2000).)

      Strife marked the world of religion in 2002 as faith groups found themselves targeted for sometimes violent attacks by adherents of other faiths. Sexual-abuse scandals rocked churches around the world, while same-sex relationships continued to be a source of controversy. Some groups found themselves reexamining some of their key doctrines, particularly on salvation.

Sectarian and Political Violence.
      Violence marked the relationships between religious groups in several areas of the world in 2002. The Christian minority in Pakistan was attacked several times during the year. Incidents included a grenade attack in March on a Protestant church in Islamabad in which five people were killed, a raid on a Christian school in Murree in August in which six were killed, the killing of three people (and one of the attackers) leaving worship at a church on the grounds of a Presbyterian hospital in Taxila four days later, the slaying of seven people in September at a Christian charity in Karachi, and an attack on a church on Christmas Day in which three young girls were killed. In January, Pres. Pervez Musharraf banned five militant Islamic organizations, outlined new measures regulating Islamic religious schools, and accused Muslim leaders of stirring up religious extremism. Relations between Muslims and Hindus in South Asia were not much improved. In late February a Muslim mob in Godhra, India, burned a train car carrying Hindu activists and killed 58 people. The incident touched off three weeks of Hindu-Muslim upheavals in western Gujarat state and eventually resulted in the killing of more than 1,000 people. In late March attackers who were suspected of being Islamic militants set off grenades and exchanged gunfire with police at a Hindu temple in Jammu, and 10 people were killed. An attack on a Hindu temple in Gandhinagar in September killed 32 people. Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee called for an end to the cycle of violence, in which one incident touched off others in what he called mindless revenge.

      The Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, West Bank, was the site of a five-week standoff between Israeli troops and more than 200 armed Palestinians who took refuge in it in April. Twelve people were killed in Hebron in November when Palestinians ambushed a group of Jewish worshippers walking home from a prayer service. In response to worldwide protests from Christians, the Israeli government announced in March that it was withdrawing permission for the construction of a mosque next to the Basilica of the Annunciation in Nazareth. The continuing strife in the Middle East was cited as a factor in a worldwide outbreak of anti-Jewish attacks in places including Tunisia, Russia, Ukraine, Canada, England, and France, where authorities said 360 crimes were committed against Jews and Jewish institutions in the first half of April alone. Leaders of the World Jewish Congress said the level of such attacks in Europe was the worst since World War II. The violence spurred seven leaders of Christian and conservative organizations in the United States to urge Pres. George W. Bush to “actively confront all leaders, countries, and movements that finance or propagate the lie of anti-Semitism.” In Colombia, Catholic clergy were the victims of kidnappings and killings that included the assassination in March of Archbishop Isaias Duarte Cancino of Cali, who had often been critical of leftist rebels. (See Obituaries (Duarte Cancino, Isaias ).) In November Bishop Jorge Enrique Jiminez, president of the Latin American bishops conference, and a priest were rescued by army troops four days after they were kidnapped by rebels in November.

      The location of the Miss World beauty pageant was moved from Abuja, Nigeria, to London, Eng., in November after some 100 people were killed and churches and mosques were burned. The rioting was touched off by a newspaper article that said that the Prophet Muhammad would probably have chosen a wife from among the contestants.

Verbal Violence.
      The Rev. Jerry Vines of Jacksonville, Fla., past president of the 16-million-member Southern Baptist Convention, the largest Protestant denomination in the U.S., was criticized by Muslims and some Jewish leaders when he said in St. Louis, Mo., in June that the Prophet Muhammad was a “demon-possessed pedophile.” In response to Vines's comments, the denomination's newly elected president, the Rev. Jack Graham of Plano, Texas, said that Southern Baptists loved Muslims and wanted to share their faith with them. Another prominent Southern Baptist, the Rev. Jerry Falwell of Lynchburg, Va., touched off protests from Muslims in several countries in October when he said in a televised interview that the Prophet Muhammad was a terrorist. Falwell later apologized and said he intended no disrespect to any sincere, law-abiding Muslim. Jewish leaders voiced dismay when the National Archives released a 1972 conversation between evangelist Billy Graham and Pres. Richard Nixon in which the evangelist agreed that Jews had a stranglehold on the media in the U.S. Graham issued a statement of apology and met with Jewish leaders in Cincinnati, Ohio, in June to further express his regrets.

Interfaith Relations.
      Despite these setbacks, interfaith relations saw some positive developments in 2002. In January the Anglican archbishop of Canterbury, George Carey, hosted a two-day international conference between Christians and Muslims at Lambeth Palace and later joined with the grand imam of Cairo's University of al-Azhar al-Sharif in launching a process for dialogues between Anglicans and Sunni Muslims. Also in January about 200 leaders of 12 faith groups attended a daylong retreat in Assisi, Italy, at the invitation of Pope John Paul II, who told the gathering that “there is no religious goal that could possibly justify the use of violence by man against man.” In the U.S. the National Council of Churches asked congregations in its 36 member denominations to host open houses for Muslims in the days surrounding the first anniversary of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Abraham: A Journey to the Heart of Three Faiths, a book by Jewish author Bruce Feiler, became the basis for interfaith “Abraham Salons” in the United States. In the northern Nigerian state of Kaduna, Muslims and Christians signed a pact in August to end violence that had claimed thousands of lives in a three-year period.

      Christians found themselves in disagreement on how to relate to members of other faiths. The Rev. David Benke, president of the Atlantic District of the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod, was suspended from his duties for having taken part in an interfaith prayer service in New York in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. The suspension was issued by the Rev. Wallace Schulz, the denomination's second vice president, who said that Benke's participation in a service with “pagans” gave the impression that there might be more than one God. Schulz was subsequently removed from his position as speaker on The Lutheran Hour radio broadcast for his involvement in the controversy.

      In January the Vatican issued a document stating that Jews and Christians shared their wait for the Messiah, although Jews were waiting for the first coming and Christians for the second. A joint task force of American Catholic bishops and Jewish rabbis released a statement in August saying that targeting Jews for conversion was “no longer theologically acceptable to the Catholic Church because Jews already dwell in a saving covenant with God.” Jim Sibley, the Southern Baptist Convention's coordinator of Jewish ministries, said the statement demonstrated that “the bishops have abandoned any semblance of biblical authority,” but a few weeks later 21 Catholic and Protestant scholars said Jews need not believe in Jesus Christ for salvation and denounced “missionary efforts directed at converting Jews.” The annual General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA) approved a statement in June in Columbus, Ohio, declaring that “Jesus Christ is the only Savior and Lord, and all people everywhere are called to place their faith, hope, and love in him.”

      In the area of ecumenical relations between Christians, the Central Committee of the World Council of Churches (WCC) responded to concerns voiced by some Orthodox churches by replacing its parliamentary voting procedure with a consensus model of decision making. The change, approved by a vote at WCC headquarters in Geneva in September, led to the resignation from the committee of Lutheran Bishop Margot Kässmann of Germany, who said it would be “no longer possible to celebrate ecumenical worship” at WCC events. The church council also announced plans to reduce spending sharply because of the failure of many of its 342 members to make financial contributions.

      A new organization called Christian Churches Together in the USA was organized in Chicago in April by 34 leaders of the National Council of Churches, the Salvation Army, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and the evangelical Call to Renewal coalition. In a statement the group said that no existing ecumenical organization represented the full spectrum of Christian belief in the United States.

      The Vatican's decision in February to upgrade four Catholic apostolic administrations in Russia to full dioceses led to protests by the Russian Orthodox Church, whose Holy Synod called it an unprecedented move and a challenge to Orthodoxy. In April Russian Roman Catholic Archbishop Tadeusz Kondrusiewicz denounced what he called a “large-scale anti-Catholic campaign” that included the denial of the visas of five foreign-born priests. In contrast, a visit to Bulgaria in May by Pope John Paul II helped to improve relations between Catholics and Orthodox Christians there. The pontiff had earlier visited Azerbaijan, an almost completely Muslim country. In July John Paul traveled to Toronto for the weeklong World Youth Day festival, which he addressed on July 25. The Polish-born pontiff made an emotional return to his home country, where he spent three days and celebrated an enormous open-air mass in Krakow on August 18. On November 14 he addressed the Italian parliament, a first for any pope and an especially significant gesture for the first non-Italian pontiff in four and a half centuries.

      The Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of America announced in June that it had been granted autonomous status by its mother church in Syria. The biennial Clergy-Laity Congress of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese, which had been seeking more autonomy from the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, approved provisions for appointing local bishops and nominating candidates for archbishop. Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America, which has a predominantly Russian heritage, appointed Archbishop Herman of Philadelphia in July to succeed Metropolitan Theodosius as the church's North American primate.

The Clergy.
      The year 2002 saw an explosion of scandals involving accusations of sexual abuse and cover-ups in the Roman Catholic Church in countries including Australia, Ireland, Poland, and the U.S. (See Sidebar (Roman Catholic Church Scandal ).) The developments spurred resignations and expulsions of some prominent church leaders and led the pope to say in April that there was “no place in the priesthood and religious life for those who would harm the young.” Five people were expelled from the Jehovah's Witnesses in the United States after they accused leaders of covering up the sexual abuse of children by members.

      The Anglican diocese of New Westminster, B.C., stirred a storm in the worldwide Anglican Communion when it voted in June to permit the blessing of same-sex unions. The action led 13 of the nation's 41 Anglican bishops to ask the diocese not to implement the rite and spurred Archbishop Carey to tell the Anglican Consultative Council meeting in Hong Kong in September that unilateral actions by dioceses and bishops could lead to the formation of two or more distinct Anglican bodies. A majority of the 173 regional bodies of the Presbyterian Church (USA) defeated a move to rescind a five-year-old ban on noncelibate gay clergy. In June, Matthew J. Smucker became the first openly gay person to be ordained by the Church of the Brethren. His status was unclear, however, after the denomination's annual conference, meeting in July in Louisville, Ky., reaffirmed its stance against ordaining “any persons known to be engaging in homosexual practices.”

      In August the Vatican excommunicated seven women who claimed to have been ordained to the priesthood in June, saying their actions had “wounded” the Roman Catholic Church. The Southern Baptist Convention, reflecting a revision of its faith statement in 2000 to oppose the ordination of women, announced in February that it would no longer endorse ordained women's serving as chaplains. In Thailand Varanggana Vanavichayen, a Buddhist nun, was ordained as a monk in February, the first female to join that country's all-male clergy. She was ordained by a female monk from Sri Lanka, where women had been allowed in the clergy since 1998.

      A revision of the New International Version of the Bible that replaced some masculine pronouns with gender-neutral language drew criticism from 100 Christian leaders and the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention. The Forum of Bible Agencies, made up of several leading translation and distribution organizations, said in a statement, however, that the revision, the Today's New International Version (TNIV) New Testament, “falls within the forum's translation principles and procedures.” In another controversy among evangelical Christians, Wayne Pederson resigned as the new president of National Religious Broadcasters just before his installation in February. Glenn Plummer, chairman of the organization of 1,400 broadcasters, said Pederson had touched off a “firestorm” a few weeks earlier when he said that he was concerned that evangelicals “are identified politically more than theologically.”

Church-State Relations.
      In a landmark case on church-state separation, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in June that government may give financial aid to parents to enable them to send their children to religious schools. The 5–4 ruling upheld a school-voucher program in Ohio and said the program “is entirely neutral with respect to religion.” Justice David Souter wrote in a dissenting opinion, however, that the ruling would force citizens to subsidize faiths they did not share. In August a Florida judge ruled against that state's voucher program because it gave money directly to religious schools. A federal appeals court in California ruled in June that the Pledge of Allegiance violates the U.S. Constitution because it describes the country as “one nation, under God.” In the 2–1 ruling, the Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit said the 1954 law that added those words to the pledge violated the First Amendment ban on a government establishment of religion. The decision stirred so much controversy, however, that Judge Alfred Goodwin blocked it from taking effect while the case was being appealed.

      Israel's Orthodox Jewish religious establishment faced several challenges to its influence during 2002. When Rabbi Uri Regev in January became the first Israeli-born rabbi to serve as head of the Reform movement's World Union for Progressive Judaism, he decried the chief rabbinate's refusal to meet with Reform or Conservative rabbis or to allow any non-Orthodox prayer services at the Western Wall in Jerusalem. In February, Israel's High Court ruled that the Interior Ministry must register residents who convert to Judaism in procedures used by the Reform or Conservative movements. The decision marked the first time such conversions had been put on a par with Orthodox conversions for the purpose of listing people as Jews in the population registry. In the landmark case the court president, Aharon Barak, said Israel is a pluralistic state of the Jewish people rather than a monolithic religious community. Orthodox Jews won a victory in July when Israeli's Knesset (parliament) legalized the tradition of exempting thousands of religious men from having to serve in the military.

      In May, a U.S. federal appeals court upheld a lower court's ruling that New York state's standards for kosher food violate the First Amendment. The three-judge panel said that the state's enforcement of these laws “confers a substantial benefit on Orthodox Jews and not on others.” A German federal court in Berlin ruled in October that teachers in government-operated schools must refrain from openly displaying religious symbols in class. The landmark ruling involved a Muslim teacher who wore a head scarf in class, but some observers said it could also apply to Christians wearing crosses as jewelry. A panel from the Norwegian Church Council recommended in March that the government end its official relationship with the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Norway, which had been the state church for 465 years; the church had been chafing at the government's involvement in the hiring of clergy.

      The parliament in Belarus passed a law in October giving privileged status to the Russian Orthodox Church, imposing censorship on religious publications, and barring religious groups that had not been in the country for at least 20 years from distributing literature or establishing missions. In June China announced that it was undertaking a large-scale restoration of sacred buildings in Tibet, including the Potala Palace, the Norbuglinkha, and the Sagya Lamasery. Addressing a gathering of university students in Beijing in February, U.S. Pres. George W. Bush expressed the hope that all religious persecution would end in China. In his address, which was broadcast across China, he said that 95% of Americans believe in God and called his country “a nation guided by faith.” A survey released in March by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, however, found that 52% of Americans who were asked said that they thought the influence of religion was in decline. The finding represented a reversal of the increase of religious expression after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and led the centre's director, Andrew Kohut, to say, “I've never seen such a dramatic change disappear so quickly.” In early November about 2,000 atheists, agnostics, freethinkers, and secular humanists conducted the Godless Americans March on Washington to draw attention to what they described as the 14% of the U.S. population made up of nonbelievers.

Church Membership.
      For the first time, the 5.2-million-member Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was listed among the country's five largest denominations in the Yearbook of American and Canadian Churches. The LDS church dedicated a new Nauvoo Temple in Illinois in late June to replace the original temple, which had been destroyed 156 years earlier when the Mormon community was forced to flee the town. The Catholic Church retained its position as the largest U.S. church body, with 63.6 million members. In September the $189.5 million Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels was dedicated in Los Angeles in a four-hour service attended by 3,000 people. It was the first major American cathedral to be built in three decades and replaced a structure that had been severely damaged in an earthquake in 1994. (See Architecture and Civil Engineering .)

      The Next Christendom: the Coming of Global Christianity, by Philip Jenkins, documented how the centre of gravity in the Christian world had shifted to Africa, Asia, and Latin America. The author, a religious studies professor at Pennsylvania State University, said taking a global perspective should make people hesitate to assert what Christians believe. An ossuary, or container for burial or storage of bones, with the inscription “James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus,” was made public. If authentic, it would represent the first appearance of Jesus in the archaeological record and the earliest known non-Biblical reference to his existence. (See Archaeology and Anthropology: Archaeology (Anthropology and Archaeology ).)

      All of Central America's heads of state attended a ceremony in Guatemala City, Guat., in which Pope John Paul II canonized Pedro de San José Betancur, a 17th-century Spanish missionary, as the region's first saint. A day later, on July 31, in Mexico City, the pope canonized Juan Diego, an Aztec farmer who reportedly saw a vision of the Virgin Mary in 1531, as the Catholic Church's first Indian saint. The attendance of Pres. Vicente Fox at the ceremony marked the first time that a Mexican president had attended a papal mass. Other canonizations during the year included, in May, Amabile Lucia Visintainer, known as Mother Paulina, the first Brazilian saint; in June the popular Italian stigmatic Padre Pio da Pietrelcina, who died in 1968; and in October, Josemaría Escrivá, the founder of the secretive and influential Roman Catholic organization Opus Dei. Also in October John Paul made the first major changes in the rosary since the 16th century. He added “five mysteries of light,” or meditations, to the three previous sets in the series of Roman Catholic prayers in order to focus on Christ's public ministry.

      In July, Welsh Archbishop Rowan Williams was selected to succeed Carey in 2003 as the 104th archbishop of Canterbury and spiritual head of the world's 70 million Anglicans. (See Biographies (Williams, Rowan ).) The Rev. John C. Polkinghorne, a mathematical physicist and Anglican priest, was the 2002 recipient of the Templeton Prize for Progress Toward Research or Discoveries About Spiritual Realities. (See Biographies (Polkinghorne, John ).) Apart from Colombian Archbishop Duarte, religious leaders who died during the year included W.A. Criswell (Criswell, W A ), pastor of the First Baptist Church of Dallas, Texas, the largest Southern Baptist congregation in the U.S.; Carl McIntire (McIntire, Carl Curtis ), a firebrand fundamentalist preacher whose radio show, 20th Century Reformation Hour, was heard throughout the U.S. in the 1960s; Franjo Cardinal Kuharic (Kuharic, Franjo Cardinal ), archbishop of Zagreb, Croatia, and a nationalist icon for his people; Lucas Cardinal Moreira Neves (Neves, Lucas Moreira Cardinal ), archbishop of São Salvador da Bahia, Braz., and close friend of Pope John Paul II; and John Baptist Cardinal Wu (Wu Cheng-chung, Cardinal John Baptist ), bishop of Hong Kong, who helped that territory's Roman Catholics make the transition from British to Chinese rule. (See Obituaries.)

Darrell J. Turner

▪ 2002

      Relations between Muslims and members of other faiths dominated the world of religion during 2001, highlighted by the deadly terrorist attacks in the United States. Relations between Christians and Jews and between Christians of differing traditions also hit some rough spots. Churches continued to tackle controversies over ordination of homosexuals and sexual abuse by clergy, and some religious organizations found themselves examining basic beliefs on such matters as creation and salvation.

The Teachings of Islam.
      The September 11 terrorist attacks in the United States spurred a worldwide examination of Islamic doctrine, particularly after the FBI discovered a document left behind by a key organizer of the airplane hijackers that cited Islamic teachings in urging them to ask God for help and assuring them that by dying for the faith they would be assured entry into paradise. Muslim scholars pointed out, however, that terrorist violence is an interpretation of Islam that most adherents of the faith reject.

      Attention soon focused on Afghanistan, where Osama bin Laden, the Saudi Arabian businessman and alleged mastermind of the attacks, was receiving asylum. Afghanistan's fundamentalist Islamic Taliban government had stirred controversy throughout the year because of its policies toward non-Muslims. In January Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar warned that any Muslim who converted to another faith and any non-Muslim trying to win converts would face the death penalty. In August authorities detained eight aid workers on charges of preaching Christianity and notified all Western aid organizations and the United Nations that they would be carefully watched for evidence of proselytizing. The foreign aid workers were airlifted out of the country after the Taliban fled Kabul. In March the Taliban announced that it had destroyed as idols all Buddha statues in Afghanistan, including a 53.3-m (175-ft)-high statue above the Bamian Valley that was believed to be the world's largest Buddha statue. Two months later the government said all non-Muslims had to wear distinctive marks on their clothing to set them apart from the country's Muslims, who formed an overwhelming majority. Although the ruling seemed to be especially directed against Afghanistan's largest religious minority, the tiny Hindu community, the Taliban said it was intended to protect Hindus from religious police who enforce Islamic law.

      Fighting between Christians and Muslims in September in the northern Nigerian city of Jos took more than 500 lives and reportedly destroyed tens of thousands of churches, mosques, homes, and shops. Pres. Olusegun Obasanjo called out the army to restore order and declared that true believers in God must not start killing other human beings. The Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria said the introduction of Islamic law in some states violated the human rights of non-Muslims and was a threat to peace in the country. In June Pakistan's military ruler, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, denounced radical Islamic groups for misappropriating money collected in the name of jihad, or holy war. Addressing a gathering of Muslim leaders to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad, he urged them to stop issuing “irresponsible statements” calling for holy war against the U.S. and Russia.

Interfaith Relations.
      Pope John Paul II became the first pope to enter a mosque when he toured a 1,300-year-old Islamic house of worship in May in Damascus, Syria. He was greeted at the Umayyad Mosque by Mufti Ahmed Kuftaro, Syria's top Muslim cleric, and the pontiff urged joint forgiveness by Christians and Muslims for all the times they had offended one another. In September the pope arrived in Kazakhstan, a predominantly Muslim state in Central Asia, with a message of good wishes for Islamic leaders. Dato Seri Mahathir bin Mohamad, the Muslim prime minister of Malaysia, told 600 Christian leaders from 82 nations attending the 11th General Assembly of the World Evangelical Fellowship in Kuala Lumpur that “we should be careful that we don't propagate religions at the cost of conflicts and violence.”

      Christian-Jewish relations suffered in July when a commission of Catholic and Jewish historians suspended its study of the church's actions during the Holocaust because the Vatican had not released all of its archives from the era. The Rev. Peter Gumpel, speaking for the Vatican, subsequently said that some Jewish historians on the commission had helped mount a “slanderous campaign” against the Roman Catholic Church and that the panel's work had failed because of “irresponsible” actions by some of its members. Poland's Roman Catholic bishops apologized in May for a 1941 massacre of Jews in northeastern Poland and for wrongs committed by Polish Catholics against Jews during World War II. In Constantine's Sword, a book on the history of Christian anti-Semitism, however, former Catholic priest James Carroll suggested that such apologies failed to grapple with how Christian teaching created a climate that led to mob violence against Jews. The Israeli army's occupation of part of the premises of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Reformation in August in the West Bank town of Beit Jala was denounced by the Lutheran World Federation. The federation's general secretary, the Rev. Ishmael Noko, said the troops had invaded “one of the holy places of the Christian community.” The Israeli government came into conflict with Greek Orthodox leaders in July when Prime Minister Ariel Sharon tried to disqualify 5 of the 15 candidates vying to succeed the late Diodoros I as Greek Orthodox patriarch of Jerusalem. Although Sharon cited a centuries-old church law that allowed governmental authorities to disqualify candidates for the position, the church subsequently elected Irineos I, one of the five the Israeli leader had rejected.

      The opening of the Holy Land Experience, a Christian theme park in Orlando, Fla., stirred concern among some Jewish leaders, who saw it as an attempt to convert Jews to Christianity. The founder of the $16 million theme park, Marvin Rosenthal, was a Baptist minister who was raised Jewish and became a Christian as a teenager.

      Pope John Paul II won praise from Greek Orthodox leaders when, during a visit to Athens in May, he apologized for Roman Catholic sins of “action or omission” against Orthodox Christians. He specifically offered “deep regret” for the sacking by Catholic crusaders of Constantinople, now Istanbul, in 1204. A spokesman for Greek Orthodox Archbishop Christodoulos said the pope's words would “help heal one thousand years of mistrust between the two churches and create the possibility for new dialogue.” The pope's visit to Ukraine in June, however, drew fire from Russian Orthodox Patriarch Alexey II and Metropolitan Volodymyr of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. They warned that John Paul's embrace of Ukraine's five million members of the Greek Catholic Church would hinder ecumenical relations. In Ukraine the number of Orthodox parishes outnumbered Catholic parishes by about three to one, but the Orthodox churches were divided into three denominations, of which the largest was loyal to Moscow. Alexey also rebuked the pope for his later visit to Kazakhstan, saying the Catholic leader should have asked his permission before making the trip. After leaving Kazakhstan, John Paul visited Armenia and made ecumenical history by celebrating mass at the altar of an Orthodox church for the first time. The outdoor mass was held at Ejmiadzin (Echmiadzin), the seat of the Armenian Apostolic Church, an independent Oriental Orthodox church that was celebrating the 1,700th anniversary of Christianity's becoming the country's state religion.

      Pope John Paul II made a number of other formal apologies during the year as well. In October he acknowledged "errors" by historical Roman Catholic missions to China (relations between China and the Holy See had been particularly tense since October 2000, when the Roman Catholic Church canonized as Christian martyrs 120 Chinese people whom China regarded as criminals), and a month later the pontiff transmitted a document (by means of the first official papal e-mail-from a laptop computer in the pope's office in the Vatican) to a diocese in Oceania apologizing for past injustices to South Pacific islanders committed by Catholic missionaries.

      Representatives of Catholic, Lutheran, and Reformed churches met in Rome in February to exchange views on indulgences, the Catholic practice of remitting punishment for sins in exchange for prayer and repentance. The Vatican said it was the first ecumenical consultation on the subject since the Protestant Reformation. In March representatives of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) met with Vatican officials and issued a joint statement pledging to work toward agreement on the doctrine of justification, mutual recognition of baptisms, and the removal of mutual condemnations that went back to the Reformation. Also in March the Church of England's House of Bishops issued a statement criticizing the Catholic Church's ban on receiving communion in Anglican churches as “an ecumenical, theological and pastoral affront.” A bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and his Episcopal counterpart presided in June at joint ordinations of each's churches in Chicago for the first time since their two denominations joined in a full communion agreement in 2000. The Anglican Church of Canada and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada approved a similar accord in July. The ELCA's national convention in August in Indianapolis, Ind., modified the agreement, however, by voting to allow clergy to be ordained by pastors rather than bishops on grounds of conscience. The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod declared at its national convention in July in St. Louis, Mo., that it could not consider the ELCA to be “an orthodox Lutheran body” because of its full communion agreements with non-Lutheran churches. Two pastors filed charges against the president of the Missouri Synod in November for joining with ECLA clergy in worship and supporting an interfaith prayer service. Representatives of the Mennonite Church and the General Conference Mennonite Church agreed to a merger in July, forming a denomination of about 125,000 members in 1,100 congregations. The merging groups resolved differences on standards for membership by leaving such questions up to individual congregations in consultation with their local conferences.

Ministry and Membership.
      The General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) voted in June in Louisville, Ky., in favour of repealing a five-year-old ban on ordination of homosexuals to the ministry. The resolution was then sent to the denomination's 173 regional presbyteries for approval, in the wake of their failure to ratify a ban on same-sex unions that had been passed by the 2000 assembly. The ELCA began a four-year study of whether to ordain active homosexuals and bless same-sex unions, and an Anglican catechism commissioned by Archbishop David Hope of York said homosexuality might have “divinely ordered and positive qualities.” Four bishops defied church law in the ELCA in April when they joined in the ordination of Anita C. Hill, a lesbian. One of the four, Paul W. Egertson, subsequently resigned as bishop of the Southern California (West) Synod over what he described as his “act of ecclesiastical disobedience.” In June in Denver, Colo., two Anglican archbishops defied Archbishop George Carey of Canterbury in consecrating as bishops four American priests who opposed the Episcopal Church's positions on homosexuality and biblical authority. Gwynne Guibord, chief ecumenical officer of the predominantly homosexual Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches, became the first openly gay person to head a state ecumenical council in the United States when she was appointed president of the California Council of Churches in January. The Reform Jewish movement in the United States urged families and synagogues to sever ties with the Boy Scouts of America in January to protest the scouts' ban on homosexuals in leadership positions.

      The General Council of the Assemblies of God voted in August in Springfield, Mo., to permit divorced people to be ordained to the ministry if they were divorced before becoming Christians. The Rev. William Sinkford of Cambridge, Mass., became the first African American person to win the presidency of the Unitarian Universalist Association when he was elected in June at its General Assembly in Cleveland, Ohio. The association, which had no creed, announced that it now had more women than men serving as ministers.

      A French court sentenced Catholic Bishop Pierre Pican of Bayeux-Lisieux to a three-month suspended prison term in September for having concealed information that a priest was sexually abusing children. The Vatican said in March that it was investigating allegations that some priests had regularly forced nuns to have sex with them. A report commissioned by the Catholic Church in England and Wales recommended that all clergy, staff, and volunteers be subject to police checks to stamp out sexual abuse of children. A consortium of eight missionary organizations reported that nearly 7% of more than 600 former missionary children said they had been sexually abused during their elementary school years.

      Two Presbyterian denominations debated matters of biblical interpretation during 2001. The General Assembly of the 2.5-million-member Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) adopted a statement affirming salvation through Jesus Christ but leaving unanswered the eternal destiny of non-Christians. In another resolution the PCUSA said the theology of the popular Left Behind fiction series “is not in accord with our Reformed understanding” of the biblical book of Revelation. The General Assembly of the 300,000-member Presbyterian Church in America, meeting in Dallas, Texas, in June, rejected an attempt to require members to view the six days of biblical creation as literal 24-hour days. Reflecting a growing interest in tradition, the rabbinical arm of Judaism's liberal Reform movement adopted voluntary guidelines on conversion in June in Monterey, Calif. In taking the action, the Central Conference of American Rabbis urged that converts be immersed in ritual baths and affiliated with synagogues. The Conservative movement of Judaism adopted its first official Torah commentary, a 1,560-page volume that was designed to replace a commentary written in 1937 by Rabbi J.H. Hertz.

      Zambian Catholic Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo broke his celibacy vow in May in marrying a Korean woman in a group wedding in New York City conducted by the Rev. Sun Myung Moon of the Unification Church. Threatened with excommunication, however, Milingo announced three months later that he was ending the marriage. The Rev. Paul Collins of Australia resigned from the Catholic priesthood in March after having been under investigation for three years by the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. His resignation coincided with his publication of a book titled From Inquisition to Freedom, a critical examination of the Vatican agency with chapters written by six other prominent Catholics who had been investigated by the congregation. The Rev. Kevin Mannoia resigned the presidency of the (U.S.) National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) in June over what the organization's board described as “divergent perspectives about certain operational and fiscal matters.” Mannoia, a bishop emeritus in the Free Methodist Church, said a bylaw change allowing denominations affiliated with the more liberal National Council of Churches to affiliate with the NAE had stirred controversy among some of the NAE's 50 denominational and 250 ministry affiliates. In February the board of National Religious Broadcasters voted unanimously in Dallas to end its 57-year relationship with the NAE. The North American convention of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Church voted in July in Los Angeles to ask its mother church in Syria for autonomy. Archbishop Philip Saliba, the church's North American primate, declared that the United States and Canada represent “the new Antioch,” referring to the ancient city (located in present-day Turkey) in which followers of Christ were first called Christians.

      The Rev. Arthur Peacocke, an English biochemist and Anglican priest, received the $1 million Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion for his work exploring the relationship between science and theology. (See Biographies (Peacocke, the Rev. Canon Arthur Robert ).) In July officials in Nepal installed Preeti Shakya, a four-year-old girl from Kathmandu, as the new Kumari, a virgin goddess revered by both Hindus and Buddhists.

Church and State.
      Reports from international monitoring groups indicated that Chinese authorities had forced thousands of Tibetan Buddhist monks and nuns to leave a religious study centre in Sichuan province in June because of what an official of the Sichuan Religious Affairs Bureau called “concerns about social stability.” A Belgian court sentenced two Catholic nuns in June to 12 and 15 years in prison for complicity in the genocide in Rwanda in 1994 in which 800,000 people were killed. In Guatemala in June three military officers and a priest were convicted of the 1998 murder of Catholic Bishop Juan Gerardi, who headed the church's human rights office in that country. Shoko Asahara, the leader of Japan's AUM Shinrikyo (Supreme Truth) sect, was ordered in July to pay $3.7 million in compensation to the families of four people killed in a 1994 nerve gas attack in the town of Matsumoto. The attack had been perpetrated by Asahara's group, which was also behind a better-known attack the following year in the Tokyo subway system in which 12 people were killed. Catholic bishops in the Philippines issued a statement in June supporting what they called “the government's all-out war policy against lawless elements” of the Abu Sayyaf, a radical Islamic movement that attacked churches and clergy. Jagjit Singh Chauhan, a Sikh separatist, returned to India in June after 21 years of self-imposed exile in London and said he would continue to work for Khalistan, a homeland for Sikhs.

      In the United States, federal officials took control of the Indianapolis Baptist Temple in February to satisfy a $6 million tax debt in what was believed to be the first time the federal government had seized a church. The independent congregation had stopped withholding federal income taxes and Social Security deductions from employee paychecks in 1984, claiming that it was not a legal entity and therefore not subject to taxation. Pres. George W. Bush proposed allowing religious organizations to receive government grants and contracts for social services. The proposal was approved by the House of Representatives in July but was stalled in the Senate. More than 250 leaders of faith-based groups organized a Progressive Religious Partnership in April in Washington, D.C., saying they wanted “to restore a progressive religious presence to its rightful place in the public square.” The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 6–3 in June that public schools could not discriminate against student religious clubs on the basis of religion. In March a federal appeals court in Cincinnati ruled 9–4 that the Ohio state motto, “With God, all things are possible,” was constitutionally acceptable if the state did not attribute the words to their biblical source.

      The Maha Kumbh Mela, or “Great Pitcher Festival,” drew some 110 million people to the city of Prayagraj (Allahabad), India, over 42 days in January and February. (See Sidebar (Maha Kumbh Mela ).) The Hindu festival, held every 12 years, was also attended by the Dalai Lama, spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhists, who joined the Shankaracharya of Kanchi, one of India's top four Hindu religious leaders, in a prayer on the banks of the Ganges River. The Dalai Lama also met with leaders of the World Hindu Council and criticized efforts to persuade adherents of one religious faith to convert to another. “I always believe it's safer and better and reasonable to keep one's own tradition or belief,” he said. More than 150 cardinals from around the world assembled at the Vatican in May in the largest such gathering in history, during which several called for more power sharing and frank debate on important issues.

Preserving Religious Heritage.
      The UN General Assembly adopted a resolution in May calling on governments to “exert their utmost efforts to ensure that religious sites are fully respected and protected” through initiatives including national legislation. Earlier during May representatives of the Vatican and an umbrella organization of Jewish groups issued a similar appeal, in which they said, “We are all the more disturbed when members of our own religious communities have been the offenders” against religious freedom.

      The dedication in May of the Bahaʾi faith's 19 terraced shrine gardens in Haifa, Israel, drew about 4,500 people from 200 countries. The $250 million project began in the 1930s and was designed to represent the 19th-century religious leader known as the Bab and his first 18 followers. The Jewish Museum Berlin was officially opened in September with an exhibition emphasizing Jewish contributions to German culture. In August Tibetan Buddhist monks dedicated a 33-m (108-ft)-tall stupa, a commemorative shrine, in a Rocky Mountain valley in Colorado. It contained the ashes of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, a Tibetan exile who took Buddhist teachings to the West, and was the largest religious project undertaken by native-born Americans who had embraced Buddhism.

       Worldwide Adherents of All Religions by Six Continental Areas, Mid-2001 Religious Adherents in the United States of America, AD 1900-2000Christianity remained the world's largest religion, claiming over two billion followers—nearly 33% of the Earth's population—in mid-2001. (For figures on Adherents of All Religions by Continent, see Table (Worldwide Adherents of All Religions by Six Continental Areas, Mid-2001); for Adherents in the U.S., see Table (Religious Adherents in the United States of America, AD 1900-2000) .) The most dramatic growth in Christianity in recent years had been registered in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. (See Special Report (Christianity's Newest Converts ).) In September Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor told a gathering of priests in Leeds, Eng., that Christianity had “almost been vanquished” as a backdrop for people's lives in Great Britain. A World Council of Churches delegation to the Middle East reported in August that violence in the region was leading Christians to emigrate, spurring fears that “the holy sites of Christianity will become museums.” The American jewish Identity Survey found that the number of American Jews who identified with another religion had more than doubled in the past decade, to 1.4 million, while an additional 1.4 million American Jews said they are secular or have no religion at all, leaving juts 51% of American Jews who say they are Jewish by religion.

Darrell J. Turner

▪ 2001

      Interfaith relations took centre stage in the world of religion during 2000 as faith groups came into conflict in some situations and found themselves making breakthroughs in cooperation in others. Same-sex unions and the role of women sparked internal conflicts in some traditions, and the relationship between religion and government challenged both sides on several fronts.

      (For figures on Adherents of All Religions by Continent, see Table I (Worldwide Adherents of All Religions by Six Continental Areas, Mid-2000 ); for Adherents in the U.S., see Table II (Religious Adherents in the United States of America, AD 1900-2000 ).)

Interfaith Relations.
      More than 1,000 religious leaders from around the world gathered at United Nations headquarters in New York City in August for a four-day Millennium World Peace Summit. While sharing common perspectives on issues such as peace and the environment, Hindus and Catholics clashed at the summit over the Roman Catholic Church's evangelistic efforts in India. In June more than 300 representatives of 39 faith groups assembled in Pittsburgh, Pa., to sign the charter of the United Religions Initiative, an effort to build world peace through interfaith cooperation at the grass roots.

      More than 160 Jewish leaders issued a statement in September calling on Jews to affirm their joint heritage with Christians while acknowledging a “humanly irreconcilable difference” between the two faiths. The statement came a few days after the Vatican drew dismay from leaders of other churches and religious groups by issuing Dominus Iesus, a 14-page declaration calling the Roman Catholic Church the only “instrument for the salvation of all humanity.” Earlier in September, Jewish leaders had protested the beatification of Pope Pius IX, who in the mid-1800s had confined Jews to a walled ghetto in Rome, stripped them of property, and adopted a six-year-old boy whom papal guards had abducted from his Italian Jewish parents, raising him to be a priest.

      Despite these developments, Pope John Paul II took several major initiatives toward interfaith understanding during the year. In February he became the first pope to visit predominantly Islamic Egypt, denouncing violence in the name of religion as “an offense against God.” At a service of penance in Rome in March, he made an unprecedented appeal for forgiveness for acts of violence committed by Christians against followers of other religions and expressed forgiveness for such acts taken against Christians. Later in March, on a trip to Israel, he visited the Yad Vashem memorial to Holocaust victims and expressed sadness at “hatred, acts of persecution and displays of anti-Semitism directed against the Jews by Christians at any time and in any place.” The visit to Israel also marked the first papal meeting with the two chief rabbis of the Jewish state, in the chief rabbinate's headquarters in Jerusalem. After hearing a request from the mufti, the chief Muslim cleric of Jerusalem, to oppose “the Israeli occupation” of the holy city, John Paul said, “Jerusalem has always been revered by Jews, Christians and Muslims.” That comment came a month after leaders of the Vatican and the Palestine Liberation Organization signed an agreement condemning “unilateral decisions and actions altering the specific character and status” of Jerusalem.

Sectarian Violence.
      A visit in September by Israeli politician Ariel Sharon to the Noble Sanctuary of Palestinian Muslims in Jerusalem touched off weeks of violence between Palestinians and Israelis. Sharon planted an Israeli flag on the site, where Muslims believe Muhammad ascended to heaven and which Jews revere as the Temple Mount. Violent Hindu attacks against Christian churches, missionaries, and schools in India, including the fatal beating of a Franciscan priest in Uttar Pradesh, prompted Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee to meet with a delegation of Roman Catholic bishops in June to assure them of the government's commitment to protecting the rights of “all minorities” in India. Hundreds of people were killed in battles between Christians and Muslims in Indonesia and Nigeria during the year, and a series of Christmas Eve bombings of churches in Indonesia killed 15 people. A panel formed by the Organization of African Unity criticized Roman Catholic, Anglican, and French government leaders for having failed to use “their unique moral position among the overwhelmingly Christian population” of Rwanda to denounce the ethnic hatred that led to the deaths of 500,000 people there in 1994. Buddhist leaders in Sri Lanka urged the army to fight harder against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, a guerrilla movement fighting on behalf of the largely Hindu Tamil minority against the majority Buddhist Sinhalese.

      In contrast, leaders of the Muslim, Orthodox, and Roman Catholic communities in the Serbian province of Kosovo set up a joint council to promote democracy and human rights. North America's growing religious diversity was reflected in the listing of Buddhist, Muslim, Jewish, and other non-Christian groups for the first time in the Yearbook of American & Canadian Churches in its 2000 edition.

      Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, spiritual leader of the world's Orthodox Christians, joined with leaders of 14 Orthodox churches in December in calling for an end to the rift between Eastern and Western Christendom that began with the Great Schism of 1054. Their proclamation was signed in the Byzantine-era Church of Hagia Sophia in Iznik, Turkey, the site of the ancient city of Nicaea, where the Nicene Creed was issued in 325.

      Representatives of 22 churches attended a service in Rome in January celebrating the start of the Roman Catholic Holy Year. Some Protestant leaders stayed away, however, to protest its connection with indulgences, the Catholic practice of remitting punishment for sins in exchange for prayer and repentance. In May clergy from 18 churches helped officiate at a service in Rome commemorating thousands of 20th-century Christian martyrs. At a meeting of the Society for Pentecostal Studies in Kirkland, Wash., in March, Pentecostal and Roman Catholic scholars asked for forgiveness for sins that members of each group had committed against the other.

      At its triennial General Convention in Denver, Colo., in July, the Episcopal Church approved the mutual recognition of members and clergy with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. This marked the first time the Episcopal Church had agreed that clergy of another denomination could preside at its services. The National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A. (NCC) authorized a plan to explore creating a new organization that would include representatives of all major branches of Christianity in the United States. The ecumenical body also granted financial independence to its relief and development agency, Church World Service. The National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) changed its bylaws to allow churches that were members of other cooperative organizations to have dual membership with the NAE. The Reformed Church in America, which already held membership in the NCC, became the first denomination to seek dual membership in the NAE.

      Moves to approve homosexual clergy and same-sex unions stirred disagreements in several religious groups. In a statement released in January, more than 800 religious leaders urged all faiths to approve such developments. Meeting in Greensboro, N.C., in March, the rabbinical arm of Reform Judaism declared that same-sex unions were “worthy of affirmation through appropriate Jewish ritual.” The move was denounced by leaders of the Conservative and Orthodox movements of Judaism.

      In Singapore in January, six Anglican bishops consecrated as bishops two U.S. Episcopal priests who opposed such developments in their church. The Episcopal presiding bishop, Frank T. Griswold III, denounced the consecrations of the Rev. Charles H. Murphy III and the Rev. John H. Rodgers, Jr., and the Anglican archbishop of Canterbury, George Carey, refused to recognize them. At its convention in July, the Episcopal Church declared support for same-sex relationships while defeating a call to create special ceremonies to recognize them. The quadrennial General Conference of the United Methodist Church voted in May in Cleveland, Ohio, to retain a policy forbidding “practicing homosexuals” from becoming ministers, but more than 300 delegates to the denomination's New England Annual Conference signed a declaration a month later promising to conduct same-sex unions and to welcome homosexuals into the ministry. In New Zealand about 2,000 people left that country's Methodist Church, charging that it had strayed from biblical teachings against homosexuality. Despite the opposition of 7 of the country's 11 bishops, the Oslo diocese of Norway's state Lutheran Church appointed to a parish a homosexual priest living openly with another man.

      The highest court of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) ruled in May that clergy may conduct same-sex union ceremonies as long as they are not regarded as marriages. A month later the church's annual General Assembly in Long Beach, Calif., approved a resolution to ban same-sex unions and sent it to the denomination's 173 regional presbyteries for approval. The Greater Milwaukee (Wis.) Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America approved blessings for same-sex unions at its meeting in May. In June the United Church of Christ announced that it had created a scholarship fund for homosexuals who wanted to enter the ministry. In so doing, it became the first Christian denomination actively to promote the ordination of gay clergy.

Women in the Church.
      Women enjoyed some breakthroughs and suffered some setbacks in the quest to improve their status in religious groups. A key breakthrough came in Cincinnati, Ohio, in July when the oldest black church body in the U.S., the 213-year-old African Methodist Episcopal Church, elected the Rev. Vashti McKenzie of Baltimore, Md., its first female bishop. Her election was the culmination of a 20-year effort by women to attain that status in the denomination. Two other women who gained prominence in religious circles were Nancy Heisey, a professor at Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, Va., who became the first woman elected president of the Mennonite World Conference, and Anne Graham Lotz, daughter of evangelist Billy Graham, who was the only woman to address a plenary session at a gathering of 10,000 evangelists from 209 countries in Amsterdam in August.

      The Southern Baptist Convention declared at its annual meeting in June in Orlando, Fla., that “the office of pastor is limited to men as qualified by Scripture.” Although the statement represented the thinking of Southern Baptist leaders, it was not binding on the denomination's congregations, which had ordained 1,600 women. The Southern Baptist action prompted the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) General Assembly to express “Christian concern for and solidarity with women who are being denied the exercise of their pastoral gifts.” Nonetheless, a smaller denomination, the Presbyterian Church in America, said at its General Assembly in June in Tampa, Fla., that women may teach but not preach. The Episcopal General Convention criticized the dioceses of Fort Worth, Texas, San Joaquin, Calif., and Quincy, Ill., for refusing to obey church law allowing women to be ordained and established a process to bring them into compliance by 2002. A women's task force of the World Evangelical Fellowship issued a statement in June on domestic violence in which it said that “sinful practices are being ignored, tolerated, sometimes even perpetuated in the church as well as society at large.”

      Jews in Israel debated whether women should have the same rights as men to conduct worship services at the Western Wall in Jerusalem. The Israeli Supreme Court ruled in May that they had this right, but the nation's parliament subsequently gave preliminary approval to a bill to punish women with seven years in prison if they acted on the court ruling. In August Iran announced that six Islamic jurists had issued a decree allowing women to lead other women in worship for the first time in the history of Shiʿite Islam.

Church, State, Law, and Politics.
      China came into conflict with the U.S. and the Vatican for its treatment of religious groups. In September, in a report that Chinese authorities denounced as a fabrication, the U.S. State Department charged that China had persecuted members of minority faiths, Tibetan Buddhists, and the banned Falun Gong spiritual movement. Also in September, Roger Cardinal Etchegaray became the first Vatican-based cardinal to say a public mass in China since the communist revolution in 1949. He lodged what he called an “energetic protest” with Chinese authorities over the arrests of Catholic bishops loyal to Pope John Paul II. China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in turn, denounced the Vatican's decision to canonize Chinese Christian martyrs on October 1, the 51st anniversary of communist rule. A protest that day by members of the Falun Gong movement forced the brief closure of much of Tiananmen Square in Beijing.

      The 14-year-old Gyalwa Karmapa Lama, the third most important spiritual figure in Tibetan Buddhism, fled China on foot across the Himalayas in January to arrive in Dharmshala, the northern Indian city that served as the capital of Tibet's exiled Buddhist leadership. His flight was significant both because he was the first Buddhist figure revered as the reincarnation of a holy person to be recognized by China's communist leaders and because his Kagyu school was the most influential Tibetan Buddhist movement outside Tibet. Organizers of the peace summit at the United Nations elected not to invite the exiled Dalai Lama, the winner of the 1989 Nobel Prize for Peace, for fear of offending China, a move that was denounced by fellow Nobel peace laureate Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa. A message from the Dalai Lama was read to the conference.

      The opening in September of a Jewish community centre in Moscow by Russian Pres. Vladimir Putin drew widespread attention for its significance in a country that had experienced centuries of government-sponsored anti-Semitism. The gesture also stirred controversy, however, because the new centre on the site of the Marina Roshcha Synagogue was built by the Chabad Lubavich movement, which had won Putin's support over other, less conservative branches of Judaism. The Lubavitch-led Federation of Jewish Communities received Kremlin recognition as the official voice of Jews in Russia Earlier in the year the federation named Lubavich Rabbi Berl Lazar as chief rabbi of Russia, apparently ousting Rabbi Adolf Shayevich, who had held the post for a decade.

      A plan by the Greek government to remove religion from state identity cards raised the ire of the Greek Orthodox Church, whose leaders denounced it as a threat to the church's unique status in the country. An estimated 130,000 demonstrators gathered in the central square in Athens in June to criticize the move as Archbishop Christodoulous called on church members to “save our faith.” Judicial authorities in Iran closed at least 12 newspapers and magazines in April for publishing material that “disparaged Islam.” In May Saudi Arabian Minister of Justice Abdallah ibn Muhammad ibn Ibrahim ash-Sheikh condemned people who claimed that the nation's practice of Islamic law, or Shariʿah, did not guarantee human rights, calling such critics “the enemies of God, religion and humanity.”

      In the United States, Pres. Bill Clinton signed a law requiring local officials to give preferred treatment to religious groups when their buildings and assemblies come into conflict with zoning boards. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 6–3 in June in Santa Fe Independent School District v. Doe that public-school officials could not sponsor a group prayer or encourage a student to deliver a religious message at a school event. In another case that month, Mitchell v. Helms, the high court ruled 6–3 that tax money could be used to buy computers and other instructional materials that would be loaned to religious schools. In April a federal appeals court struck down the state motto of Ohio, “With God, all things are possible,” saying it was a government endorsement of Christianity.

      Also in Florida, prosecutors dropped charges against the Church of Scientology in the 1995 death of Lisa McPherson, who had been under the church's care, after the medical examiner determined that her death was accidental.

      The Rev. Daniel Coughlin of Chicago became the first Roman Catholic priest to be appointed chaplain of the U.S. House of Representatives. The appointment in March by House Speaker Dennis Hastert followed a controversy in which Hastert and Majority Leader Dick Armey had picked a Presbyterian minister as the next chaplain despite the recommendation by a bipartisan committee favouring another Catholic priest for the post. In September Venkatachalapathi Samuldrala of Parma, Ohio, became the first Hindu ever to deliver an invocation in the House. Democratic vice presidential nominee Joseph Lieberman (see Biographies (Lieberman, Joseph I. )), the first Jewish candidate on a major national ticket, stirred criticism from leaders of groups including Americans United for Separation of Church and State and the Anti-Defamation League for stating in August at a black church in Detroit that “there must be a place for faith in America's public life.”

      More than 700 members of a Ugandan group called the Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments were found dead in several locations after having been killed by fire, poisoning, and strangulation. It appeared that the group's founder, former Roman Catholic catechist Joseph Kibwetere, and its “prophetess,” Credonia Mwerinde, had carried out the murders and then had escaped. A public commission in Japan ruled in January that the AUM Shinrikyo (Supreme Truth) sect that killed 12 people in a nerve gas attack in the Tokyo subway in 1995 continued to pose a threat to society and would be put under surveillance for up to three years. The group announced that it was changing its name to Aleph, the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet.

Places and Personalities.
      A 21,000-seat conference centre opened in Salt Lake City, Utah, in April by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was believed to be the largest dedicated space for worship in the world. The church opened its 100th temple, and its worldwide membership passed 11 million during the year. Meanwhile, the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints voted to change its name to Community of Christ. Louis Farrakhan, leader of the Nation of Islam, publicly reconciled in February with W. Deen Mohammed, leader of the Muslim American Society and son of the late Elijah Muhammad. Farrakhan later apologized to Attallah Shabazz, the eldest daughter of Malcolm X, for any role he may have played in prompting Nation of Islam followers to assassinate her father in 1965. The first crematorium in North America designed specifically for Sikhs and Hindus opened in Delta, B.C. The $6 million facility was large enough to permit up to 2,000 people to watch a corpse burn to ashes.

      Several religious groups grappled with doctrinal matters during the year. In October former U.S. president Jimmy Carter severed his ties to the denomination because of what he called its “increasingly rigid” doctrines, and the Baptist General Convention of Texas, the denomination's largest statewide body, voted to cut $5 million from its support of seminaries and other Southern Baptist agencies. The Alliance of Baptists, which was formed in 1987 by Southern Baptist dissidents, became the 36th member communion of the National Council of Churches in November. The Southern Baptist Convention revised its statement of faith, the Baptist Faith and Message, for the first time since 1963, replacing the assertion that Jesus is “the criterion by which the Bible is to be interpreted” with a statement that “all Scripture is a testimony to Christ, who is himself the focus of divine revelation.” A new rule adopted by Jehovah's Witness leaders said that members who accepted blood transfusions would no longer be actively excommunicated, or “disfellowshipped,” but would be judged to have voluntarily “disassociated” themselves from the group.

      The Evangelical Alliance of the United Kingdom issued a report declaring that the reality of hell as a place of eternal punishment is “the dominant understanding” among evangelical Christians. At the same time, it acknowledged a growing belief among evangelicals in “conditionalism,” according to which sinners would be annihilated after judgment. The General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in America declared that differences of opinion on the length of days of the creation were “acceptable as long as the full historicity of the Creation account is accepted.” In May the Vatican announced that the so-called third secret of Fátima, revealed to three shepherd children by the Virgin Mary in Portugal in 1917, was a prophecy of a “time of tribulation” for Christianity and the attempted assassination of the pope in 1981.

      John Paul II's beatifications of two of his predecessors, Pius IX and John XXIII, brought the total in his 22-year papacy to more than 1,700—the largest number of any pope. In August leaders of the Russian Orthodox Church bestowed sainthood on the nation's last tsar, Nicholas II, his wife and five children, and more than 800 other 20th-century martyrs.

      At a conference on the nature of God, held in February at Oregon State University (OSU), seven speakers from three religious traditions described the developing image of a God who was mystical rather than supernatural. According to OSU religion professor Marcus Borg, “They described God as a presence that pervades everything.” Leaders of 21 centres of study on science and religion gathered in Washington, D.C., in February for a Consultation on Science and Religion in America held in conjunction with the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Freeman J. Dyson, a professor emeritus at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, N.J., was awarded the $948,000 Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion for his writing on the meaning of science and its relation to other disciplines, including religion and ethics. Dyson, who was not a member of a church, said science and religion “should work together to abolish the gross inequalities that prevail in the modern world.” (See Biographies (Dyson, Freeman ).)

Darrell J. Turner

▪ 2000

      Interfaith and ecumenical relations had a mixed year in 1999, recording progress on some matters that had caused centuries-old divisions but also experiencing some setbacks. Some groups faced divisions within their ranks, and both traditional and newer religions found themselves pitted against governments on several fronts.

Interfaith Relations.
      About 500 Christians from more than 30 countries converged on Jerusalem in July to apologize to Jews and Muslims for the bloodshed caused by their forebears during the Crusades of 900 years earlier. Their arrival culminated a three-year prayer walk in which 2,500 people traced the original Crusaders' path, starting in Cologne, Ger. In June the Dalai Lama told a gathering of Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jewish, and Shinto leaders in Jerusalem that a variety of religions were needed to help different peoples heal. Other major international interfaith gatherings took place at Vatican City in October and in Cape Town, S.Af., in December.

      Iranian Pres. Mohammad Khatami, president of the 55-nation Islamic Conference, called for common understanding among religions and people when he met with Pope John Paul II at Vatican City in March. Despite protests from Hindu fundamentalist groups, the pope visited India in November during Diwali, the Festival of Lights, and exchanged views with leaders of 10 religions in New Delhi. Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., the oldest Roman Catholic university in the United States, appointed Yahya Hendi its first Muslim chaplain; he was believed to be the first Muslim chaplain at any major American university. Rabbi Robert P. Jacobs made history in January during the pope's visit to St. Louis when he became the first rabbi to read scripture as part of a papal liturgy. Guides issued by the Southern Baptist Convention's International Mission Board urging prayers for the conversion of Jews during their High Holy Days and of Hindus during Diwali were denounced by leaders of those faiths.

      Muslims and Christians clashed over a plan to create a mosque near the Basilica of the Annunciation in Nazareth, Israel. The dispute led to riots on Easter Sunday and prompted church leaders to close Christian shrines in the Holy Land temporarily in November in protest.

      Pope John Paul II traveled to Romania in May, the first time a pope had visited a predominantly Orthodox country since the Great Schism of 1054 that divided Eastern and Western Christianity. The pontiff and Orthodox Patriarch Teoctist each attended a liturgy over which the other presided during the three-day visit. John Paul got a much cooler reception in Georgia in November, when Orthodox Patriarch Ilia II declined to worship with him and received him only as a statesman, not a religious leader. Russian Orthodox Patriarch Alexey II said the pope was still not welcome in his country because of tensions between Orthodox and Roman Catholic Christians.

      Representatives of the Roman Catholic Church and the Lutheran World Federation signed a joint declaration on the doctrine of justification on Reformation Day, October 31, in Augsburg, Ger. It was the first time Roman Catholics had formalized the results of a bilateral dialogue with another Christian communion. A report issued in May in London by Anglican and Roman Catholic bishops said the bishop of Rome had a duty to “clarify the authentic faith of the whole church” and challenged both sides to clarify further the role of papal primacy. In February in Chicago, representatives of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and the Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas issued a common statement on faith in the Holy Trinity. In September participants in a Roman Catholic–Southern Baptist dialogue affirmed “core convictions” they shared about the authority and truth of the Bible.

      Nine U.S. Protestant denominations, with a combined membership of about 17 million, approved a proposal under which their churches would recognize each other's baptisms and clergy by 2002. The Churches Uniting in Christ Plan, the result of 39 years of talks, was sent to the governing body of each participating denomination for approval. Church leaders from more than 17 countries convened in Cleveland, Ohio, in November to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the National Council of Churches in the United States, which had 35 Protestant and Orthodox member denominations, with a combined membership of 52 million. Andrew Young, the former mayor of Atlanta, Ga., took over leadership of the Council in November.

      The Churchwide Assembly of the ELCA, at a meeting in August in Denver, Colo., approved full communion with both the Episcopal Church and the Moravian Church in America. The accord with the Episcopal Church had stirred controversy because it required the ELCA to accept the historic episcopate, requiring that bishops ordained in a line dating back to the earliest days of Christianity take part in the ordinations of clergy and other bishops. It was the first time a U.S.-based Lutheran church had accepted the concept. Among the vocal critics of the Lutherans' accords with Episcopalians and Moravians was the Rev. Alvin Barry, president of the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod, who felt the shared communion would lead to a “more serious erosion of a genuine Lutheran identity” in the ELCA.

      There were other areas as well in which ecumenism was less successful. The Rev. Choan-Seng Song of Berkeley, Calif., president of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches, told that body's Executive Committee meeting in Taipei, Taiwan, in July that the “ecumenical mind-set” is far removed from the everyday lives of millions of Christians and that the ecumenical movement “has almost ceased to be [a] spiritual force to be taken seriously by the world.”

Sectarian Violence.
      Thousands of Indian Christians and Muslims marched through New Delhi in January to protest what they called the government's failure to protect minorities against attacks by Hindu extremists. They were brought together by the mob killing of an Australian Baptist missionary and his two sons. An investigative report for the Indian government blamed Hindu radical Dara Singh and 18 other suspects for the killings. A Roman Catholic priest was killed in September in Orissa state, where the Baptist missionary had been slain. More than 400 people were killed during periodic outbreaks of violence between Christians and Muslims in Indonesia throughout the year.

Church, State, and Politics.
      The Chinese government banned the Falun Gong (Wheel of Law) meditation sect in July after having detained thousands of people in the wake of an April gathering in Beijing at which more than 10,000 of its adherents demanded official recognition. The movement was founded in 1992 in Changchun by Li Hongzhi. (See Biographies (Li Hongzhi ) and World Affairs: China .) The sect's creed blended Buddhist and Taoist beliefs, and, with tens of millions of followers, Falun Gong rivaled the Communist Party in numbers. In October, Chinese officials described the group as a cult and accused it of having caused the deaths of 1,400 followers by brainwashing them into refusing medical treatment.

      The Turkish government was at odds with Muslims on several fronts during the year. A religiously observant woman was prevented from taking a seat in Parliament because she wore a traditional Muslim scarf on her head, and students conducted several rallies to protest the government ban on such scarves at state universities. The Turkish government froze the bank accounts of two disaster-relief agencies it regarded as Islamist after the Islam-oriented Virtue Party sent volunteer cleanup crews in the wake of what critics charged was the government's slow response to a major earthquake in August.

      A leader of the AUM Shinrikyo (Supreme Truth) sect in Japan was sentenced to death in September for his role in the group's 1995 nerve-gas attack that killed 12 people in the Tokyo subway. In December other leaders of the group apologized for the attack and said they would stop recruiting new members, close branch offices, and change the group's name.

      In Jerusalem in February, 250,000 ultra-Orthodox Jews protested what they called the unwarranted intrusion of Israel's Supreme Court into religious affairs in the Jewish state. A month earlier the Israeli Knesset had passed a bill requiring members of government-funded local religious councils to pledge loyalty to the Orthodox Chief Rabbinate. A ruling by the Supreme Court in July limited the power of Orthodox rabbis by allowing Israeli Jews to choose either religious or secular dates on their tombstones.

      Eleven religious and conservative groups announced a “Christian recruiting strike” against the U.S. Army in June to protest tolerance of Wiccan religious ceremonies at Fort Hood, Texas, and other military bases. Wiccan priestesses in Maryland and Virginia were denied the legal right to perform marriages for members of the pagan movement, whose name means “earth-based religion.” Pentagon officials reached an agreement with leaders of the Native American Church of North America under which members of the group in the military who did not handle nuclear weapons could use the hallucinogenic drug peyote in religious services.

      In March a federal court upheld an action by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) revoking the tax-exempt status of the nondenominational Church at Pierce Creek in Conklin, N.Y., for running newspaper ads against Bill Clinton in 1992. It marked the first time a U.S. church had lost its tax exemption for engaging in partisan political actions. In June the IRS found that the Christian Coalition was not entitled to tax-exempt status. Two months later a federal judge ruled that the group did not illegally aid Republican candidates by distributing voter guides to churches. The Christian Coalition's annual Road to Victory conference drew 3,500 followers and six Republican presidential candidates to Washington, D.C., in October, but the movement's founder, Pat Robertson, said the group was still “a way away” from its goal of distributing 75 million voter guides before the November 2000 presidential elections. Results of the 1998 elections and the failure of impeachment proceedings against President Clinton led Paul Weyrich, president of the Free Congress Foundation and a co-founder of the Moral Majority, to declare in February that politics had failed and that conservative Christians needed to “drop out of this culture.” In a book titled Blinded by Might, two former Moral Majority activists, the Rev. Ed Dobson and Cal Thomas, agreed that political action had led Christians away from the teachings of Jesus.

      Scholars of 10 religious traditions met in August in Philadelphia to launch a two-year project to document the right to family planning, contraception, and abortion in the major world religions and challenge the “religious right” on the issues. The Maine Supreme Court ruled in April that publicly funded vouchers that could be used to pay tuition in religious schools in the Raymond School District violated the U.S. Constitution. Later in the same month, the Florida legislature passed the first statewide voucher plan that applied to religious schools.

Official Misconduct.
      The Rev. Henry J. Lyons resigned the presidency of the National Baptist Convention USA, Inc., in March after being convicted of grand theft and racketeering. He was given a federal prison sentence of four years and three months, to be served concurrently with a Florida sentence of five and a half years, and ordered to pay $5.2 million in restitution for tax evasion and bank fraud. The Rev. William Shaw of Philadelphia was elected to succeed Lyons in September. Allan Boesak, former president of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches, was sentenced in March to six years in prison in Cape Town for having taken $400,000 from a foundation organized to help victims of apartheid. The Rev. Canaan Banana, former president of Zimbabwe, was defrocked in March by the Methodist Church of Zimbabwe after being convicted of sexual assaults on men. He was sentenced to 10 years in jail, of which 9 years were suspended because of his age, 63, and poor health.

      In Thailand, Phra Dhammachayo, the leader of the Dhammakaya sect of Buddhism, was accused of fraud, embezzlement, and heresy, but he ignored demands from the governing body of Thai Buddhism that he be removed. The movement, which claimed 100,000 followers in 11 countries, publicized its temple in Pathum Thani as the central landmark of world Buddhism. Japan's Buddhist leaders faced criticism in 1999 for charging bereaved relatives large sums for afterlife names given to the dead at their funerals, a practice that was believed to give the dead a better place in the afterlife.

      Archbishop Spyridon resigned in August as leader of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America after lay leaders and other bishops denounced what they called his authoritarian leadership style and lack of accountability. Spyridon, the first American-born archbishop, was succeeded by Metropolitan Demetrios Trakatellis of Vresthena, Greece. Russian Orthodox officials removed Bishop Nikon from the Diocese of Yekaterinburg in July in the wake of widespread accusations of corruption and sexual impropriety. Episcopal Bishop Joe Morris Doss resigned in March as head of the Diocese of New Jersey following criticisms of his leadership style and his liberal stance on issues such as homosexuality.

Women and Homosexuals in the Church.
      The Rev. James Callen of Rochester, N.Y., was excommunicated from the Roman Catholic Church in February after refusing to stop such practices as allowing a woman a prominent role at the altar during mass, inviting Protestants to take part in services, and blessing same-sex unions. In Oakland, Calif., Catholic women gathered once a month at the site of the former diocesan cathedral to celebrate mass in the absence of a male priest. The Wir sind Kirche (We are Church) movement in Austria created a program to train women for the priesthood despite the papal ban on the ordination of women.

      Because of their refusal to condemn homosexual acts as intrinsically evil, in July the Roman Catholic Church ordered Sister Jeannine Gramick and the Rev. Robert Nugent, founders of a Maryland-based ministry to gay men and lesbians, to halt any work involving homosexuals. More than 60 United Methodist ministers blessed the union of two women in Sacramento, Calif., in January in defiance of a church law against same-sex unions. The Rev. Gregory Dell of Chicago was suspended from the denomination's ministry in March after being convicted of having performed such a ceremony. The Rev. Jimmy Creech, who was acquitted of a similar charge in 1998, was stripped of his clergy status in November after being convicted of presiding at such a ceremony in Chapel Hill, N.C., in April.

      The Presbytery of the Hudson River of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) voted in January to permit same-sex unions if they were not called marriages. Two months later the election of an openly gay elder to the governing board of a congregation in Stamford, Conn., was upheld by a PCUSA tribunal. The expulsion of four congregations of American Baptist Churches, USA, over their “welcoming and affirming” stance toward homosexuals was upheld by the denomination's General Board in June but subsequently put on hold after a request for adjudication. Bishop Rosemarie Kohn of the state Lutheran Church in Norway faced a revolt from 27 of the 120 clergy in her jurisdiction after she appointed an openly lesbian clergywoman to a diocesan chaplaincy position. The Rev. Jimmy Allen, a past president of the Southern Baptist Convention, spoke in July in Los Angeles to an international convention of the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches, the world's largest predominantly homosexual church, to open a dialogue to reach across their differences. In October the Rev. Jerry Falwell and his Thomas Road Baptist Church in Lynchburg, Va., hosted 200 gay Christians including the Rev. Mel White, who was Falwell's ghostwriter before revealing that he was homosexual. The two made amends, and Falwell called for all Christian ministries “to halt any rhetoric that might engender violence against the homosexual community, and vice versa.”

Other Doctrinal Issues.
      Pope John Paul II stirred widespread discussion on heaven and hell in July when he described hell as “the state of those who freely and definitively separate themselves from God” rather than a physical place. More than 125 evangelical Christian leaders issued a doctrinal statement in June in which they affirmed their belief that Jesus Christ is “the only way of salvation” and that “the Bible offers no hope that sincere worshippers of other religions will be saved without personal faith in Jesus Christ.” In September more than 100 academics and intellectuals signed Humanist Manifesto 2000, in which they denied that “religious piety is the sole guarantee of moral virtue” and noted that “theists and transcendentalists have been both for and against slavery, the caste system, war, capital punishment and monogamy.”

      Meeting in Pittsburgh, Pa., in July, the Central Conference of American Rabbis adopted a new Statement of Principles recommending that Reform Jews return to tradition on such practices as studying Hebrew and the Torah and observing the Sabbath.

      Ian Barbour, professor emeritus at Carleton College, Northfield, Minn., was awarded the $1,240,000 Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion. (See Biographies (Barbour, Ian ).) Prominent theologians and physicists shared their views on cosmology at a three-day conference at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C., in April, which featured a debate between John Polkinghorne, a particle physicist turned theologian, and Nobel laureate Steven Weinberg. In a book titled Rocks of Ages: Science and Religion in the Fullness of Life, Harvard University paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould, president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, rejected the work of people like Barbour who tried to integrate science and religion. According to Gould, science and religion were never at war but should remain separate. In February a team of researchers at Columbia University, New York City, questioned the empirical evidence of studies linking religion and health and raised ethical concerns about the involvement of physicians in their patients' religious practices.

      The Dalai Lama drew 40,000 people for an appearance in New York City's Central Park in August and spent 12 days in Bloomington, Ind., for a ritual of enlightenment that drew leaders of all four Tibetan Buddhist sects. His books Ethics for the New Millennium and The Art of Happiness were on the New York Times best-seller list at the same time.

      In June tensions between Tibetan Buddhists and the Chinese government arose over two rivals for the title of Panchen Lama, the second most revered leader of the faith. The government-approved lama, nine-year-old Erdeni Chosgyi Gyalpo, left his home in Beijing for a trip to the Shigatse religious compound in Tibet, where he presided over the unfurling of a 10-story Buddha painting known as a thangka. In contrast, 10-year-old Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, the other claimant to the post of Panchen Lama, lived under house arrest in Beijing.

      In July the Rev. Setri Nyomi, a pastor of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Ghana, became the first non-European to be appointed general secretary of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches. Jan Paulsen of Norway became the first European to be elected president of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists when he was chosen in March to replace Robert S. Folkenberg, who resigned amid allegations that he was involved in fraudulent business dealings. The Rev. John H. Thomas, ecumenical officer of the United Church of Christ, was elected president of the denomination in July in Providence, R.I., at its General Synod, which also adopted a plan to reduce the number of national officers. Catholicos Karekin I of the Armenian Apostolic Church died in June (see Obituaries (Karekin I, Catholicos )) and was replaced in October by Archbishop Karekin Nersisyan, who took the name Karekin II.

Celebrations and Ceremonies.
      The 300th anniversary of the Khalsa (Order of the Pure) movement drew an estimated two million Sikhs to Anandpur Sahib, India, in April. The order was created as a casteless community by Guru Gobind Singh, the 10th and last living guru of Sikhism. The anniversary celebration brought a temporary truce to the rivalry of factions led by Prakash Singh Badal, the highest elected official in Punjab state, and Gurcharan Singh Tohra, an ousted leader of a committee that controlled Sikh worship, who were competing for the loyalty of India's 20 million Sikhs. In the first ceremony of its kind ever held in the United States, 11 Hindu priests from India conducted a 10-day prayer marathon for rain in August at Sri Siva Vishnu Temple in Lanham, Md. The name of the ceremony, Satha Chandi Homam, refers to making 100 fire offerings to Chandi, one of several names for Devi, the mother goddess.

Church Membership.
       Worldwide Adherents of All Religions by Six Continental Areas, Mid-1999 Religious Adherents in the United States of America, AD 1900-2000 It was reported in February 1999 that the number of Roman Catholics worldwide had passed the one billion mark and that they made up 17.3% of Earth's population. The largest Protestant denomination in the United States, the Southern Baptist Convention, reported a membership decline of 1%—its first decline since 1926—for a total of 15.7 million. The United Methodist Church reported the smallest decrease since its creation in 1968, the loss of 38,477 American members, for a total of 8.4 million. (For figures on Adherents of All Religions by Continent, see Table I (Worldwide Adherents of All Religions by Six Continental Areas, Mid-1999 ); for Adherents in the U.S., see Table II (Religious Adherents in the United States of America, AD 1900-2000 ).)

      A study by the Barna Research Group found that 31% of American adults—between 60 million and 65 million people—could be classified as “unchurched” because they had not attended a Christian service during the previous six months other than a special event such as a wedding or funeral. A survey financed by the Chicago-based John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation reported that more than 70% of Americans surveyed said they were religious and considered spirituality to be an important part of their lives, but about half attended religious services less often than once a month or never. David Kinnaman of the Barna Research Group said Americans “are beginning to develop a hybrid personal faith that integrated different perspectives from different religions that may even be contradictory. . . .That doesn't bother them.”

Darrell J. Turner

▪ 1999



      During 1998 religious groups worked to resolve contentious issues involving the Protestant Reformation and the Holocaust. Advocates of the rights of homosexuals, including same-sex marriages, challenged the policies of several churches. Christian women staged rallies to celebrate their faith, and a major denomination stirred debate with a statement on husband-wife relations. In addition, the U.S. Congress worked on bills to strengthen religious freedom both at home and around the world.

      In June the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) and the Vatican approved a "Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification," expressing common views on a subject that was a major source of conflict during the 16th-century Reformation. Although the declaration reflected a consensus that salvation is a free gift of God and cannot be earned by good works, and the LWF's Council voted to lift the historic condemnations of Roman Catholic teaching on the subject. Several "clarifications" requested by the Vatican led the LWF to ask for more talks before the document was signed. (See Lutheran Communion (Religion ), below.)

      At its Eighth Assembly, meeting in December in Harare, Zimbabwe, the World Council of Churches formed a special commission to propose "necessary changes in structure, style, and ethos" of the ecumenical organization in response to Orthodox concerns. In a message to the assembly, Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew said the WCC had taken a "critical turn" at its 1991 assembly, when a series of liberal theological and social positions were adopted. Earlier in 1998 the Bulgarian Orthodox Church left the 330-member organization.

      The Vatican in March issued a long-awaited document on the Holocaust in which it expressed repentance for Roman Catholics who failed to oppose Nazi persecution of Jews. It made a distinction, however, between anti-Jewish sentiments that Christians have expressed historically and the secular anti-Semitic ideology of the Nazi regime and defended the activities and statements of Pope Pius XII, who had been criticized by many Jews for his silence on the Holocaust at the time. Although the document was welcomed by some Jewish leaders, several major Jewish groups said it was inadequate. In May Edward Idris Cardinal Cassidy, head of the Vatican agency that wrote the document, told a gathering of the American Jewish Committee in Washington that the Vatican was "amazed, almost distraught" because of the amount of negative Jewish reaction.

      On a more positive note, Conservative Rabbi Mordecai Waxman of Great Neck, N.Y., a longtime leader in interfaith relations, became the first rabbi to be named a Knight Commander of St. Gregory by the Vatican. In April he became the fifth Jew to have received the papal honour, which was first awarded in 1831. In March Sir Sigmund Sternberg (see BIOGRAPHIES (Sternberg, Sir Sigmund )), chairman of the executive committee of the International Council of Christians and Jews, won the $1.2 million Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion. In other Christian-Jewish developments, Israel's two chief rabbis and the Latin patriarch of Jerusalem met for the first time in March in an attempt at reconciliation, and leaders of the National Council of Synagogues and the National Conference of Catholic Bishops in the United States issued in May a joint statement on the millennium, pledging to work for more mutual respect between the two faith traditions.

      In August at the once-in-a-decade Lambeth Conference in Canterbury, Eng., the world's Anglican bishops declared homosexual activity to be "incompatible with Scripture," advised against the ordination of homosexuals, and called for sexual abstinence outside of marriage. The resolution, approved 526-70 with 45 abstentions, was adopted after a debate that highlighted differences on those issues between more liberal bishops in the West and their more traditional counterparts in many Third World countries.

      In March in a church trial, the Rev. Jimmy Creech of Omaha, Neb., a United Methodist minister, was acquitted on charges of having violated church law by officiating at a ceremony that united two women. In August the United Methodist Judicial Council said the ban on homosexual unions in the denomination's statement of Social Principles had the status of church law in the nearly 10 million-member congregation. In October Bishop C. Joseph Sprague of the Northern Illinois conference filed a charge against Rev. Gregory Dell of Chicago for having performed such a ceremony for two men after the Judicial Council issued its ruling.

      A proposal to replace Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) ordination standards requiring fidelity in marriage and chastity in singleness with standards calling for fidelity and integrity in marriage or singleness was defeated in a vote by presbyteries. In June the denomination's General Assembly in Charlotte, N.C., decided to take no further action on the matter, which had divided the 2.6 million-member church for more than a decade. The Rev. James Callan was suspended by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester, N.Y., in December for conducting same-sex weddings, serving Mass to non-Catholics, and allowing a woman to perform some priestly duties at the altar.

      Trent Lott, a Republican senator from Mississippi and majority leader of the U.S. Senate, generated controversy in June when he declared homosexuality to be a sin. Subsequently, House Majority Leader Dick Armey, a Republican from Texas, said he agreed with Lott and that "the Bible is very clear on this." A few weeks later 15 conservative social and religious groups placed full-page ads in several major newspapers saying that men and women had converted from homosexuality to heterosexuality as a result of their Christian faith. The ad campaign was countered by a news conference in which former members of "ex-gay" organizations said that, on the basis of their experiences, such lasting change is rare if not impossible.

      In the wake of its historic rally that drew hundreds of thousands of men to Washington, D.C., in 1997, Promise Keepers initially laid off hundreds of staff members from its Colorado Springs, Colo., headquarters and then recalled many of them after churches and individuals donated more than $4 million to maintain the organization. Meanwhile, such Christian women's movements as Women of Faith, Aspiring Women, Renewing the Heart, and Time Out held their own stadium rallies and conferences in which speakers discussed such issues as overcoming a poor self-image, coping with marital problems, and dealing with financial matters. More than 600,000 women attended such events in 1998.

      The nearly 16 million-member Southern Baptist Convention drew widespread attention in June when it added a section on family to its doctrinal statement, saying that wives should "submit graciously" to their husbands' "servant leadership." The Lambeth Conference gave moral support to four U.S. Episcopal bishops who had refused to permit women priests in their dioceses, saying there should be no compulsion on any bishop in such matters. In August the Northern Province of the Moravian Church in America elected the Rev. Kay Ward of Bethlehem, Pa., its first female bishop.

      A constitutional amendment to allow organized prayer in public schools fell short of the two-thirds vote necessary for passage in the U.S. House of Representatives in June. Congress passed a bill creating a State Department "ambassador-at-large for religious liberty" and giving the president several options, ranging from private communications to economic sanctions, for dealing with countries that permit religious persecution. Reversing two lower courts, the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled 4-2 in June to uphold a plan that would allow low-income students in Milwaukee to use taxpayer-supported vouchers in order to attend religious schools. The ruling, which the U.S. Supreme Court declined to review, said the program did not "have the primary effect of advancing religion" but placed public and private school choice on an equal footing.

      Widely accepted statistics on church attendance in the U.S. were challenged by an article in February in the American Sociological Review. Though the Gallup Organization and Barna Research Group had reported for years that about 4 in 10 Americans went to church each week, sociologists C. Kirk Hadaway, Penny Long Marler, and Mark Chaves said that if actual heads were counted each Sunday, closer to 25% of Americans would be found in church. A draft report from the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University, Washington, D.C., said that polls showing that between 40% and 50% of American Catholics attended mass weekly may have been overestimates. The report revealed that research based on actually counting churchgoers put the figure at between 26% and 33%.


Protestant Churches

Anglican Communion.

      The Lambeth Conference—a gathering of Anglican bishops from throughout the world held every 10 years—met at Canterbury, Eng., in July-August 1998. Its most publicized action was a resolution passed by a 526-70 vote rejecting homosexual practice as "incompatible with scripture." The lengthy resolution stated that the bishops "cannot advise the legitimising or blessing of same sex unions nor ordaining those involved in same gender unions" but committed bishops to listening "to the experience of homosexual people." Most of the dissenting votes on the resolution came from American bishops. The Episcopal Church's presiding bishop, Frank Griswold, abstained. In a later statement Griswold said that he took exception to some parts of the resolution and believed that "we must explore more fully the whole question of what is compatible and incompatible with scripture." The resolution was widely seen as a rebuke to American Episcopal Church bishops by representatives from Africa and Asia. Many American bishops had ordained practicing homosexuals, and the church's convention had only narrowly defeated a 1997 resolution that would have authorized a liturgy to bless same-sex unions.

      Another Lambeth resolution was also seen as a reaction against the American church. Its 1997 General Convention had mandated the ordination of women in four dioceses that had not yet taken steps to do so. The Lambeth resolution urged mutual respect between bishops who did and those who did not ordain women, stating, "There is and should be no compulsion on any bishop in matters concerning ordination [of women]."

      In January an African church leader called for a single church to unite all of Africa's Anglicans. Njongonkulu Ndungane, Anglican archbishop of Cape Town and successor to Desmond Tutu, made the proposal during a sermon in Uganda. Such an initiative would unite 11 Anglican provinces in Africa, comprising a majority of the world's 64 million Anglicans. The growth of the Anglican Church of Nigeria was cited in a July statement released by its bishops. They noted that the Church of Nigeria had doubled in membership to 17.5 million, seven times larger than the American church.

      A Vatican Doctrinal Commentary released in July reaffirmed Pope Leo XIII's 1896 denunciation of Anglican ordinations as invalid. The Vatican's statement triggered a flurry of reactions throughout the Anglican Communion and was seen as a setback to ecumenical relations with Roman Catholicism. William Franklin, dean of Berkeley Divinity School at Yale University and a leader in Anglican-Roman Catholic dialogues, said that the commentary "seemed to end a fruitful era of ecumenical dialogue."

      The Right Rev. John Maury Allin, 23rd presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church, died March 6 in Jackson, Miss. The former bishop of Mississippi led the church from 1974 through 1986. Stressing a theme of reconciliation, he successfully steered the church through turbulent years after it accepted the ordination of women in 1976 and a revised prayer book in 1979. (See OBITUARIES (Allin, the Right Rev. John Maury ).)


Baptist Churches.

      The Southern Baptist Convention received wide media coverage in 1998 following its annual meeting. On June 9 messengers (delegates) met in Salt Lake City, Utah, and adopted a statement on the family that included their belief that a wife should "submit herself graciously" to her husband. According to reports, the majority of delegates said it was time to declare to Baptists and society at large what they believed to be God's plan for the family.

      In reaction to the media coverage, much of it negative, noted church historian Martin Marty (see BIOGRAPHIES (Marty, Martin E )) of the University of Chicago commented, "The denomination may pick up new members who are hungry for authority." Much of the support for the "submission" statement was based on a literal interpretation of Ephesians. Also at the meeting the denomination's traditional condemnation of homosexuality was reiterated.

      Paige Patterson, one of the powers responsible for the conservative takeover of the 15.8 million-member denomination, was elected president. Patterson, president of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, N.C., ran unopposed. Early in September he joined the chorus calling for the resignation of Pres. Bill Clinton, a fellow Southern Baptist.

      In March former U.S. president Jimmy Carter moderated a meeting of the feuding conservatives and moderates. He encouraged a declaration expressing mutual respect while acknowledging that, though "there are unresolved issues among us, the signatories to this declaration wish to overcome differences that may impede our mission."

      Among African-American Baptists, the National Baptist Convention USA, Inc., was riven by charges against its president, Henry J. Lyons. Lyons had denied accusations in 1997 that he had used church funds to purchase a house, a car, and other personal items. In response the Rev. Calvin Butts III, minister of the influential Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem in New York City, repeated his criticism of the denomination's leadership: "The leadership is woefully inadequate, corrupt and untrustworthy."

      In developments elsewhere, the Belgian government would no longer classify Baptists as a cult. On Dec. 6, 1997, the Baptists received unanimous acceptance from the nation's Protestant Synod. The acceptance was the result of other European Baptist groups' teaming up with the Baptist World Alliance to urge official recognition. Encouragement would now be offered to Austrian Baptists, who were also classified as a cult.

      Milestones among Baptists in the U.S. included the appointment of R. Scott Rodin as the 11th president of Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary, an American Baptist school in Philadelphia. Rodin, a Presbyterian, was the first non-Baptist president in the seminary's 73-year history.

      The Rev. Thomas Kilgore, Jr., one of the few men to lead two major national Baptist organizations (the Progressive National Baptists Convention and the American Baptists Churches, USA), died in February in Los Angeles. (See OBITUARIES (Kilgore, Thomas, Jr. ).) Kilgore, pastor emeritus of the Second Baptist Church in Los Angeles, was a leader in the struggles for racial justice and served with the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.


Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).

      Leadership changes, additional churchwide planning, and an effort to eliminate racism in church structures highlighted 1998 for the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). The church's Northwest Region called the Rev. Jack Sullivan, Jr., as its new executive in March. Sullivan became the second African-American to head a regional body in the more than 900,000-member denomination. In 1998 the Northwest Region comprised 8,300 members in 77 congregations across Washington and northern Idaho and in Anchorage, Alaska.

      In other action the General Board identified six "vital issues" to be addressed as the church fulfilled its four-year Mission Imperatives. They included evangelism and witness; spiritual vitality and faith development; leadership development; congregational hospitality, diversity, and inclusiveness; justice, reconciliation, service, and public advocacy; and strong worship life.

      The General Board Administrative Committee in July endorsed a proposal to offer antiracism training to church members. This initiative stemmed from an ongoing churchwide examination of racism in North America, including within the church itself.

      In late 1998 the Disciples celebrated the ministry of the Rev. Paul A. Crow, Jr. The church leader retired December 31 after nearly 40 years of global ecumenical ministry. In November Crow delivered the Peter Ainslie Lecture on Christian Unity, an annual celebration at which a world ecumenist is invited to share his or her vision of Christian unity.


Churches of Christ.

      From 1979 to 1997 the Churches of Christ experienced only modest growth, but in 1998 their numbers increased markedly. New churches were established throughout the United States. Rhode Island led with a 72% growth rate, followed by Minnesota with 67% and Maryland with 60%. The largest numbers of churches continued to be in the southern states.

      Also significant was the expansion of missions. In India membership was estimated at one million. Other nations showing growth were Ghana, Nigeria, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Malawi. A largely indigenous movement also resulted in a large increase in Mozambique. The most noteworthy development in Asia was the reestablishment of contact between governments and church members in Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, North Korea, and Lebanon.

      During the first nine months of the year, Church of Christ Disaster Relief, headquartered in Nashville, Tenn., distributed $2.5 million in relief supplies to 26 disaster-stricken areas. Other organizations active in disaster relief were White's Ferry Road Church of Christ in West Monroe, La.; Manna International in Redwood City, Calif.; and Bread for a Hungry World in Fort Worth, Texas.

      Universities operated by members of the church registered record enrollments. Among academies Coventry Christian School in Pottstown, Pa., led with a 25% enrollment increase.

      "In Search of the Lord's Way," a television and radio program featuring Mack Lyon as host, expanded its coverage by 10%, adding 143 cable channels, the Inspirational Network, the Odyssey Channel, and the Family Network. Among publications The Christian Chronicle continued to lead in circulation, with a total of approximately 100,000 households in 125 countries.


Church of Christ, Scientist.

      In 1998 the 103rd annual meeting of the Mother Church focused on signs of significant change in theology. Featured were videotaped interviews with other religious leaders, including Harvey Cox of the Harvard Divinity School; the Rev. Tina Saxon, pastor of Disciples' Baptist Church in Boston; and John Fellers of the Institute of Religion at the Texas Medical Center in Houston. Their participation emphasized the widespread interest in Christian healing within the religious and medical communities. "We're at a point of historic change—a new birth in theology and practice," remarked incoming church president Jon G. Harder.

      During the year interest in spiritual healing led many readers to Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy. For the fourth year in a row it enjoyed sales of more than 100,000 copies, with the number purchased in the 1997 fiscal year up by 15%. First published in 1875, it was in 1998 carried by some 2,500 bookstores as well as by Christian Science reading rooms throughout the world.

      On the 150th anniversary of the first Woman's Rights Convention in Seneca Falls, N.Y., the church was invited by the Women's Rights National Historic Park to cosponsor an exhibit on Eddy. It highlighted her accomplishments as pioneer, healer, author, leader, public speaker, founder, and publisher.

      In August the church was host to an International Conference titled "Pioneers of the Spiritual Millennium." Approximately 1,500 college students and faculty gathered at the church's Boston headquarters to explore ways to discuss the role of spirituality in the academic community. A redesigned Christian Science Sentinel, published weekly, increased its number of orders by 45% in 1998. Each month up to 13,000 Internet users visited the church's Web site (, and 450,000 accessed the electronic version of The Christian Science Monitor (, logging over two million pages.


Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

      During 1998 church president Gordon B. Hinckley exhibited marvelous powers of physical and mental endurance as he, in his 88th year, traveled to meet church leaders and members, heads of state, and other government officials in Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Zimbabwe, and South Africa in Africa; Ecuador, Venezuela, Uruguay, Paraguay, Brazil, and Chile in South America; all nations in Central America; the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Switzerland in Europe; Samoa, American Samoa, Tonga, Fiji, and Tahiti in the South Pacific; Japan, the Philippines, and South Korea in the Far East; and several dozen communities in the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Among his most notable appearances was an address to 24,000 Mormons at a special "fireside" at New York City's Madison Square Garden in April.

      The church's worldwide building program continued. In late 1998 there were 52 temples operating in 24 countries and 46 new temples in various stages of design or construction. New temples were being built in Bolivia, Canada, Japan, Mexico, the U.S., and Fiji. With 200,000 attending an open house, the temple at Preston, Eng., was dedicated in August.

      President Hinckley was honoured in the U.S. at the National Conference of Community and Justice for his tolerance and compassion, and he addressed a regional leadership meeting of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in April. He was interviewed during the year by Dan Rather for CBS and Larry King for CNN.

      Continuing its vast humanitarian program, in 1998 the church assisted members and others after flooding, hurricanes, earthquakes, and other disasters in many locations throughout the world. In May the church was formally recognized as a centralized religious organization in Russia.


Jehovah's Witnesses.

      During 1998 Jehovah's Witnesses highlighted their belief that the Bible is the word of God by means of a course of study that included textbooks such as The Bible, God's Word or Man's? They also volunteered their time to share with their neighbours information from a variety of sources, including A Book for All People, a brochure designed to build faith in the Bible.

      Each year Jehovah's Witnesses schedule three-day instructional sessions in the form of conventions. In 1998 almost 200 were held in the United States, highlighting the theme "God's Way of Life." In the U.S. some 1.5 million people attended the conventions, where they were encouraged to strengthen their faith in the Bible and its teachings. These teachings included not only doctrines but also standards of conduct. A handbook designed to build faith in the existence of a Creator was released to the audience at each of the conventions and had an initial distribution of five million copies in English, plus millions in 38 additional languages. The book, Is There a Creator Who Cares About You?, discusses the support that scientific evidence gives to the creation account.

      As part of their work of getting the Bible and its message into the hands of people worldwide, Jehovah's Witnesses arranged for nearly 300,000 copies of the Bible to be printed in Russian for distribution throughout Russia and in other countries where Russian is spoken. This translation, the Makarios Bible, was the work of two 19th-century translators, prominent members of the Russian Orthodox Church and language scholars. The translation had been generally unknown to the Russian public for more than a century.


Lutheran Communion.

      In a decision of historic proportions, the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) Council, meeting in Geneva in June 1998, unanimously approved the "Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification" with the Roman Catholic Church. This approval came after a long study process in which 89 of the 124 LWF member churches expressed their opinion on the declaration. Of the churches responding, 91% voted "in favour of" the document, supporting its statement that divine forgiveness and salvation come only through God's grace and that good works flow from that. The declaration had raised considerable debate in some LWF churches, which questioned whether a sufficient consensus concerning the doctrine had been reached. The LWF Council vote indicated a Lutheran understanding that there was agreement on justification to such a degree that condemnations made by both Lutherans and Roman Catholics regarding this doctrine during the Reformation period no longer applied to present-day churches. LWF General Secretary Ishmael Noko declared that the vote should be celebrated as a "historic moment for our two churches." Several days later the Vatican responded to the declaration by detailing a number of remaining differences while acknowledging a consensus in the basic truths. Many Lutherans questioned the degree of acceptance by the Roman Catholic Church. The LWF president, Bishop Christian Krause, called for careful study of the Vatican response.

      The council also encouraged support by LWF churches for debt relief for the world's poor countries by 2000 and noted reports of human rights violations in Ethiopia. It requested that parties involved in the Middle East peace process resume negotiations and implement previously made commitments.

      The Norwegian government appointed Gunnar Stålsett, a former LWF general secretary, as bishop of Oslo. Munib Younan was consecrated as the new Palestinian Lutheran bishop in Jerusalem.

      The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), the second largest Lutheran body in the world, moved to implement full communion with three Reformed churches in the U.S. It continued its efforts to enter into full communion with the Episcopal Church in the U.S. after such a proposal was narrowly defeated in 1997. The ELCA also studied a proposal to enter into full communion with the Moravian Church in America in 1999.

      The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada and the Anglican Church in Canada approved respectively in 1997 and 1998 statements of intention to take definitive action in 2001 on a proposal that they enter into full communion with each other. At its triennial convention in St. Louis, Mo., in July, the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod elected Alvin Barry to his third term as president and pursued its plans for evangelization and closer ties with Lutheran churches in Eastern Europe.


Methodist Churches.

      The 1998 Methodist Peace Prize was awarded to Kofi Annan, secretary-general of the United Nations. The citation referred to Annan's "courage, creativity and consistency in the pursuit of human reconciliation and world peace."

      The first-ever All-African Methodist Conference was held in Benoni, S.Af., in March and was attended by Methodist leaders from 16 African countries. A second conference was planned for Kenya in 2000. A nonjudicial body, the All-African Methodist Conference served as a forum for discussion, sharing, and learning, with the goal of promoting unity between churches and strengthening the African voice on relevant issues.

      In 1998, for the first time, delegates from the Russia United Methodist Church were seated and participated with full rights in the Northern Europe Central Conference. The Russia Provisional Annual Conference was established and had its first meeting at Pushkin near St. Petersburg in May.

      Representatives from about 200 Methodist schools and colleges around the world met in Bath, Eng., in July to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the opening of the oldest Methodist educational institution, the Kingswood School in England's Avon county. The event, organized by the International Association of Methodist-Related Schools, Colleges and Universities, preceded a conference on the theme "Methodism and Education: From Roots to Fulfillment."

      World Methodism mourned the sudden death in August of the honorary president of the World Methodist Council, the Rev. Donald English. He had previously been elected twice as president of the British Methodist Conference and was chairperson of the World Methodist Council Executive from 1991 to 1996.

      The 13th Lambeth Conference of the Anglican Communion gave its approval to the report of the Anglican/Methodist International Commission, "Sharing in the Apostolic Communion." The two communions agreed to establish a joint working party to develop mutual agreements acknowledging that each church belongs "to the one, holy, catholic apostolic Church," that in each "the word of God is authentically preached and the Sacraments are duly administered," and that "the two Churches share in the common confession and heritage of the apostolic faith."

      The World Methodist Council announced that Brighton, Eng., would be the centre for the 18th World Methodist Conference, to be held in late July 2001. As many as 4,000 delegates were expected to attend.


Pentecostal Churches.

      In September 1998 more than 100,000 Pentecostals gathered in Seoul, South Korea, in Olympic Stadium to celebrate the 18th Pentecostal World Conference (PWC). Daily sessions met in Cho Yonggi's Yoido Full Gospel Church, the world's largest congregation, with more than 730,000 members. With the retirement of Chairman Ray Hughes, the Advisory Committee elected Thomas Trask of the American Assemblies of God to lead the PWC for the next three years. The number of Pentecostals and Charismatics in the world was reported to be 540 million, second only to the membership of the Roman Catholic Church.

      Korean Pentecostal churches continued to grow rapidly during the year. In May Cho dedicated a massive new office building in Seoul for his daily newspaper, the Kook Min Daily News, which had one million subscribers. Across town in Anyang, Cho's younger brother, Cho Yong Mok, served as pastor of the third largest church in the world, with 150,000 members.

      The International Church of the Foursquare Gospel Annual Convention, meeting in Palm Springs, Calif., in April, elected Paul Risser to serve as the fifth president of the church. In August the Church of God (Cleveland, Tenn.) reelected Paul Walker of Atlanta, Ga., to serve a second term as general overseer. His assistant, Lamar Vest, was elected chairman of the National Association of Evangelicals. The Church of God reported five million members worldwide.

      The General Conference of the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada, which convened in Saskatoon, Sask., in August, voted for the first time to allow ordained women ministers to serve on the highest executive boards of the church. William Morrow was reelected to head the church for two more years.

      In October the International Pentecostal Holiness Church celebrated its centennial year with special ceremonies in Oklahoma and North Carolina. Its sister church, the mostly African-American Fire-Baptized Holiness Church of God, celebrated its centennial year at its headquarters in Greenville, S.C., in June.


Reformed, Presbyterian, and Congregational Churches.

      At its 23rd General Council (Debrecen, Hung., 1997) the World Alliance of Reformed Churches (WARC) had approved the lifting of its suspension of the Dutch Reformed Church in South Africa, imposed in 1982 because of that church's support of apartheid, on condition that the General Synod of the church acknowledge that apartheid was wrong and sinful "not simply in its effects and operations but also in its fundamental nature." In October 1998 the General Synod complied with the request. Unity negotiations between the Dutch Reformed churches in South Africa continued during the year.

      The first meeting of the new WARC Executive Committee, elected at the 23rd General Council, took place in Geneva at the end of June. The main item on the agenda was the processus confessionis—a process of progressive recognition, education, and confession in all member churches regarding economic injustice and environmental destruction.

      The Handbook of Reformed Churches Worldwide was one of the fruits of the Mission in Unity project, begun in the 1980s by the John Knox International Reform Centre in Geneva. This ambitious attempt to list and describe all the Reformed churches in the world and their relationships to one another was edited by Jean-Jacques Bauswein and Lukas Vischer and was scheduled for publication in January 1999.

      In October a meeting to discuss future cooperation took place in The Netherlands between representatives of WARC and the Reformed Ecumenical Council (REC); this too was a result of the Mission in Unity project. REC had been established in 1946 on a stricter confessional basis than WARC, but subsequently the gap between the two organizations narrowed. In 1998 REC consisted of a council of 34 Reformed and Presbyterian churches from 23 countries; approximately half of these churches also belonged to WARC.

      Four new churches were admitted to membership by WARC in 1998: the Africa Inland Church (The Sudan), the Congregational Church of India, the Christian Reformed Church of Honduras, and the United Evangelical Church of Ecuador. By the end of 1998 WARC linked more than 75 million Christians in 214 churches in 105 countries.

Páraic Réamonn

The Religious Society of Friends.

      Work for peace was at the forefront of Friends' (Quakers') concerns in 1998. The Quaker UN offices in Geneva and New York City collaborated with others interested in limiting worldwide traffic in light weapons; worked with the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, which received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997; and continued its action to prevent the enrollment of children in armed combat. In the Great Lakes region of Africa, Norwegian Quakers expanded their Change Agents development project beyond Uganda in order to involve peace work supported by African Quakers. In Rwanda Friends held peace and reconciliation seminars, and Australian Quakers offered a statement of apology for historic wrongs done to the Aboriginal people.

      Mission work focused both on service and on evangelism. Education, health, rural development, and urban renewal received support in the Americas and in Africa, and evangelical Friends churches grew stronger in the Philippines, Taiwan, Nepal, Indonesia, and other Asian countries.

      A Quaker Youth Pilgrimage in mid-1998 involved young people from Europe and North America in study and service in England and Sweden. Women and men from Kenya, Jamaica, and Cuba joined North American colleagues at the United Society of Friends Women and Quaker Men International Triennials in Iowa. The Committee of Latin American Friends launched a program of study publications and seminars for pastors. Growing interest in Quakerism in Eastern Europe contributed to gatherings in mid-1998 for inquirers in Brno, Czech Rep.; in Karpacz, Pol.; and in Zvenigorod, Russia. New executive secretaries took office in three Sections of Friends World Committee for Consultation—Joseph Andugu (Africa), Cilde Grover (Americas), and Tony Fitt (Europe and Middle East). Jack Patterson became the Quaker UN representative in New York City and Lori Heninger the associate representative.


Salvation Army.

      In March 1998 a group of 150 Protestants and Roman Catholics, including youth from the Salvation Army Ireland Divisional Youth Chorus, demonstrated their shared Christian ideals by traveling to Washington, D.C., where they were greeted by and sang for both U.S. Pres. Bill Clinton and Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern. In April the Salvation Army, as an international movement, was accepted as an associate member of the World Evangelical Fellowship.

      The devastation in Central America caused by Hurricane Mitch in October and November prompted the deployment of relief teams to assist stricken families in Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Guatemala. Salvation Army territories throughout the world contributed to this effort, providing financial support, food, blankets, and medicines.

      In September the Army in the U.K. introduced its new uniform. Made available to all soldiers, it consisted of a navy blue blouson jacket and navy blue skirt or trousers. The uniform was designed to be more modern, economical, and practical for its wearers while remaining identifiable to the public. Also in September it was announced that a donation of $80 million, the largest-ever gift to the Army, had been made by Joan Kroc, widow of the founder of the McDonald's restaurants.


Seventh-day Adventist Church.

      In 1998 the Seventh-day Adventist world membership increased to more than 10 million. The church continued to grow fastest in Central and South America, Africa, and Asia. Since 1994 Adventist membership had doubled to about 25,000 in Cuba, where the denomination constructed a new seminary and refurbished almost all of its churches. An Adventist gathering in Papua New Guinea drew a crowd of some 60,000 members; the governor-general of that nation, Sir Silas Atopare, was an Adventist.

      Marking the largest single evangelistic thrust in its history, the church launched a five-week series of meetings during October and November. The nightly programs, which originated on the campus of Andrews University, Berrien Springs, Mich., were sent via satellite to viewers at about 4,000 sites on every continent and were translated into 40 languages. Earlier in the year an evangelistic campaign originating in Soweto, S.Af., had been transmitted to viewers throughout Africa.

      Meeting in Foz do Iguaçu, Braz., delegates from around the world to the church Annual Council discussed the role of the central body (the General Conference) in the Adventist Church structure at the beginning of the new century. They also considered the strengths and limitations of congregationalism and the empowerment of parish pastors.

      The four-year dialogue with the Lutheran World Federation concluded with conversations held at Cartigny, Switz. A joint report issued at the close of the dialogue recommended that Adventists and Lutherans recognize the basic Christian commitment of each other's faith communions. While pointing out areas of agreement and disagreement between the two bodies, the report urged Lutherans and Adventists to encourage and nurture consultative linkage for the good of the entire Christian community and the betterment of humanity. The scholarly papers used as the basis for the four-year conversation were to be edited and published jointly in a single volume.


Unitarian (Universalist) Churches.

      Important resolutions were passed at the 90th annual General Assembly of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches in Chester, Eng., in April 1998. One supported the "Jubilee 2000" initiative calling for cancellation of the debts of the world's poorest nations. Another sought to reform the proposed Multilateral Agreement on Investment so that it would establish binding responsibilities on multinational corporations rather than further extending their rights.

      Examining the theme "Fulfilling the Promise," more than 4,000 registrants—the largest number ever achieved by the (North American) Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA)—met June 25-30, 1998, in Rochester, N.Y. Much progress was reported on the new denominationwide "Journey Toward Wholeness" antiracism program, which also emphasized multiculturalism. The church sponsored special workshops under trained facilitators throughout the U.S.

      Efforts to achieve an equitable gender balance in the North american denomination's ministry and headquarters' departments had by 1998 resulted in a shift from one extreme to another. In 1981, 12% of all ministers in churches were women; by 1998 the percentage had increased to approximately 50%. The personnel of UUA departments, once predominantly male, were now more than two-thirds female.

      To provide a ministry and spiritual home for isolated religious liberals, the Church of the Larger Fellowship was founded in Boston in 1944. By 1998 two full-time ministers were providing a fluctuating but growing membership of about 2,700 adults and 800 children with religious education; sermon and worship materials; pastoral services by phone, E-mail, and correspondence; and a lending library.

      Celebrations on March 29 honouring the centenary of the Unitarian Church in Auckland, N.Z., drew a large congregation from the area covered by the Australia and New Zealand Unitarian Association. The Rev. David Rankin left one of the largest parishes in the U.S., in Grand Rapids, Mich., to lead the Auckland church into its second century.


United Church of Canada.

      The United Church of Canada, the nation's largest Protestant denomination, experienced a year of controversy in 1998. In October 1997 the Rev. William Phipps, the church moderator, generated much debate as a result of a newspaper interview in which he questioned certain, more orthodox views about Jesus, such as his divinity. Many supported the moderator, but others did not. Conservative groups within the denomination called for his resignation. The controversy reflected the wide range of theological positions within the United Church and encouraged many church members to study and reflect anew about the role of Jesus Christ in the world today.

      In 1997 the United Church was named as a defendant in connection with a case of sexual abuse. The incident took place in a now-closed Native American residential school at Port Alberni, B.C. In June 1998 the British Columbia Supreme Court found both the United Church and the federal government vicariously liable for sexual assaults committed by a former school employee. The church appealed the judgment.

      Early in 1998 the church created a fund to help victims of the ice storm that beset areas of Ontario, Quebec, and the Maritime Provinces in January. It also went on record as opposing any military violence against the people of Iraq and called for a federal inquiry into gambling in Canada.

      During the most recent fiscal year, the denomination's two million members and other adherents raised almost Can$320 million for all purposes. Congregations continued to focus most of their money and energy on local mission projects, and so contributions to the church's national mission fund increased only slightly. The church during the year established a committee to make plans for celebration of the denomination's 75th anniversary in the year 2000.


United Church of Christ.

      The commitment of the United Church of Christ (UCC) to becoming a fully inclusive "multiracial, multicultural church" permeated the life of the denomination in 1998. A number of events, including "Pentecost '98," a national gathering held in Chicago in May, helped energize that commitment. Subjects discussed at the meeting included recruitment and support of African-American, Hispanic/Latino, Asian-American/Pacific Islander, and Native American people and churches.

      Ecumenical activities were high on the church's agenda. Efforts were undertaken to implement full communion, affirmed in 1997, with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), the Reformed Church in America, and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. A rapidly accelerating number of partnerships with other denominations, both in the United States and around the world, were entered into by UCC congregations, conferences, and national bodies. The UCC remained an active participant in the Consultation on Church Union, the World Alliance of Reformed Churches, the National Council of Churches in the U.S., and the World Council of Churches.

      A number of developments celebrating the church's historic commitment to issues of justice and freedom for all people centred on the so-called Amistad event in the 19th century, during which church members helped free African slaves transported to New England on the ship La Amistad. The committee organized to support the slaves eventually became the American Missionary Association, one of the national mission agencies of the UCC. In March the keel of a replica of the ship was laid at Mystic (Conn.) Seaport. The ship was to serve as a floating classroom on race relations.

      Other activities throughout the year included the Scripture Project, which explored the nature and authority of scripture in the context of the church's theological diversity, and an invitation to churches to discuss whether the church should bless committed same-sex relationships. The church also completed the construction of a hotel on the site of the national offices in Cleveland, Ohio.


Roman Catholic Church

      The weekly Angelus messages of Pope John Paul II, plus his addresses to visiting delegations, emphasized the concerns of the Roman Catholic Church during 1998. These included international peace and justice and issues involving human life. In October the pope celebrated the 20th anniversary of his reign as pontiff.

      The Vatican's permanent observer to the UN, Suzanne Scorsone, addressed the UN Commission on the Status of Women. Speaking for the Vatican, she called for respect for the essential dignity of women and the full participation of women in public and professional life. The Vatican joined more than 120 nations in signing the convention to ban land mines. The pope called for a peaceful resolution to American-Iraqi tensions and to the conflict between ethnic Albanians and Serbs in Kosovo. Indian bishops called for an end to caste prejudices in the church and also asked for land distribution among "Dalits" ("the oppressed"). The church unsuccessfully called upon several African governments to suspend violence against minorities.

      The church promoted, with varying success, its agenda in defense of all human life. South African bishops continued to protest the 1997 law guaranteeing abortion on demand for up to 12 weeks. Efforts were made to oppose the widespread practice of forced teenage marriage in Kenya. German bishops were instructed by Rome to monitor more closely the 264 pregnancy counseling centres controlled by the church (15% of such centres in Germany). Women who visited such a centre and obtained a certificate testifying to having done so were eligible under German law for an abortion. Women's groups and the local church hierarchy pressed the government of Peru to halt programs of forced contraception and sterilization. Mexican bishops spoke out against the widespread practice of contraception, partly as a moral issue and partly because, according to current projections, the declining birthrate was causing the average age of the Mexican population to increase rapidly; those older than 60 were expected to constitute 73% of the total population in 15 years. In Britain Basil Cardinal Hume spoke sharply against euthanasia.

      Violence against Catholics continued in some parts of the world during the year. Islamic fundamentalism led to the closing of Catholic clubs in Khartoum, The Sudan, and to the rigorous implementation of antiblasphemy laws that targeted non-Muslims in Pakistan. In protest against the laws, Bishop John Joseph of Faisalabad committed suicide. Nationalist sentiment, sometimes augmented by militant Hinduism, provoked several incidents in India. A Catholic hospital was plundered by gangs of Hindu youths chanting anti-Christian slogans in Maharashtra state. Six missionaries and two lay workers were murdered in Rwanda. Three Chinese priests of the "underground" church were arrested. One was quickly released, and Bishop Thomas Zeng Jingmu of Yujiang was released early from his incarceration for political crimes. An American interfaith delegation explored religious repression in China but did not bring about any changes in government policy, which was that any punishment received by the Catholic Church was not for religious reasons but for political offenses. Archbishop Juan José Gerardi Conedera of Guatemala City was murdered April 26. Prior to his murder, he had spoken out against abuses by Guatemala's former military government.

      On February 21 the pope held his seventh consistory for naming new cardinals, elevating 22. Though there were no encyclicals during the year, the pope did issue two important pastoral letters. Ad tuendam fidem (May 28) demanded that all clergy and teachers subscribe to an oath of loyalty to basic Catholic doctrines. The Vatican insisted that the letter merely explained and enforced existing provisions of canon law. Critics, however, feared a crackdown on dissidents. Dies Domini (July 5) called for strict observance of the Sunday mass obligation while also insisting on the need for a weekly day of rest and renewal.

      On March 16, after several years of preparatory work, the Vatican issued "We Remember: A Reflection on the Shoah." While arguing that the church "as such" was not responsible for anti-Semitism, the document accepted responsibility for many individual acts over the years that contributed to a climate of violence and hostility against Jews. The Shoah was attributed to Nazi ideology and secularism. The response of Jewish groups ranged from gratitude at the issuance of such a statement to deep disappointment that it did not go farther. A Catholic-Jewish commission began exploring the possibility of opening the relevant Vatican archives to scholars.

      Ecumenism moved at differing paces on several fronts. Serious discussions began on how to adapt Catholicism to the cultures of Africa and Asia, where Catholics were rapidly growing minorities. Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant clergies in Asia and Catholic and Evangelical groups in the U.S. sought common ground, mutual respect, and the avoidance of proselytism. Catholic and Orthodox relations in former Soviet republics and satellite nations remained tense. Russian Pres. Boris Yeltsin visited the Vatican to reassure the pope regarding Russia's freedom of conscience law, the original wording of which accorded freedom to Russia's "traditional faiths: Orthodoxy, Islam, Buddhism, and Judaism." Partly owing to Vatican pressure, the word Orthodoxy was changed to Christianity. Anglicans and Catholics made no further progress on intercommunion. Lutherans and Catholics could not agree completely on the Doctrine of Justification but found more common ground.

      The pope made several trips, including his first-ever visit to Cuba in January. Whether the pope's efforts improved the lot of the church and of the Cuban people, as his similar efforts undeniably had for the church and people of Eastern Europe, remained to be seen. In March the pope made his second visit to Nigeria to encourage that nation's Catholic community, which made up about 15% of the population. In June the pope visited Austria in an attempt to reconcile that country's overwhelmingly Catholic population after a decade of clumsy administrative maneuvers and the sexual improprieties of its disgraced former archbishop. In October the pope visited Croatia.


The Orthodox Church

      During 1998 the Orthodox churches in the former communist countries continued to voice discontent with the World Council of Churches (WCC). The Russian Orthodox Church, for example, was concerned with the increasingly liberal and nontraditional stance of the WCC. Following the decision in May 1997 of the Orthodox Church of Georgia to withdraw from the WCC, representatives of the Russian and Georgian churches met on March 11, 1998, to discuss their grievances with the WCC. Proposals were made for presentation at a meeting of all Orthodox churches scheduled for late April in Thessaloniki, Greece. On April 9, however, the Bulgarian Orthodox Church announced that it was withdrawing from the WCC because of its nontraditional tendencies. The meeting in Thessaloniki, attended by 15 self-governing Orthodox churches, took place April 29-May 2. Although some of the churches wanted total withdrawal from the WCC, a compromise recommended that the Orthodox member churches of the WCC express their concerns at the Assembly, to be held in December at Harare, Zimbabwe, without voting or participating in the worship services.

      Archbishop Seraphim, head of the Orthodox Church of Greece, died on April 10, 1998. He had held the post for 24 years, longer than any other Greek archbishop. (See OBITUARIES (Seraphim, Archbishop ).) On April 28 Christodoulos of Dimitriada was elected the new archbishop of Athens and all Greece. Enthroned May 9, he immediately began challenging Greek society with a fresh program of outreach to young people that gained him popularity.

      In Russia enforcement began of a law passed late in 1997 that required new religious groups to function for 15 years before registering permanently as national religious organizations. Western civil and religious leaders opposed the law. Also in Russia, public attention was focused on the burial of the remains of Tsar Nicholas II and his family, who were murdered by the Bolsheviks in 1918 in Yekaterinburg. The burial took place in St. Petersburg on July 17 with Russian Pres. Boris Yeltsin present, but Russian Orthodox Patriarch Aleksey II, who refused to acknowledge the remains as authentic, did not attend.

      Metropolitan Jeremiah of France (ecumenical patriarchate) was elected president of the Conference of European Churches, the major ecumenical European church organization, on Nov. 12, 1997. In Estonia Semyon Kruzhkov was elected titular bishop of Abyssos on March 19 to assist Archbishop John of Karelia and all Finland, the administrator of the Autonomous Estonian Church. On August 2 the Albanian Orthodox Church celebrated the sixth anniversary of the restoration of the Orthodox Autocephalous Church of Albania with a newly constituted Holy Synod of three bishops under His Beatitude, Archbishop Anastasios.

      On February 11 Metropolitan Vasily, head of the Polish Autocephalous Orthodox Church, died. Succeeding him, with the title metropolitan of Warsaw and all Poland, was Sawa, the archbishop of Bialystok and Gdansk. Sawa had served as the abbot of Jabloczino Monastery and as dean of the Orthodox department of the Academy of Christian Theology in Warsaw.

      Notable among the recent rise of conversions to the Orthodox Church in the United States was theologian and historian Jaroslav Pelikan, Sterling professor of history emeritus at Yale University. The author of more than 30 books, Pelikan was received into the Orthodox Church on March 25 at the chapel of St. Vladimir's Orthodox Seminary in Crestwood, N.Y.


Oriental Orthodox Churches

      Karekin II, the Armenian patriarch of Istanbul, died in Turkey on March 10, 1998. Subsequently, Archbishop Mesrob Mutafyan, who had served as the head of the patriarchal synod since 1990, was elected acting patriarch of the 65,000-member church body. On August 17, however, Turkish authorities refused to acknowledge the decision, appointing retired archbishop Shahan Sivaciyan in Mutafyan's place. Protests followed when the Armenian community refused to accept the Turkish decision. Consequently, on October 14 Mutafyan was elected as the 84th Armenian patriarch of Istanbul.was scheduled for October.

      His Holiness Karekin I, catholicos of all Armenians, visited Egypt and Germany in January and February, and he traveled to the United States and Canada in June to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the founding of the diocese of the Armenian Church in America. Among the Eastern Orthodox leaders he visited was Archbishop Spyridon of the Greek Orthodox archdiocese.

      A delegation from the New York City Council of Churches visited Egypt March 10-15 and declared that reports of the persecution of members of the Coptic Orthodox Church in that country had been overstated. In July, however, Egyptian military units closed and sealed a Coptic church in the vicinity of Maadi, near Cairo. Coptic Orthodox Pope Shenouda and others protested the action.On August 14 police violence in the village of El-Kosheh killed two persons. international protests were lodged with the Egyptian government.

      St. Mark's Coptic Cathedral in Cairo was the location for the consecration of the first patriarch of the Orthodox Church of Eritrea. The former archbishop of Eritrea was proclaimed Patriarch Philipos I at age 92.



      In February 1998 Susan Aranoff of Agunah Inc., on behalf of her organization, encouraged several leading rabbis in New York City to find an acceptable solution to the growing problem of agunahs. According to Jewish law, a woman whose husband is alive may not remarry until she receives from him "get," or religious divorce. Should the husband refuse his consent to this procedure, the wife may become agunah ("chained"), unable to remarry under Orthodox auspices.

      Russian Pres. Boris Yeltsin attended the opening in the first week of September of a new $10 million synagogue in Moscow. Money for the building, situated in the city's huge war memorial complex, was raised by Russia's Jews. "The fact that President Yeltsin went there was extraordinary. This is the first time the President of Russia has ever been at a Jewish event," said Moscow's chief rabbi, Pinchas Goldschmidt, who helped organize the ceremony. This project should be seen in relation to the "grass roots" renaissance of Jewish religious life in former Soviet countries, which flowed from a variety of small activist groups of various denominations rather than from any central, official "establishment."

      Serious questions about the relationship between church and state arose during the year as a result of activities of Orthodox and other religious groups. These ranged from comments both in favour and in condemnation of U.S. Pres. Bill Clinton in the Monica Lewinsky affair to demonstrations by Lubavich Hasidim in New York City urging the prime minister of Israel to oppose territorial compromise in his negotiations with the Palestinians to the controversy surrounding the voting directives given by the aged Iraqi-born Israeli mystic Rabbi Yitzhak Kadouri. In connection with the latter, both the Ashkenazi and Sephardi chief rabbis of Israel warned against the "exaggerated and improper use of rabbis," suggesting that though it is acceptable for rabbis to comment on specific political issues that have some religious dimension, it is not proper that rabbis be accorded cultic status to dictate who should govern and how.

      Neither Reform nor Conservative Jews appeared to be looking forward to the rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem, and even among the Orthodox there was little enthusiasm for the restoration of a Temple with animal sacrifices. Many justified this attitude by arguing that, according to Jewish law, the Temple would be restored only under the direction of the Messiah. Even so, a fringe group, the Machon ha-Miqdash (Temple Institute) in Jerusalem, opened a museum and developed educational initiatives to make people aware of what they believed was the central place of the Temple in Jewish tradition and practice.

      The International Catholic-Jewish Liaison Committee met at Vatican City on March 23-26 under the chairmanship of Edward Cardinal Cassidy. It endorsed, with some criticisms from the Jewish side, the recent Catholic document on the Holocaust and also approved a Common Declaration on the Environment, which not only spelled out how the common scripture and subsequent traditions of both Catholics and Jews placed responsibility on humans to safeguard the world and its threatened resources but also acknowledged the pressure of population growth as a significant factor in environmental degradation. Catholic-Jewish relations were, however, placed under strain by the continued erection of crosses at the Nazi death camp near Auschwitz and by the canonization of Edith Stein and the beatification of Alojzije Stepinac in October; both were regarded by the Catholic Church as martyrs to Nazism, but many Jews observed that Stein died because of her Jewish origins rather than her Catholic faith and that Stepinac allegedly cooperated during World War II with the Nazi-oriented regime in Croatia.

      In February Rabbi Eliahu Bakshi-Doron, Sephardi chief rabbi of Israel, led an international Jewish delegation to a UNESCO-sponsored "day of reflection and dialogue" with Muslim leaders in Rabat, Mor. In light of the political tensions between the Arab world and Israel, Bakshi-Doron remarked, "Just being able to sit and talk about [the conflict] here in a Muslim country is a step in the right direction."



      China in 1998 celebrated the 2,000th anniversary of the introduction of Buddhism into the country, inaugurating a Buddhist research centre in April and sponsoring an international festival in September. Also in April, Chinese officials denounced as fake a Buddha tooth that Tibetan monks in India had given to Taiwan. While in transit the tooth was worshipped by thousands of Thai Buddhists, and it then was ceremoniously received by 30,000 Taiwanese Buddhists, including government officials.

      After demonstrations in support of the Dalai Lama in March, Chinese authorities in April evicted 50 Tibetan nuns from Drag Yerpa, removing them forcibly from meditation caves, and in May arrested 15 Tibetan monks. In April China unsuccessfully petitioned Japan to block the Dalai Lama's participation at an international Buddhist conference in Tokyo. In November the Dalai Lama met in the U.S. with Pres. Bill Clinton. They agreed that talks between China and the Dalai Lama were necessary; China denounced the meeting.

      In July Maha Ghosananada, Cambodian supreme patriarch and the recipient of the 1998 Niwano Peace Prize, led 2,500 Buddhists in marches and religious services in support of peaceful national elections. Opposition parties denounced the victory of Hun Sen's Cambodian People's Party, charging intimidation that included forced oaths of party loyalty at Buddhist pagodas. Clashes between groups of monks who favoured Hun Sen and those who opposed him erupted during and after the election; some resulted in beatings and arrests.

      A coordinated celebration of the Buddha's birthday in May was hailed as an important step toward the reunification of North and South Korea. In June, following two years of anti-Buddhist attacks that included vandalism, arson, and intimidation, South Korean Buddhist organizations strongly condemned religious discrimination and demanded a government apology for pro-Christian bias. In May Buddhists in Russia unsuccessfully protested the removal of a valuable Tibetan manuscript from Ulan-Ude for exhibition in the U.S.; 50 monks and laymen were beaten and detained, which sparked further protests.

      Burmese exiles in January accused Myanmar of having executed three monks and arrested dozens more during late 1997 and also of restricting the ordination of pro-democracy monks. In April Amnesty International reported widespread human rights abuses against Burmese civilians, including Buddhist monks. During the same month, Burmese officials asked Thailand to execute members of the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army who entered Thai territory. In June Thailand's Supreme Sangha Council outlawed moneymaking Buddhist funerals and ordered temples to provide free funerals for those who were destitute. In July, after a suburban temple unveiled a statue of the Buddha standing on a globe with his arm raised in victory, the Sangha Council tightened control over religious imagery. In March Buddhist activist Sulak Sivaraksa was arrested for obstructing construction of a gas pipeline on the Thai-Burmese border.

      In Sri Lanka the Sinhala Commission, a Buddhist group, in July accused Great Britain of colonial-era crimes against Buddhism, demanding an apology and restitution. Tamil separatists were suspected in the bombing of Kandy's Dalada Maligawa ("Temple of the Tooth," one of Sri Lanka's holiest Buddhist shrines) in January, which kil1ed at least 11 but failed to damage the Buddha's tooth. Buddhist monks led thousands in June 1997 and February 1998 demonstrations and hunger strikes against government plans to sell the Eppawala phosphate deposit to an American corporation known for environmental abuses. The March 1998 bestowal of upasampada (higher ordination) on 22 Sri Lankan nuns at Dambulla, following the October 1996 upasampada of the first Sri Lankan nun, in Taiwan, formally ended a 1,500-year lapse in the Theravada nuns' order.

      A fire in April destroyed Bhutan's famous Paro Taktsang monastery, killing one monk. In May fire gutted part of the Todai Temple in Nara, Japan.



      From January to April 1998, millions of Hindus from around the world made the pilgrimage to the holy city of Haridwar, India, on the banks of the sacred Ganges River for the triennial Kumbh Mela, the great "Festival of the Pot." Because this Kumbh Mela was the last one of the 20th century, it was considered especially auspicious, and far greater numbers than usual made the pilgrimage to Haridwar, one of the four sites among which the festival rotates. On April 13-14 an estimated four million pilgrims ritually bathed in the Ganges to mark the most propitious day of the festival. Local government officials took special measures to prevent not only the sorts of mishaps, including crowd stampedes, that had marred several past celebrations of the mela but also possible terrorist activity arising from the Hindu-Muslim conflict in Kashmir.

      Although the Kumbh Mela concluded without major incident, another pilgrimage was marked by tragedy. As many as 60 pilgrims were among the more than 200 who died in landslides in northern Uttar Pradesh, near the Tibetan border, in August. The pilgrims were members of various groups making their way to Lake Manasarovar and Mt. Kailasa in the Tibetan Himalayas, sites sacred to Hindus as, respectively, the mythic source of the Ganges and the paradisiacal abode of the god Siva. Torrential monsoon rains had loosened the sides of the hills flanking the perilous route to these sites, and little could be done to rescue many who were stranded in remote, inaccessible mountain areas. The Indian government ordered the cancellation of the pilgrimage, and the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh called for a study of an alternative, less-hazardous route for future pilgrims.

      Another major pilgrimage was conducted during July and August to the sacred cave of Amarnath high in the mountains of Kashmir, where Siva was worshiped in the form of a large stalagmite. Kashmiri militant organizations, seeking the separation of the state from India, had imposed a ban on the pilgrimage and attempted to disrupt it with explosive devices, which Indian security forces discovered before injuries could be inflicted.

      The installation in March of a new coalition central government led by the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) raised fears among moderate Hindu and Muslim political leaders that the BJP would advance a religious ideology inimical to communal harmony. The new prime minister, A.B. Vajpayee (see BIOGRAPHIES (Vajpayee, Atal Bihari )), quickly sought to allay any fears that his government would pursue a Hindu nationalism that would violate the principles of a secular state embodied in India's constitution. His critics, however, attacked the government's decision to undertake nuclear bomb tests that bore the project name of Shakti, a word denoting sacred power in Sanskrit. In April a prominent Hindu religious leader, the abbot of monasteries in West Bengal state, spoke out against a Hindu nationalism that might exacerbate communal divisions.

      In August, on the occasion of the 51st anniversary of India's independence, the Orissa state government announced a major project to restore some 400 ancient monuments, including temples as old as 700 years. The state and central governments had long been concerned about the 3,500 monuments in Orissa, the largest number in any state in the country; only 500 were protected in any manner against the vandalism that had stripped ancient Indian temples of sacred images for illicit but highly profitable marketing.



      As in recent years, two trends concerning Islam were most evident during 1998: outbreaks of violence and increasing awareness of the growth and spread of the religion. Violence continued in many Muslim lands and in some cases reached beyond them. Terrorist activities received wide publicity. Their notoriety elicited reactions from Muslims, especially those in Europe and North America, who were concerned that media reports reinforced stereotypes held by many non-Muslims that portrayed Muslims as often violent and Islam as condoning violence. As Islam continued to expand and become more visible in Europe and North America, Muslims in those areas organized to try to counter those stereotypes and to educate their neighbours as well as the media. Their efforts were made more difficult, however, by local problems that had been generated by the expansion and increased visibility of Islam. They included the building of mosques in areas where there had previously been few or no Muslims, distinctive styles of dress, and Muslim holiday celebrations.

      In Muslim countries, as always, disentangling specifically Islamic elements from other political and social developments was very difficult. Indeed, some could not be separated, and many actions by Muslims were better understood as expressing political or social concerns having religious undertones rather than vice versa. Islamist movements were prominent in many places, but upon analysis most of these could not be simplistically categorized as only religious fundamentalism. For example, violence continued in Algeria, where armed groups attacked whole villages; an international commission visited the country in August, but its initial findings as to the causes of the violence were inconclusive. In Afghanistan the forces of the Islamist Taliban were able to extend their political control to almost the entire country by defeating the opposition forces in the north at the end of the summer. They also continued to move toward enforcing Islamist interpretations of social behaviour; in June they ordered the closing of 100 girls' schools, viewing them as not conducive to a proper society. The killing of Iranian diplomatic personnel after the fall of Mazar-e Sharif in the north led to considerable tension between Afghanistan and Iran and the massing of troops by both countries on their common border. U.S.-Afghanistan relations suffered severely because of a U.S. bombing attack in late August of an alleged terrorist base in Afghanistan operated by Saudi millionaire Osama bin Laden. (See BIOGRAPHIES (Bin Laden, Osama ).) That raid, and one on a presumed chemical munitions factory in The Sudan at the same time, was carried out by the U.S. as a retaliatory strike in response to terrorist attacks on American embassies in Tanzania and Kenya in early August.

      Turkey continued to move toward limiting Islamist influence in its political and social life. In January the Islamist Welfare Party was outlawed, and pressure against openly Islamic activities was increased. By midyear the army, which for more than half a century had seen itself as responsible for the preservation of a secular state and society, had taken control of the nation's political life. In Pakistan in August, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif announced that the Shari!ah (Islamic law) would be Pakistan's supreme law. In September an Iranian official source announced that Iran no longer supported condemning to death Salman Rushdie, author of the controversial book The Satanic Verses. Other sources, however, disputed that reversal of policy almost immediately, declaring the condemnation still in effect.

      Although acts of terrorism, violence, and the struggle between Islamist forces and moderates continued, so also did the growth and increasing visibility of the vitality of Islam, especially in Europe and North America. At the end of July, a £3.5 million mosque in Edinburgh, funded by Saudi Arabia, was formally opened; an estimated 8,000 Muslims lived in that city. In Culver City, Calif., the King Fahd mosque, also Saudi-funded, was dedicated; by the end of 1998, there were an estimated 75 mosques in southern California. Groundbreaking took place in late June in Houston, Texas, for a mosque built by the Ahmadiyya sect of Islam. Of the estimated 10 million Ahmadis, some 12,000 were said to be in the U.S. Pres. Saddam Hussein of Iraq went forward with plans to build the largest mosque in the world in Baghdad. Designed to accommodate tens of thousands of worshippers, it would be larger than the al-Haram Mosque at Mecca and would have four minarets.


▪ 1998



      Ecumenical and interfaith relations suffered some serious blows during 1997, although the year was also marked by a historic agreement between four Protestant denominations. Some churches dealt with dissidents in their ranks through excommunication. Church-state conflicts intensified in the United States and Europe, and increased attention was drawn to the persecution of Christians throughout the world.

      The Georgian Orthodox Church withdrew its membership from the World Council of Churches (WCC) in May, claiming that the international ecumenical body failed to take Orthodox interests into account. It was the first time since the WCC was founded in 1948 that an Orthodox church had left the 330-member organization.

      Disagreements between Orthodox churches and their ecumenical partners led Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople to boycott the second European Ecumenical Assembly in Graz, Austria, and prompted Russian Orthodox Patriarch Aleksey II to refuse a meeting with Pope John Paul II. In an address in Washington, D.C., in October, Bartholomew stressed the differences between Orthodox and Roman Catholic Christians, saying that "the manner in which we exist has become ontologically different."

      A proposed agreement between the 2.5 million-member Episcopal Church and the 5.2 million-member Evangelical Lutheran Church in America was defeated at the ELCA convention in Philadelphia in August. Opposition to the authority of bishops in the Episcopal tradition was a major factor in the defeat of the proposal, but the Lutherans agreed to begin a two-year process of discussion that might lead to a new concordat proposal.

      On a more positive note, the ELCA approved a joint declaration with the Roman Catholic Church on the doctrine of justification, saying, "We confess together that all persons depend completely on the saving grace of God for their salvation." Each of the 123 member churches of the Lutheran World Federation was voting independently on the declaration, and the Vatican was continuing to study the document. The ELCA also became the fourth denomination to ratify an agreement to share full communion with three churches in the Reformed tradition—the 3.7 million-member Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), the 300,000-member Reformed Church in America, and the 1.5 million-member United Church of Christ. A 1995 decision by the 285,000-member Christian Reformed Church to allow its 47 regional bodies the option of ordaining women as ministers, elders, and evangelists led two smaller bodies—the 278,000-member Presbyterian Church in America and the 22,000-member Orthodox Presbyterian Church—to break fellowship with it in 1997.

      As a measure calling on officers to live "in fidelity within the covenant of marriage of a man and a woman or chastity in singleness" took effect in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), its General Assembly in Syracuse, N.Y., adopted a new proposal in June calling on church officers to "demonstrate fidelity and integrity in marriage or singleness, and in all relationships of life." That measure, which would replace the "fidelity and chastity" amendment, then was submitted to presbyteries for approval.

      A proposal to recognize same-sex marriages in the Episcopal Church was narrowly rejected by the denomination's General Convention in Philadelphia in July. The convention also apologized to gays and lesbians for what it called "years of rejection and maltreatment by the church." The Germantown (Pa.) Mennonite Church, the oldest Mennonite church in the U.S., was expelled from its regional conference as of 1998, and its pastor, Richard Lichty, was stripped of his clergy status because the congregation had declared its unconditional acceptance of homosexuals.

      Dissent among some fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals led the International Bible Society to drop plans for what it called a "gender-accurate" Bible translation in the United States. A report in World, an evangelical magazine published in Asheville, N.C., charging that the translation was motivated by a feminist agenda led to an outcry. Whereas the Bible Society said that the report was inaccurate, its president, Lars Dunberg, said the organization had concluded that to move ahead with the translation "would cause division within the body of Christ."

      In March the 600-member Union of Orthodox Rabbis of the United States and Canada proclaimed that the Conservative and Reform movements "are not Judaism at all." The edict took the two rival movements to task for condoning interfaith marriages and homosexuality and asserted that conversions to Judaism within those movements were not valid. The Rabbinical Council of America, an organization of about 1,000 Orthodox rabbis, said that the smaller group's declaration "does not reflect the sentiments of mainstream Orthodox Jewish thought since it implies the disenfranchisement of Jews as Jews."

      In the interfaith sphere, the Roman Catholic Church made several gestures toward the Jewish people in 1997, including Pope John Paul II's condemnation of anti-Semitic interpretations of the New Testament and his hailing of the Jews as the people who gave Jesus Christ to all mankind. On the negative side, Southern Baptists and Jews exchanged angry letters prompted by concerns about a 1996 resolution urging Southern Baptists to renew their emphasis on witnessing to Jews.

      The Vatican's chief doctrinal overseer, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, told a French publication in March that Buddhism is "an erotic spirituality" that poses a challenge to the church. However, the Dalai Lama preached from the pulpit in the Washington National Cathedral in April and declared that "all major religious traditions carry basically the same message—that is, love, compassion and forgiveness." And a Buddhist temple in Cambodia agreed to be host of the tomb of a Catholic bishop who died in 1977 in a Khmer Rouge labour camp.

      The Rev. Tissa Balasuriya, a Sri Lankan Oblate priest, was excommunicated by the Vatican in January because of his positions on original sin, papal infallibility, Mary, and Christ's role in salvation. Objections to his book Mary and Human Liberation (1990) figured prominently in the action, which Balasuriya described as "the most severe treatment of a Catholic theologian since Vatican II."

      Gleb Yakunin, who was defrocked as a Russian Orthodox priest in 1993, was formally excommunicated in February, as was Patriarch Filaret, the leader of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church. Yakunin was expelled for supporting the Ukrainian and Estonian Orthodox churches in their bid to split from the Russian Orthodox Patriarchate. After Russian Pres. Boris Yeltsin vetoed a bill to restrict the influence of non-Orthodox Christians in Russia, the Russian parliament passed a similar bill in September that Yeltsin signed.

      The Russian moves to restrict some churches were among situations cited in an 83-page U.S. State Department report on the persecution of Christians around the world. The report highlighted China as one of the leading offenders and described Saudi Arabia as a country where "freedom of religion does not exist."

      In a 6-3 ruling in June, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the four-year-old Religious Freedom Restoration Act, saying that Congress had overstepped its bounds in enacting the measure in response to a 1990 Supreme Court ruling that curtailed protections for religious practice. Two months after the ruling, U.S. Pres. Bill Clinton issued a set of guidelines to "clarify and reinforce the right of religious expression in the federal workplace." On another church-state matter, the high court ruled 5-4 to reverse a 12-year-old decision forbidding publicly financed teachers to tutor children in religious schools. The 1985 ruling, Aguilar v. Felton, had concluded that allowing public employees to work within religious schools would advance religion, but the 1997 Agostini v. Felton decision said government programs do not impermissibly advance religion where they create no financial incentives to religious activity.

      In January the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit declared that it is unconstitutional for government officials to tape-record a sacramental confession to a priest by a prisoner. In March the House of Representatives declared that displays of the Ten Commandments should be permitted in government offices and courthouses because they are "a declaration of fundamental principles that are the cornerstone of a fair and just society."

      Forty U.S. Orthodox, Protestant, and Roman Catholic leaders issued a statement in July declaring that court rulings have denied the concept of moral truths and given people motivated by religion the status of second-class citizens. The statement cited the 1973 Supreme Court ruling that struck down state abortion laws as a prime example.

      Legal restrictions in Germany against the Church of Scientology were criticized in the U.S. State Department's annual survey of human rights around the world. Earlier, 34 prominent Americans from the entertainment industry had compared the restrictions to the way Germany treated Jews in the 1930s. In June the German government announced that for a year the church would be under nationwide surveillance, including the possibility of tapped telephones and intercepted mail.

      German officials' assertions that Scientology is more of a dangerous cult than a real religion were paralleled by a 600-page report by the Belgian Parliamentary Commission on Cults that applied the label to 189 religious groups. In March the State Secretariat for Cults in Romania barred construction permits for any place of worship not affiliated with one of the 16 religious groups recognized by the state.

      Concern about fringe religious movements was heightened in March with the suicide of 39 members of the Heaven's Gate group in a mansion in a suburb of San Diego. Marshall Applewhite, a Presbyterian minister's son who was a cofounder of the group, had constructed a religion that blended elements of Christianity, Gnosticism, theosophy, and a belief in extraterrestrial life. Members of the group believed that they were aliens who had been planted on Earth by a UFO, and that through a mixture of drugs, alcohol, and suffocation, they would be transported to a spacecraft hiding behind the Comet Hale-Bopp.(See Special Report.) (Doomsday Cults )

      Several observers of religious movements considered Heaven's Gate to be an example of a preoccupation with apocalyptic prophecies in connection with the coming of a new millennium. Stephen O'Leary of the University of Southern California, cofounder of the Center for Millennial Studies, predicted that "there will be more bizarre incidents and gruesome deaths in anticipation of prophetic fulfillment or in the aftermath of apocalyptic disappointment." In the most publicized religious gathering of the year, hundreds of thousands of men assembled on the Mall in Washington, D.C., in October under the auspices of Promise Keepers, a Christian men's group founded in 1990. The movement stressed reconciliation across denominational and racial boundaries as well as the need for men to practice spiritual, moral, ethical, and sexual purity. Its emphasis on male leadership in family life led the National Organization of for Women to call it "the greatest danger to women's rights."

      Prophetic fulfillment was the theme of The Bible Code (1997), a best-selling book by Michael Drosnin that described the discovery of a code in the text of the Hebrew Bible that contains hidden predictions. The book claimed that the code contains specific references to such events as the assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, the Oklahoma City, Okla., bombing, and most of the major historical events of the 20th century. Israeli mathematician Eliyahu Rips, whose discovery was the basis of the book, repudiated Drosnin's use of his method to allegedly find predictions of specific events.

      A more mainstream religious book that also sold well was Just as I Am (1997), the memoirs of evangelist Billy Graham, who turned 79 in November. Another of the century's towering religious figures, Mother Teresa, the Nobel Prize-winning founder of the Order of the Missionaries of Charity, died in September in Calcutta, where for decades she had fed and ministered to the poorest of the city's people. (See OBITUARIES (Teresa, Mother ).) Pandurang Shastri Athavale, a Hindu who founded a self-help movement for poor villagers in India, was the 1997 winner of the $1.2 million Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion. Athavale's swadhyaya, or "self-study," movement was estimated to have reached 20 million people in 100,000 villages with its teachings that inner divinity can enable people to overcome self-hatred, prejudice, and the misery of poverty.

      Another saga that reflected the year's religious ferment was the conversion to Islam of Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr. (now Benjamin Chavis Muhammad), former executive director of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. He had been ordained to the ministry of the United Church of Christ (UCC) in 1980 and sought to retain that status after joining the Nation of Islam, declaring that "the God who called me into the Christian church is the same God who is calling me into the Nation of Islam." A regional panel of the UCC disagreed, however, stating that he had joined "another faith" and therefore had to forfeit his UCC clergy status.


Protestant Churches

Anglican Communion.

      Debate over the morality of homosexuality dominated the Anglican Communion in 1997. In February delegates to the Second Anglican Encounter in the South, representing the church's South American, African, and Pacific provinces, adopted the Kuala Lumpur statement on sexual morality. Named after the Malaysian city in which the meeting was held, it declared that "all sexual promiscuity is sin," including "homosexual practices." Soon afterward, the Anglican church in Southeast Asia unanimously adopted the Kuala Lumpur statement and declared itself in communion only "with that part of the Anglican Communion which accepts and endorses the principles." Meanwhile, the bishops of the Southern Africa province issued a statement in March apologizing to homosexual people who had been hurt by years of "unacceptable prejudice" within the church. The General Convention of the Episcopal Church in the U.S., meeting in Philadelphia in July, adopted a similar apology.

      The Episcopal convention in the U.S. refused to ratify the Kuala Lumpur statement and referred it to an interim body for further study. The same convention gave dioceses the option to extend employee health insurance to same-sex couples but refused to authorize pension benefits for them. It also narrowly defeated a provision to develop liturgical rites for the blessing of same-sex couples. The Rt. Rev. Frank T. Griswold III, bishop of Chicago, was elected the Episcopal Church's presiding bishop for a nine-year term following his January 1998 installation. He succeeded the Rt. Rev. Edmond Browning, who served from 1985 to 1997. The Philadelphia convention approved the Concordat of Agreement, which would have established full communion with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. A month later, however, the Lutheran convention failed to ratify it in a vote that fell six votes short of the required two-thirds majority. The Episcopal convention also adopted a canonical change that required mandatory ordination of women in every diocese. The four dioceses that did not now ordain women (Quincy, Ill.; San Joaquin, Calif.; Fort Worth, Texas; and Eau Claire, Wis.) were given three years to implement the new requirements.

      An April survey in the Church of England reported that women constituted 10% of its clergy. Since the first ordinations in March 1994, approximately 2,000 women had been ordained in the church's 43 dioceses. About 400 of them were rectors or vicars in charge of parishes.

      In December 1996 the Nippon Sei Ko Kai (Anglican Church in Japan) adopted a statement admitting the church's responsibility and sin for supporting Japan's "war of aggression" during World War II. Instead of standing beside "those who are oppressed and suffering," the church made compromises with the "militarism that drove the war effort," the statement acknowledged.

      The Rt. Rev. John Elbridge Hines, the Episcopal Church's 22nd presiding bishop, died July 19 in Austin, Texas. He was presiding bishop from 1965 to 1974 and led the church through a stormy period of civil rights activism. (See OBITUARIES (Hines, the Right Rev. John Elbridge ).)

      In late 1996 the Episcopal Church's national office reported errors in statistical reports that gave the impression the church gained 90,000 members between 1991 and 1994. The report acknowledged that the church actually lost 26,000 members during those years.


      This article updates Anglican Communion (Anglicanism).

Baptist Churches.

      Frustrated by the lack of results of an earlier protest, the Southern Baptist Convention at its annual meeting called for a boycott of the Walt Disney Co. by all of its 15 million members. On June 18, 1997, 12,000 delegates gathered in Dallas, Texas, urged the boycott to protest Disney's support of homosexuals, exemplified by the provision of health benefits for the partners of the company's homosexual employees. The convention's vote to support the recommended boycott was so overwhelming that a count of the vote was not taken.

      At the March meeting of the Baptist World Alliance in McLean, Va., representatives from Baptist bodies throughout the world gathered to report progress and challenges. It was reported that churches in Cuba had been packed, and at one service in the western part of the island, 100 young people responded to a call to the ministry. Samuel Fadeji, president of the All-Africa Baptist Fellowship, reported an increase in new churches to add to the 5,600 churches and more than one million baptized believers in the Nigerian Baptist Convention.

      In Azerbaijan Pastor Zaur Balayev and a deacon of the church in Aliabad were arrested. The two men allegedly were put in prison only because of their positions of responsibility with the Baptist Church. The Baptist general secretary, Karl Heinz Walter of the European Baptist Federation, protested to the president of Azerbaijan, stating, "We can assure you that the members of Baptist churches have always been faithful citizens of the countries where they live, but at the same time have insisted on religious freedom for every person."

      In the United States the Alliance of Baptists, a moderate group formed in 1987 after disagreeing with the conservative leadership of the Southern Baptist Convention, reported that it had begun discussions with the United Church of Christ about ways in which the two might work together. The Alliance, which included Baptists from a variety of denominations, had changed from a protest group within the Southern Baptist Convention to an independent organization.

      Along similar ecumenical lines, Baptists in England, specifically members of the Covenanted Baptist Churches of the Baptist Union of Great Britain, joined in considering a proposal that the world's first ecumenical bishop be appointed. The bishop would be the head of five denominations, including the Baptists.

      In August it was revealed that the Rev. Henry Lyons, the president of the National Baptist Convention USA, Inc., had purchased expensive personal items with money that the denomination had earned from business deals. Documents indicated that Lyons and Bernice Edwards, the church's public relations director, had used at least $187,000 in church money toward buying a house, a Mercedes-Benz, and a time-share unit.

      This article updates Baptist.

Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).

      More than 8,400 members of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) gathered in Denver, Colo., in July 1997, passing resolutions restating the General Assembly's opposition to the U.S. trade embargo on Cuba, demanding increased police accountability, and asking congregations to monitor welfare reform. The decision-making body also lobbied for improved job training and employment opportunities for African-American males, called for removal of the U.S. military from Okinawa, Japan, and emphasized Jerusalem's importance to Christian, Muslim, and Jewish traditions.

      The assembly also initiated a test run of a discernment process, designed to help the church listen for God's will on divisive or controversial issues instead of seeking a majority vote. Biblical authority and racism were the issues discussed during the initial round. In other action voters elected the Rev. Michael W. Mooty of Lexington, Ky., moderator of the General Assembly through 1999.

      In keeping with the assembly's call for more accountability for law-enforcement officials, the denomination's general minister and president, Richard L. Hamm, issued a pastoral letter in August condemning the beating of a Haitian member of the Disciples by New York City police. "We must stand for zero tolerance of police abuse and for renewed commitment to public accountability of law enforcement officers and their agencies," said Hamm.

      In March approximately 300 volunteers gathered near tiny Chelford, Ark., to help rebuild an African-American church destroyed by arson in 1995. The Burned Churches ministry of the National Council of Churches later honoured the Disciples for the 10-day reconstruction of St. Mark's Missionary Baptist Church. The 35-member congregation held its first formal service in the new structure on Easter morning.

      This article updates Disciples of Christ.

Churches of Christ.

      "Africans Claiming Africa," an evangelistic conference, drew to Harare, Zimb., 1,745 leaders of the Churches of Christ from 17 African countries, speaking 47 languages. Participants reported that there were 9,398 Churches of Christ congregations in Africa, an increase of 34% in five years. They attributed this growth to two factors: the growth of brotherhood schools and the World Bible School correspondence courses. The church celebrated the 100th anniversary of its establishment in Zimbabwe.

      Four books written by members of Churches of Christ were on the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association best-seller list during 1997, including two by Max Lucado, God's Inspirational Promises and In the Grip of Grace. Two scholarly books with great impact were The Church of Christ: A Biblical Ecclesiology for Today (1996) by Everett Ferguson and Reviving the Ancient Faith: The Story of Churches of Christ in America (1996) by Richard T. Hughes.

      "Saving the American Family," a national conference in San Antonio, Texas, highlighted a major emphasis in the Churches of Christ in 1997. This included training in spiritual leadership for men at a rally in Tulsa, Okla., that drew men from 14 states. Abstinence-based sex-education programs for young people were gaining in popularity.


Church of Christ, Scientist.

      The increased demand for spirituality and healing was the focus of the Church's 102nd annual meeting in Boston. The church president, J. Thomas Black of Michigan, remarked to those present that this reach toward spirituality was changing the ways in which people think about theology, science, and medicine. Black saw this "spiritual hunger that now reaches across ages and races" as a reflection of humanity's "longing to know God's true identity." He said the church was well prepared to meet this longing because of the teachings of the Bible in the light of Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, the discoverer of Christian Science. "And the proof is in nearly 125 years of consistent healing based on these books," Black concluded.

      Other speakers discussed the beneficial effect of the increased distribution of Science and Health. A former registered nurse shared how reading Science and Health transformed her life from sickness to health, into the full-time practice of Christian Science healing; others talked about Christian Science lectures that had been held at a major medical school in the United States and at two large hospitals in India.

      The growing interest in the beneficial role of prayer for physical healing was demonstrated when a church representative served on the faculty at two major conferences in Boston (December 1996) and Los Angeles (March 1997) entitled "Spirituality and Healing in Medicine," sponsored by Harvard Medical School.

      Other significant events during 1997 included a favourable decision for the church when the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court endorsed the administrative and fiscal autonomy of churches and other public charities, an award from the Laymen's National Bible Association acknowledging the church's long-standing promotion of the Bible, and establishment of a restoration program to upgrade church facilities.


Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

      In 1997 the nearly 10 million-member Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints conducted a yearlong celebration of the entrance of their Mormon forebears into the Salt Lake Valley 150 years earlier. The festivities included theatrical performances, television documentaries, celebratory literature, special exhibits in the Church Museum of History and Art, and, above all, a reliving of the trek from the Missouri Valley to the Salt Lake Valley by hundreds of horse-drawn wagons and handcarts—a journey that required three months. The wagon trains were made up of volunteer men, women, and children, dressed in pioneer clothing, and included church members from as far away as Siberia, with a considerable number from Great Britain and continental Europe as well as from all parts of the United States and Canada. The finale was their entrance into the Salt Lake Valley on July 23, to participate in the giant sesquicentennial parade of July 24. July 19 was designated Pioneer Heritage Day, and each local congregation throughout the world was asked to contribute a minimum of 150 hours of community service. Perhaps as many as 10,000 local service projects were completed on this and following days. The church's women's organization, the Relief Society, conducted a worldwide campaign to improve literacy. A special event in San Francisco celebrated the 238 men, women, and children who traveled west on the ship Brooklyn, which landed in Yerba Buena (San Francisco) in 1846.

      Church president Gordon B. Hinckley conducted services in many parts of the world in connection with local history celebrations, the dedication of temples, the opening of visitors centres, and the holding of area conferences. He made special visits to major cities in Europe, Asia, Central and South America, and Australia and New Zealand.

      Church authorities began construction of a "great hall" across from Temple Square in downtown Salt Lake City to accommodate 21,000 persons for religious services and other church purposes such as the presentation of sacred pageants and community cultural events. The building, scheduled for completion in April 2000, was expected to cost approximately $240 million.


Jehovah's Witnesses.

      On May 29, 1997, the European Court of Human Rights rendered an important decision in favour of the plaintiffs in the cases of Tsirlis and Kouloumpas v. Greece and Georgiadis v. Greece. The plaintiffs were Jehovah's Witnesses ministers, who as Christian clergy were exempted from military service by Greek law but who claimed to have been wrongfully denied that status. The court ruled in favour of the ministers, setting a precedent for future cases concerning conscientious objection.

      Earlier that month Jehovah's Witnesses again promoted the importance of adhering strongly to one's principles. On May 15 the videotape Jehovah's Witnesses Stand Firm Against Nazi Assault was screened publicly in Moscow and was simultaneously aired on television in St. Petersburg. The documentary recounts the little-known story of the courageous stand of Jehovah's Witnesses during the Hitler era. By late 1997 it had been viewed at more than 160 public showings in Germany and was being used in classrooms in the United States. Regarding the integrity of Jehovah's Witnesses, Swiss Protestant theologian Theophile Bruppacher said, "Not the great churches, but these slandered and scoffed-at people were the ones who stood up first against the rage of the Nazi demon and who dared to make opposition according to their faith."


Lutheran Communion.

      The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) celebrated its 50th anniversary by holding its ninth assembly in Hong Kong on July 8-16, within days after the handover of that city to China. The assembly, the LWF's highest decision-making body, normally meets every six years. Representatives from 122 member churches took part in the event. The assembly reviewed the work of the LWF since the last conference (in Curitiba, Braz., in 1990) and heard addresses on human rights, mission, the church in China, and Christian unity. Edward Cardinal Cassidy of the Vatican delivered an encouraging report on the proposed joint declaration between Lutherans and Roman Catholics on the nonapplicability of the 16th-century condemnations by the Roman Catholic Church of the doctrine of justification by grace through faith. A final decision on the joint declaration by Lutherans and Roman Catholics was expected in 1998. Hong Kong's chief executive Tung Chee Hwa greeted the assembly and gave a commitment to freedom of religion in the Hong Kong special administrative region. After some debate the assembly decided not to make a statement on human rights in China. This decision subsequently became a matter of some controversy, particularly in regard to criticism raised by some in the German media. In a break with tradition, the assembly elected a president from outside the region of the meeting, selecting Christian Krause, a bishop from Brunswick, Ger.

      The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada reelected Telmor G. Sartison as its bishop and took official action to develop closer ties with the Anglican Church in Canada. The Evangelical Lutheran churches in Germany and the Mennonites agreed to provide occasional eucharistic hospitality to each other's members. The Church of Sweden, the largest Lutheran church in the world, elected Christina Odenberg as its first woman bishop; Bishop K.G. Hammer became the archbishop of Uppsala, Swed. In the U.S. the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod celebrated its 150th anniversary.

      The biennial assembly of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), the second largest Lutheran church in the world, was dominated by ecumenical decisions. With 81.3% of the delegates voting "yes," the ELCA approved a relationship of full communion with three Reformed churches: the Presbyterian Church (USA), the Reformed Church in America, and the United Church of Christ. By a vote of 958-25, the ELCA adopted the joint declaration on justification, stating that a consensus on this doctrine existed between Lutherans and Roman Catholics. This decision was now shared with the LWF as it sought to determine if a consensus existed among its member churches. The ELCA rejected the proposal for full communion with the Episcopal Church by a vote of 684-351, just short of the required two-thirds majority.

      This article updates Protestantism, history of (Protestantism).

Methodist Churches.

      Figures published in 1997 showed a 14% increase in the membership of churches belonging to the World Methodist Council (WMC) compared with 1992 (the last census). Total membership was 33,011,100, with the largest increase—89%—being in Asia. There were 14,767,000 Methodists (45% of the total) in the United States.

      The European Methodist Council, meeting in Copenhagen in September, discussed a paper suggesting various options for its future, as did the Executive Committee of the WMC meeting in Rome later the same month; there, members were being asked to decide on the role and function of the council appropriate for the new century. Both bodies expressed concern over the restrictions to religious liberty in Russia that would result from the new legislation regarding freedom of conscience and religious association. The new law introduced a two-level system for religious associations, with only those in the first group—religious organizations that had been active in Russia for 50 years and were represented widely geographically—enjoying full rights and therefore able to operate in a normal way. The European Methodist Council sent a letter to Russian Pres. Boris Yeltsin, and the WMC Executive Committee agreed to a letter inviting fellow Christians in Russia "to enter a mutual dialogue so that we may recognize the ties that bind us together and such common ways for the proclamation of the gospel."

      The Methodist Church in Hong Kong published a pastoral letter to its members supporting Hong Kong's change to become a special administrative region within China but also emphasizing that the new government has responsibilities for upholding and defending the sovereignty of the nation, serving the people, and defending their dignity and rights. For the first time, the World Methodist Peace Award was given not to an individual but to an organization, the Roman Catholic community of St. Egidio, a volunteer service group organized along the lines of Catholic lay movements of Renaissance Italy.

      After 20 years of discussions, the Orthodox and Methodist churches moved from a preparatory to an official stage in order "not only to enjoy sisterly relations, but also to bear joint witness to the Gospel before the world." Ecumenical discussions between Methodists and Roman Catholics continued during the year. Leaders of the World Methodist Council Executive Committee met with Pope John Paul II, who gave "thanks to God for the progress made in the official dialogue between our two communions."


      This article updates Methodism.

Pentecostal Churches.

      Pentecostals and charismatics were heavily involved in the largest religious gathering in the history of the United States on Oct. 4, 1997, when as many as 1.5 million Christian men, who belonged to the organization Promise Keepers, gathered on the Mall in Washington, D.C. Leaders from the charismatic tradition, such as Promise Keepers founder Bill McCartney and pastors Jack Hayford and Joseph Garlington, were prominent on the platform. Other groups also served as host for large gatherings. A week earlier the world conference of the Assemblies of God reported that more than one million persons had attended the conference's final rally in São Paulo, Braz.

      In June, after Pat Robertson sold his television company, the Family Channel, he gave $150 million of the proceeds to Regent University, Virginia Beach, Va., which made it the most richly endowed evangelical university in the U.S. Indeed, there was a boom in Pentecostal education during the year. Lee College, Cleveland, Tenn. (Church of God), was upgraded to university status, while Emmanuel College (Pentecostal Holiness), in Franklin Springs, was the fastest-growing college in Georgia for the second year in a row. Also in September the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary dedicated its new $4.5 million building debt free.

      Among the Pentecostal denominations several major changes in leadership occurred during the year. In July, John R. Holland resigned under pressure as president of the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel. He was succeeded by Harold E. Helms, the longtime pastor of Angelus Temple in Los Angeles. In August, James D. Leggett was elected to head the International Pentecostal Holiness Church in Kansas City, Mo., while in the same month in Indianapolis, Ind., the Assemblies of God reelected Thomas E. Trask to the office of general superintendent for a four-year term.

      The 1997 meeting of the interracial Pentecostal/Charismatic Churches of North America, which met in Washington, D.C., in October, chose to elect co-chairmen for the next two years. Elected were Bishop Gilbert E. Patterson of the Church of God in Christ and Trask.

      On the international scene 400 church leaders and theologians gathered in Prague in September under the leadership of Michael Harper and the International Charismatic Consultation on World Evangelism. Designed especially for Eastern Europeans, the organization for the first time attracted significant numbers of Russian Orthodox charismatics as participants.


Reformed, Presbyterian, and Congregational Churches.

      "Break the Chains of Injustice" was the theme of the 23rd General Council of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches (WARC), which took place in Debrecen, Hung., in August 1997. The General Council meets every seven to eight years to seek a common response to the challenges facing Reformed churches locally and globally. More than 400 delegates from member churches took part in the meeting.

      Topping the council's list of "chains" was global economic injustice. World hunger and misery, the yawning gulf between underdeveloped and developed countries, the debt crisis that cripples the poor, and the environmental crisis that threatens everyone had been of concern to Reformed churches for many years. Responding to a strong plea from member churches in the South in particular, however, the council declared that these were not just moral issues but questions close to the heart of the Christian gospel and touching on the integrity of Christian faith. It called member churches to a processus confessionis, a "committed process of progressive recognition, education, and confession within all WARC member churches at all levels regarding economic injustice and ecological destruction."

      In 1982 the 21st council had suspended the Dutch Reformed Church (DRC) in South Africa from full membership in WARC because of its theological and practical support for apartheid. The 23rd council agreed to lift this suspension, provided the General Synod of the DRC, meeting in 1998, acknowledged unequivocally that "apartheid is wrong and sinful not simply in its effects and operations but also in its fundamental nature." Elected president of WARC was Song Choan-seng, a minister in the Presbyterian Church of Taiwan.

      In March WARC held a consultation in Geneva to look afresh at human rights from a theological perspective. Bilateral dialogues were conducted with the Oriental Orthodox on "Holy Scripture: its authority and inspiration" and "the function of theological reflection and the work of theologians" in Kottayam, Kerala, India, in January and with the Pentecostals on "the role and place of the Holy Spirit in the church" in Chicago in May.

      Three new member churches were admitted to WARC in 1997: the Evangelical Church in the Dominican Republic, the United Church of Christ Congregational in the Marshall Islands, and the United Church of Christ in the Solomon Islands. In 1997 WARC linked more than 70 million Christians in 211 churches in 103 countries.

      This article updates Reformed and Presbyterian church (Reformed and Presbyterian churches).

The Religious Society of Friends.

      Nearly 300 representatives from more than 70 autonomous groups of Friends (Quakers) from throughout the world gathered for the 19th Triennial meeting of the Friends World Committee for Consultation (FWCC) at Westhill College, Birmingham, Eng., during the last week of July 1997. The theme was "Answering the Love of God: Living our Testimonies." Those gathered were reminded that God loves us with a boundless, unconditional, self-giving love and that we are called to express that love in specific ways to one another, to our families, to our neighbours, to the needy—even to those who act as enemies.

      Decisions made at the Triennial included the naming of new leadership for the FWCC. This resulted in a notable shift of responsibility, with Friends from the Southern Hemisphere taking on some of the key posts. David Purnell (Australia) was appointed clerk, Duduzile Mtshazo (South Africa) assistant clerk, and Elizabeth Duke (New Zealand) general secretary. All were scheduled to begin three-year terms in January 1998, as would Patricia Thomas of the U.S., who was named associate secretary.

      Issues on which those at the Triennial called for action by all Friends included further support of the work by the Quaker United Nations Office in Geneva opposing the use of children in armed conflict. The meeting affirmed Friends' long-standing opposition to the use of violence in any conflict. The concern for children was part of this wider commitment.

      Some other issues calling for action included sexual discrimination, harassment, and abuse among Friends; truth and integrity in public affairs (challenging Friends to dialogue with their governments); climate change (stemming from a call by the World Council of Churches to address the problem of global warming); and refugees (many of them Quaker) in central Africa.

      This article updates Friends, Society of.

Salvation Army.

      On Dec. 12, 1996, Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom officially opened Edward Alsop Court in London. Developed by the Salvation Army, it offered accommodations, training, and rehabilitation for homeless men.

      During 1997 the Salvation Army focused its attention on South Africa. A report submitted to that nation's Truth and Reconciliation Commission maintained that the Army's contribution to South African society had been positive. The Army admitted, however, that its apolitical attitude toward apartheid was not representative of its tradition of promoting universal justice. The presentation concluded by promising to fight racism whenever necessary.

      In Cape Town 500 participants aged 18-25, representing the Army's 50 world territories, met for the first time as the International Youth Forum. They were addressed on behalf of South African Pres. Nelson Mandela by Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi, the nation's minister of welfare and population development. She encouraged them to take their responsibilities seriously and to meet the needs of the next millennium.

      During the year the Army prayed and petitioned for greater freedoms for Christians in many parts of the world; particular concerns were for those in Pakistan and Russia. World prayer was also invoked for continued religious freedom for the people of Hong Kong following its restoration to Chinese rule.


Seventh-day Adventist Church.

      In 1997 Brazil surpassed the United States as the country with the largest number of Seventh-day Adventists. Although the church originated in North America, it continued to grow faster in Central and South America, Africa, and Asia. At the end of 1996, North America accounted for only 10% of the world membership, which numbered 9,296,127 in 207 countries.

      Plans for the church to achieve worldwide communication via satellite continued to progress. The church developed a satellite network in North, Central, and South America and set in motion a strategy for a worldwide network in 40 languages within the next two years. The Adventist satellite network was intended to provide programs for communicating news and information, spiritual nurture, evangelism, and educational and health care instruction.

      The church's humanitarian arm, the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA), worked in more than 140 countries during 1997. ADRA signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the UN World Food Programme under which the agency would be responsible for the final distribution and monitoring of all food commodities delivered to it by the World Food Programme.

      At its highest level the church voted to issue a statement on child sexual abuse that called the Adventists to increase their awareness of the problem, to be actively involved in its prevention, to assist abused and abusive individuals and their families spiritually, and to hold church professionals and church lay leaders accountable for maintaining appropriate personal behaviour. In another important thrust, world president Robert S. Folkenberg called on the church for personal and corporate spiritual accountability among all its clergy, educators, health care workers, and administrators.

      Dialogue with the Lutheran World Federation continued in a third round of consultations held at Jongny, Switz. Discussions focused on theological doctrine and authority. The church also engaged in further official dialogue with representatives of the Worldwide Church of God.


Unitarian (Universalist) Churches.

      By 1997 approximately 50% of all active ministers and a majority of the students studying for Unitarian Universalist-related careers were women. The positions of executive editor of World, the official magazine of the denomination, and director of the Beacon Press, its main book-publishing house, were occupied by women.

      Attended by some 3,300 delegates, the annual General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association of Churches was held in Phoenix, Ariz., June 19-24. The theme of the meeting was "Building Interfaith Cooperation." Reelected for second four-year terms were the Rev. John A. Buehrens as president and Denise Taft Davidoff as moderator.

      The Unitarian Universalist Service Committee during the year established partnerships with appropriate groups and specialists working on women's and children's rights, refugee relief, and health in Mexico, Myanmar (Burma), Kenya, Burundi, Rwanda, and eastern Zaire (now Democratic Republic of the Congo). Services were being supplied through these channels.

      The International Council of Unitarians and Universalists in April held its second annual meeting in England and a training session in Klingborg, Ger. Twenty-two countries and regions were represented, including for the first time Finland and Tierra del Fuego.

      The buildings of the Prague's Unitarian congregation, once the world's largest, were taken over by a dissident group of parishioners, who locked out the mainstream followers. Unitarians throughout the world protested. Local Prague courts declared the action illegal. As of late 1997, however, the Ministry of Culture had not returned the property to the traditional body.

      In Romania Arpad Szabo became the new bishop of the consistory of the Unitarian Church. Resolutions were passed by the General Assembly of the British Unitarian movement calling (among others) for an end to the manufacture, trade, and use of antipersonnel land mines; and for year-round shelters for homeless people in Britain.

      This article updates Unitarianism and Universalism.

The United Church of Canada.

      National meetings of the General Council highlighted the year for the United Church of Canada in 1997. The meetings were held in Camrose, Alta., August 14-21. The council elected the Rev. William Phipps for a three-year term as moderator of Canada's largest Protestant denomination. Phipps succeeded Marion Best. The 379 delegates agreed to ask district presbyteries to endorse a standard three-year term between council meetings, beginning in the year 2000.

      A major decision was to extend the United Church's apology that was offered to native congregations in 1986. The council did so by expressing its deep regret and sorrow to the First Nations people for the injustices of residential schools and for the church's role in them. In 1997 the United Church was named as a defendant in connection with a former school near Port Alberni, B.C. A fund to support healing projects for victims of the native residential schools raised 40% of its $1 million goal.

      Among other business, delegates adopted a plan to help congregations discover their mission and to support and develop congregational life. The council also opposed programs forcing the poor to work, voted to review the systems for resource distribution within the church, endorsed the development of a code of ethical behaviour, and reaffirmed its commitment to youth work.

      During the last fiscal year, the denomination's nearly two million known members and adherents raised Can$313,360,727 for all purposes. Contributions to the church's national mission fund continued to stagnate as congregations directed more of their support toward local mission projects. The surplus of clergy reported in 1996 continued through 1997.

      Sales of the church's new hymnbook, Voices United, remained at a high level. To accompany this popular hymnal, the church planned to prepare a new liturgical resource book. Also in 1997, the church's national United Church Women's organization marked the 35th anniversary of its founding.


United Church of Christ.

      In July 1997, in a historic vote, the 21st General Synod of the United Church of Christ voted to declare full communion with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). In so doing, the UCC joined its two partners, the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the Reformed Church in America, which had voted full communion with the ELCA in June. In August the ELCA voted affirmatively, and so, pending confirmation by two-thirds of the presbyteries of the Presbyterian Church (USA), these historic affirmations would bring together in full communion these Reformed and Lutheran bodies for the first time since the Reformation, more than 400 years ago.

      The 21st General Synod also celebrated the 40th anniversary of the UCC and the 150th anniversary of the American Missionary Association; reaffirmed the church's commitment to be and become a multiracial, multicultural church; supported "a comprehensive global ban" on land mines; expressed concern about the cloning of humans and other mammals and called on UCC national agencies to develop a proposal for action on this issue at the 1999 Synod; condemned the 1996 Welfare Reform Act as "unconscionable"; affirmed that Jerusalem should be an open city that respects the human and political rights of Palestinians and Israelis and the rights of all three religious groups residing there—Christians, Muslims, and Jews; reaffirmed "fidelity and integrity" as standards for sexual and relational behaviour; recommended new patterns of giving to fund church ministries; and voted to join in a formal partnership with the Council of Churches in Cuba. Paul H. Sherry was reelected president of the UCC.

      Throughout the year significant attention was given to church growth and development and stewardship and financial concerns. The need to identify, support, and train new clergy and lay leadership was increasingly acknowledged.


Roman Catholic Church

      After a year in which violence against Roman Catholic clergy was particularly pronounced, 1997 proved somewhat less dangerous. Even so, six priests were murdered in Rwanda, and another was killed by Hutu in Zaire (now Democratic Republic of the Congo). An Irish Franciscan missionary was killed in Kenya for protesting electoral corruption. Twelve churches and more than 800 homes were destroyed by Islamic extremists in Pakistan. China continued to be a difficult place for the Catholic Church. In March the Chinese government took steps aimed at eradicating the underground Catholic Church (which attempted to maintain ties with Rome and was outlawed in favour of the government-controlled Patriotic Catholic Church). On March 4 police officers ransacked the home of underground Bishop Joseph Fan Zhongliang of Shanghai. Police removed Bibles, missals, breviaries, and rosaries. Apparently an attempt was being made to preempt Easter celebrations. The Chinese government promised that religious freedom would prevail after Hong Kong's handover to mainland authorities on July 1.

      The church was active in promoting international peace. In the Central African Republic and the Republic of the Congo, local bishops tried to reconcile warring factions. In his January 13 address to the Vatican diplomatic corps, Pope John Paul II called for international nuclear disarmament, a ban on land mines, and the implementation of foreign policies that align with correct moral principles and not mere political advantage. As the Middle East peace process was collapsing in the summer, the pope wrote to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat pleading with them to resume peaceful cooperation.

      The pope visited Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Czech Republic in April, Lebanon in May (the pope's first visit to that country), Poland in June (the seventh visit to his homeland), and Brazil in October. After Fidel Castro's visit to the Vatican in late 1996, much energy was devoted in 1997 to planning a January 1998 papal visit to Cuba.

      Throughout the world the church struggled with only limited success to promote its own social and theological views. In Africa and Latin America, the church vigorously opposed policies to impose contraception and sterilization. Catholic bishops testified before the U.S. Congress and before the Colombian legislature in opposition to physician-assisted suicide. The church staved off efforts to liberalize Portugal's abortion law but could not prevent the legalization of the practice in South Africa. In traditionally Catholic countries such as Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, and Spain, as well as in minority Catholic areas in Africa, the church worked to maintain control over parochial schools and, in some places, to prevent them from closing. The Pontifical Academy for Life spoke eloquently about the dangers of human cloning, calling the practice "a radical manipulation of the constitutive relationality and complementarity which is at the origin of human procreation in both its biological and strictly personal aspects." Earlier in the year the pope himself had spoken on the need for ethics in science, saying that "knowledge must be joined to conscience."

      International hunger and malnutrition was a particular theme of papal teaching and Vatican activity in 1997. This effort began with a speech to the International Food Summit in Rome in November 1996. Then, in a long address to the Academy of Social Sciences on April 25, the pope lamented the sheer numbers of the world's poor and hungry and their exploitation by untrammeled market forces. In a speech on May 15 to food-processing executives gathered in Rome, the pope called on them to institute business practices that promoted good nutrition alongside profit. These speeches could be understood in conjunction with two others. One was addressed to the European Convention on the church's social doctrine and challenged leaders to prevent a legitimate quest for privacy from having the effect of putting politics above ethics in such a way as to promote the interests of the individual over the justice of the many. The second was addressed to international advertising executives and called for an ethic in advertising that promoted the "service of man" over the selling of products. Complaints were lodged against spending hundreds of billions of dollars per year on advertising in a world that did not feed its people.

      In addition to grappling with the wider world, the church addressed a number of its own internal concerns. The Pontifical Council for the Family initiated a major effort to provide improved pastoral counseling to divorced and remarried Catholics, who constituted a growing number of people separated from the sacraments and alienated from the church. In a series of Wednesday public audience addresses and in a June pronouncement, the pope sought to clarify certain aspects of the church's devotion to Mary. Some ambiguous references in 19th-century papal documents to Mary as coredemptorix had led to confusion in some circles. The pope explained that Jesus Christ alone is to be regarded as redeemer but that Mary, from her agreement at the Annunciation to her vigil at the cross through her exemplary later life, is the co-operator in human redemption by showing a perfect model to others.

      In ecumenical affairs there were successes and failures. George Leonard Carey, the archbishop of Canterbury and spiritual head of the world's Anglican community, visited Rome in December 1996. Also in December, Pope John Paul and Orthodox leader Karekin I of Armenia brought to a close 1,500 years of separation. During the summer the church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, along with some Lutheran groups in Scandinavia and Germany, signed a formal agreement on the doctrine of "Justification by Faith," a primary source of contention in the 16th-century Reformation. The Orthodox Church in Russia, alleging theological problems and Catholic proselytism, refused to entertain either a papal visit or a meeting with papal officials.

      See Vatican City State. (Vatican City State )

      This article updates Roman Catholicism.

The Orthodox Church

      The year 1997 was one of transitions, crises, and conflicts in the Orthodox churches throughout the world. In Alexandria, Egypt, the metropolitan of Cameroon, Petros Papapetros, was elected the new patriarch on February 21, succeeding Parthenios III, who died in July 1996. The newly established metropolitanate of Hong Kong on January 12 enthroned as its first metropolitan Nikitas Lulias, formerly chancellor of the diocese of Chicago. The new far-flung metropolitanate included Orthodox parishes in several nations on the western Pacific Rim.

      The ecumenical patriarchate of Constantinople (Istanbul) became embroiled in controversies with both the government and the Church of Greece over several issues. Among them was the public indication during an August visit to the island of Chios that the ecumenical patriarchate may wish to reclaim authority over the "New Lands" dioceses in Greece that had been placed in the Church of Greece's care in 1928 following the Balkan Wars.

      In Russia legislation designed to limit the influence of foreign religious bodies in the nation, supported by Russian Orthodox Patriarch Aleksey, was vetoed by Pres. Boris Yeltsin. A revised version was resubmitted to the parliament by Yeltsin in September for consideration. By a vote of 358-6, the parliament passed a bill that protected the Russian Orthodox Church from competition from other Christian denominations.

      Plans for Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople, Patriarch Aleksey of Moscow, and Pope John Paul II to meet privately at the second European Ecumenical Assembly, sponsored by the Conference of European Churches and held June 23-29 in Graz, Austria, were canceled by the Orthodox leaders at the last moment because it was felt that the conditions were not ripe for such a meeting. In Bulgaria on May 1, the canonically recognized head of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Maxim, filed a complaint with the European Human Rights Commission in protest against a July 1996 ruling of the Bulgarian Supreme Court that supported an alternative government-approved synod, headed by another patriarch, Pimen.

      The Holy Synod of the Autocephalous (self-governing) Orthodox Church of Georgia voted on May 20 to withdraw from membership in the World Council of Churches as a result of conservative pressure from four of the church's major monasteries. Tensions, nevertheless, continued to remain high.

      In Greece the Orthodox Church was in turmoil because of financial discrepancies in the accounts maintained by the Holy Synod. Archbishop Seraphim, 84 years old and in failing health, in June was challenged to resign by aspirants to his position. Seraphim rejected the suggestion and presided in August over synodic meetings called to address the financial issue. In the United States Archbishop Spyridon of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America dismissed the president and three professors at the Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, Brookline, Mass., causing widespread reaction both inside and outside the archdiocese.

      An issue of ecumenical importance, the date of the celebration of Pascha (Easter), was addressed by a conference sponsored by the World Council of Churches in which a significant role was played by Orthodox representatives. Held in Aleppo, Syria, March 5-10, the conference, "Towards a Common Date for Easter," led to a proposal—announced on March 24 by Orthodox, Protestant, and Roman Catholic leaders—calling for all Christian churches, beginning in 2001, to set the same date for their Easter observances.

      This article updates Eastern Orthodoxy.

Oriental Orthodox Churches

      At the Second European Ecumenical Assembly, held in Graz, Austria, June 23-29, 1997, the first ranking hierarch of the Armenian Church, the Catholikos of Etchmiadzin Karekin I, expressed severe criticism against "some Western European churches" for proselytizing in Orthodox lands. He specifically condemned them for taking advantage of the disorder that occurred after the dissolution of the Soviet Union to enlarge their own churches. He maintained that a policy supportive of the Orthodox would have expressed the ecumenical spirit. In July Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople conducted an official visit to the Armenian Orthodox Church. He was welcomed by Karekin I and members of the Armenian Holy Synod.

      Early in February Islamic fundamentalists attacked a Coptic Orthodox Church youth meeting in St. Mary Guirguis Church in Al-Minya province, 255 km (160 mi) south of Cairo, killing 10 and wounding 5. A month later, on March 13, at the predominantly Coptic village of Ezbet Dawoud, masked Islamic terrorists randomly killed 13 villagers. In April Mustafa Mashoor, the leader of Egypt's largest Islamic fundamentalist group, called for a purge of Christians from the Egyptian army and for the reimposition of the "head tax" on Christians and Jews that had been collected in the Ottoman Empire.

      In the meantime, the spiritual renewal fostered by Coptic Patriarch Anba Shenouda III, who attracted thousands to his weekly Cairo Bible studies, contributed to the revival of Christian monasticism in Egypt, where it had begun 1,700 years earlier.



      Late in December 1996 Pres. Ezer Weizman of Israel came under fire from gay and lesbian groups, who alleged that he had attacked homosexuals in answering questions from students at a Haifa high school. Though the furor eased, it highlighted a major rift among Jews. The Orthodox unreservedly condemned homosexual acts, in accordance with biblical law, even if they might show some measure of compassion to homosexual individuals. Reform assemblies remained divided on the issue; an English Reform rabbi, Elizabeth Sarah, resigned her post in March after having come under constant pressure as a result of her proposal, announced months earlier but never implemented, to perform a "commitment" ceremony for two lesbians.

      Tensions between religious and secular Jews and between the religious denominations continued to cause concern, particularly in Israel. Especially important was the issue of conversions to Judaism of persons in Israel, on which the Orthodox claimed a monopoly. When the Israeli Knesset (parliament) reopened in November, the (Orthodox) religious parties hoped for the enactment of a law codifying their de facto monopoly. The Israeli government appointed a committee to find a solution to the crisis generated by the proposed bill. In October the committee proposed establishing a "conversion institute" with Reform and Conservative participation and with all conversions performed by the Orthodox; the Orthodox rejected this proposal.

      Relationships between Orthodox and non-Orthodox Jews deteriorated still further when non-Orthodox groups praying at the Western Wall in Jerusalem were pelted with stones and excrement by extremists. During the Shavuot and Tisha be-Av observances, on June 11 and August 12, respectively, Reform and Conservative Jews praying at the back of the plaza of the Western Wall were dispersed by the police, whom they charged with the use of excessive force. The Orthodox complained that these prayer groups were provocative because they consisted of men and women and because of the content of some of the prayers; such groups, especially at what the Orthodox regarded as their holiest site, were deeply offensive to them. Among Orthodox leaders deeply critical of extremist tendencies was Yehuda Friedlander, rector of Bar-Ilan University, Tel Aviv. In an outspoken statement in August, he warned of the danger of civil war in Israel if religious extremism was not curbed.

      The conversion bill and the disturbances at the Western Wall raised fears that non-Orthodox rabbis would call for a boycott of the United Jewish Appeal for funds for Israel. The central Jewish fund-raising establishment in the U.S., therefore, agreed in September to help raise money for Reform and Conservative institutions in Israel in exchange for a pledge of solidarity from their leadership; this was an indication of the growth of non-Orthodox forms of Judaism in Israel.

      On the interfaith front, major meetings included the Colloquium of the International Council of Christians and Jews, held in Rome in September and addressed by Pope John Paul II. Earlier in the year Vatican officials had announced that the pope had instructed a commission to examine the persecution of Jews in the Inquisition, as part of a program in which the church aimed to seek pardon for past mistakes. Toward the end of September, French bishops offered a formal "repentance" for the Roman Catholic Church's failure to condemn the persecution of Jews during the Vichy regime that governed France during much of World War II.

      The centenary of the First Zionist Congress, convened by Theodor Herzl in Basel, Switz., was celebrated in August there. The Basel city council expressed the hope that the centennial events would "have a positive influence on the current discussions of the role of Switzerland in the Second World War." In October the bicentenary of the death of Elijah ben Solomon, the "Vilna Gaon" ("excellency"), was marked with, among other events, an academic conference in Vilnius, Lithuania, devoted to the work of this major scholar and teacher of the Jewish religious world.

      Interesting theological issues were raised by the publication and rise to best-seller status of Michael Drosnin's The Bible Code (1997), based on the work of mathematicians Eliyahu Rips, credited as the discoverer of the code (who denounced the book), Yoav Rosenberg, and Doron Witztum. Scholars debated as to whether biblical text encodes detailed knowledge of future events and names and, if so, whether that would demonstrate its divine origin. There were others who believed that any such discussion would debase scripture and distract attention from its important teachings.


      This article updates Judaism.


      In December 1996 Burmese insurgents exploded time bombs at Kaba Aye temple near Yangon (Rangoon), where thousands flocked daily throughout the month to honour a tooth relic of the Buddha on loan from China. The blasts killed or maimed 22 Buddhists, including two government officials. Three Burmese monks were killed and 100 arrested during March 1997 after mobs in Mandalay smashed mosque windows and burned copies of the Qur'an (Koran). The rioting was sparked by reports that a Muslim had molested a Buddhist girl, though the deeper causes remained unclear. Some reports associated the monk-led violence with a recent decision by Myanmar's military government to prevent a rally protesting government mishandling of a temple-restoration project and also with the deaths of 16 monks in government prisons, though other reports that monks in the mob were seen wearing army boots bolstered government claims that conservative forces had incited the riots to discredit Myanmar's bid for membership in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

      In January 1997 a number of high-ranking Sri Lankan monks quit the Supreme Advisory Council of the Buddha Sasana Ministry to protest the government's plans for resolving the civil war. In August Sri Lanka's main opposition United National Party called on citizens to tie yellow ribbons at Buddhist temples and churches as an expression of support for free and fair elections. During April and May, Sri Lankans joined Buddhists and Muslims throughout the world to demand preservation of the colossal Buddha image at Bamiyan, Afg., after a leader of the Islamic fundamentalist Taliban group threatened to destroy it.

      Taiwan welcomed the Dalai Lama for the first time in March and in September allowed him to establish an office in Taipei, despite harsh criticism from China, which in April also criticized U.S. Pres. Bill Clinton for meeting the Tibetan leader. In May China imprisoned a senior Tibetan monk accused of helping the Dalai Lama to nominate his own candidate for Panchen Lama, a young boy who was not seen after that time. Indian police arrested nine Chinese agents posing as Tibetans at the Dalai Lama's Kalachakra ceremony in Siliguri, India, in December 1996. Followers of an anti-Dalai Lama Tibetan sect were blamed for the February 1997 murder of three of his close associates in Dharmsala, India.

      Vietnam continued its crackdown on the opposition United Buddhist Church when security forces raided a central temple in Hue in November 1996 and arrested two church leaders. Vietnamese police also reportedly razed a pagoda near Dalat. In September 1997 the UN reported that forces of Cambodian strongman Hun Sen had used Buddhist temples as crematoriums for scores of political opponents executed since his takeover of the government in July. Cambodian patriarch Maha Ghosananda in August led more than 1,000 Buddhist monks, nuns, and laymen in prayers for peace on the streets of Phnom Penh. Later that month King Norodom Sihanouk returned to hold Buddhist ceremonies for reconciliation at Angkor Wat.

      Throughout the year U.S. Vice Pres. Al Gore fended off criticism of fund-raising activities at a tax-exempt Buddhist temple in California. During January scientists voiced concern about the ecological impact of popular Chinese Buddhist practices in New York City, especially releasing domesticated goldfish, birds, and turtles to gain merit. Thai monks combating deforestation celebrated the ordination of their 50 millionth tree in February 1997.

      This article updates Buddhism.


      As the 50th year of India's independence, 1997 was marked by close scrutiny of the nation's record in meeting the goals of a secular and classless society that were set forth by the framers of its constitution. The unprecedented election in 1997 of a member of the lowest Hindu class as India's president dramatically underscored the momentous strides taken by the nation toward achieving those goals, whereas ongoing communal conflict pointed to the need for further change.

      On January 30 the remaining ashes of the venerated Hindu champion of Indian independence Mohandas Gandhi were deposited by his great-grandson, Tushar Gandhi, into the Ganges River at the point of its confluence with the Yamuna at Allahabad, one of the holiest sites in India. Assassinated by a Hindu fanatic on Jan. 30, 1948, Gandhi was cremated and, in accordance with Hindu practice, his remains were distributed to the Indian states for deposit in sacred rivers. Mysteriously, the urn of ashes sent to Orissa remained in a bank vault for nearly 49 years until Tushar Gandhi was able to gain release of the urn by court order. The ritual immersion of the ashes was conducted by Hindu priests and attended by representatives of various religions.

      In March a convert from Hinduism was named as a successor to Mother Teresa. Sister Nirmala ("Pure"), whose Hindu parents sent her to a Roman Catholic missionary school in order for her to learn English well, converted to Catholicism at the age of 24 and became one of Mother Teresa's first missionary sisters to work with the sick and poor in Calcutta. The conversion of Hindus, particularly from the lower castes, to Christianity had been denounced repeatedly by Hindu nationalists as a threat to their efforts to achieve a "pure" Hindu nation ("Hindutva").

      On July 11 the nation witnessed one of the worst outbreaks of communal violence in recent years. More than 2,200 people were arrested, scores severely injured, and at least 12 killed when members of the lowest caste rioted in Bombay (Mumbai) and throughout Maharashtra state in response to the desecration of a bust of B.R. Ambedkar, the architect of the Indian constitution and a vigorous proponent of a secular state and the welfare of the lowest caste, of which he was himself a member. While Gandhi taught that the lowest members of Hinduism's caste system are "Harijans" ("children of God") and that Hindus must abandon the practice of ritual impurity, or "untouchability," in order to achieve a just society, today's "untouchables," who called themselves "Dalits" ("The Oppressed"), regarded Gandhi as a Brahmin elitist committed to the continuation of the caste structure. Ambedkar, on the other hand, was regarded by Dalits as the champion of a truly casteless society and virtually an incarnation of deity. The draping of a garland of leather shoes around his image in a Bombay slum by an unknown culprit was, therefore, for the Dalits tantamount to sacrilege and provided further evidence of their oppression in modern Indian society.

      In sharp contrast to the bloody riots, on July 25 India for the first time inaugurated a Dalit as its president. Vice Pres. K.R. Narayanan, a scholar and one-time ambassador to the United States and to China, was chosen for the largely ceremonial post by an overwhelming majority of federal and state lawmakers. .) (Narayanan, Kocheril Raman ) Overcoming every obstacle, he made his way from a primary school in his Kerala village to achieve highest honours at the London School of Economics and then entry into the Indian foreign service. Dalit leaders expressed their hope that President Narayanan would prove to be a new Ambedkar, bringing freedom from oppression to the members of his caste, who constituted one-quarter of India's population.


      This article updates Hindusim (Hinduism).


      Two trends noticeable in recent years remained conspicuous during 1997: outbreaks of violence, including attacks by some Muslims against governing authorities in a number of countries, and the continually increasing awareness in Western European nations and in North America of the presence there of Muslim communities and the need for authorities to be sensitive to that presence.

      Violence, seemingly unabated, continued in a number of places. In Algeria there were bloody attacks on civilians, as there had been during the previous five years; these attacks, by Muslims against other Muslims, were aimed at bringing down the Algerian government, which had set aside the election results of January 1992, in which the Islamists apparently had been voted into power. Elections in Algeria in June, in which moderates were returned to power, did not stop the violence. In August there was an especially ferocious outbreak during which some 300 persons were killed; by the end of September, more than 600 people had been reported to have been killed in a two-month period. Since 1992 outbreaks of violence in Algeria had killed more than 60,000 people, almost all of them civilians, including women and children.

      Violence also erupted sporadically in Egypt, South Asia, and the Xinjiang region of China. Violent incidents, bombings, and confrontations marked the year in and around Jerusalem, the West Bank, Gaza, and adjacent areas in Israel. The civil war continued in Afghanistan, where the ruling Islamist Taliban forces could not bring the northern part of the country under their control, and in the southern Sudan, where a guerrilla force of non-Muslims continued its insurgency against the Islamic-dominated Sudanese government.

      In Turkey an Islamist party had formed a parliamentary coalition to govern the nation in June 1996 and began to carry out its program of increasing Islamic influence. The Turkish military, however, continued to purge its ranks of Islamists and increased its pressure on the government during the winter and spring of 1997; in June it forced the prime minister out of office and then oversaw the installation of a secular government. Elections in Iran in May brought a moderate, Mohammad Khatami (seeBIOGRAPHIES (Khatami, Mohammad )), to the presidency; there were no apparent important changes in religious policies in that country.

      The increasing visibility of Muslims in Western European countries and in the United States could be noticed in a number of different ways. Public-school systems in the Washington, D.C., area found it necessary to recognize the needs of Muslim schoolchildren during the fast of Ramadan in January. The Board of Education in New York City in June agreed to the display of Muslim symbols in certain school settings where Jewish and Christian symbols were already present. Also in June, Nike Inc. agreed to withdraw a brand of basketball shoes that bore a logo that could be interpreted as the name of God in Arabic; the company apologized to Muslims for any offense it may have caused. In May the U.S. publisher Simon & Schuster withdrew a children's book that portrayed the prophet Muhammad in a derogatory way. In Hartford, Conn., the Hartford Seminary, long interested in Christian-Muslim interfaith dialogue and study, and the University of Hartford appointed the first incumbent of a newly endowed chair: visiting professor in Abrahamic religions. The visiting appointee was Sulayman Nyang, a Muslim and professor of African Studies at Howard University, Washington, D.C. Such a chair was a rarity and represented a significant intellectual and religious point of view. The three faiths Judaism, Christianity, and Islam were increasingly being seen by many scholars and others as a continuous religious development and thus meriting the term Abrahamic faiths. In Europe, unused church buildings were increasingly being turned into mosques and used by Muslim congregations.


      This article updates Islām.

▪ 1997


      During 1996 religious groups were pitted against governments on issues ranging from freedom of belief and practice to public policy matters such as abortion. In some cases faith groups found themselves in disagreement with one another on such subjects as evangelism and the significance of the Holocaust. Christians found themselves debating some core beliefs, including the identity of Jesus and the existence of hell.

      Leaders of more than 40 Christian organizations met in Washington, D.C., in January to draw attention to the plight of persecuted Christians and to urge the U.S. Congress to take up their cause. They reported that in places such as China, Vietnam, Cuba, the Middle East, and northern Africa, Christians faced arrest, torture, imprisonment, and extrajudicial executions for practicing their faith. The House of Representatives and Senate adopted resolutions deploring such persecution in September, with the Senate calling for "a thorough examination of all United States policies that affect persecuted Christians" and for the appointment of a special presidential adviser on religious persecution.

      Two of the high-profile cases that involved persecution of Christians during the year were the abduction and murder of seven Trappist monks in Algeria by terrorists who called themselves the Armed Islamic Group and the conviction of Robert Hussein Qambar, a Muslim convert to Christianity, on a charge of apostasy by an Islamic court in Kuwait in May. Hussein left the country in August rather than face an appeals hearing in September.

      France in 1996 had 172 groups classified as religious sects, according to a report released by the nation's Parliament in June. The government subsequently organized a watchdog group to recommend police investigations of the sects whenever it found them warranted. The parliaments of Belgium and Switzerland launched similar investigations. In Germany the ruling Christian Democratic Union (CDU) called for a ban on members of the Church of Scientology working in government jobs and asked for a government investigation of the group in October. Such a ban had already been initiated by the state of Bavaria. The youth branch of the CDU urged a boycott of the film Mission: Impossible because its star and director, Tom Cruise, was a Scientologist. While German officials called the church a threat to democracy, leaders of the church said Germany was using fascist tactics against it.

      Roman Catholic Archbishop Norberto Rivera Carrera drew fire from Mexican officials in October when he said that if the government "openly denies fundamental human rights, then one has to deny it obedience." It was unclear to what he was referring, but Armando López Campa, director of religious affairs at the Interior Secretariat, said the remarks may have violated a legal ban on using pulpits to preach against the laws of the country.

      On the first day of the year, the Israeli Supreme Court disbanded government religious councils in Jerusalem and the town of Kiryat Tivon because they excluded Reform and Conservative Jews; the court also ordered a Conservative and a Reform representative appointed to the religious council in Haifa. In July a Reform leader accused Sephardic Chief Rabbi Eliahu Bakshi-Doron of sanctioning the murder of Reform Jews; in a radio broadcast the rabbi said the biblical figure Phinehas had committed a "pure act" when he killed another Jew for having an intimate relationship with a Gentile woman. During the broadcast the rabbi described the victim as "the first Reform Jew."

      In Sweden the government took the first steps to distance itself from the state Lutheran church by revoking the law requiring that children born to at least one Lutheran parent automatically become members of the church. After 2000 the church rather than the state would appoint its own bishops.

      During Russia's presidential campaign all the major candidates, including Communist Gennady Zyuganov, actively sought support from the Orthodox Church. Zyuganov visited monasteries and dropped atheism from his party's platform. Ultranationalist Vladimir Zhirinovsky declared himself a believer and renewed his marriage vows in a widely publicized church ceremony. Pres. Boris Yeltsin appeared as often as possible in public with Patriarch Aleksey II, who all but officially endorsed his reelection. Although only about 10% of Russians attended services regularly, opinion polls found that they rated the Orthodox Church as the institution they most respected.

      In the United States, Pres. Bill Clinton was denounced by leaders of several religious groups for his veto of a bill banning a late-term abortion procedure. Top leaders of the U.S. Roman Catholic Church said the veto was "beyond comprehension for those who hold human life sacred," and leaders of Clinton's own denomination, the Southern Baptist Convention, urged him to repent and "express publicly your personal regret" for the veto. On the other side, 36 religious leaders in the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice said they supported the president's action. Where religious people had differences on such matters, they said, "the government must not legislate, and thus impose, one religious view on all our citizens."

      The Southern Baptist Convention unleashed a firestorm by adopting a resolution at its annual meeting in June in New Orleans calling for increased efforts to bear witness to Jewish people and appointing a new home missionary seeking to evangelize Jews in the U.S. The action was widely denounced as insensitive by mainstream Jewish organizations.

      Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel in July described the presence of crosses at the site of the Nazi Birkenau concentration camp in Poland as an "insult" and a "blasphemy" and urged their removal, thereby drawing criticism from Poland's Roman Catholic bishops. The Polish church's Commission for Dialogue with Judaism said the cross was regarded by Jews as a "sign of fear and hatred," while Poles considered it a symbol of "liberation from occupying powers."

      The National Institute for Healthcare Research and the John Templeton Foundation of Philadelphia awarded grants to 11 medical schools to help teach future physicians to consider the spiritual as well as physical condition of patients. And the National Institutes of Health financed a $28,797 study at the University of New Mexico on the effect of prayer on alcoholics and drug abusers. In a book titled Timeless Healing: The Power and Biology of Belief, Herbert Benson, president of the Mind/Body Medical Institute of Boston's Deaconess Hospital, wrote that "our genetic blueprint has made believing in an Infinite Absolute part of our nature."

      Other research focused on the success of church attendance and religious-based programs on preventing or reducing crime and substance abuse. A study by Harvard University economist Richard Freeman found regular church attendance to be a better predictor than family structure or income of the likelihood that urban youth would turn to drugs or crime, and another survey found more than 30 studies that showed a correlation between religious participation and avoidance of such behaviour. Such studies bolstered a provision of the new law overhauling the U.S. welfare system that enabled the federal government for the first time to be able to give money to churches and other religious groups in order to provide services to the poor.

      On the other side of the coin, a federal judge in St. Paul, Minn., struck down Medicare and Medicaid payments to Christian Science healers on the ground that they violated the constitutional separation of church and state. Earlier the U.S. Supreme Court had upheld a $1.5 million award against four Christian Scientists in the case of an 11-year-old Minnesota boy who had died in 1989 after being treated with prayer rather than medical care.

      The Religious Freedom Restoration Act, passed in 1993 to tighten conditions under which government in the U.S. could restrict religious practice, was interpreted in different ways during 1996. In May an appeals court in St. Louis, Mo., said it enabled a church in New Hope, Minn., to keep money tithed by a couple in the year before they filed for bankruptcy. But in a June ruling involving a dispute over whether a church in Cumberland, Md., could raze property that the city wanted preserved, a Baltimore judge said the law was unconstitutional because it "usurped the Supreme Court's authority to determine the scope and meaning of the First Amendment." In October the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to review the law in a case that involved its use by the archdiocese of San Antonio, Texas, against an ordinance in Boerne, Texas, that prevented a church in the city's historic district from building an addition. Congress passed a law in 1996 establishing a $10 million fund to provide loans and grants to rebuild churches that were destroyed by arson; a number of African-American churches in the southern U.S. were destroyed by fire during the year.

      In their issues dated April 8, the day after Easter, the three major U.S. weekly newsmagazines all featured cover stories on new scholarly theories about the historical Jesus, many of which cast doubt on the literal nature of his resurrection. Many reflected the work of the controversial Jesus Seminar, which itself was criticized by former Roman Catholic priest Luke Timothy Johnson in a volume titled The Real Jesus: The Misguided Quest for the Historical Jesus and the Truth of the Traditional Gospels. A survey conducted in March by the Barna Research Group found that 30% of "born-again" Christians did not believe that Jesus "came back to physical life after he was crucified."

      Traditional concepts of the nature of hell were debated in January when the doctrine commission of the Church of England issued a report suggesting that it might more accurately be thought of as annihilation for nonbelievers rather than as a place of eternal torment. The Barna survey found that 31% of Americans saw hell as a place of physical torment while 37% said it represented a "state of permanent separation from the presence of God."

      Ordination of homosexuals to the ministry and gay marriages drew varying responses from religious groups in 1996. The United Methodist Church voted at its quadrennial General Conference in Denver, Colo., in April to retain its position that the practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching despite a petition from 15 bishops urging the church to ordain homosexuals. In a May ruling in Wilmington, Del., an Episcopal Church court dismissed heresy charges against retired bishop Walter Righter for having ordained a gay man as a deacon, ruling that a 1979 resolution by bishops against ordaining practicing homosexuals does not have the force of canon law. The General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), meeting in Albuquerque, N.M., in July, sent to presbyteries for a vote a measure that would require fidelity in marriage and chastity while single for all church officers and thus bar practicing homosexuals from ordination. Earlier, the Judicial Commission of the denomination's Cincinnati (Ohio) Presbytery had nullified the ordination of an allegedly gay man. In November a church in Toledo, Ohio, that belonged to the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches ordained a lesbian.

      In March the Central Conference of American Rabbis, a Reform Jewish group, endorsed same-sex marriage as a civil right but stopped short of recommending that rabbis perform such ceremonies. In June the Unitarian-Universalist Association endorsed the legalization of such unions and voted to "proclaim the worth of marriage between any two committed persons."

      Architect Philip Johnson celebrated his 90th birthday July 8 by unveiling a model for a $20 million cathedral in Dallas, Texas, for the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches, a 3,000-member congregation composed primarily of homosexuals. He described the structure, which would be taller than Notre Dame Cathedral, as "the most important job of my life."

      While some Christians debated doctrinal points, a major rift in the ranks of Orthodox Christianity threatened to explode over the affiliation of the Estonian Orthodox Church. The church was forced under the jurisdiction of the Russian Orthodox Church by the Soviet Union in 1945. When Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I approved its return to the jurisdiction of the patriarchate in Constantinople in February, Russian Orthodox Patriarch Aleksey II refused to recognize the change. The dispute was settled in May when Moscow and Constantinople agreed to allow parishes and priests in the Estonian church to decide their individual affiliations. (See Orthodox Church: Sidebar, below.) Meanwhile, Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Protestant groups agreed to form a Christian Interconfessional Consultative Committee to promote cooperation and mutual understanding in the Commonwealth of Independent States and the Baltic countries.

      A survey reported that church attendance in the U.S. was at the lowest level in two decades, with attendance dropping especially among seniors and baby boomers. Noting that these trends went against traditional patterns for people in their mid-40s to mid-60s, pollster George Barna cited the failure of churches to be relevant and turbulence within families as factors.

      The $1 million Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion was awarded to Bill Bright, a Presbyterian layman who founded the Campus Crusade for Christ in 1951. The evangelical ministry, represented in 165 countries, was best known for its pamphlet The Four Spiritual Laws and a film on the life of Jesus that had been translated into more than 350 languages and shown in more than 200 countries. The 74-year-old Bright said he would use the money to establish a program to educate church leaders worldwide on fasting and prayer.



Anglican Communion.

      A church court dismissed heresy charges in May against the retired Episcopal bishop of Iowa, Walter C. Righter. In early 1995 Righter had been charged by 10 bishops under church canons for "teaching publicly and advisedly that a practicing homosexual may properly be ordained" and for violating his ordination vows. The court, however, held that neither the doctrine nor discipline of the Episcopal Church prohibited the ordination of a noncelibate homosexual person. The bishops who filed the charges said at a May news conference that they would not appeal the ruling. They did, however, plan to present a canonical change at the next general convention that would obligate all members of the clergy to "abstain from sexual relations outside Holy Matrimony."

      Ellen F. Cooke, the former national church treasurer who admitted to embezzling $2.2 million in church funds, was sentenced to a five-year prison term by a U.S. District Court judge in Newark, N.J., in July. She began her sentence at a federal prison in Alderson, W.V., on August 26.

      Bishop Winston Ndungane was installed in September as the successor to Desmond Tutu as archbishop of Cape Town, the highest office of the Anglican Church in southern Africa. Formerly bishop of Kimberley and Kuruman in the Northern Cape, Bishop Ndungane served a three-year prison term from 1963 to 1966 for his anti-apartheid activities as a student. In the Philippines, Bishop Idnacio Capuyan Soliba of the diocese of Northern Luzon was chosen the prime bishop of the Episcopal Church in the Philippines at the church's June synod.

      In late 1995 the Church in the Province of the West Indies became the 15th Anglican province to vote in favour of ordaining women to the priesthood. Others included the Anglican churches in Australia, Brazil, Burundi, Canada, England, Hong Kong and Macao, Ireland, Kenya, New Zealand, the Philippines, southern Africa, Uganda, the United States, and West Africa. Meanwhile, the General Synod of Japan's Anglican church, Nippon Sei Ko Kai, rejected a proposal to ordain women priests after the bishops voted against it. Clergy and lay delegates at the synod had voted by a two-thirds majority in favour of ordination.

      The assistant bishop of the Kirinyaga diocese in Kenya, Andrew Adano Tuye, was killed on July 27. Bishop Tuye died with senior government officials when the police helicopter they were traveling in crashed just outside Marsabit.

      In February the Rev. Barbara Brown Taylor, rector of Grace-Calvary Church in Clarkesville, Ga., was named one of the 12 most effective preachers in the English-speaking world. The selections were made by researchers at Baylor University, Waco, Texas, in a poll of 1,500 other preachers and seminary professors. Taylor was the only woman and only Episcopalian on the list. (DAVID E. SUMNER)

      This article updates Anglican Communion (Anglicanism).

Baptist Churches.
       Worldwide Adherents of All Religions by Six Continental Areas, Mid-1996 Religious Adherentsnin the United States of America, AD 1900-2000(For figures on Adherents of All Religions by Continent, see Table I (Worldwide Adherents of All Religions by Six Continental Areas, Mid-1996); for Adherents in the U.S., see Table II (Religious Adherentsnin the United States of America, AD 1900-2000).) During 1996 some prominent African-American church leaders in the United States joined with secular business interests to boost black spending power. Among those denominations urging their parishioners to buy the products of the Revelation Corp. of America were the National Baptist Convention, U.S.A., Inc. (7.5 million members), National Baptist Convention of America, Inc. (3 million), and the Progressive National Baptist Convention, Inc. (2.7 million). According to the plan, if substantial numbers of parishioners cooperated, a portion of the corporation's profits would be funneled to local churches. The Revelation Corp. of America was a for-profit merchandising creation of John Lowery, a Memphis, Tenn., developer.

      The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), the largest Protestant denomination in the U.S., with 15,614,060 members, passed resolutions in its June meeting to boycott Disney enterprises because the Walt Disney Co. was providing health care benefits to companions of gay employees. The SBC also objected to Disney's "hosting of homosexual theme nights at its parks."

      At the same meeting, the SBC resolved to evangelize the Jews. The resolution criticized "an organized effort on the part of some either to deny that Jewish people need to come to their Messiah, Jesus, to be saved; or to claim, for whatever reason, that Christians have neither right nor obligation to proclaim the gospel to the Jewish people."

      The president of the National Baptist Convention of America, Inc., the second largest African-American Baptist denomination, rejected the SBC's recent apology for racism. Pres. E. Edward Jones told the 4,000 delegates at the denomination's annual meeting in Dallas, Texas, "The civil rights struggle is still going on and we need more than an apology."

      American Baptist Churches USA issued a call to prayer and concern for the churches being burned in the southern U.S. Grants and building loans were offered by the American Baptist Office of World Relief and the National Ministries' Office of National Disaster Response.

      At a recent gathering in Toulouse, France, the Baptist World Alliance was told that the organization was developing strategies to increase its membership significantly in predominantly Roman Catholic countries in Europe. Some 186 Baptist bodies worldwide were related to the Baptist World Alliance. Nilson Fanini, president of the Alliance, said, "Given our doctrinal differences, there will always be a need for Baptists to plant churches, even where there are many Catholic congregations." But Fanini cautioned that Baptists needed to exercise "courtesy and fellowship with those who have ploughed the ground before us and who believe in many Christian doctrines precious to Baptists." (NORMAN R. DE PUY)

      This article updates Baptist.

Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).
       Worldwide Adherents of All Religions by Six Continental Areas, Mid-1996 Religious Adherentsnin the United States of America, AD 1900-2000(For figures on Adherents of All Religions by Continent, see Table I (Worldwide Adherents of All Religions by Six Continental Areas, Mid-1996); for Adherents in the U.S., see Table II (Religious Adherentsnin the United States of America, AD 1900-2000).) Actions taken during summer meetings of racial and ethnic constituencies, along with a churchwide response to help rebuild burned African-American churches, highlighted much of 1996 for the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). The North American denomination, based in Indianapolis, Ind., gave more than $60,000 to a special fund established by the National Council of Churches. In other action July assemblies of African-American and Hispanic Disciples released statements condemning the racism behind the arson fires. The fires were a sobering testimony "that racism continues to plague our land," said the Disciples' general minister and president, Richard L. Hamm, in a July pastoral letter. He also announced that the 1997 General Assembly would examine racism in North America.

      The assembly of Hispanic Disciples also criticized U.S. immigration laws, which it termed discriminatory. A first-time gathering of Asian-American Disciples and United Church of Christ members called for the removal of U.S. bases and personnel from Okinawa.

      Other highlights included national television appearances by two Disciples of Christ congregations; The Easter program, "Resurrecting Hope," featured the 8,000-member Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church in Memphis, Tenn., and renowned Disciples preacher Fred Craddock spoke from historic Beargrass Christian Church in Louisville, Ky., for a Christmas special, "Awakening the Quest."


      This article updates Disciples of Christ.

Churches of Christ.

      A growing emphasis on benevolence, especially among the urban poor, characterized the Churches of Christ in 1996. The Prestoncrest Church of Christ topped the list of 18 large metropolitan churches in Dallas, Texas, in the total amount of help given to the disadvantaged, in both time and money; Prestoncrest earmarked 31% of its budget of $1.6 million for this purpose.

      Healing Hands International sent 23 shipments of medical aid, valued at $4 million, to 13 countries, including the Republic of Georgia, Guatemala, and Nigeria. Church of Christ Disaster Relief of Nashville, Tenn., and White's Ferry Road Relief Ministry of Louisiana coordinated relief in the wake of Hurricane Fran in September.

      E-mail and the Internet were used world-wide to contact mission points and develop teaching programs. National television ministries expanded, including Herald of Truth and "Key to the Kingdom." World Bible School correspondence courses, including a new edition in Arabic for the Muslim world, were used to convert thousands. Sunset International Bible Institute in Lubbock, Texas, conducted a seminar to consider ways to reach the Islamic world for Christ.

      Let's Start Talking, a student evangelistic ministry of English-language instruction using the Bible as text, marked its 15th year with 45 teams in 24 countries. The Russian Children's Bible was published by Eastern European Mission. Children and youth camps were held in Ukraine and Russia.

      Paid positions of ministry for women increased during the year. WINGS, a network ministry for women in need, using E-mail and telephone, was begun by the department of marriage and family therapy at Harding University, Searcy, Ark. A "Methusalah" conference for seniors emphasized their growing numbers and needs.


Church of Christ, Scientist.

      At its 101st annual meeting the church's first Latin-American president, Juan Carlos Lavigne, sounded the theme of reaching out to address today's growing demand for spirituality: "To the degree that God's love becomes closer and more real to us, our capacity to love expands. It overflows the limits of individual affection, and we embrace our community and the world. . . . We begin to pray for others." Lavigne, a Christian Science practitioner and teacher from Argentina, conducted the June 3, 1996, meeting in Boston.

      About 3,000 members listened to officers' reports describing how the church was endeavouring to fulfill its mission as stated by founder Mary Baker Eddy—"to commemorate the word and works of our Master, which should reinstate primitive Christianity and its lost element of healing." In line with this, the church's clerk reported "encouraging signs of our membership renewing their healing careers" and the increasing involvement of young people in Sunday school and in Wednesday testimony meetings. New members were welcomed from 42 countries, and a Christian Science church was established in Russia for the first time in almost 70 years.

      Among the year's other noteworthy developments, Eddy's primary work, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, was being sold in bookstores throughout the United States, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom, and Eddy was inducted into the (U.S.) National Women's Hall of Fame. The Christian Science Monitor received its sixth Pulitzer Prize, and an unusually large number of church members from around the world contributed articles to the denomination's religious magazines for the first time. In Boston the restoration of the Mother Church buildings reached the halfway point. Also during the year, the church launched three sites on the Internet: its own official home page, an electronic version of the Monitor, and a nondenominational Religious Freedom home page.


Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

      The seventh largest church in the United States, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) in 1996 crossed a demographic Rubicon: for the first time, it had more members living outside than inside the U.S. By the year's end the church had 10 million members in 156 nations and territories. The 50,000 full-time missionaries were recruiting approximately 300,000 new members per year. In addition to 4.8 million members in the U.S., there were 800,000 in Mexico, 600,000 in Brazil, 400,000 in Chile, 400,000 in the Philippines, 300,000 in Asia, and sizable numbers in Europe, Canada, and the South Pacific. An attempt was being made to universalize the LDS message and to draw attention to the Christian dimension of its theology.

      Rex E. Lee, who had served for seven years as president of Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, resigned for reasons of health (he died shortly thereafter) and was replaced in January 1996 by Merrill J. Bateman, formerly dean of business administration and management at the university and presiding bishop of the church. Simultaneously, Bateman was appointed a member of the First Council of Seventy, which marked the first time that a general authority of the church had served as president of the church university.

      Despite his age—he was 86 in 1996—the church president, Gordon B. Hinckley, visited large congregations in many countries throughout the world. He dedicated new temples in San Diego, Calif.; Hong Kong; and American Fork, Utah. By the end of 1996 there were 49 working temples throughout the world, 6 under construction, and plans announced for 6 more. The First Presidency also announced its intention to build a new meeting hall north of Temple Square in downtown Salt Lake City, Utah, that would seat 25,000 people.


Jehovah's Witnesses.
       Worldwide Adherents of All Religions by Six Continental Areas, Mid-1996 Religious Adherentsnin the United States of America, AD 1900-2000(For figures on Adherents of All Religions by Continent, see Table I (Worldwide Adherents of All Religions by Six Continental Areas, Mid-1996); for Adherents in the U.S., see Table II (Religious Adherentsnin the United States of America, AD 1900-2000).) During an age when families were disintegrating, a journalist described Jehovah's Witnesses as persons who "live by Scriptures" and "stress family togetherness." To help persons live by the Bible, the Witnesses arranged a series of worldwide conventions beginning in 1996. During hundreds of seminars held in dozens of cities, the 192-page book The Secret of Family Happiness was released to the millions who attended. In less than a year, more than 14 million copies of this book, which explains how applying Bible principles can build strong families, had been published in 85 languages.

      The emphasis on living by the Bible contributed to the 170% increase in the number of Witnesses since 1986. As of 1996 they numbered 5,199,895 in 232 countries. During 1995 the Witnesses spent more than one billion hours obeying Jesus's command to spread his teachings to "people of all the nations." They distributed Bibles and Bible aids throughout the world and translated them into 303 languages. In 1995 the 32-page brochure Enjoy Life on Earth Forever was translated into 18 additional languages; this brought the total to 237 and made it the most widely translated publication of the Witnesses. During 1995 and 1996 their modern-language New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures was completed in Finnish and in Norwegian, and the New Testament of the Bible was translated into Chinese and four African languages, which brought the total to 29 languages. Thus, it was available in languages spoken by over 50% of the world's population.


Lutheran Communion.

      The Council of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF), meeting in Geneva in September 1996, heard reports from its president, Gottfried Brakemeier of Brazil, and its general secretary, Ishmael Noko of Zimbabwe, on the present state of this international body of 122 member church organizations. A major item on the agenda was the ninth assembly of the LWF, to meet in July 1997 in Hong Kong, soon after control of that city reverted to China. After some earlier difficulties with the Chinese government, it seemed clear that the LWF would celebrate its 50th anniversary with its first assembly in Asia. Resolutions adopted by the council included approval of sanctions against Iraq and affirmation of the human rights of children. The council approved a process to further develop a joint declaration between the member churches of the LWF and the Roman Catholic Church on the doctrine of justification. One result of this declaration, to be considered for final official approval in 1998, would be the recognition that certain condemnations that were made in the 16th century between Lutherans and Roman Catholics would now be regarded as invalid.

      In the Lutheran churches of Norway and Finland, the number of baptisms and confirmations increased. The constitutional separation of the Church of Sweden and the Swedish government continued; it was to be completed in 2000. Ecumenical progress between several Nordic and Baltic Lutheran churches and a number of Anglican churches in the U.K. moved forward.

      Lutherans held international dialogues with the Orthodox churches and the Roman Catholic Church and a theological consultation with the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Regional dialogues between Lutherans and Mennonites in Germany and between Lutherans and Moravians in the U.S. took place. In India, Hong Kong, and Switzerland, women were selected for major leadership positions. Lutheran churches in Germany, Finland, and the U.S. discussed human sexuality as a potential church-dividing issue. In Germany Lutherans marked the 450th anniversary of the death of Martin Luther. In the U.S. bishops of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and of the Episcopal Church in the USA held their first joint meeting. The ELCA was considering entering into full communion with the Episcopal Church and three Reformed churches in 1997, as well as accepting the "Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification" with the Roman Catholic Church. (WILLIAM G. RUSCH)

      This article updates Lutheranism.

Methodist Churches.

      The quadrennial General Conference of the United Methodist Church was held in Denver, Colo., in April 1996. Delegates voted to retain the United Methodist Church's Book of Discipline's prohibition of the ordination of "self-avowed practicing homosexuals." The conference approved the establishing of a commission to create a plan for the possible union of four Methodist churches: the United Methodist, the African Methodist Episcopal, the African Methodist Episcopal Zion, and the Christian Methodist Episcopal Churches. The conference also voted to become part of the Consultation on Church Union covenanting community, which aimed to promote spiritual rather than structural unity.

      The 17th World Methodist Conference took place in Rio de Janeiro in August. Some 2,700 delegates assembled from Methodist churches throughout the world. Under the broad theme "Holy Spirit: Giver of Life," the conference explored the nature and gifts of the Holy Spirit in the life of the church. During the conference the World Methodist Council, consisting of 500 elected representatives from the 71 member church organizations, held meetings. The council welcomed into membership the Church of South India and the Methodist Church of Paraguay, adopted a statement on "Wesleyan Essentials of Christian Faith," approved Methodist participation in ecumenical planning for the celebration of the 2,000th anniversary of the birth of Jesus Christ, received the report "The Word of Life: A Statement on Revelation and Faith" from the Joint Commission of the Roman Catholic Church and the World Methodist Conference, authorized the establishment, in cooperation with His Holiness the Ecumenical Patriarch, of an international dialogue with the Orthodox churches, and adopted a report of the Anglican-Methodist International Commission.

      Other resolutions included a call to daily prayer at noon, whenever possible, asking for the guidance of the Holy Spirit in transforming the world away from violence and injustice, and a call to the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank to celebrate the millennium by canceling the debt of the less-developed countries. The council also adopted resolutions instructing the officers and the executive committee to review the structure and role of the council and its relation to the conference.

      The 1996 World Methodist Peace Award was given to Bishop Stanley Mogoba, the presiding bishop of the Methodist Church of Southern Africa, for "his consistency in never advocating violence . . . in the struggle against apartheid; his courage in seeking reconciliation." (JOHN C.A. BARRETT)

      This article updates Methodism.

Pentecostal Churches.

      During 1996 a revival at the Brownsville Assembly of God church in Pensacola, Fla., attracted news and visitors on a scale experienced only by the "Toronto Blessing" in 1995. By August the number of visitors totaled more than 700,000, while the "professions of faith" totaled 25,000 persons. By the end of the year, the Brownsville meetings were spawning similar revivals in other churches throughout the U.S.

      In April the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel (founded by Aimee Semple McPherson) reelected John R. Holland to a third four-year term as president. The Church of God (Cleveland, Tenn.) in August elected Paul Walker as general overseer. For decades Walker had served as pastor of the largest congregation in the denomination, the Mount Paran Church of God in Atlanta, Ga. In July Pentecostals in the U.S. mourned the passing of C.M. Ward, the longtime ABC network radio preacher on the Assemblies of God national broadcast known as "Revivaltime." The new Pentecostal/Charismatic Churches of North America met in September in Memphis, Tenn., to "revisit" the "Miracle of Memphis," which brought black and white Pentecostals together in 1994.

      There was discord between Pentecostals and Roman Catholics in Brazil in January, when the 3.5 million-member Universal Church of the Kingdom of God, led 200,000 members into the streets to protest verbal attacks by the government and a Catholic-owned television station. On the other hand, healing and harmony made news in April when 60,000 Italian Catholic charismatics met in Rimini, Italy, and pledged cooperation with the many Protestants, pentecostals, and charismatic observers in the sessions. (VINSON SYNAN)

Reformed, Presbyterian, and Congregational Churches.

      Western theology is no longer the universal form for understanding the Christian gospel, according to the international consultation on gospel and cultures organized by the World Alliance of Reformed Churches (WARC) in Indonesia in February 1996. The sense that a fundamental theological shift had taken place pervaded the consultation as it recognized that many issues look quite different from the perspectives of different cultures.

      Another kind of universality came under attack in the WARC consultation on Reformed faith and economic justice, held in Geneva in May, when it protested against the exclusion of millions of people from a world economy that was supposed to meet their needs. The two consultations were part of an intense process of preparation for the 23rd WARC General Council, scheduled to take place in Debrecen, Hung., in August 1997. Its theme was to be "Break the Chains of Injustice."

      Meeting in Detmold, Ger., in August, the WARC executive committee agreed on new guidelines for international dialogue. A first round of international Reformed-Pentecostal dialogue took place in Torre Pellice, Italy, in May.

      At the Reformed Ecumenical Council (REC) meeting in Grand Rapids, Mich., in August, delegates from churches in Asia and Africa challenged the council to accept the implications of the gospel of Jesus Christ in a world of poverty and pain, where ecological crises, military dictatorships, proliferation of arms, and crushing international debts impoverish peoples' lives. REC had been founded in opposition to WARC in 1946, but by 1996 the two organizations had moved closer together. The REC General Assembly reaffirmed its desire to establish a joint committee with WARC, with a view to promoting better understanding and fostering areas of cooperation.

      Nine churches were admitted to WARC membership in 1996: the Congregational Federation of Australia, the Isua Krista Kohhran and the Reformed Presbyterian Church (Northeast India), the Gereja Toraja Mamasa (Indonesia), the Iglesia Presbiteriana Asociada Reformada (Mexico), the Ekalesia Kelisiano Tuvalu and the Ekalesia Niue (Pacific), the Reformed Presbyterian Church in Uganda, and the Korean Presbyterian Church in America (U.S.). By late 1996 WARC linked more than 70 million Christians in 208 churches in 102 countries. (PÁRAIC RÉAMONN)

      This article updates Reformed and Presbyterian church (Reformed and Presbyterian churches).

The Religious Society of Friends.

      After Quaker women from the economically deprived part of the world returned from the UN Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995, they urged Quakers throughout the world and in their home communities to make positive changes in the cultural attitudes and customs that continued to keep women second-class citizens in many countries. They reminded their audience that Friends' Christian testimony on equality needed to be lived at home by means of participatory decision making.

      The Friends World Committee for Consultation Asia/West Pacific Section held its triennial representatives meeting in July 1996 at Darwin, Australia. Delegates from the region were excited to see the variety of work and witness of Friends in this large section, particularly in Vietnam, Cambodia, and India.

      In late August 57 leaders and pastors representing 19 African Quaker groups and 12 Mission and Service agencies working in Africa met to worship and to listen and learn from one another. They sought to further develop their strengths, one of which was a growing convergence between Mission and Service through a better recognition of their underlying unity. In focusing on the horrifying situation in Rwanda and Burundi, the group was moved by the presence of Friends from those countries, most of them now refugees. They told of the fear and hatred around them but also of the sheltering of God's love in desperate circumstances. Some had lost close family members, others their homes. Although some church buildings had been destroyed, no one as of late 1996 had been killed in a Friends church. The meeting concluded with a call for better communication and united positive action, including the gathering and sharing of information on the growing arms trade within Africa. (THOMAS F. TAYLOR)

      This articles updates Friends, Society of.

Salvation Army.

      During 1996 the Salvation Army invested in its future strength and growth. The first meeting of the International Spiritual Life Commission took place in July. It reviewed methods by which Salvationists could further develop and maintain spiritual life. The International Forum on Youth was scheduled for 1997. Entitled "Breakthrough Generation," it was planned by Gen. Paul A. Rader to focus the energy, passion, and commitment of Salvation Army youth on the continuation of their mission.

      Touring South Korea, Pakistan, India, Australia, and the U.S., General Rader strengthened the Army's worldwide presence and forged new spiritual links. Setting an example of altruism, retired general Eva Burrows received the 1996 Living Legacy Award from the Woman's International Center, San Diego, Calif.

      Humanitarian care and uniting to overcome disaster remained vital to the Army's concept of "active" Christianity. The murders of a teacher and pupils at Dunblane (Scot.) Primary School and of 35 people in Port Arthur, Tas., shocked the world. Salvationists joined other denominations in comforting and later helping to rebuild those communities. Salvation Army emergency relief teams provided assistance following an explosion in London's Docklands, and after an earthquake in Yunnan province, China, the Army provided aid.

      Royal Navy Lieut. Tony Brooks embarked on a 19,300-km (12,000-mi) charity bicycle ride from London to the Bering Straits, Siberia. His aim was to raise funds for a Salvation Army detoxification and rehabilitation unit. Epitomizing Salvationist philosophy, the journey was unofficially dubbed "Life Cycle."


Seventh-day Adventist Church.

      Meeting in Costa Rica, the Annual Council of the church's executive committee voted in 1996 to restructure the Asia-Pacific division of the world church. Instead of one administrative unit stretching from Korea to Indonesia, the region would have two units, a northern one with headquarters near Seoul, S.Kor., and a southern one with headquarters near Manila. The restructuring reflected the growth of the church in the region, particularly in China. With these changes the worldwide Seventh-day Adventist Church comprised 12 divisions, with a membership (as of Dec. 31, 1995) of 8,812,555 from 208 countries.

      Plans were laid for a four-year emphasis on the message and mission of the church among Adventists worldwide. For 1997 the theme would be "Experience the Joy of Salvation in Christ."

      The year also was marked by the largest evangelistic outreach in the church's history. A five-week program of meetings originating in Orlando, Fla., was transmitted via satellite to about 3,000 sites in North America, Central America, South America, and Europe. The meetings were made available in 12 languages to a combined audience of approximately 250,000.

      Humanitarian services continued to be provided by ADRA, the Adventist Development and Relief Agency, which worked in 143 countries. The Annual Council in Costa Rica gave particular attention to the challenge presented by AIDS, stressing the need for education as well as help to victims.

      A second round of consultations with representatives of the Lutheran World Federation was held near Toronto. Discussions focused on justification by faith, law, and the Sabbath. The church also engaged in official dialogue with the Worldwide Church of God. (WILLIAM G. JOHNSSON)

Unitarian (Universalist) Churches.

      Vitality and growth continued to characterize North America's Unitarian Universalist movement in 1996. Local church budgets climbed 63% from 1993 to 1996, membership was increasing at an annual rate of 4%, and the denomination's presence on college campuses had quintupled since 1994.

      The annual General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations, June 20-26, 1996, drew more than 3,100 registrants to Indianapolis, Ind. Dedicated to the theme "The Future Is Now" and emphasizing youth issues, it attracted the largest gathering of young people in the denomination's history.

      Resolutions for study or final acceptance dealt with problems of economic injustices, environment, energy conservation, and racial and cultural diversity. Overwhelming support greeted resolutions in support of same-sex marriages and those expressing outrage over the violence inflicted upon African-American churches.

      The Canadian Unitarian Council, concerned about the loss of the nation's social safety net, passed a resolution on economic justice in a time of financial uncertainty. Its professionally produced video, "Sharing Our Vision," was shown on the Vision TV network nationally and was being used by congregations.

      The (U.K.) General Assembly of the Unitarian and Free Christian Churches held its 1996 meetings in Glasgow, Scot. Resolutions on social issues included calling on the government to introduce tighter control over handguns by requiring their owners to submit to an annual test of psychological fitness, and to reform the national lottery in order to alleviate its perceived worst effects on society.

      Around the world, Unitarian congregations were formed as far apart as Russia (Moscow, St. Petersburg) and Ushuaia, Arg., near the southern tip of South America. The 200th anniversary of the Unitarian Christian Church of Madras, India, was observed in 1995. (JOHN NICHOLLS BOOTH)

      This article updates Unitarianism and Universalism.

The United Church of Canada.

      The United Church's December 1995 pastoral letter on the economy continued to draw considerable response in 1996. Media interest in the letter generated both criticism and support for the church's call to its members to find ways "to stop a growing war against the poor." Shifting spending priorities, the impact of costs related to the relocation of the national offices in 1995, and lower-than-anticipated revenues combined to result in organizational restructuring and staff layoffs in 1996. The total amount of money raised for all purposes in United Church congregations was Can$311,855,276. Of this, Can$30,291,561, less than 10%, was directed to the national funds of the church. The United Church remained Canada's largest Protestant denomination, with some three million known members and adherents in 1996.

      Like other institutions within Canadian society, the United Church continued to deal with sensitive legal issues, including those related to claims by former residents of a now-closed Indian residential school. Clergy employment disputes and claims of sexual harassment were the predominant cases that came before both the church and civil courts in 1996. For the first time in many years, the church had a surplus of clergy. Unfortunately, this was happening at a time when the financial viability of some congregations to support full-time or multiple ministry was in question and when the number of congregations was in gradual decline. A churchwide study was beginning to assess this development.

      The denomination's new hymnal, Voices United, was published in April to widespread acclaim. Also during the year, the Ethnic Ministries Council met for the first time and began its program of supporting ethnic ministries throughout the church.


United Church of Christ.

      In 1996 the United Church of Christ celebrated the 150th anniversary of the American Missionary Association, a historic church mission agency that engaged in prophetic service and action with African-Americans, Puerto Ricans, Native Americans, Appalachian whites, and people moving to the United States from many nations and cultures. The AMA founded churches, schools, and hospitals and was involved in community development and publishing.

      Work to reshape the structure of the church in the U.S. intensified during the year. This new structure, to be implemented in 1999, was to include three ministry units—Local Church, Justice and Witness, and Wider Church—along with an Office of General Minister and President. This would be the first comprehensive national reshaping since the formation of the 1.5 million-member church in 1957.

      Critical theological deliberation continued within the church, sparked to a significant degree by the ongoing Seasons of Theological Reflection and the introduction in 1995 of The New Century Hymnal. The editors of the hymnal stated that "one of the great gifts to our time is the spirit . . . calling us to affirm the fullness of God, the goodness of creation, and the value of every person. The search for language and metaphor to express that breadth and richness marks this book." Spirited deliberations about the theological appropriateness of the language and metaphors used in the hymnal were ongoing.

      The church strengthened its efforts to implement its commitment to be "a multiracial, multicultural church," remained active in the public realm primarily through support of poor and exploited people throughout the world, and furthered its involvement in a number of ecumenical relationships. Continued attention was given to evangelism and stewardship concerns in light of continued membership losses and reduced financial support.

      (PAUL H. SHERRY)


      Violence against Roman Catholic clergy was particularly evident in 1996. The Chinese government agitated against memorial services for Bishop Peter Joseph Fan Xueyan, a leader of the underground, pro-Vatican Chinese church that could number as many as 10 million members; the bishop had died in 1992. Political intimidation turned into outright violence as the government sought to weaken the underground church while promoting the so-called Patriotic Church, the government-sanctioned Catholic Church. In Nicaragua Sandinistas and their sympathizers carried out raids against clergy and churches to protest the papal visit in February. In Ghana Christian-Muslim strife had cost some 2,000 lives in 1995, and struggles continued well into the new year. Muslim extremists in Algeria murdered seven aged Trappist monks in May and then killed Bishop Pierre Lucien Claverie in August. In Rwanda and Burundi antagonism between warring Hutu and Tutsi did not spare clergymen. In September Archbishop Joachim Ruhuna of Burundi, a Tutsi, was ambushed and killed, presumably by Hutu. Earlier, Bishop Simon Ntamwana, a Hutu, was threatened but proclaimed his intention to stay.

      Throughout the world various bodies of Catholic clergy carried on struggles with the secular culture. In South Africa bishops opposed a gay rights initiative. The bishops of Argentina and of the Philippines complained about birth control campaigns launched by the governments of those countries. The Chilean bishops attacked efforts to loosen divorce laws, while the bishops of former East Germany objected to government efforts to minimize religious instruction in public schools. In the United States, Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz of Lincoln, Neb., announced that persons belonging to organizations that opposed official church teachings would be automatically excommunicated. He had in mind Catholic reform groups such as Call to Action as well as organizations that had no official connection with the church.

      Catholics in Hong Kong were attempting to take a more vigorous role in political life and to gain representation in the eventual provincial legislature. In South Korea 61 Catholics were elected to the 299-member legislature. Alterations in ecclesiastical administration paralleled these more evidently secular trends. New dioceses were created, or boundaries were substantially altered, in Kenya, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Uganda, and Brazil. The church's awareness of its growing presence in Africa and Asia was reflected in its decision to beatify two missionaries, one to Africa and one to China, and to canonize a missionary to China.

      As the church continued to struggle against the secularism of many modern cultures, it also faced dissent within its own rank. In 1995 some 500,000 Catholics in Austria had signed petitions calling for the ordination of women, an end to obligatory priestly celibacy, the election of bishops by laypeople, a "more humane church," and "acceptance of the value of sexual relationships." These petitions were consistent with a survey of U.S. Catholics that found 69% favouring married clergy, 65% supporting local election of bishops, and 78% insisting on more voice for ordinary believers. Joseph Cardinal Bernardin of Chicago (see OBITUARIES (Bernardin, Joseph Louis Cardinal )) issued a document entitled "Called to Be Catholic" that spoke of "a time of peril" for the American church and instituted a committee to discuss the painful issues dividing Catholics in the U.S. Cardinal Bernardin was forced to retreat when some of his brother bishops, especially Bernard Cardinal Law of Boston and James Cardinal Hickey of Washington, said that there was no room for dissent from "revealed truth" and that dissident Catholics should be encouraged to abandon their opposition to official teachings.

      In Rome the existence of this contention was acknowledged in a number of subtle ways. Whereas 1995 was a year of extraordinary activity, with encyclicals and pastoral letters being issued almost every month, there were few major pronouncements in 1996. In the apostolic constitution Universi Dominici Gregis (February 23) the pope made technical adjustments in the procedures for electing a pope but basically affirmed the existing system. The Vatican in March issued an "apostolic exhortation" entitled Vita Consecrata that commented in detail on the history, importance, and duties of the consecrated religious life. In October the pope issued a formal statement in which he said, "Fresh knowledge leads to recognition of the theory of evolution as more than just a hypothesis."

      If these major documents responded only obliquely to challenges faced by the church, other means were used to respond more directly. The pope employed many of his Sunday Angelus messages to affirm traditional Catholic education and to stress the role of the parents as the primary educators of the young. In his addresses to bishops' delegations in Rome for their required periodic visits, the pope repeatedly emphasized the need for bishops to hand on church teachings unchanged and unblemished and to preserve traditional moral norms. An unsigned essay in Osservatore Romano (Feb. 7, 1996) criticized a collection of essays published in Germany and critical of the 1993 encyclical Veritatis Splendor. The tenor of the essay was that truth must never be regarded as contingent or relative. It seemed clear that Rome had decided on a widespread effort to insist that much of the struggle in the contemporary Catholic Church was attributable to poor education and weak leadership.

      Despite constant press reports about his allegedly poor health, the pope maintained a vigorous schedule of routine activities in Rome and of travels outside Italy. The year found the pope in Central America in February, in Tunisia in April, in Slovenia in May, in Germany in June, and in France in September. The latter visit occasioned some controversy because some of the sites selected for visitation were meant to recall the 1,500th anniversary of the baptism of Clovis, whom some regarded the first king of France. The point of the commemoration was to highlight the deep roots of French Catholicism. In October the pope had his appendix removed; his physicians announced that no new or serious illness was discovered during the surgery.

      See Vatican City State .


      This article updates Roman Catholicism.


      Late in 1995 the Estonian government recognized as the only Orthodox church in the nation the Estonian Orthodox Apostolic Church, formerly in exile in Sweden. This created serious ethnic, legal, and property issues for the Russian Orthodox Church in Estonia. (See Sidebar (ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH: Conflict in Orthodoxy )).

      In Bulgaria the rivalry continued between Patriarch Maxim, who was recognized as the canonical head of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church by other Orthodox churches but whom the government had refused to recognize in 1992, and Pimen, elected as patriarch by a state-supported synod of bishops. Pimen's group acted in June to establish itself as a second Orthodox church in Bulgaria, intending to seek state recognition.

      In Russia the Orthodox Church proclaimed a policy of noninvolvement in the July 3 elections for president of the nation, but unofficially it opposed former communist Gennady Zyuganov. In reaction to the moral decay in Russian society associated with capitalism, however, numerous clergy and laity supported Zyuganov.

      In Albania Archbishop Anastasios reported in March that during the five years of his regime, 47 new churches had been built, 50 had been restored, and 30 churches, monasteries, and ecclesiastical buildings were currently being renovated. In August the Albanian government refused to accept three Greek nationals who were appointed by the ecumenical patriarchate as bishops of the dioceses of Korçë, Vlorë, and Gjirokastër. Archbishop Anastasios supported the government's action. Late in August police apprehended three teenagers who attended Iranian-taught Islamic fundamentalist classes, accusing them of having desecrated 18 300-year-old frescoes at the St. Michael Church in Voskopojë (Moschopolis). The head of the Muslims in Albania denounced the desecration as an act of intolerance.

      At a synod on July 30, the ecumenical patriarchate elected U.S.-born Archbishop Spyridon of Italy archbishop of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. He succeeded Archbishop Iakovos, who had retired the previous day after 37 years in the position. Archbishop Spyridon was installed on September 21 in New York City. The synod concurrently established three new jurisdictions: the metropolitanates of Canada, Central America, and South America; their parishes were formerly under the authority of Archbishop Iakovos.


      This article updates Eastern Orthodoxy.


      The Coptic Orthodox Church in Egypt during 1996 began circumventing government policies designed to frustrate its need to repair old churches and construct new church buildings by purchasing closed and abandoned Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches. These closings had resulted from the policies of former presidents Gamal Abdel Nasser and Anwar as-Sadat against non-Egyptian Christians in Egypt. Approximately 50 church buildings were purchased at reasonable prices because their owners preferred that they be used as Christian churches rather than for secular purposes.

      On May 8, 1996, Karekin I, the catholicos of the Armenian Apostolic Church based in Echmiadzin, Armenia, conducted an official visit at the headquarters of the Eastern Orthodox Patriarchate of Constantinople (Istanbul). He met with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, saying that he was committed to promoting Orthodox unity. Satisfaction was expressed regarding the elimination of doctrinal differences between the two traditions as a result of theological dialogue.

      The leader of the Armenian Orthodox jurisdiction headquartered in Beirut, Lebanon, Catholicos Aram I, conducted a 21-day visit to California beginning June 20. His branch of the Armenian Church was working for closer cooperation with other branches. (STANLEY S. HARAKAS)


      Of 120 Knesset (parliament) members elected in Israel on May 29, 1996, 23 belonged to the three religious parties, compared with 16 in the previous Knesset. This increase could be seen in the context of changes in the electoral system that favoured the small parties.

      Israel's newly elected prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu (see BIOGRAPHIES (Netanyahu, Benjamin )), included the three religious parties in his governing coalition. Guidelines issued by his bureau stated that "the Government will act to bring the religious and secular closer through mutual understanding and respect. The Government will retain the status quo on religious matters."

      Aryeh Deri, leader of Shas, the largest religious party, insisted that the religious parties should not use their voting power to bargain for religious legislation. Despite this declaration, in August, in the wake of a Supreme Court ruling that Bar-Ilan Street in Jerusalem should remain open on the Sabbath, Orthodox members of the Knesset threatened to bring down the government unless it supported legislation to change the way in which Supreme Court justices were chosen; they were, however, heavily outvoted.

      In reaction to rising tensions between religious and secular Jews and between the religious groups, several Jewish bodies as well as prominent leaders called for communal unity and mutual understanding. The Conference of European Rabbis, meeting in London in April, adopted 13 resolutions, mostly aimed at strengthening Orthodox leadership, education, and observance but also including calls for better relations between religious and secular Jews and for tolerance and the cessation of violence.

      In July, nevertheless, considerable resentment was aroused in the United States by a sermon given in Jerusalem by Israel's Sephardic Chief Rabbi Eliahu Bakshi Doron, in which he compared Reform Jews to the biblical character Zimri, the adulterous Israelite prince rightfully slain by Phinehas. Reform Jews accused Bakshi Doron of incitement to violence, a charge he vigorously denied.

      Various Jewish religious groups from Reform to Hasidic continued to attract adherents in Russia and other parts of the former Soviet Union. At the Centre for Jewish Studies at Moscow State University, Russian students graduated for the first time with a state-recognized degree in Jewish studies, and several of them attended a conference on the Teaching of Jewish Civilization at the Russian Academy of Sciences.

      In Britain, Clause 9 of the Divorce Bill, which passed through Parliament and awaited royal assent, authorizes a court to decline to make a divorce absolute if one of the parties claims that the marriage has not been properly dissolved according to religious law. If the bill was enacted, it would ease the plight of Jewish women whose husbands would otherwise be unwilling to initiate a get, or religious divorce. Meanwhile, the prenuptial agreement recommended by the chief rabbi and Beth Din (Jewish religious court) was signed by almost half of the couples to whom it had been offered; in its weaker version it commits couples to consult the Beth Din in case of marriage breakdown, and in the stronger version it authorizes the Beth Din to act as arbitrators.

      In August Commentary, the monthly journal of the American Jewish Committee, published a symposium, "What Do American Jews Believe?" The 47 respondents, not typical of the general U.S. Jewish population, because they were "prominent rabbis and thinkers across the denominational spectrum," appeared to support the contention that "among affiliated Jews in general, religion is back, and it is fueled by traditionalism," a finding greatly at variance with the results of a similar survey in 1966 but not out of keeping with trends in the U.S. generally.

      On June 9 in Teaneck, N.J., the Metivta, the rabbinical seminary of the Union for Traditional Judaism, conferred ordination on its first four graduates. The Union was the most recently formed Jewish denomination and was expected to appeal to the non-fundamentalist but tradition-oriented Jew.

      Among major international interfaith events during the year was a Jewish-Christian Symposium on the Jubilee, convened by the World Council of Churches and the Ecumenical Institute at Bossey, Switz., in May. Jews and Christians worked together for four days on the task of applying scripture to the modern world, with special reference to environmental issues and the problem of international debt.


      This article updates Judaism.


      A Nepali-led international archaeological team announced in February 1996 the discovery in 1995 of a stone they believed was laid by Emperor Ashoka of India in the 3rd century BC to mark the Buddha's birthplace in Lumbini, Nepal. The announcement followed an October 1995 UNESCO mission that recommended that Lumbini be placed on the World Heritage List. The birthplace claim, however, remained highly contested. In June 1996 the British Library announced that birch-bark scrolls acquired in 1994 may be the earliest extant Buddhist manuscripts, dating from the end of the 1st century AD or the beginning of the 2nd century.

      China celebrated the 11th Panchen Lama's June 1996 initiation into Buddhist monkhood with festivals including the presentation to the Panchen Lama's Tashilhunpo Monastery of a golden board bearing Chinese Pres. Jiang Zemin's inscription, "Safeguarding the Motherland and Working in Interests of the People." In January the six-year-old initiate, whose December 1995 enthronement by the Chinese as the 10th Panchen Lama's reincarnation was contested by the Dalai Lama, had affirmed his loyalty to Jiang. Amnesty International expressed concern in January for the Dalai Lama's candidate, missing since his May 1995 selection; in February the Dalai Lama speculated that the boy had been executed. During May, Chinese forces injured or arrested scores of Tibetan Buddhists, killing at least two monks who were protesting a new Chinese ban on possessing pictures of the Dalai Lama and wearing Buddhist protective cords. In June, at the Tibetan Freedom Concert sponsored by rock stars in San Francisco, there were demonstrations against U.S. Pres. Bill Clinton's renewal of China's most-favoured-nation status.

      Throughout the year leaders in Myanmar (Burma) negotiated with China to bring the Buddha's left tooth relic to their country in late 1996 for public display in Yangon (Rangoon) and Mandalay. In May the Myanmar government prevented Nobel Peace Prize winner Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy from performing the customary Buddhist New Year fish-releasing ceremony.

      In January Cambodian First Prime Minister Norodom Ranariddh retired to a Buddhist monastery following disagreements with his father, King Norodom Sihanouk, who in July affirmed his own "Buddhist tolerance" while pardoning a newspaper editor accused of defamation. Later in July Sihanouk assured minorities that the campaign for national unity would not require them to become Buddhist. In November security forces in Vietnam arrested several Buddhist monks and seized a pagoda in Hue that the government said was a centre of anticommunist activities.

      Throughout the year Buddhist monks protested the Sri Lankan government's peace proposal extended to the Tamil insurgents, fearing Buddhist political power would be compromised. In February police warned of rebel Tamil Tigers posing as monks; later that month they arrested the reputed chief of Tiger operations in Colombo at his rented room in a Buddhist monastery. In July police discovered a time bomb amid flowers offered to a Buddhist temple in northern Sri Lanka.

      A U.S. cosmetics firm apologized to the Thai government in January for disrespectful use of a Buddha image in its advertising. During the spring Chinese courts settled lawsuits against a sausage producer who used vegetarian monks in advertisements and a brewery producing "Buddha" beer. (JONATHAN S. WALTERS)

      This article updates Buddhism.


      In India the installation on May 16, 1996, of a new central government led by the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) raised fears that the country would be thrown into grave communal conflicts between Hindus and religious minorities. The new prime minister, Atal Behari Vajpayee, however, quickly assured Muslims and other religious minorities that India would remain a constitutionally secular state and that the BJP's ideal of "Hindutva" meant only Indian cultural identity and not a Hindu nation. Unable to gain sufficient support in Parliament, the governing coalition put together by the BJP lasted only two weeks and was replaced on June 1 by a coalition of parties representing the poor, minorities, and Hindu lower castes. To some observers the new government underscored the increase in political power of the lower castes and regional parties, as well as the failure of the once dominant Congress Party to achieve the kind of society, free of caste hierarchy and discrimination, envisioned by Mohandas Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru.

      In March conservation work was completed on the 12th-century temple of Jagannatha ("Lord of the World") in Puri, one of the greatest temples in India. The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) undertook the conservation in 1975 when stones forming the building's exterior began falling because of the weight and the excessive salinity of layers of lime that had been applied as a preservative on the walls and domes during the past 300 years. The restoration revealed the splendid original temple carvings.

      Two sets of calamities befell Hindu worshipers in the summer. On July 15, during the festival of Somavati Amavasya, sacred to devotees of Shiva, stampedes at two of the seven holiest sites in India left at least 60 dead and dozens more seriously injured. At Hardwar, where 1.5 million pilgrims had gone to bathe in the sacred Ganges River to celebrate the festival and pray for monsoon rains, 21 were killed in a stampede on a narrow bridge. Another 39 died when worshipers fell on top of one another on a slippery stairway leading to an underground shrine of the Mahakaleshwar temple at Ujjain, where some 200,000 had gathered for the festival. In late August the bodies of more than 120 pilgrims were recovered from along a mountain path leading to the Amarnath cave in Kashmir, where it is believed Shiva imparted the secret of immortality and where the god is worshiped in the phallic form of a stalagmite of ice. More than 110,000 pilgrims, the largest number in years, had registered for an annual pilgrimage to the sacred cave, and about 50,000 of them were caught in a blizzard at 4,575 m (15,000 ft) with virtually no shelter, food, or water. Many died from exposure, while others fell into ravines hundreds of metres below the narrow trail.

      July 11 marked the 30th anniversary of the founding in New York City of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), popularly known as the Hare Krishnas. Its founder, A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, brought from India a form of Hinduism that arose in the 16th century and directed devotion to Hare ("Lord") Krishna through ecstatic dancing and chanting. It quickly won converts among thousands of Americans, mostly young people. By 1980, three years after Prabhupada's death, the movement had established temples in about 40 U.S. cities, with 5,000 resident devotees, opened a chain of vegetarian restaurants, founded a publishing house, and instituted inner-city and international relief programs.

      The Hindu belief that deity can assume any number of forms underlay the erection throughout Andhra Pradesh of shrines dedicated to the popular film star N.T. Rama Rao following his death on January 18 at the age of 72. (See OBITUARIES (Rama Rao, N T ).)


      This article updates Hindusim (Hinduism).


      Muslims in most places in the world continued in 1996 to be subject to outbursts of violence, military operations by government and insurgent forces, and disappointed economic and social expectations. Various groups and leaders continued to call for Islamist action—that is, for Islamic solutions that emphasized the implementation of traditional behaviour and the Islamic Shari'ah law code. These calls were often labeled as fundamentalist; that term, however, continued to become less useful and accurate, because various Islamist groups generally had their own agendas that were based on a common theme of Islamic social justice but could be nuanced in a number of ways. The more specific religious concerns remained inextricably blended with political, and often nationalistic and cultural, concerns. At the same time, in Europe and North America, Islamic influences continued to expand.

      Violence continued in many places: Algeria, Egypt, Pakistan and India, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, The Sudan, China, and Israel and the West Bank and Jerusalem. The disorders were often a continuation of the patterns of recent years: disaffected groups and their leaders called for reforms based on Islamic principles; there were attacks against governmental authority, sometimes obliquely in the form of terrorist attacks on tourists (Egypt in April); and those attacks were generally met by swift government reprisals. Leaders of the disaffected groups and their followers tended to be economically insecure or unemployed, disgusted by the social and cultural milieu about them, unhappy at the rapid changes and alien values they perceived as overwhelming their society, and longing for now disintegrated traditional values. Many of these disaffected persons were relatively well educated and members of the middle class. The solutions they proffered for ending the ills were couched in the language, symbols, and systematic exposition of Islam.

      Events in Algeria, Egypt, The Sudan, Tajikistan, India and Pakistan, and China were confined to outbreaks of violence in specific areas and were dealt with swiftly. Other areas faced outright civil war. In Afghanistan the Taliban Islamists, after occupying the southern half of that country for about two years, began to expand northward, taking the capital Kabul in September. In the name of Islam, they announced a strict code of behaviour that included limitations on women's activities, such as closing girls' schools and ordering women to remain at home in seclusion. The Shari'ah was to be the enforced law. In Iraq the national forces supported a move by one Kurdish group in the north against its rival Kurdish group, an action that brought a reprisal strike in southern Iraq by the U.S. in September.

      In Turkey the Islamic Welfare (Refah) Party, which won a plurality in elections at the end of 1995, was finally able in June to form a coalition government under Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan. (See BIOGRAPHIES (Erbakan, Necmettin ).) It was the first time since the early 1920s that an Islamic religious party had held parliamentary power in Turkey. In the Philippines, after many years of rebellion in the southern island of Mindanao, Islamic guerrilla forces and the government signed a truce early in September, which signified a new era of shared power; the agreement was objected to by some Christian and other groups. In Bosnia and Herzegovina the truce seemed to be holding, and elections supervised by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe were held in September.

      The situation in the West Bank and Israel worsened considerably during the year as the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, which came to power as the result of Israel's May election, appeared to have a different timetable for the implementation of the agreements of 1993 between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization. Outbreaks of violence occurred throughout the year, but the situation became especially severe in September and October over the Temple Mount area in Jerusalem, the location of the al-Aqsa Mosque, the third holiest Islamic shrine. (See Israel .)

      In the U.S. the Islamic presence continued to grow and be recognized. One estimate numbered mosques there at more than 1,200. In late spring a national meeting of Muslims attracted thousands of attendees; in May an international women's conference was held in Washington, D.C., to discuss issues of interest to Muslim women throughout the world. Louis Farrakhan, leader of the organization the Nation of Islam, visited a number of Islamic countries early in the year, including Iran and Libya, with which the U.S. did not have regular diplomatic relations. As a result, and because of remarks Farrakhan made, the trip caused controversy. The Nation of Islam continued its efforts to reach out to inmates in U.S. prisons and also its controversial patrol service of inner-city housing complexes suffering high crime rates. Discrimination and isolated incidents of harassment and attacks on U.S. Muslims were reported.

      In July Citibank opened a bank in Bahrain that followed Islamic legal rules for banking practices, the first such Western bank in the Persian Gulf. Citibank's decision could be understood in light of the fact that Islamic banks now managed funds valued in the $50 billion-$100 billion range.


      This article updates Islām.

▪ 1996


       Worldwide Adherents of All Religions by Six Continental Areas, Mid-1995 Religious Adherents in the United States of America, AD 1900-2000During 1995 religious groups faced challenges in relating to one another and to government policies in various countries. (For figures on Adherents of All Religions by Continent, see Table I (Worldwide Adherents of All Religions by Six Continental Areas, Mid-1995); for Adherents in the U.S., see Table II (Religious Adherents in the United States of America, AD 1900-2000).) Internally, many continued to grapple with the role of women in the ordained ministry and whether to accept certain sexual practices among adherents. It was a year of restructuring and leadership changes for some, and the impact of science on faith—and the uses of technology in its propagation—gained renewed attention.

      In an encyclical in May titled Ut unum sint ("That They May Be One"), Pope John Paul II called for greater efforts to overcome the differences separating Roman Catholics from Orthodox Christians and Protestants while insisting that the office of the papacy had to remain the prime authority on the faith. A month later the pope joined with Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I in celebrating a liturgy at the Vatican and in describing the role of the papacy as one of service, not power.

      In the interfaith sphere Vatican and Muslim officials announced in June the formation of a Joint Liaison Committee to explore their respective positions on religious and social issues. Earlier during the month the opening of a mosque in Rome was welcomed by the Vatican, and an official of the Holy See said it would be desirable for a Catholic church to be built in Saudi Arabia "as soon as possible." While the mosque made history on the European continent, what was described as the biggest Hindu temple in the Western world opened in the Neasden district of London. It was sponsored by the Swaminarayan sect, which was founded in the 19th century in the Indian province of Gujarat and had a strong following in London.

      Britain's religious diversity also was highlighted when Prince Charles declared in a television interview that if he became the sovereign he wanted to be known as "Defender of Faith" in general rather than accepting the traditional title of "Defender of the Faith," referring to that of the Church of England.

      In the United States the Supreme Court broke new ground in a 5-4 ruling stating that the refusal of the University of Virginia to give money for a student Christian magazine while subsidizing other student publications was a violation of free-speech rights. The decision marked the first time that the high court had approved public money for a religious activity. While Justice David Souter said in a dissenting opinion that the decision violated the First Amendment's establishment clause, Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote for the majority that no public money would have gone directly to the periodical since the subsidy would have gone to an outside printer.

      In another case the court ruled 7-2 that government must afford private religious speech as much public access as secular speech. It upheld the Ku Klux Klan's right to erect a cross in front of the Ohio statehouse on the ground that the area had become a public forum.

      In April a federal judge ruled in Oxford, Miss., that organized prayer in public schools is unconstitutional even if organized by students. During the same month, a broad national coalition of religious and legal groups issued a set of guidelines for accommodation of religion in the public schools. Pres. Bill Clinton and Secretary of Education Richard Riley drew on the document in issuing a similar one in August for the nation's 15,000 public school districts.

      The Internal Revenue Service revoked the tax-exempt status of the Church at Pierce Creek in Conklin, N.Y., because of ads the church had taken out in 1992 urging Christians not to vote for Clinton. The IRS action was believed to be the first of its kind taken against a local congregation. The General Council of the Assemblies of God found itself hit with a sexual discrimination lawsuit by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in response to an allegation that male employees of its headquarters in Springfield, Mo., who had engaged in extramarital affairs were disciplined more leniently than females.

      The Minnesota Court of Appeals ruled in April that a $9 million punitive damages award against the mother church of the Christian Science faith was unconstitutional because it sought to force the church to give up its belief in spiritual healing. The 1993 decision, resulting from the death of an 11-year-old boy whose Christian Scientist mother refused to provide him with medical care, had been the first civil verdict against the church.

      The Chinese government accused the Dalai Lama of breaking the rules of his own faith by proclaiming a six-year-old boy as the reincarnation of the Panchen Lama, the second most important monk in Tibetan Buddhism, claiming that this was done improperly. The government installed its own claimant in December.

      In response to a decision by Lutheran Archbishop Janis Vanags to stop ordaining women because of the negative effect it had on relations with the Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches, the council of the Lutheran World Federation called on its 122 member churches to support female clergy, saying that "ordination should not become a bargaining tool" in relationships with other churches.

      The General Synod of the 215,000-member Christian Reformed Church (CRC), meeting in Grand Rapids, Mich., gave district governing bodies the option of declaring the denomination's male-only requirement for the offices of pastor and elder to be inoperative. That action led the 239,000-member Presbyterian Church in America to urge the North American Presbyterian and Reformed Council to expel the CRC.

      A survey of 4,900 clergy in 16 Protestant denominations conducted by Hartford (Conn.) Seminary found that the percentage of female clergy had declined over eight years in denominations that were once at the forefront of women's ordination. The study found that only 11% of the clergy were female, despite a near doubling of female seminary enrollment since 1980.

      Although the Vatican moved no closer toward the ordination of women in 1995, John Paul surprised many feminists when he issued a letter apologizing for Catholic involvement in policies that had relegated women to the margins of society. Harvard law professor Mary Ann Glendon was selected to chair the 20-member Vatican delegation to the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing in September; this made her the first woman to take the leadership role for the church at a major international gathering.

      Conservative Rabbi Bea Wyler became Germany's first female rabbi since the Holocaust when she was named in August to head two congregations in Lower Saxony state. The appointment was sharply criticized by Ignatz Bubis, an Orthodox Jew who headed the Central Conference of Jews in Germany and whose branch of Judaism did not recognize women rabbis.

      The 36 archbishops of the Anglican Communion said in a pastoral letter in March that patterns of human sexuality by church members "at variance with the received Christian moral tradition" posed issues that "do not always admit of easy, instant answers." A study published in June by the Church of England's Board for Social Responsibility said couples who lived together without marrying should not be viewed as "living in sin" and that the church should welcome single, married, separated, or cohabiting couples, in either heterosexual or homosexual relationships.

      In the U.S. the 2.5 million-member Episcopal Church announced that retired bishop Walter C. Righter of Iowa would be put on a church trial for having knowingly ordained a noncelibate homosexual, Barry Stopfel, as a deacon in 1990. Righter denied having violated church law, and before the charges were brought against Righter, a five-bishop panel appointed by Presiding Bishop Edmond Browning ruled that "there is no provision of the Constitution or Canons of the church which prohibits the ordination of homosexuals." The Rev. Jeanne Audrey Powers, a prominent ecumenical leader in the United Methodist Church, became the highest-ranking official in the 8.6 million-member denomination to announce that she was gay. The church's rules declared the practice of homosexuality incompatible with Christian teaching. Powers refused to say whether she was a practicing homosexual but said her July announcement was "an act of resistance to false teachings that have contributed to heresy and homophobia within the church itself."

      After the 150th meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention in Atlanta, Ga., repented of its racist roots, the 15.6 million-member denomination approved a restructuring plan that was designed to reduce the number of its national agencies from 19 to 12 and that included its first-ever comprehensive mission statement. An ad hoc committee of U.S. Catholic bishops proposed several changes for the U.S. Catholic Church, including combining its two major national organizations into one and pressing for a more collegial relationship with the Vatican.

      The Worldwide Church of God suffered losses of membership and income after a January sermon by Pastor General Joseph W. Tkach, Sr., in which he said that tithing and observing the sabbath on Saturday were no longer mandatory. Tkach, who succeeded church founder Herbert W. Armstrong, moved the group closer to Christian orthodoxy before he died in September. A drop in income led to cutbacks in the church's headquarters staff in Pasadena, Calif., and in its magazine, The Plain Truth. More than 100 dissident clergy gathered in Indianapolis, Ind., in April to form a breakaway group called the United Church of God.

      Nearly 200 leaders from a broad spectrum of religious faiths issued a statement in Washington, D.C., in May urging an end to the patenting of human and animal life forms for profit. Jeremy Rifkin, a biotechnology critic and organizer of the religious coalition, said the statement presaged "a great historical debate about to unfold between religion and commerce."

      Australian physicist Paul Davies (see BIOGRAPHIES (Davies, Paul Charles William )), who once wrote that science "offers a surer path to God than religion," won the $1 million Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion in 1995. Davies, whose works include The Mind of God (1992), said when the award was announced that "I do not like to think of God as another object or another force at work in the universe. When I use the word 'god' I use it probably rather in the same way Einstein used the word 'god'—to mean something which underpins this ordered universe."

      Less than a year after assuming the presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 87-year-old Howard W. Hunter died in March (see OBITUARIES (Hunter, Howard William )). Other notable deaths in 1995 included Carl Mau, former general secretary of the Lutheran World Federation (see OBITUARIES (Mau, Carl )), and Patriarch Volodymyr of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. The Rev. Nilson Fanini of Brazil (see BIOGRAPHIES (Fanini, Nilson do Amaral )) became president of the Baptist World Alliance, and the Rev. H. George Anderson, president of Luther College, Decorah, Iowa, was elected presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Archbishop Iakovos, who had led the Greek Orthodox Church in the Western Hemisphere since 1959, announced that he would retire in 1996.


      This updates the article religion, study of.


Anglican Communion.
      The Anglican Church of Mexico became the newest province in the Anglican Communion in 1995. Previously a missionary district of the U.S. Episcopal Church, the 1994 Episcopal Convention granted the five Mexican dioceses permission to withdraw in order to become an autonomous province effective Jan. 1, 1995. The Mexican church held its first General Synod in February and elected Bishop José G. Saucedo of Cuernavaca as its first primate and leader.

      In England, Bishop David Hope was named archbishop of York, the second highest post in the Church of England. Hope, an Anglo-Catholic, had been bishop of London since 1991. His appointment was seen as a move to balance the more evangelical style of Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey.

      A new 900-page volume, A Prayer Book for Australia, was authorized by an overwhelming majority during the Anglican Church of Australia's General Synod in July. Meanwhile, the diocese of Sydney postponed voting on a proposal allowing deacons and laypersons to preside at Holy Communion. The measure breaks a 450-year-old Anglican tradition of allowing only ordained priests and bishops to celebrate Holy Communion.

      The Episcopal Church in the U.S. survived a year of scandals that included an embezzlement by its national treasurer, a suicide of a leading bishop, and an ecclesiastical trial against a bishop. Presiding Bishop Edmund Browning announced in May that former national treasurer Ellen Cooke had diverted $2.2 million from church funds during a five-year period. Cooke, who had resigned in January, had been the second highest paid national member. A grand jury indictment on embezzlement and theft charges was expected.

      In January, 10 bishops filed a formal "letter of presentment" charging Bishop Walter C. Righter with "holding and teaching doctrine contrary to that of the Episcopal Church" because he ordained an avowed practicing homosexual to the diaconate. Righter, the retired bishop of Iowa, was currently assistant bishop of Newark, N.J. By August the required one-fourth of the 297-member House of Bishops had consented to allow the presentment charges to proceed to a trial. The trial, scheduled for February 1996, would be the first ecclesiastical trial of a bishop in the Episcopal Church since 1924.

      Bishop David Johnson of Massachusetts, the largest diocese in the Episcopal Church, died in January of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. The diocese later revealed that the bishop, who had already announced his retirement, had been involved in extramarital affairs over several years and had made at least one previous attempt to take his life.

      On the brighter side, Episcopal Church membership increased in 1994 for the fourth consecutive year, reversing a decline that had begun in 1966. Baptized church membership topped 2.5 million for the first time since 1986. (DAVID E. SUMNER)

      This updates the article Anglican Communion (Anglicanism).

Baptist Churches.

      At its annual meeting, the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), the largest Protestant denomination in the U.S., adopted a resolution renouncing its racist roots. The body took action, apologizing for its past defense of slavery. The resolution called for the assembly "to unwaveringly denounce racism, in all its forms, as deplorable sin" and to "lament and repudiate historic acts of evil such as slavery from which we continue to reap a bitter harvest."

      Minorities continued to be the main source of growth in the SBC, as they had been since 1980. Currently about 500,000 were African-American, with another 300,000 being ethnic minorities.

      Aidsand F. Wright-Riggins III, executive director of the American Baptist National Ministries (Northern Baptists), noted in response, "Isn't it ironic that 150 years after the split of the Baptist denomination over slavery, the sons of former slave owners must now come to the table to apologize to a son and daughter of former slaves. The arc of the universe is long but it does indeed bend toward justice." Wright-Riggins went on to say, "It would be wrong to single out the SBC as the only predominantly white denomination doing too little too late. Only a handful of denominations have launched intentional strategies to seriously deal with racial justice and the growing racial/ethnic diversity of mainline denominations."

      More than 20,000 "messengers" from the 15.6 million-member Southern Baptist denomination met on June 20-22, 1995, in Atlanta's Georgia Dome.

      The question of acceptance of homosexuals was raised in the American Baptist Churches USA when its Board of National Ministries severed ties with the Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America "until such times as the BPF's stated aims, goals and resolutions are consistent with the American Baptist policies." The action followed a February 11 meeting of the BPFNA's Board of Directors in which that group decided to "take an active role at denominational meetings to defeat denominational resolutions that prevent gay, lesbian, and transgendered persons from becoming members of churches, being ordained, being credentialed for chaplaincy and pastoral counseling, and being employed in denominational structures." Wright-Riggins said, "We regret the truly partisan position BPFNA has taken. Many of us hoped that they would play a role of reconciler among Christian people who have differing positions on issues related to homosexuality."

      In Saudi Arabia two Philippine Baptists were jailed for holding private Bible studies. Colleagues insisted, however, that the Bible studies were not evangelistic efforts to convert Muslims.

      The international membership of the Baptist World Alliance kept growing, according to a recent BWA report. The alliance included 150,619 congregations and more than 38,540,000 members, an increase over 1994 of 2,841 congregations and more than 437,000 members. The alliance marked its 90th anniversary in 1995.

      (NORMAN R. DE PUY)

      This updates the article Baptist.

Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).

      The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) built a dwelling place for an inner-city congregation, took several actions strengthening its ecumenical witness, and elected new leaders during its 1995 General Assembly in Pittsburgh, Pa. The biennial gathering convened under the theme "Becoming a Dwelling Place for God." Disciples members donated hundreds of hours of volunteer service and thousands of dollars toward erecting a new worship space and community centre for East Hills Community Christian Church, a 140-member congregation located in one of Pittsburgh's most impoverished neighbourhoods.

      The assembly elected as its leaders for the next two years the Rev. Janet Long, moderator; Saundra Bryant, first vice moderator; and Paul Rivera, second vice moderator. The trio would preside over the General Board and Administrative Committee and the next General Assembly, which was scheduled to meet in 1997 in Denver, Colo.

      The plenary body also endorsed a plan to "reconcile ordained ministries" with the church's ecumenical partner, the United Church of Christ. This action eased the way for Disciples and United Church congregations to receive each other's ordained clergy. The Disciples and the UCC declared the churches to be in "full communion" in 1989. Another highlight was the approval of "Churches in Covenant Communion," a wide-ranging church unity plan that linked the Disciples with eight other U.S. mainline denominations. Besides the Disciples and the UCC, the participants included the United Methodist and Episcopal churches and three predominantly black Methodist bodies. The assembly also backed several "mission imperatives" for the denomination that involved strengthening ministries to children and youth, nurturing faith, and engaging in mission and congregational renewal. Voting representatives also reaffirmed the denomination's commitment to affirmative action. (CLIFFORD L. WILLIS)

      This updates the article Disciples of Christ.

Churches of Christ.

      The international newspaper The Christian Chronicle highlighted world evangelism, disaster relief, efforts for worship renewal, and programs to nurture "Generation X" in 1995. There was a revival of interest across the nation in vacation Bible schools for children and a new emphasis on men and their spiritual role in the family. Ministries for seniors and families multiplied. Abilene (Texas) Christian University held its fifth workshop on "Equipping Women for Ministry," which correlated with the increasing use of women in the work of the church while reserving the roles of elder and preacher for men.

      Annual Bible lectureships on each of the 21 colleges and universities associated with Churches of Christ drew thousands to study the Bible's answers to current issues. Ten thousand from primarily African-American churches attended the Crusade for Christ in Atlanta, Ga. The 51st national lectureship was sponsored by the Harlem Church in New York City. Two other national forums, the International Soul Winning Workshop in Tulsa, Okla., and Jubilee in Nashville, Tenn., were attended by thousands.

      In May gifts poured into Oklahoma City, Okla., churches after the bombing of a federal building there. A task force from 29 congregations led rescue work and provided relief, housing, and counseling.

      Thousands joined Manna International in a day of fasting and prayer, and gifts were provided for the hurting and helpless in Haiti, Ethiopia, Croatia, Rwanda, El Salvador, and Ghana.

      At the end of five years of full-scale mission work, there were 100 churches in the former Soviet Union and 40 in Eastern Europe and the Balkans. In Haiti a Center for Biblical Studies began to train ministers and other leaders, while a church-run orphanage operated in Cap-Haïtien. Nigerian Christian Bible College began a bachelor's degree program. After 33 years Sunset School of Preaching in Lubbock, Texas, became International Bible Institute.


Church of Christ, Scientist.

      At the 100th annual meeting of the First Church of Christ, Scientist, held in Boston on June 5, 1995, members were invited to include one another and humankind in the love and healing of scientific Christianity. Incoming church president David C. Driver of Seattle, Wash., spoke to the members about the importance of loving one's neighbour as a collective responsibility. "No one is exempt from being defined as our neighbour—no one in our family, our church, our community, our country, our world," he pointed out. "And no one is exempt from the demand to love this neighbour from the same spiritual standpoint as ourselves. This is the love that breaks down walls of division."

      The meeting included presentations by the officers of the Mother Church as well as reports from members bringing out the vital role of Christian Science Reading Rooms in communities throughout the world. Virginia S. Harris, the publisher of the writings of Mary Baker Eddy, reported on the unprecedented public interest in spirituality and healing. "This surge continues," she pointed out, "and observers are predicting further growth in the next few years. In every heart there's a natural inclination toward the spiritual, the real." In speaking of the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Eddy, Harris added, "The increasing demand for a greater understanding of spiritual existence is a direct result of the leavening action of this book's message."


Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

      Howard W. Hunter, who became president of the church on June 5, 1994, died on March 3, 1995, after having served only nine months. (See OBITUARIES (Hunter, Howard William ).) Sustained as the new president was Gordon B. Hinckley, 84, who had been an apostle since 1961 and a member of the church's First Presidency since 1981. Born in Salt Lake City, Utah, Hinckley had devoted most of his life to church public relations and pioneered in adapting modern electronic media to church uses. His counselors were Thomas S. Monson and James E. Faust. New apostles were Jeffrey R. Holland, former president of Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, and Henry B. Eyring, former commissioner of the Church Education System.

      New temples were under construction in Hong Kong; Bogotá, Colombia; Preston, England; Nashville, Tenn.; St. Louis, Mo.; Vernal and American Fork, Utah; Hartford, Conn.; Cochabamba, Bolivia; and Recife, Brazil.

      Substantial welfare assistance was given to those suffering from the floods in southern Georgia and Texas and from the earthquake in Kobe, Japan. More than 28,000 food packages and several tons of clothing were sent to needy and hungry people in Albania, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Russia, and Haiti.

      With a membership of nine million by 1995, the church had 2,024 stakes (dioceses), 21,800 wards (congregations), and 310 missions in 156 nations and territories. There had been a heavy growth of membership in Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, the Philippines, and Eastern Europe.

      The church celebrated the centennial of the Family History Library on Nov. 13, 1994. The largest library of its kind in the world, the collection included 2 million reels of microfilmed genealogical records, 200,000 books, and more than 300,000 microfiches.

      The Mormon Tabernacle Choir performed four concerts in Washington, D.C., and New York City as part of events commemorating the 50th anniversary of the end of World War II.


Jehovah's Witnesses.

      "You are to be Bible educators," explained Albert D. Schroeder, a member of the Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses. He spoke these words to the graduating missionary class of the Watchtower Bible School of Gilead that in April was the first to use the new Watchtower Educational Center in Patterson, N.Y. This complex of 28 buildings—including school facilities, an office building, and residence buildings for 1,500—was built entirely by volunteers. Since ground was broken in 1988, more than five million hours of labour had gone into the project. The centre coordinated the work of more than 1,000 translators in 93 countries, making it possible to publish literature in various languages, currently numbering 271.

      On Sept. 29, 1994, a daylong program at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington, D.C., focused on the Witnesses' integrity in the face of the Nazi terror and also on their outspokenness at a time when many other religions were silent. Michael Berenbaum, director of the museum's Research Institute, explained: "The Witnesses are in a very real sense the only voluntary victims. They are the only people who were persecuted, not because of what they did [or who they were], but because of what they refused to do. They would not swear allegiance to the state . . . and they would not utter the words 'Heil Hitler.' " Historian Christine King, chancellor of Staffordshire (England) University, added: "Those Witnesses were a rock in the mud. [One prisoner] said that they were the only people who didn't spit when the guards walked past. They were the only people who didn't deal with all of this by hatred, but by love and hope—feeling that there was a purpose. . . . [They] brought morally to their knees the might of that Gestapo power." In contrast to others, King said, "They spoke out from the beginning. They spoke out with one voice. And they spoke out with a tremendous courage, which has a message for all of us."


Lutheran Communion.

      The Council of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) met in Windhoek, Namibia, in June 1995. This was the first meeting held under the leadership of Ishmael Noko of Zimbabwe, elected general secretary in 1994. Resolutions were adopted noting the importance of Jerusalem in the Middle Eastern peace process, calling upon the International Tribunal for Rwanda to begin its work, and urging all governments to desist from the testing of nuclear weapons. The council accepted a proposal for joint cooperation between the LWF and the World Council of Churches for emergency relief work. The council also admitted two new member churches to the LWF, bringing its membership to 122. The council confirmed its commitment to the ordination of women. About 70% of the LWF member churches were prepared to ordain women. This confirmation was made in view of the decision of the archbishop of the Latvian Lutheran Church to halt the ordination of women.

      The council devoted attention to the ninth assembly of the LWF to be held in July 1997 in Hong Kong, shortly after the territory reverted to China. The theme was to be "In Christ—Called to Witness." The assembly also would observe the 50th anniversary of the LWF.

      A synod of the official Swedish Lutheran Church meeting in Sigtuna, Sweden, in late August agreed on a constitutional separation of the church from the state effective in the year 2000. Ecumenical progress continued between a number of Nordic and Baltic Lutheran churches and several Anglican churches in the U.K. with the acceptance of the Porvoo Report, which recommended closer Anglican-Lutheran relations. This report had the approval of the Lutheran churches in Estonia, Norway, and Sweden and of Anglican churches in England, Ireland, and Scotland. A process continued by which certain condemnations expressed between Lutherans and Roman Catholics in the 16th century would be declared in 1997 as inapplicable.

      The assembly of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), the second largest Lutheran church in the world, elected H. George Anderson, a former seminary and college president, its second churchwide bishop. Anderson succeeded Herbert W. Chilstrom, who retired. On the final ballot Anderson defeated April Ulring Larson, a bishop of a synod of the ELCA; this marked the first time a woman had been a finalist in an election to head a U.S. Lutheran church. A statement on peace was approved by the assembly.

      At its convention in 1995, the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod reelected Alvin L. Barry to his second term as president. At the convention the church accepted several proposals for restructuring and formally joined the International Lutheran Council.


      This updates the article Lutheranism.

Methodist Churches.

      The officers of the World Methodist Council met in Cambridge, England, in October 1995 to finalize plans for the 17th World Methodist Conference, which was to be held in Rio de Janeiro on Aug. 7-14, 1996. The conference theme was to be "Holy Spirit: Giver of Life." A new feature of the conference program would be a choice, on the second and third days, of 11 seminars focusing on world evangelism, international social concerns, family life issues, ecumenical relationships, Christian education, Wesleyan heritage and history, theological education, the renewal of church life for Methodist men, international publishing, worship, and Bible study. It would be the first time that the World Methodist Council had met in South America. The council, which had representatives from each of the 77 member churches, was scheduled to meet during the conference. The World Federation of Methodist Women planned an Assembly on July 27-August 4, also in Rio de Janeiro.

      In 1996, also, there were to be celebrations at the Methodist Central Hall, Westminster, London, to mark 50 years since the first meeting of the General Assembly of the United Nations, which was held there in 1946. Representatives of the World Federation of Methodist Women took part in the United Nations Forum on Women in Huairou, near Beijing, on Aug. 30-Sept. 8, 1995.

      The Preliminary Commission for Dialogue between the Ecumenical Patriarch and the World Methodist Council held its third meeting in March 1995. A proposal regarding the inauguration of a full dialogue went for decision to the Ecumenical Patriarch and through the Patriarch to the 13 autocephalous Orthodox Churches. The World Methodist Council would make its decision in Rio de Janeiro in 1996.

      The World Methodist Council approved Methodist participation in the planning for an ecumenical event in Bethlehem at Christmas in the year 1999 to welcome the new millennium.

      The Christian Conference of Asia, a body that represented more than 120 churches in that region, decided to keep its headquarters in Hong Kong after the British colony reverted to Chinese sovereignty on July 1, 1997.

      The British Methodist Conference, meeting in Bristol, England, in June 1995, voted to "discourage" churches and church organizations from applying to the National Lottery for funds. The conference also established an annual Youth Conference and received a report on substance abuse encouraging a sensitive awareness of the pressures faced by many young people and commended it for discussion. The conference adopted a statement on political responsibility that underlines the church's pastoral role toward people engaged in legitimate political activity and encourages Christians to proclaim their convictions boldly.


      This updates the article Methodism.

Pentecostal Churches.

      The "Toronto Blessing" attracted hundreds of thousands of visitors to the Airport Vineyard Church throughout 1995, including many Pentecostals. The movement broke out in many other countries and in many North American cities, but in December the Toronto church was excommunicated for failing to de-emphasize "exotic" manifestations such as roaring and barking.

      On March 31 the Church of God in Christ mourned the death of Presiding Bishop Louis Henry Ford of Chicago. Succeeding Ford as head of the eight million-member predominately black church was Bishop Chandler Owens of Atlanta, Ga. In June some 4,000 blacks and whites gathered in Greensboro, N.C., for "Bondfire '95," the first gathering of the newly constituted Pentecostal/Charismatic Churches of North America; racial reconciliation was the theme. Some 10,000 Pentecostals and charismatics met in July at the "Orlando '95" congress sponsored by the North American Renewal Service Committee. Over half of the registrants were Catholic charismatics. Plans also were made for thousands of young people to travel to Atlanta in 1996 as Christian witnesses to the Olympic Games.

      In August the Assemblies of God conducted their biennial General Council in St. Louis, Mo., reelecting Thomas Trask as general superintendent. He reported that membership in the Assemblies of God throughout the world had surpassed 30 million during the previous year.

      The 17th Pentecostal World Conference gathered in Jerusalem in September for a triennial conference that attracted over 6,500 registered delegates from around the world, the largest Christian conference in the history of the city. Featured speakers were Chairman Ray Hughes, David Yonggi Cho (see BIOGRAPHIES (Cho, David Yonggi )), Reinhard Bonnke, and Pat Robertson. (VINSON SYNAN)

Reformed, Presbyterian, and Congregational Churches.

      Can we arrive at a more comprehensive understanding of the Reformation to enrich the ecumenical discussion today? This was the central question in a consultation organized by the World Alliance of Reformed Churches (WARC) in Geneva at the end of 1994. The meeting brought together theologians from the Church of the Brethren, the Czech Hussite Church, the Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren, Hutterites, Mennonites, Moravians, Society of Friends, and Waldensians, as well as representatives of the Reformed and Lutheran traditions. In March 1995 Reformed and Anglican representatives agreed to survey the development of Anglican-Reformed relations since the appearance of God's Reign and Our Unity (1984) and to publish case studies on Anglican-Reformed cooperation at local and congregational levels. In July, Alliance and Pentecostal representatives agreed that international Reformed-Pentecostal dialogue should begin in May 1996.

      The first in a series of regional WARC consultations on Reformed faith and economic justice was held in Manila in March. While the Asian economy showed great dynamism, participants reported, there were significant human, social, and ecological costs involved. "Growth and poverty, the insolent wealth of the few and the misery of the many, go hand in hand." A second consultation took place in Zambia in October.

      The first meeting of the WARC European Area Council since the fall of the Berlin Wall took place in Edinburgh in August. Representatives of 40 WARC member churches condemned all forms of "ethnic cleansing" in former Yugoslavia and expressed their solidarity with churches throughout Central and Eastern Europe in the struggle against "nationalism, chauvinism and xenophobia." Nuclear testing by France and China came in for fierce criticism as "a retrograde step in the search for a peaceful and nuclear-free future."

      Discussions about unity in the Dutch Reformed family of churches in South Africa proceeded slowly as the white Dutch Reformed Church undertook an extended consultation of its synods and congregations.

      Under the aegis of the John Knox International Reformed Centre (Geneva), an ambitious project was launched in 1995 to produce a handbook on all the Reformed churches in the world. The Reformed family had a peculiar genius for division. A detailed survey of the reality of Reformed church life should underline the need to work toward greater cooperation and unity.

      Five churches were admitted to WARC membership in 1995: the Christian Reformed Church of Nigeria, the Church of Christ in the Sudan among the Tiv (Nigeria), the Congregational Federation (U.K.), the Evangelical Church of Christ in Mozambique, and the Presbyterian Church in Korea (Hap Dong Chung Tong). WARC now linked over 70 million Christians in 198 churches in 99 countries.


      This updates the article Reformed and Presbyterian church (Reformed and Presbyterian churches).

Religious Society of Friends.

      Like so many others, Quakers in Rwanda and Burundi were getting caught up in the devastating, persistent intertribal warfare. Several Quaker pastors in those countries were working in their communities and nationally to resolve conflicts and bring about understanding and reconciliation between Hutu and Tutsi and to deliver aid to refugees.

      In preparation for the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women held in Beijing in September 1995, the Quaker UN Office in New York ran colloquiums to help negotiators focus on the issues so that decisions made at the conference might effectively be implemented. Representatives from each of the five world regions who had been giving leadership on the issues were invited, as were representatives from some of the emerging democracies.

      A cooperative group of Quakers from Western Europe, Russia, and the United States was planning a Friends House in Moscow, a centre for peace. Since there were a variety of visions of how such a venture might best serve the changing community and many practical difficulties to be considered, the work was proceeding with patient caution.

      Friends in Great Britain, the country that gave rise to the Quaker movement in the mid-17th century, agreed at their annual business sessions to change their name from London Yearly Meeting to Britain Yearly Meeting (BYM). At the meeting, British Friends also agreed on the text of the new edition of the YM's Quaker Faith & Practice: The Book of Christian Discipline of the YM of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in Britain. This was the result of nine years of work by a committee of 30 Friends. As with the previous edition (1959), the new BYM Faith & Practice would be used in many parts of the Quaker world.


      This updates the article Friends, Society of.

Salvation Army.

      The work undertaken in 1995 by the Salvation Army undoubtedly provided the year's unofficial theme: fighting to improve the lives of people unable to help themselves.

      Addressing the Religious Alliance Against Pornography conference in February, Gen. Paul A. Rader acknowledged that pornography was a global problem that the churches of the world had a responsibility to fight. The conference, including 162 of the world's most prominent religious leaders, concluded with an action plan uniting churches against pornography, heightening government awareness, and passing legislation.

      Later in the year General Rader, together with the Christian Council of Social Service, launched an AIDS awareness campaign in Hyderabad, India. While AIDS was a worldwide problem, lack of facilities, finance, and education meant that the less developed nations were often the worst equipped to cope. The Salvation Army believed that AIDS might be combated through better understanding and prevention, and these factors were central to the theme of the campaign.

      During late summer a delegation of female Salvation Army officers attended the UN Forum on Women in Huairou, near Beijing. The officers were from Europe, Southeast Asia, Africa, the South Pacific, East Asia, the Americas, and the Caribbean.

      Salvation Army emergency teams provided assistance and spiritual comfort during the devastating earthquake in Kobe, Japan, the bomb blast in Oklahoma City, Okla., and the floods in Brazil. In postwar Rwanda the Army continued its vital relief work: caring for orphans and undertaking food-distribution, education, and health programs. Housing-for-the-homeless programs progressed in France and in the United Kingdom, combining accommodation with rehabilitation and employment training. In 1995 as always, wherever there was a need, the Salvation Army provided inspiration, hope, and practical assistance. (CHARMAINE FLETCHER)

Seventh-day Adventist Church.

      Meeting in Utrecht, Neth., June 29 to July 8, 1995, the General Conference session of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, the world assembly that convened every five years, voted major changes to the constitution and bylaws of the church. Delegations to future General Conference sessions would include more lay members and field-workers and fewer administrators. The General Conference Executive Committee, which governed the church between sessions, became more international with a sharp decrease in the proportion of representatives from the U.S. As of Dec. 31, 1994, membership stood at 8,382,558, drawn from 208 countries.

      One controversial item discussed in Utrecht concerned the ordination of women ministers. This topic had come to the floor of the previous two sessions (1985, 1990). The session of 1990 voted not to proceed with the ordination of women clergy but granted them authority to function as pastoral leaders of local churches. In 1995 the North American Division of the church presented a request that each division of the world church be granted permission to decide for itself the issue of gender-inclusive ordination. After lively debate the session voted down the request by a two-to-one margin. With some 2,341 delegates and more than 50,000 Adventists attending weekend services, the Utrecht event was the largest of the 56 General Conference sessions that the church had conducted.

      Two major evangelistic projects were launched in 1995. In North America nearly 700 sites were downlinked to receive via satellite a five-week program of public evangelism originating in Chattanooga, Tenn. Total attendance averaged about 44,000 each night. "Hands Across the World," which called for the establishment of 2,000 strategically placed new congregations in various lands by the year 2000, was inaugurated for the world church.


Unitarian (Universalist) Churches.

      An International Council of Unitarians and Universalists—the first in history—was founded near Boston on March 22-26, 1995, by delegates from Asia, Africa, Europe, North America, and Australia/New Zealand. It was the culmination of a process begun with a British General Assembly resolution in 1987. Although the council was taking over responsibilities formerly assumed by the U.S. Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA)—with little fiscal support so far and apparently relying on a lay-led structure—the act still created a strong euphoria in the delegates.

      The 1995 North American General Assembly of the UUA attracted more than 2,600 clergy and laypersons to Spokane, Wash., June 15-20. Its theme was "Building Our Future: Generation by Generation." "Study resolutions" from 1994 were passed, including "Oppose the Marketing of Violence," "Criteria for U.S. Health Care Reform," and "A Job, a Home, a Hope." Among resolutions approved by the British General Assembly was one urging Queen Elizabeth II and European governments to strengthen and uphold humanitarian laws regarding the export of live animals. Another related to drug abusers and suppliers and to dangers in "letter of the law" application to drug abusers that do not address their addiction.

      Meadville/Lombard Theological School, Chicago, celebrated its 150th anniversary May 26-28. The denomination's Church of the Larger Fellowship reported that its 2,200 members lived in every U.S. state and Canadian province, as well as in 65 other countries.

      The Unitarian Universalist Service Committee worked on three continents to create a more just world, with emphasis on the rights of women, children, and minorities. It was supported by more than 20,000 individuals and over 600 congregations.


      This updates the article Unitarianism and Universalism.

The United Church of Canada.

      Perhaps the most notable event for the United Church of Canada in 1995 was the relocation of its national offices in March to rented facilities in the western suburbs of Toronto.

      Financial concerns continued to plague Canada's largest Protestant denomination, and the church expended much of its energy on budget issues. The proportion of money that was given for the work of the wider church continued to shrink in comparison with that given for local concerns. Anticipated deficits and new spending needs forced heavy program cuts early in the year. National office staff cuts were anticipated in 1996. Meanwhile, the denomination grappled with the need to set mission priorities so that cuts could be made with integrity and in response to constituency needs. The denomination at large raised CAN$308,276,194 in 1994 for all purposes. Approximately 90% of this money was directed to local church work.

      The denomination's new hymn book, Voices United, was to be published early in 1996. A new body to support ethnic ministries within the church was established in 1995. The church released statements on issues such as the church's budget, human rights and the Lubicon peoples, U.S. involvement in Haiti, Rwandan relief, and support for Canada's criminal code in relation to the sentencing of those convicted of crimes motivated by hate, bias, or prejudice.

      A major report issued through the church, "The Unitrends '94 Survey," generated widespread interest. This stewardship survey of church members and personnel clearly indicated that the trend in the church was to direct more of its resources toward supporting congregational life.


United Church of Christ.

      The General Synod of the l.5 million-member United Church of Christ (UCC), meeting in Oakland, Calif., in July 1995, took historic steps to change the church's structure in the national setting. Three proposed ministry units—Local Church, Justice and Witness, and Wider Church—along with an Office of the General Minister and President formed the core of the new structure. Delegates affirmed a transition process to be implemented in 1999.

      The delegates furthered the church's ecumenical commitments by affirming "the Church of Christ Uniting" proposal to establish full communion between the UCC and eight other denominations and by voting to "reconcile" ordained ministries with the UCC's ecumenical partner, the one million-member Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).

      Other significant actions of the General Synod included the introduction and dedication of the recently published New Century Hymnal; reaffirmation of the church's commitment to be multiracial and multicultural; efforts to reduce violence in media and society; and renewed calls for solidarity with the poor and exploited in the United States and around the globe. Edith A. Guffey was reelected to a four-year term as secretary of the church; David Dean was elected moderator of the General Synod; and Margaret MacDonald and Frank Thomas were elected assistant moderators.

      Throughout the year the church continued its season of Theological Reflection on "A Church Attentive to the Word." The introduction of a new church school curriculum, "The Word Among Us," supported this effort. Continued attention was given to evangelism and stewardship concerns in light of continuing membership losses and reduced financial support at the regional and national levels. "Make a Difference," a major fund-raising campaign currently under way, thus far had raised almost $17 million toward a final goal of $30 million.

      (PAUL H. SHERRY)


      Vatican missionary officials reported that for the first time, the world Catholic population exceeded one billion. Africa continued to be the area of most dynamic growth, its Catholic population having increased to more than 122 million from 2 million in 1900. Asia, with about two-thirds of the world's population, was less than 3% Catholic and continued to receive the greatest proportion of the church's missionary effort. A large meeting was held in Rome June 16-18, 1995, to explore more effective missionary strategies and to discover expanded roles for women in the process of evangelization.

      Pope John Paul II issued a major letter to the world's women on July 10. Responding to critics of the church's all-male clergy, the pope said that the male priesthood does not detract from the dignity of the role of women or signify male domination of the church. His words evoked some criticism on this topic and promised to remain controversial. Very favourable reactions met the pope's condemnation of prostitution, rape, torture, and the oppression of women by political and economic authorities. John Paul's forthright condemnation of abortion and defense of motherhood received mixed reviews.

      Another flurry of criticism came in November when the Vatican announced that the doctrine for forbidding the ordination of women was "infallibly" taught. There was some controversy over the meaning of the declaration because it had not been issued by the pope nor did it seem to meet the requirements for what is called ordinary infallibility. This does not involve a papal pronouncement but holds that basic doctrines taught universally by the church are to be considered infallible.

      The letter on women was intended as the first papal pronouncement before the UN Fourth World Conference on Women that met in Beijing in September. For the first time, a woman, Mary Ann Glendon of Harvard Law School, was appointed to head a Vatican delegation to a major international conference. Glendon, a self-proclaimed economic liberal and social conservative, had written on several topics, including abortion. Glendon's views were in accord with those of the Vatican on most issues, and her appointment was meant to show that many roles outside the priesthood could be filled by women.

      Responding to the question "How can Cain's hand be stayed?" the pope issued on March 30 an encyclical entitled Evangelium vitae ("Gospel of Life"), a powerful and moving statement of the value of human life in the face of the threats against it all over the world. The letter pointed explicitly to a Jubilee year in 2000 and called for a deep transformation by then of human aggressiveness brought about through a renewed awareness of the horrors of killing.

      On May 30 the pope issued the encyclical Ut unum sint ("That They May Be One") on the general theme of ecumenism. Following in the tradition of the decree on ecumenism of the Second Vatican Council (1962-65), the pope stressed the need for unity in Christ, for an authentic change of heart on the part of all believers, and for a true spirit of brotherhood. These aspects of the letter met with almost universal approval. Controversial were the pope's insistence on the need for the papacy as both a symbol and an institution representing authority and unity. On June 29, at the end of Patriarch Bartholomew I's historic visit to the Vatican, the pope and patriarch, the leaders of the Roman and Orthodox branches of the Christian world, respectively, issued a joint statement on the need for continued ecumenical work between their two traditions and for more theological understanding and collaboration.

      John Paul traveled extensively in 1994, in part to dispel rumours concerning his health. Besides producing numerous major letters, he journeyed to Asia and Australia, Central Europe, Africa, and the United States.

      The 50th anniversary of the end of World War II did not pass unnoticed by Catholic authorities. On June 11 the pope delivered a homily at St. Peter's in which he said that "every war is contrary to the covenant of peace" and that "we are aware of the exterminated ranks of war victims." In a spirit of reconciliation, the pope singled out no parties for praise or censure. He called on all to seek true peace. Bishops in Japan called for the elimination of nuclear weapons as a fitting memorial to those who died in the war. Pax Christi, the international Catholic peace organization, used its 50th anniversary celebration in Assisi, Italy, in May to orient its strategies away from the prevention of nuclear war among Cold War opponents. Now Pax Christi would address itself to human rights and to the peaceful mediation of domestic conflicts.

      In Western Europe and the United States, there was controversy over what type of consultation should take place between local churches and the Vatican. American bishops, promoting more collegial models of church government, found themselves thwarted by a Vatican unwillingness to countenance changes in the rituals of worship or to accept, for use in worship, "inclusive" scriptural translations.

      In November the Canon Law Society of America cautiously endorsed the ordination of women as deacons in the church, but the chairman of the bishops' committee on the permanent diaconate expressed disagreement with the report. Responding to attempts by right-wing religious and political groups to reach out to Catholics, U.S. bishops issued a statement rejecting "religious leaders telling people how to vote."

      Irish Bishop Brendan Comiskey continued to call for an end to mandatory celibacy, and Bishop Victor Guazzelli of Westminster called for thorough debate on the subject. In January the Vatican deposed Bishop Jacques Gaillot of Évreux, France, who called for an end to mandatory celibacy and also demanded the ordination of women and the distribution of condoms to control the spread of AIDS. Bishop David Konstant of Leeds, England, who was less radical, also called for full exploration of the issue of women's ordination. Polls showed that Bishop Comiskey enjoyed the support of three-quarters of Irish Catholics, and former bishop Gaillot also possessed widespread support.

      Another issue was the prevalent conviction that the Vatican should undertake wider consultation with the local clergy and even with the laity. Austrians were particularly outraged when the archbishop of Vienna, Hans Hermann Cardinal Groer, was accused of having molested seminarians 20 years earlier. Groer was unpopular with the majority of Austrian Catholics and many Austrian bishops and priests. It was felt that wider consultations in 1986 might have prevented his appointment. This belief was seen as part of a wider theological movement typified by such writers as Eugen Drewermann. (See BIOGRAPHIES (Drewermann, Eugen ).)

      On June 22 the Dominican priest and world-famous theologian Yves Congar died in Paris. Congar was the last surviving practitioner of the "New Theology" that was condemned by Rome in 1950 but that reigned triumphant at the Second Vatican Council. The 19th century had seen an affirmation of the church's long-standing commitment to scholastic theology. In the 1930s a group of theologians—Congar, Henri de Lubac, Jean Daniélou, and Hans Urs von Balthasar—began to call for a new theology that was less rooted in Aristotelian logic, more grounded in the Bible, and closer to actual human experience. Congar's passing marked the end of an era.

      See Vatican City State .


      This updates the article Roman Catholicism.


      At a meeting convened in December 1994 in Ligonier, Pa., by the Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in America (SCOBA), 29 bishops, representing 10 Orthodox jurisdictions in the Americas, pledged cooperation toward jurisdictional unity. Statements made subsequently by some of the hierarchs provoked a negative reaction early in 1995 by the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, which interpreted the event as a step toward severing relationships, though this was denied by SCOBA leaders.

      On June 29, the Feast of St. Peter and St. Paul in both the Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches, Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople and Pope John Paul II of Rome marked the day together in an extraordinary set of observances at the Vatican and signed a document pledging increased efforts at overcoming the division between their respective churches. The statement also called on the churches' membership to address such social and economic issues as the severe ecological problem facing the contemporary world. The meeting was held in the face of mixed Orthodox response to the pope's May 30th encyclical, Ut unum sint, which, in part, reiterated aspects of papal authority unacceptable to the Orthodox. At a service in St. Peter's Basilica in Rome, however, both leaders spoke about moving toward unity, exchanged the "kiss of peace," and blessed the congregation.

      In Kiev, Ukraine, Patriarch Volodymyr, the leader of one faction of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church—Kiev, which was opposed to the official Ukrainian Orthodox Church under the Moscow Patriarchate, died on July 14. His funeral procession turned violent when it diverged from its approved path to the Baykovoye Cemetery and supporters sought to inter the patriarch's body in the 11th-century St. Sophia Cathedral, now a museum. Prohibited by police from entering, the mourners dug a grave in front of the cathedral, where the coffin was buried.

      On July 18 Patriarch Aleksey II of Moscow protested actions by the Ecumenical Patriarchate relating to Ukrainian Orthodox in the diaspora. The Ecumenical Patriarchate received under its protection the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Canada in 1990 and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Exile in March 1995. Representatives of Constantinople met with Estonian Orthodox leaders earlier in the year to discuss problems in their relationships with Moscow's Patriarchate. Aleksey's letter indicated concern with the legitimacy of the actions and threatened the breaking of liturgical communion.

      In the United States, Archbishop Iakovos of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of North and South America submitted to the Ecumenical Patriarchate his decision to retire for reasons of age and health. That decision was received and accepted on August 21 with high words of praise for Archbishop Iakovos' life of service and commitment to the church. The action would become effective on July 29, 1996, Iakovos' 85th birthday—following the 1996 Biennial Clergy-Laity Congress of the Archdiocese.

      A five-month series of events marked the 1,900-year celebration of the writing of the New Testament Book of Revelation on the island of Patmos, Greece. On September 25-26 the leaders of the canonical self-governing Orthodox Churches of the world met on Patmos, with Patriarch Bartholomew I presiding, to discuss concerns of world Orthodoxy.

      The longest-standing continuous dialogue between the Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches celebrated its 50th continuous meeting in Milwaukee, Wis., October 26-28. The dialogue met twice annually. Sponsors were SCOBA and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.


      This updates the article Eastern Orthodoxy.


      Succeeding the catholicos of Echmiadzin, Vazgen I, who died in August 1994, was Syrian-born Karekin I (secular name, Neshan Sarkisian). He was elected the 131st supreme head of the Armenian Orthodox Church at the church's council held in Echmiadzin on April 4, 1995. His prior position was catholicos of Cilicia, Lebanon. The election was widely interpreted as a step in overcoming the rivalries between the two centres of Armenian church life. In his first encyclical the new catholicos of Echmiadzin announced a six-point program of action for church renewal.

      On June 28 the vacant see of the catholicos of Cilicia was filled with the election of Archbishop Aram Keshishian of the diocese of Lebanon. Keshishian had been serving as moderator of the Central Committee of the World Council of Churches. He was consecrated catholicos on July 1 in Antelias, Lebanon. Present at the consecration were Catholicos Karekin I of Echmiadzin and the Armenian patriarchs of Constantinople and Jerusalem, an event unprecedented in modern times.

      The Coptic Church in Egypt reported that harassment by Muslims continued. A female convert from Islam whose conversion was deemed a crime of "denigrating Islam" was arrested in November 1994. A priest and laymen also arrested in the incident were released in January 1995.

      An influx of proselytizing Protestants provoked Orthodox reaction in Addis Ababa, Eth., in April. After a group of about 100 Orthodox protested a crusade led by a California-based evangelist, the city council relocated the event.



      The top item on the agenda for world Jewry in 1995—peace in the Middle East—received a severe blow in early November with the murder in Tel Aviv of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin (see OBITUARIES (Rabin, Yitzhak )); the shock was felt more strongly because the assassin was himself a Jew.

      Before the attack, world Jewish support for the peace process had diminished in reaction to continuing terrorist attacks. The withdrawal of Israeli troops from the West Bank had brought to the fore a religious issue concerning the "settlers," some of whom believed they were performing a religious duty by maintaining Jewish possession of territories that the Bible says God promised to the "People of Israel." A group of Jewish settlers joined by Knesset members called for armed resistance against the Israeli army should the government act to remove their settlements. Some extremist rabbis in New York called the leaders of the Israeli government "traitors" and declared it acceptable under Jewish law to assassinate them. The tragedy in November seemed consistent with this line of thought.

      Former president Chaim Herzog of Israel called a meeting in April with world Jewish leaders on relations between Israel and the Diaspora. Though Herzog himself regarded the conference as a success, it ended acrimoniously, with delegates expressing doubts whether any real dialogue had taken place. Herzog had taken a negative stance toward the Diaspora, arguing that the only future for Jews outside Israel lay in aliya (immigration) to Israel. Avraham Burg, on the other hand, urged that Zionism today should be concerned with Jewish education, wherever it might take place. In July Burg, a Religious Zionist who identified strongly with the Peace Now movement, was elected chairman of the Jewish Agency and the General Zionist Council. His manifesto Brit Am placed great emphasis on the need to "return to the sources" in Jewish education and for a separation of state and religion in Israel.

      The monopoly on the determination of Jewish status, held by the Orthodox rabbinate since 1953, was challenged when the Israeli Supreme Court ruled that conversions under the auspices of Conservative and Reform rabbis were valid, though the government would not be required to recognize such converts as Jews.

      Jews in many countries participated in ceremonies marking the 50th anniversary of the Allied victory over Japan. Comparisons drawn between the Holocaust and the dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki caused resentment and vigorous debate in some Jewish circles.

      In the U.K. the conservative Masorti movement opened a new congregation in Manchester, England, and continued to make headway elsewhere, despite vociferous Orthodox opposition and attempts to deny them a public platform. The U.K. also was the scene for serious controversies surrounding the attempt to secure equality for women in religious affairs. There was considerable disappointment at the failure of the Chief Rabbinate to act positively on the recommendations of the 1994 report, "Women in the Community," produced partly on its own initiative. In October women demonstrated outside the office of Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks.

      The Second African Christian/Jewish Consultation took place in Johannesburg, South Africa, on June 26-29 under the joint auspices of the World Council of Churches and the International Jewish Committee on Interreligious Consultations. Delegates were greatly inspired by the breakdown of apartheid that had occurred since the first consultation, in Nairobi, Kenya. An independent group of Christians, Jews, and Muslims headed by the Duke of Edinburgh, Sir Evelyn de Rothschild, and Crown Prince Hassan of Jordan promoted a code of ethics on international business for Christians, Muslims, and Jews intended to reflect the ethical basis common to the three religions. (NORMAN SOLOMON)

      This updates the article Judaism.


      The self-immolation of a Buddhist monk in May 1994 and demonstrations led by Buddhist monks in major cities symbolized the deepening conflict between the Vietnamese government and the outlawed Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam (UBCV) during 1994-95. In December 1994 Thich Huyen Quang, the UBCV's supreme patriarch, was arrested for staging a hunger strike, and in January 1995 his chief deputy was also arrested.

      The Dalai Lama's government-in-exile continued to challenge the Chinese occupation of Tibet during 1995. In March, shortly after hundreds of Tibetans marched from Dharmshala to New Delhi to mark the anniversary of the failed 1959 uprising against China, Beijing announced new regulations for Tibetan Buddhism, including limitations on the number of monks per temple. In May the Dalai Lama designated six-year-old Gedhun Choekyi Nyima the reincarnation of the 10th Panchen Lama, who died in 1989, thereby defying Beijing's claim of authority to select Tibet's second highest leader. Denying the legality of the Dalai Lama's selection method, Beijing refused to recognize the boy as the 11th Panchen Lama. In June Chinese officials placed under house arrest the deputy abbot of Tashilhunpo Monastery, traditional seat of the Panchen Lama, whom they accused of collaborating with the Dalai Lama. In a ceremony held in Beijing in December, the Chinese government installed its own candidate as Panchen Lama.

      In December 1994 the Mahanayakas of Sri Lanka's main Buddhist monastic orders protested against characterizations of Buddhism in a recent book by Pope John Paul II, which they called an "unprovoked and uncalled-for insult." Despite an official apology and the pope's own conciliatory remarks, they boycotted an interreligious dialogue convened for the January 1995 papal visit to Sri Lanka. In February, during a three-month truce in the decade-long Sri Lankan civil war, Buddhist monks led 2,000 people on a peace march to rebel-held Jaffna. In June, however, Sinhalese mobs attacked Tamil-owned shops in the south after the funeral of K. Silalankara, revered chief priest of the Dimbulagala temple.

      The release of Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi in July had been anticipated since September 1994, when a Myanmar monk living in England successfully negotiated a meeting between the influential Buddhist democrat and leading Myanmar generals. Throughout the year refugee Rohingya Muslims in Bangladesh balked at repatriation to Myanmar, citing fear of Arakanese Buddhists who had occupied their lands and razed many of their mosques.

      During March 1995 Thailand's Sangha Supreme Council enacted a new measure to defrock a popular monk accused of violating his celibacy vow. Leaders of the Japanese Aum Shinrikyo movement, which claimed to incorporate many Buddhist elements, were arrested in April for releasing poisonous gas in the Tokyo subway. (See March 20 (Calendar of 1995 ).) In February India's notorious "Bandit Queen" Phoolan Devi converted to Ambedkar-style Buddhism as part of her ongoing advocacy for low-caste Indians. (See BIOGRAPHIES (Devi, Phoolan ).) (JONATHAN S. WALTERS)

      This updates the article Buddhism.


      During January and February 1995, an estimated 18 million Hindu pilgrims from around the world journeyed to Allahabad to bathe in the sacred Ganges River as part of the triennial Kumbh Mela, "Festival of the Pot." Allahabad is regarded as particularly holy because it lies at the confluence of three sacred rivers: the Ganges, Yamuna, and the mythical, subterranean Saraswati. Ten thousand police were needed to preserve order as pilgrims arrived at the rate of 150,000 an hour on the eve of January 30, which astrologers had fixed as the most propitious day to bathe.

      Concern about the future of the Ganges brought together Hindu leaders and environmentalists in opposition to a proposed government project to construct a hydroelectric dam just north of the pilgrimage site of Rishikesh near the glacial source of the river. During the summer a leading environmentalist, Sunder Lal Bahuguna, fasted 49 days to pressure India's Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao to appoint a commission to study the project, and Hindu leaders mounted a protest to preserve the course and flow of the river.

      The potent interaction of Hinduism and politics in India was prominent during the year. A 39-year-old outcast female lawyer, Mayawati, who had served in both houses of India's Parliament, became chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, India's most populous state. Mayawati had outraged many Hindus in 1994 when she denounced Mohandas Gandhi as the "worst enemy of the Dalits" (outcasts). The Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) also experienced stunning election successes in other states during the year.

      In the March elections an alliance of the BJP and the radical Hindu Shiv Sena ("Army of Shiva") Party—both of which advocated the end of India's constitutional status as a secular state and the adoption of Hinduism as the nation's official religion—was successful. The Shiv Sena gained political control of Maharashtra, the state in which Bombay is located and the scene of violent conflicts between Hindus and Muslims attributed to the Shiv Sena. In August Bombay was renamed "Mumbai" after the goddess Mumbhadevi, the name by which the city is known in the regional language of Marathi. The Bombay Shiv Sena leader, Bal Thackeray, was satirized by Salman Rushdie in a new novel, The Moor's Last Sigh, which, when released in September, was banned in Maharashtra.

      More than 600 Hindu leaders from 38 countries gathered in South Africa during July for the World Hindu Conference, a highlight of which was an address by South African Pres. Nelson Mandela to a crowd of 40,000 of his country's 1.1 million Hindus. In August the Swaminarayan Hindu Mission consecrated a large cultural complex and temple in London, and in Chicago more than 3,000 Hindus celebrated the ancient Vedic Asvamedha Yajna fire ritual.

      The year saw the death on June 20 in California of Raghavan Narasimhan Iyer, the Indian-born philosopher and founder of the Institute of World Culture in Santa Barbara, Calif., whose many writings were directed at showing connections between Eastern and Western thought. (See OBITUARIES (Iyer, Raghavan Narasimhan ).) In April the McDonald's Corp. announced plans to open restaurants in Bombay and New Delhi that, out of deference to the Hindu belief in the sanctity of the cow, would not serve beef hamburgers.


      This updates the article Hindusim (Hinduism).


      By the 1990s disproportions of wealth, intractable poverty, unemployment, feelings of almost total insecurity, rising expectations, overwhelmingly rapid social and cultural change, alienation of youth, disintegration of traditional values—all these concerns were turning Muslims of all ages, educational attainments, and social classes toward trusting Islam to provide a solution.

      What that solution should be, however, was not clear. Observers referred to Islamic fundamentalism and saw aspects of it as part of the worldwide fundamentalist movements evident in many countries, such as the United States, where groups had similar feelings of alienation in a too rapidly changing, unstable world.

      Concerns about the radical aspects of Islam, however, were taking up so much attention that another important development tended to be overlooked, namely, the quiet but ever-increasing presence and spread of Islam in various parts of the world, especially Western countries. New mosques and Islamic centres continued to be built and to present attractive programs in such symbolic places as Rome and the university city of Cambridge, Mass. Specific developments in Muslim lands should be seen in the context of the broader developments.

      Violence continued in Afghanistan and Algeria throughout the year; Algerian extremist attacks occurred in France as well. Pakistan suffered violence in its cities, as did India, and the Kashmir situation remained unsettled. (See Secularism in South Asia (Spotlight: Secularism in South Asia ).) Attempts to bring the warfare in Bosnia to a halt resulted in the signing of a peace treaty in December, though many feared it could not be maintained. In the southern Philippines younger radicals violently challenged what they saw as weakness or accommodation by the older Moro leadership. Violent outbreaks occurred in Turkey, involving both the ongoing fighting between Kurds and Turks and a March attack on Alawites, a Muslim minority group, some of whom lived in Istanbul. In late June, Pres. Hosni Mubarak of Egypt escaped an assassination attempt in Ethiopia, which Egyptians claimed was the responsibility of The Sudan's Muslim extremists, and which caused a brief border skirmish between The Sudan and Egypt. Egypt continued to suffer outbreaks of violence throughout the year as Islamic militants continued their attacks. Egypt accused The Sudan of supporting the militants and of aiding many who were said to be residents of Upper Egypt. In June an Egyptian judge ordered a wife divorced from her husband because the man's writings were judged anti-Islamic; he was declared an apostate to whom a proper Muslim woman could no longer be married. The couple was subsequently reported to have left the country. In other Muslim countries a number of writers and intellectuals were attacked or charged as anti-Islamic.

      There were positive developments in the Muslim world as well. The growing prominence of charismatic Muslim leaders and social reformers such as Indonesia's Abdurrahman Wahid (see BIOGRAPHIES (Wahid, Abdurrahman )) was encouraging. The Aga Khan IV continued his efforts to assist the Ismailis, the Shi'ite sect of which he was the head, with announced support to those living in the Pamirs. In Iran a group of Muslim clerics began making accessible on computers a substantial amount of traditional Islamic legal writing, including thousands of responses to religious questions. Before the hajj in the spring, the United Nations lifted its ban on flights from Libya to allow Egyptian airliners to fly Libyan pilgrims to Saudi Arabia.

      In the United States the trial of 10 terrorists (including Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman) accused of terrorist conspiracy in the World Trade Center bombing in 1993 concluded at the end of September with a guilty verdict. That bombing had apparently fueled the initial report that Islamic terrorists were responsible for the bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City, Okla., in April. Although the report was quickly found to be erroneous, once again U.S. Muslims found themselves offended and put on the defensive. Louis Farrakhan, the leader of the Nation of Islam, called for a mass march of all African-American men, regardless of religious background, in Washington, D.C., in October to dramatize their need for understanding and solidarity. His apparent anti-Jewish remarks continued to alienate large numbers of people, however. (REUBEN W. SMITH)

      This updates the article Islām.

▪ 1995


       Worldwide Adherents of All Religions by Seven Continental Areas, Mid-1994 Religious Adherents in the United States of America, AD 1900-2000Theological justifications for violence were attempted on several fronts in 1994, even while new ground was broken in ecumenical and interfaith relations. (For figures on Adherents of All Religions by Continent, see Table I (Worldwide Adherents of All Religions by Seven Continental Areas, Mid-1994); for Adherents in the U.S., see Table II (Religious Adherents in the United States of America, AD 1900-2000).)Scholarly works on the life of Jesus and on the status of homosexuality in the early church drew attention and created controversy, and the news media acknowledged their deficiencies in covering the world of religion. Several religious bodies changed leaders during the year, and issues of feminism, sexuality, and church-state relations continued to engage faith groups.

      Paul Hill, a defrocked minister of the Presbyterian Church in America, had defended the use of violence to stop abortion before he was arrested in July, charged, and convicted of the killing of an abortion doctor and his escort in Pensacola, Fla. The Rev. David C. Trosch, a Roman Catholic priest in Mobile, Ala., promoted the view that murdering doctors who performed abortions was "justifiable homicide." Trosch and Hill were among 25 people signing a declaration justifying the use of lethal force to defend "the lives of unborn children." Other incidents occurred later in the year, but the vast majority of abortion opponents denounced the use of such tactics.

      Taslima Nasrin, a writer from Bangladesh, was threatened with death by Muslim extremists and was briefly targeted for arrest for criticizing certain teachings in the Koran. (See BIOGRAPHIES (Nasrin, Taslima ).) Her situation drew attention to the plight of other writers who had run afoul of fundamentalist Muslims, including 48 who had been executed by Iranian authorities since 1979 and 11 murdered by Muslim extremists in Egypt since 1990.

      Rabbi Shlomo Goren (see OBITUARIES (Goren, Shlomo )), former chief rabbi of Israel's Ashkenazic, or Western European, Jewish community, issued a religious ruling in June calling upon Jews to kill Palestine Liberation Organization leader Yasir Arafat. High-caste and low-caste Hindus rioted in January in India's Maharashtra state over that state government's decision to rename a university after Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar, a cult figure for the lower castes. Two factions of normally pacifist Tibetan Buddhists engaged in a violent clash in New Delhi in March as part of a dispute over the identity of the reincarnation of their leader.

      In October some 53 members of the "Order of the Solar Temple," a secretive mystical sect with alleged links to international arms-trafficking and money-laundering operations, were found dead in Switzerland and Quebec.

      On the positive side, an international group of 60 religious leaders in Istanbul in February demanded an end to crimes against humanity in Bosnia, Armenia/Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Tajikistan. The participants—from Eastern Orthodox, Jewish, Muslim, and Roman Catholic traditions—rejected "any attempt to corrupt the basic tenets of our faith by means of false interpretation and unchecked nationalism." Leaders of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America issued a declaration denouncing anti-Jewish statements made by Martin Luther, and officials of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Synagogue Council of America urged educators to reject efforts to deny that the Holocaust ever occurred. In July the Vatican and Israel formally initiated diplomatic relations, a step that had been approved in December 1993. The Vatican joined with representatives of some Muslim countries in opposing abortion-rights sections of a document on population issues drafted at a United Nations conference in Cairo in September (see Sidebar (REFUGEES: The Cairo Conference )), but an interfaith gathering in Washington, D.C., stressed that abortion is "treated in different ways among and within religious communities."

      A Vatican document issued in March criticized the fundamentalist approach to biblical interpretation as promoting "a kind of intellectual suicide." But later that month a group of evangelical Protestant and Roman Catholic leaders in the U.S. issued a 25-page statement in which they outlined common convictions and pledged to work together on such causes as opposing abortion and pornography while refraining from attempting to proselytize each other. Several Southern Baptists were among the signers, and the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention in June formally endorsed Baptist-Catholic dialogues for the first time. The National Council of Churches in Australia was inaugurated in July by 13 churches, marking the first time the Roman Catholic Church had joined such a national ecumenical organization.

      The Jesus Seminar, an organization of 74 biblical scholars formed in 1985 to seek the historical Jesus through scholarly means, stirred a controversy with the publication of The Five Gospels: The Search for the Authentic Words of Jesus. The volume concluded that 82% of the sayings attributed to Jesus in the Bible are inauthentic. Other scholarly works that differed with the scriptural accounts of the life of Jesus that drew attention during the year included Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography by John Dominic Crossan (see BIOGRAPHIES (Crossan, John Dominic )), The Lost Gospel by Burton L. Mack, Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time by Marcus J. Borg, and The Religion of Jesus the Jew by Geza Vermes. These works relied heavily on the Book of Q, a collection of sayings and aphorisms attributed to Jesus that the scholars in question believe were used as sources by Matthew and Luke. In June a conference on "Reclaiming the Bible for the Church," held in Northfield, Minn., drew theologians who charged that scholarly groups such as the Jesus Seminar were misinterpreting the Bible by removing it from its setting in the church community. Another academic volume on religion that made news in 1994 was Same-Sex Unions in Premodern Europe by Yale University historian John Boswell, who died of AIDS on December 23. The book asserted that from the 8th to the 18th century, the Catholic Church sanctioned same-sex unions and offered ceremonies for them. Several other scholars disputed Boswell's conclusions, pointing out that most of the rituals he cited were associated with early Eastern Orthodoxy rather than Western Christianity in Rome.

      A number of research studies concluded that religion was being inadequately covered by the U.S. news media, an assertion echoed by such prominent broadcast journalists as Bill Moyers and Dan Rather. Signs in 1994 that some corrective steps were being taken included the purchase of the 60-year-old Religious News Service by the larger Newhouse News Service and the hiring of Peggy Wehmeyer by ABC News as the first full-time religious issues correspondent at a major television network.

      The Chabad-Lubavitch, an ultra-Orthodox Jewish Hasidic movement based in Brooklyn, N.Y., found itself without a top spiritual leader when Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson died in June without a successor or a procedure for selecting one. (See OBITUARIES (Schneerson, Menachem Mendel ).) Howard W. Hunter, an 86-year-old former corporate lawyer, succeeded Ezra Taft Benson as president and prophet of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints after Benson died at the age of 95. (See OBITUARIES (Benson, Ezra Taft ).) The Rev. Henry Lyons of St. Petersburg, Fla., was elected president of the eight million-member National Baptist Convention, U.S.A., Inc., which claimed to be the world's largest black organization. The Rev. Jim Henry of Orlando, Fla., was elected president of the 15.4 million-member Southern Baptist Convention although he was not backed by most of the former presidents who had led SBC conservatives to victory since 1979. The Rev. Ishmael Noko of Zimbabwe was elected general secretary of the Lutheran World Federation in June, while Gen. Paul A. Rader, territorial commander for the Salvation Army U.S.A.'s western territory, became the first American to serve as top international leader of the London-based organization.

      An ecumenical conference held in Minneapolis, Minn., in November 1993 sparked controversy during 1994 for its feminist theology as featured in worship using the name Sophia, or "Divine Wisdom" as personified in the book of Proverbs, and a ritual that featured milk and honey rather than bread and wine. The "RE-Imagining" conference drew 2,000 participants from 32 denominations and 27 countries and particularly rocked the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), one of its major sponsors. The denomination's General Assembly, meeting in June in Wichita, Kan., passed a resolution supporting efforts to improve and celebrate the status of women while saying the "RE-Imagining" conference went too far theologically.

      The Church of England broke with 460 years of Anglican tradition when it ordained 32 women to the priesthood in March. The church allocated $4.5 million in pensions to compensate an estimated 200 male priests who were leaving because they disagreed with the action. The Scottish Episcopal Church voted in June to ordain women priests, leaving the Church in Wales the only Anglican denomination in the U.K. refusing to take the step. The Vatican criticized the Church of England's action, and Pope John Paul II issued an apostolic letter in May declaring that the church "has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and that this judgment is to be definitively held by all the church's faithful." But the Holy See broke with Catholic tradition in April by saying that girls may now assist priests during masses. The Christian Reformed Church voted at its synod in June in Grand Rapids, Mich., not to ratify a move taken a year earlier that would have permitted individual congregations to decide whether to ordain women.

      A pastoral letter on sexuality issued by a commission of the Rabbinical Assembly of Conservative Judaism marked the first modern attempt to draft a sexual ethic by any branch of Judaism. The report said premarital sex "can embody a measure of morality" while affirming repeatedly that heterosexual marriage is the only proper setting for sexual relations. The document took no definitive stand on homosexuality. The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) barred clergy from blessing homosexual unions but declined to impose a celibacy requirement on clergy. The House of Bishops of the Episcopal Church decided not to have the denomination's General Convention in Indianapolis, Ind., in late August and early September consider resolutions to ban the blessing of same-sex unions, forbid sex outside marriage, or prohibit the ordination of anyone who had sex outside marriage. The 3.2 million-member Evangelical Lutheran Church in America announced in October that it was extending the time period for discussion of a proposed statement on human sexuality past the denomination's 1995 Churchwide Assembly. A draft of the statement had stirred criticism because of reports that it took permissive stances on masturbation, homosexual unions, and the use of condoms by teenagers to prevent disease. True Love Waits, a Southern Baptist-initiated campaign that encourages teenagers to abstain from sex before marriage, won support from several Protestant and Roman Catholic groups. More than 100,000 pledge cards were displayed outside the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Orlando, and more than 200,000 were staked to the ground on the Mall in Washington, D.C., in July during a national Youth for Christ gathering.

      In a 6-3 ruling the U.S. Supreme Court said the creation of a special school district in New York for children with disabilities in the Satmar Hasidic Jewish sect violated the First Amendment's separation of church and state. The court said creation of the district by the state legislature "singles out a particular religious sect for special treatment." The ruling disappointed several groups that had expected the court to use the case to modify the principles it established in 1971 to determine whether a government action benefiting religion is constitutionally permissible. A California appeals court ruled that the Boy Scouts could not exclude boys who do not believe in God. The 2-1 ruling found that the Orange County Council of the Boy Scouts was a business as defined by state law and therefore could not discriminate on the basis of religion. Another church-state battle ended with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's withdrawing proposed guidelines dealing with religious harassment in the workplace after protests from religious groups and a Senate resolution urging that they be withdrawn.

      U.S. Pres. Bill Clinton continued to draw fire from several evangelical Christian groups. The National Religious Broadcasters refused to invite him to its Washington convention in January because of what it called his "policies and positions which are blatantly contrary to scriptural views." The Christian Life Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, of which Clinton was a member, took issue with his health care reforms, including a proposal to finance abortions with tax money. The politically conservative Christian Coalition's opposition to the president's health care agenda was denounced by the ecumenical National Council of Churches, which called the coalition's stance "appalling" and "simply astonishing." In July a newly formed group called the Interfaith Alliance, made up of liberal Protestants, Roman Catholics, and Jews, challenged what it called the "extremist" and "intolerant" tactics of the Religious Right, saying they raised questions about religious liberty. The alliance also pointed out that the Religious Right represented only one segment of the U.S. religious community.


      This updates the article religion, study of.


Anglican Communion.
      The Anglican Communion continued its 20-year struggle over sexual morality and women's ordination in 1994. The Church of England ordained its first women in March, and the Scottish Episcopal Church approved plans to ordain women, but in April the Anglican Church in Wales defeated a proposal to do so. By the end of the year, more than 1,100 women had been ordained to the priesthood of the Church of England. A number of clergymen had announced that they would join the Roman Catholic Church in protest.

      The Anglican Church in Nigeria nullified the ordination of three women as deacons by one of its bishops in December 1993. The church's Standing Committee issued a communiqué in March saying, "The ministration of the women involved in that ordination is not acceptable in the Church of Nigeria." Meanwhile, in February the Anglican Church of Canada ordained its first woman bishop, Victoria Matthews, who was elected suffragan (assistant) bishop for the diocese of Toronto in November 1993. She became the Anglican Communion's fifth woman bishop; three were in the U.S. and one in New Zealand.

      Debate over sexual morality galvanized the U.S. Episcopal Church, which reached a stalemate over the issue at its August convention in Indianapolis, Ind. By an 88-81 vote the House of Bishops passed a 76-page document on human sexuality drafted by one of its committees. Meanwhile, 101 bishops signed a more conservative "affirmation" of traditional sexual morality, while 55 bishops, led by John Spong of Newark N.J., signed a "declaration" affirming the acceptability of homosexual ordination and practice. Because of their disagreement, the bishops voted to call the document a "pastoral study document" instead of a "pastoral teaching," as it was proposed.

      The Church of England rejected attempts to separate church from state when its July synod defeated a motion to remove state control over the appointment of diocesan bishops and over church legislation. The issue of disestablishing the Church of England came to the fore after Prince Charles, in a televised interview earlier in the year, said he preferred to be regarded as the "defender of all faiths" rather than the defender of one faith.

      The diocese of Sydney, Australia, became the communion's first to pass legislation allowing lay people and deacons to preside at Holy Communion, although final approval was still pending. The Church of England and Episcopal Church in the U.S. defeated similar proposals in 1994. Current practice allowed only priests and bishops to preside at Holy Communion services.

      The Very Rev. John L. Peterson, dean of St. George's College, Jerusalem, was appointed secretary-general of the Anglican Communion and replaced the Rev. Samuel Van Culin upon his retirement. The secretariat's office is in London. The Rt. Rev. James Ottley, bishop of Panama, was appointed Anglican observer at the United Nations. He succeeded the Rt. Rev. Paul Reeves, who left the position to return to New Zealand. (DAVID E. SUMNER)

      This updates the article Anglican Communion (Anglicanism).

Baptist Churches.

      The National Baptist Convention, U.S.A., at some eight million members the largest black organization of Baptists in America, moved in a newer direction with the election of an activist clergyman, the Rev. Henry J. Lyons, pastor of the Metropolitan Baptist Church of St. Petersburg, Fla. He was expected to move the body into the mainstream of civil rights, a role it avoided in the 1960s when it refused the plea of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., to join in the battle.

      The racially diverse American Baptist Churches USA, the oldest of the national Baptist groups, saw divisions over the ordination and acceptance of homosexuals. Both sides in the matter called upon Scripture to support their cases. The president of the 1.5 million-member denomination, Hector Gonzalez, noted sadly that whichever way the battle went, the Baptists stood to lose churches. Conservatives and evangelicals threatened to "disfellowship" churches supporting gay rights, while gay rights activists threatened to leave the denomination. On a positive note, new church establishment was reported near the goal of "500 more in '94." Some 450 new church projects had been launched as of June 14, 1994.

      The largest Protestant denomination in the U.S., the Southern Baptist Convention, continued its internecine warfare between conservatives and moderates. A new uproar was generated by the firing of the Rev. Russell H. Dilday, the popular president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, the largest theological school in the world. The fundamentalists' reaction was immediate and strong, giving further focus to the threat of the moderates to withdraw from the SBC to form their own denomination. The moderates' "fellowship" had added over 300 churches in 1993, bringing the total in 1994 to 1,201, with an expected income of $17 million for 1994. Southern Baptists, long opposing women in the ministry, nevertheless voted to leave the matter to local churches and not to "disfellowship" churches for supporting women ministers. In a departure from this tradition of local autonomy, however, support for gay rights or the ordination of homosexuals would lead to banishment of the local churches from the national body.

      In Europe, Baptists planned to relocate their controversial seminary from Rüschlikon, Switz., to Prague. The 44-year-old seminary had been plagued by financial problems, most of them related to the reduction in funding by the conservatives in control of the Southern Baptists in the U.S. and to the difficulty foreign seminarians faced in obtaining Swiss visas for family members. (NORMAN R. DE PUY)

      This updates the article Baptist.

Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).

      Mission and money issues dominated activities within the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) during 1994. In July, at the urging of the general minister and president, Richard L. Hamm, the General Board backed a working set of mission imperatives calling for improved ministries with children, youth, and young adults; a focus on congregational renewal and establishment; and increased evangelism and outreach. The board approved the initiatives. Board members also affirmed the direction of a proposed mission-funding plan that would give congregations a more active role in deciding how to finance denominational ministries. Relations with the Disciples' "ecumenical partner," the United Church of Christ, advanced with the approval of a Common Global Ministries Board to direct their world mission arms.

      The church stopped a building project in downtown Indianapolis, Ind., in February. In May church leaders signed a 10-year lease, relocating the international headquarters to existing downtown office space. The new "Disciples Center" would house nearly 200 employees. Disciples' membership totals dropped below one million for the first time in the 20th century. At the end of 1993 the church recorded 961,268 members in 3,995 congregations. Giving to denominational outreach dropped by 2% to $32,409,974. (CLIFFORD L. WILLIS)

      This updates the article Disciples of Christ.

Churches of Christ.

      Over 13,000 assemblies of the Churches of Christ were operating in the U.S., in addition to several thousand around the world. Emphasis in 1994 was on worldwide evangelism, benevolence, and enriched public worship.

      The most fertile mission field was Eastern Europe, where 124 new churches were started. Programs in Barnaul, Siberia (Russia), Donetsk, Ukraine, and Prague were especially successful. A Russian children's Bible was published. Thousands of university students went in teams to every continent to strengthen churches. "Let's Start Talking" sent 34 evangelistic teams to 18 countries. India was the nation with the fastest growth in Churches of Christ. Teams of doctors served in Vietnam.

      Among the 21 colleges and universities connected with Churches of Christ, International Christian University in Vienna opened a branch in Kiev, Ukraine. Pepperdine University, Malibu, Calif., launched a $300 million campaign for endowment. Oklahoma Christian University opened a new campus in Portland, Ore.

      Two million dollars were sent to churches in California for earthquake and fire relief, and a similar amount went to states with flood damage. (M. NORVEL YOUNG)

Church of Christ, Scientist.

      In 1994 the Christian Science Church marked the centennial of two important events. On May 21, 1894, the cornerstone for the original edifice of the First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston was laid, and the building was completed on Dec. 31, 1894. In the early days of the church, personal preaching was a subject of great concern to church founder Mary Baker Eddy. On Dec. 19, 1894, she formally "ordained" the Bible and her book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures as the church's impersonal "pastor."

      The pastor was also the focus of the 1994 annual meeting held in Boston on June 6. Incoming church president Ruth Elizabeth Jenks of Chicago pointed out, "Generations of families are living witnesses not only to the immediate access to this pastor each one of us has as an individual, but also of the opportunity to share it with a yearning world." In response to growing public interest in books on spirituality and health, a new edition of Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures was published on October 1 and was available at bookstores and Christian Science Reading Rooms.


Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

      With approximately nine million members worldwide and membership continuing to grow rapidly, the church in 1994 faced challenges in administration, political unrest, and national and ethnic conflicts in many countries. In acknowledging cultural differences, officials and missionaries made valiant efforts to eliminate "Americanisms" from what was now a worldwide faith. The nearly 50,000 full-time missionaries in 131 countries baptized more than 310,000 new members in 1994, with spectacular growth recorded in Mexico, Brazil, the Philippines, and Eastern Europe. Almost a third of the missionaries were from outside the U.S. In addition to proselytizing missionaries, there were educational, health care, welfare, and humanitarian missions.

      With the death of Ezra Taft Benson (see OBITUARIES (Benson, Ezra Taft )), president of the church from 1985 to 1994, Howard W. Hunter, 86, was sustained as president. Born in Boise, Idaho, and a corporate attorney for many years in southern California, Hunter became an apostle in 1959.

      New Temples were dedicated in Orlando, Fla., and Bountiful, Utah; temples were under construction in Hong Kong; Bogotá, Colombia; Preston, England; St. Louis, Mo.; and American Fork, Utah. Substantial welfare assistance was rendered to those suffering from the Mississippi River flood, fires and earthquake in southern California, and brushfires in Australia.

      In a move to "preserve doctrinal purity," the church disciplined several persons who actively opposed church leaders and policies or published articles or books regarded as damaging to church interests.


Jehovah's Witnesses.

      During the year, nearly five million Witnesses spent over one billion hours spreading Bible knowledge to their neighbours. This educational work was at the heart of the 80% growth in the number of the Witnesses during the past decade. Bible education or "Divine Teaching" was the theme of the 1993-94 worldwide series of conventions, attended by 7,802,996 persons, with 133,785 baptized. The 1,514 conventions were highlighted by eight international conventions with delegates attending from as many as 44 countries. "This convention showed," wrote a reporter in Kiev, Ukraine, "that the achievement of peace and harmony among people of different nationalities and from various countries is really possible." The 750-page book Jehovah's Witnesses—Proclaimers of God's Kingdom was released at these conventions. It provides an exhaustive and candid history of this educational work in 28 languages. Also in 1994 the New World Translation of the New Testament appeared in 10 additional languages: Greek, Indonesian, Korean, Polish, Cebuano, Iloko, Tagalog, Afrikaans, Yoruba, and Zulu. Bible study aids were being distributed in more than 200 languages.


Lutheran Communion.

      The Council of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) met in Geneva in June 1994 and elected Ishmael Noko of Zimbabwe as general secretary to succeed Gunnar Staalsett of Norway. The first member of a church from the South to lead the LWF in this capacity, Noko would oversee the preparation for the next assembly, to be held in Hong Kong in 1997. The council passed resolutions supporting the International Year of the Family and the goals of the International Decade of the World's Indigenous People. Other resolutions deplored conflicts in Rwanda and Liberia but welcomed moves toward democracy in South Africa and El Salvador and the peace process in the Middle East. The Lutheran members of a new commission for Lutheran-Roman Catholic dialogue were appointed.

      A consultation of LWF church leaders also convened in June. This unique event focused on the understanding of world Lutheranism as a communion with spiritual, human, and material gifts. The consultation affirmed the centrality of mission and evangelism for the churches and the struggle for justice and peace in several areas of the world.

      A number of Nordic and Baltic Lutheran churches and several Anglican churches in the U.K. took steps toward the approval of the Porvoo Report, which recommended closer Anglican-Lutheran relations.

      Several Lutheran churches in Germany and Eastern Europe elected new bishops, as a new generation of church leaders, educated during the communist era, came into place to face new problems. Leadership disputes continued within the Batak Church in Indonesia, while Lutheran church organizations in the Philippines were competing for resources and influence. The Lutheran Church of Tanzania concentrated on mission and evangelism in its context and on issues of democracy and women's rights. The Evangelical Church of the Lutheran Confession in Brazil struggled with the theme of ecclesiology and the question of what kind of church was appropriate for its Latin-American setting.

      In 1994 the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America continued to confront the problem of declining resources. Although giving in congregations increased, fewer funds were available for the national church. Significant time and energy were devoted to proposed statements on human sexuality and peace. Ecumenical proposals for full communion with several Reformed churches and the Episcopal Church and for lifting condemnations against the Roman Catholic Church gained more attention. The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod also experienced financial difficulties. During the year it developed a vision statement with a strong emphasis on mission.


      This updates the article Lutheranism.

Methodist Churches.

      The Executive Committee of the World Methodist Council met in Tallinn, Estonia, in September 1994 to coincide with the stonelaying of the new Baltic Mission Church Centre. Methodism was established in Estonia in 1907, and it was the only former Soviet bloc country in which Methodism had continued uninterrupted to the present day. The council welcomed the Free Methodist Church in Canada, the Methodist Church in Puerto Rico, and the United Methodist Church in Russia into membership, bringing the total number of member churches to 71. The Executive also received reports of continuing ecumenical conversations with Anglican, Orthodox, and Roman Catholic churches. In particular, the interim report of the Anglican-Methodist International Commission, entitled "Sharing in the Apostolic Communion," was being considered by member churches. A major part of the Executive Committee's work was planning the program of the next World Methodist Conference, to be held in Rio de Janeiro in 1996.

      The 1994 World Methodist Peace Award was given to Father Elias Chacour, a Melchite Catholic priest and a Palestinian Israeli citizen from Galilee who founded the Prophet Elias Community College, in which Christians, Muslims, and Jews teach and learn together. In April the president of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe, formally opened the Africa University at Old Mutare, a project of the United Methodist Church and the first Methodist university in Africa. The fifth International Youth Conference was held in Hamburg, Germany, in August with nearly 1,000 representatives from 52 countries in attendance.

      The "Connecting Congregations" initiative launched by the World Methodist Evangelism Institute in 1993 now included at least 65 churches from Eastern Europe. South America, Africa, and Indonesia were linked with churches in North America, Australia, Singapore, and Korea, which provided material and financial support.

      The European Methodist Council meeting in September 1994 commended the report of conversations between the Methodist Church and the Churches (Lutheran and Reformed) of the Leuenberg Concord to member churches and urged its acceptance. The World Federation of Methodist Women issued a new statement of commitment during the year and commended it to all their members. A major activity of the federation over the year was the organizing of a worldwide campaign against the sexual exploitation of children. Considerable support was given as well to the United Nations Year of the Family. (JOHN C.A. BARRETT)

      This updates the article Methodism.

Pentecostal Churches.

      On Oct. 19, 1994, the Pentecostal Fellowship of North America (PFNA), representing 21 white denominations, ended 46 years of racial separation by dissolving itself in favour of a new entity designed to be open to all ethnic groups. Black Pentecostals, who were not invited to join the PFNA in 1948, joined with white Pentecostals in creating a new fellowship called the Pentecostal/Charismatic Churches of North America. The two largest Pentecostal denominations represented were the Church of God in Christ (COGIC; predominantly black, 5.5 million members) and the Assemblies of God (white, 2.2 million members), which had established separate churches in 1914. Elected as the first chairman was Bishop Ithiel Clemmons of New York, a member of the General Board of COGIC.

      Serving with Clemmons as cochairman was former PFNA chairman, Bishop B.E. Underwood of the predominately white International Pentecostal Holiness Church. The climax of the already emotional proceeding came when Bishop Charles Blake of California (COGIC) washed the feet of the Rev. Thomas Trask, general superintendent of the Assemblies of God. The first action of the new group was the adoption of a "Racial Reconciliation Manifesto," in which all 3,000 participants and observers pledged to "oppose racism prophetically in all its various manifestations."

      Also in October the Assemblies of God conducted what was billed as the "world's largest prayer meeting" in Seoul, South Korea. Led by Korean pastor David Yonggi Cho, the meeting drew over one million worshipers from 134 nations to Yoido Plaza, site of Cho's church, which itself had 800,000 members.

      In August the Church of God (Cleveland, Tenn.) conducted its biennial General Assembly in San Antonio, Texas, and elected Robert White as the new general overseer. (VINSON SYNAN)

Reformed, Presbyterian, and Congregational Churches.

      The question of Reformed identity continued to preoccupy the World Alliance of Reformed Churches (WARC) in 1994. Dialogue with the Orthodox churches in Cyprus in January and with the Oriental Orthodox (non-Chalcedonian) churches in The Netherlands in September led to statements on how Jesus Christ was to be understood (Christology).

      The main task facing the Alliance was preparing for its 23rd General Council, to be held in Debrecen, Hung., in 1997. The council would focus on the question of justice and especially on global economic justice. The gulf between North and South had concerned Reformed and other Christians for more than a generation. WARC wanted to ask if this chasm between rich and poor was not a "confessional" issue, challenging the integrity of its faith.

      Apartheid in South Africa began in the church, with the development in the 19th century of separate Dutch Reformed churches divided on racial lines. It was fitting, then, that a year that witnessed the end of apartheid in the state should also see the beginning of the end of that separatist doctrine in the church. In April 1994 the black Dutch Reformed Church in Africa and the Coloured Dutch Reformed Mission Church came together to form the Uniting Reformed Church in Southern Africa. Deliberately it was "uniting" rather than "united," looking forward to a wider unity within and beyond the Dutch Reformed family.

      Changes in Eastern Europe since 1989 continued to have an impact on Reformed churches. The disintegration of Yugoslavia led to the fragmentation there of the Reformed Christian Church. The Reformed Christian churches in Croatia and Slovenia were admitted to WARC membership in 1993 and 1994, respectively. WARC was meanwhile concerned with proposals from the Reformed Church of Hungary for a Universal Hungarian Reformed Synod, partly because "synod" was a misleading name for a consultative body but mainly because the proposed synod, in an already volatile region, was structured on ethnic lines.

      Nine new churches were admitted to WARC membership in 1994: the Evangelical Church of the Republic of Niger, the Congregational Christian Church in American Samoa, the United Church of Christ in Mozambique, the Volkskerk van Afrika, the Evangelical Church of the Congo, the National Presbyterian Church (Chile), the Reformed Christian Church in Slovenia, the Presbyterian Reformed Church of Mexico, and the Uniting Reformed Church in Southern Africa. WARC now linked over 70 million Christians in 193 churches in 99 countries. (PÁRAIC RÉAMONN)

      This updates the article Reformed and Presbyterian church (Reformed and Presbyterian churches).

Religious Society of Friends.

      Quakers from around the world met at Ghost Ranch, Abiquiu, N.M., on Aug. 15-24, 1994, for the 18th triennial meeting of the Friends World Committee for Consultation. Johan Maurer, general secretary of Friends United Meeting, gave the keynote address, in which he warned against the temptation to idolize traditions. The 270 representatives from over 70 autonomous national and regional Friends groups experienced the authenticity of different styles of Quaker worship and deliberated on issues of economic justice and the suffering of the poor, the inclusion of children in the life of the Friends Church, and a number of ways in which Friends are experiencing the Quaker peace testimony, as follows:

      "We have heard about the far-ranging and devastating effects of the arms trade. . . . We should recognize our personal and corporate potential for being more effective peace builders. . . . We are encouraged to examine our personal lifestyle to see ways in which this may be contributing to the underlying causes of injustice and war. For many, it was clear that change to a more peaceful world would come about only through a personal change of heart and devotion to the Prince of Peace." (THOMAS F. TAYLOR)

      This updates the article Friends, Society of.

Salvation Army.

      The Salvation Army elected a new world leader, Gen. Paul A. Rader. In accepting the office during the International Year of the Family, General Rader focused on the importance of family values, emphasizing their central role in Salvation Army work around the world.

      Civil war in Rwanda raged, tearing lives and communities apart. Working through UNICEF, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, and Oxfam, the Salvation Army provided expert advice on irrigation and water purification. Involvement in the Rwandan relief program continued, with a successful initiative to supply 600 tons of essential clothing. Specialists in health, agriculture, and education formed a relief team, working to rehabilitate refugees, rebuild their communities, and restore their faith.

      In the midst of other crises, natural calamities, and man-made disasters, the Salvation Army continued to provide practical aid and spiritual comfort. In 1994 the Army assisted victims of monsoons in the Philippines, flooding in China, tornadoes in the U.S., and an earthquake in Colombia. International endorsement of the need for the Salvation Army's services was underscored by its presence in 98 countries, including Bangladesh, Russia, and Zaire. (CHARMAINE FLETCHER)

Seventh-day Adventist Church.

      Seventh-day Adventists trace their origin to the Millerite awakening of the 1830s and 1840s in North America. The year 1994 marked the 150th anniversary of Oct. 22, 1844, when the Millerites expected Jesus Christ to return. Throughout the year Adventists in many lands recalled their roots, celebrated God's leading in the church, and laid plans for the future.

      The church continued its worldwide expansion. During the year membership passed eight million Adventists living in 209 countries. The church's rapid growth in the Third World, however, coupled with slower growth in the First World, led to increasing financial pressures.

      The ordination of women to the gospel ministry again surfaced as a polarizing issue. Seventh-day Adventists permitted women to serve as unordained ministers of local churches; the church in North America in particular pressed for their ordination.

      In a year of massive human disasters, Adventists, through the church's relief arm, Adventist Development and Relief Agency, provided help in Rwanda, Zaire, Somalia, and more than 100 other countries.

      Although the church was not a member of the World Council of Churches, it engaged in dialogue with other Christian bodies. During 1994 it began conversations with the World Lutheran Alliance, the initial meeting convening in Darmstadt, Germany. (WILLIAM G. JOHNSSON)

Unitarian (Universalist) Churches.

      Spared the divisiveness of theological controversy, Unitarian Universalists surged ahead happily on all fronts in 1994. The financial surpluses rung up by the Annual Program Fund and the Friends Program, accounting for 39% of the denomination's operating budget, increased the strength of ongoing and new social programs. Loans for building and remodeling church edifices stood at an unprecedented high. Congregations themselves were raising unusual amounts of money for building projects.

      Approximately 400 persons were preparing themselves for a variety of ministries. Unfortunately, ministerial compensation and advancement were limited by the shortage of upper-level churches, while benefits were roughly one-half of those in other comparable religious bodies.

      The movement was decentralizing its headquarters functions and turning toward greater district power and leadership. Paradoxically, a crucial debate on governance resulted in the rejection of moves that would have curtailed the president's power. The annual General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association, June 23-28, 1994, attracted to Fort Worth, Texas, 2,204 registrants from all over North America. Critical social issues dealing with abuses of human rights and the development and dissemination of government, church, and individual resources to meet them occupied much attention.

      New Unitarian fellowships were established in Bern, Switz., and Kaiserslautern, Germany. Transylvanian churches, and especially their rural village projects, received additional assistance, financial and otherwise. The Canadian Unitarian Council published a multigenerational curriculum on spiritual connection with the natural world. Its congregations nationwide engaged in public discussions of "Choice and the Act of Dying." British Unitarians called upon their government's secretary of state for education to ensure that state schools reflected the multifaith character of British society in moral and spiritual education, including all religious faiths and humanists on the basis of equal standing and respect. (JOHN NICHOLLS BOOTH)

      This updates the article Unitarianism and Universalism.

The United Church of Canada.

      National meetings held in Fergus, Ont., on August 19-28 were a focal point for the United Church of Canada in 1994. Laywoman Marion S. Best was elected moderator of Canada's largest Protestant denomination for a three-year term. Diaconal minister Virginia Coleman was appointed chief administrative officer. Delegates voted to continue to study restructuring from a four- to a three-tier system of government. The buildings that had housed the national offices since 1959 were sold, and the staff planned to relocate to rented facilities in Etobicoke (west Metropolitan Toronto) in 1995. In the last fiscal year, the denomination's two million known members and adherents raised Can$308,276,194 for all purposes. Contributions specifically to the church's national mission fund, however, remained static and had a restraining effect on program initiatives.

      Work continued on a new denominational hymn book to be published in 1995; there was desire for a new liturgy resource as well. The United Church planned to establish a new body to support ethnic ministries within the denomination and also committed itself to greater funding for theological education through its 12 theological schools and centres. During 1994 the church released statements and reports on issues such as human rights in Mexico, democratic freedom in Haiti, the future of Canada and Quebec, and the Canadian economic crisis.

      A covenant was signed to work in partnership with the United Church of Christ in the Philippines. This paralleled the 1992 covenant signed with the Evangelical Church of the Union in Germany. Reflecting its denominational heritage, the United Church of Canada continued its membership in the World Methodist Council and in the World Alliance of Reformed Churches.

      As part of the national meetings, thousands of persons attended a daylong Church Fair '94. The harmony, goodwill, and hopefulness experienced at the event reflected the spirit of the meetings generally and the more peaceful temper of the denomination at large. (DOUGLAS L. FLANDERS)

United Church of Christ.

      For the United Church of Christ, 1994 marked the beginning of a season of churchwide theological reflection entitled "A Church Attentive to the Word." The season was based on the first of four marks of commitment in the "Statement of Commitment—Toward the 21st Century" (General Synod, 1993), in which church members were called upon to be attentive to the Word, inclusive of all people, responsive to God's call, and supportive of one another.

      Work continued on proposed structural changes, particularly in the church's national setting, to be presented to the General Synod in 1995; a $30 million fund campaign in support of clergy, churches, and community, launched in 1993, reached its midpoint; and church-development and renewal efforts were intensified. The church lost a net total of 25,204 members in 1993; membership stood at 1,530,178 gathered in 6,225 congregations. Total church support in 1993 reached $621,894,219, compared with $595,096,785 in 1992.

      Intensive work was done in 1994 to implement the 1993 pronouncement of General Synod 19 that the church become multiracial and multicultural. Health care reform was a major priority. A new curriculum, "The Word Among Us," was launched, as was a specialized curriculum in AIDS awareness and prevention and another entitled "Created in God's Image: A Human Sexuality Program for Ministry and Mission."

      In July over 3,000 laypeople and clergy gathered at Purdue University, West Lafayette, Ind., for a second Faith Works celebration. The church continued its active involvement in the World Council of Churches, the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A., and the World Alliance of Reformed Churches. (PAUL H. SHERRY)


      In April 1994 Pope John Paul II slipped while getting out of his bath and needed surgery to replace part of the thighbone. He had to walk with a cane and could no longer kneel to kiss the ground. The immediate result was a flurry of speculative succession stories about the next conclave. Frequently mentioned were Carlo Maria Cardinal Martini of Milan and Nigerian Francis J. Cardinal Arinze, since 1985 head of the Vatican's department for relations with non-Christian religions.

      The pope soon resumed his active schedule. Fully expecting to lead the church into the year 2000, he called a June meeting of cardinals to discuss how to celebrate the anniversary. He proposed continental synods for North and South America, Asia, and the Far East. There was talk of a vast ecumenical celebration on Mt. Sinai.

      Pope John Paul went to Zagreb, Croatia, September 11-12, ostensibly for the 900th anniversary of the diocese of Zagreb. His pleas for forgiveness were hard sayings for the nationalist Croats. The visit planned to Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, for September 8 was canceled just 48 hours before, in part because the UN could not guarantee the security of the crowds and partly because local authorities might see such a visit as a provocation. The pope insisted his visit had been only postponed, not canceled. He had dearly wanted to visit what was left of the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina to prove that Sarajevo, once an ecumenical haven for Catholics, Orthodox, Muslims, and Jews, had not been abandoned by the international community in its hour of need.

      He had also planned to visit the United States in October for an address to the UN on United Nations Day and for a pastoral excursion to Newark, N.J., and Baltimore, Md. The visit was postponed in September because of renewed concerns over the pontiff's health.

      Perhaps the most ecumenically positive document to emerge from the Vatican during the year was the report of the Pontifical Biblical Commission, released in January, on the use of the Bible. It reported that there was no specifically Catholic method of biblical research; Catholic scholars used the same methods as others. The difference lay in the approach, or "preunderstanding": "Catholic exegesis deliberately places itself within the living tradition of the Church, whose first concern is fidelity to the revelation attested by the Bible."

      Less ecumenically welcome was the apostolic letter of Pentecost Sunday in late May, which declared that "the church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women, and that this judgment is to be definitively held by all the church's faithful." The papal argument was based on the fact that the 12 apostles were all men. Catholic theologians pointed out that "apostles" included many more than just those 12, that ministry was very fluid in the early church, and that women were certainly involved in it.

      The archbishop of Canterbury was upset. The papal document looked like a direct response to the Church of England's ordination of more than a thousand women. (See Anglican Communion, above.) The pope declared the ordination of women "an obstacle to unity." A trickle of Anglican clergy continued to "go over to Rome" on this issue. Among them was the former bishop of London, Graham Leonard, who was "conditionally ordained" on April 23. (This meant his previous Anglican ordination was considered valid.) Some speculated that the ordination document was timed to preempt the deliberations of the October Roman Synod on Religious Life, at which 30 religious sisters were present. Its president was Benedictine Basil Cardinal Hume, archbishop of Westminster, London. For the first time, a woman, Sister Emilio Ehrlich, general of the Ursulines, acted as special secretary. The synod resolved that women should take their place in all the decision-making bodies of the church. Bishop Ernest Konbo suggested that women be made cardinals.

      An earlier synod on the Church in Africa, which began in April, produced somewhat ambivalent results. African liturgy, complete with drums and dancing, was introduced into St. Peter's on a scale never seen before. The inability of the church to halt the killing in Rwanda, where some 70% of the population was Catholic, cast a shadow over the proceedings. "Tribal blood was thicker than the water of baptism," lamented one bishop. Some participants felt an African Synod should have been held in Africa and that they had been brought to Rome where they could be better controlled.

      There was talk of a "holy alliance" between Christians and Muslims at the UN population conference in Cairo in September. (See Sidebar. (REFUGEES: The Cairo Conference )) Some delegates objected to the Vatican's fixation on excluding abortion as a method of population control. The Holy See also tried to unmask what it saw as the fudge implied in talking about "reproductive health" and the "empowerment" of women. The Vatican claimed victory and was able to sign the final text with reservations, but the price it paid was that the Holy See's reputation for subtle diplomacy suffered a grave blow.

      On the other hand, the Fundamental Agreement signed with Israel on Dec. 30, 1993, contributed to the "peace process" in the Middle East. The denunciation of anti-Semitism and the pledge to work together on "pilgrim tourism" were crowned by the establishment of long-desired diplomatic relations. The first pro-nuncio to Israel, Archbishop Andrea Cordero, took up residence in Tel Aviv, and the first-ever Israeli ambassador to the Holy See, Shmuel Hadas, presented his credentials on Sept. 29, 1994.

      The Catechism of the Catholic Church proved a best-seller in July. Two million copies were in print. The English translation had been held up for several months so that the "inclusive language" used in the first U.S. translation could be eliminated. The pope's own book, Crossing the Threshold of Hope, published October 19, was an even bigger commercial success. (See Books. (Publishing ))

      On October 30 Pope John Paul announced the creation of 30 new cardinals, including two Americans and churchmen from the former communist countries of Albania, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the Czech Republic, as well as two—Cuba and Vietnam—still under authoritarian regimes.

      See Vatican City State .


      This updates the article Roman Catholicism.


      Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople addressed the representatives of the 12 member states of the European Parliament on April 19, 1994, the first time an Orthodox clergyman had spoken to the body. Bartholomew emphasized the importance of human freedom, condemned fanaticism, and spoke of practical issues such as migration and unemployment. He asserted that the church contributes to unity by serving the spiritual needs of humanity.

      In January Patriarch Pavle of Serbia called for an end to violence in former Yugoslavia in a communication to the World Council of Churches (WCC) Central Committee meeting in Johannesburg, South Africa. He expressed concern for all suffering because of violence "of whatever kind and by whomever it is used, regardless of religion or nation." Similar appeals for peace in southeastern Europe and the former Soviet republics were made by Bartholomew at the interdenominational Peace and Tolerance Conference, held in Istanbul in February and cosponsored by the patriarchate and the U.S.-based Appeal of Conscience Foundation.

      On April 10 and on subsequent occasions, Archbishop Anastasios of Tiranë, head of the autocephalous Albanian Orthodox Church, issued appeals regarding the restrictions on religious freedom for the Orthodox in that primarily Muslim country, as well as in regard to Greek-Albanian ethnic conflicts involving the minority Greek-speaking Orthodox Albanian community. In a striking gesture, Aleksey II, patriarch of Moscow, in an address to the Hungarian parliament in April, sought forgiveness for the Soviet invasion of Hungary in 1956.

      Arab Orthodox believers in Israel, Palestine, and Jordan protested policies of the Greek Orthodox patriarchate of Jerusalem in refusing to integrate Arabs into the hierarchy and property-management issues. The charges, expressed by the Arab Orthodox Initiative Committee, were rejected by Patriarch Diodoros I of Jerusalem.

      The fourth official meeting of the Bilateral Orthodox-Reformed dialogue, begun in 1988, took place on Jan. 8-13, 1994, in Limassol, Cyprus. Participants judged that their doctrines on the Holy Trinity and the Incarnation of Jesus Christ were "not incompatible."

      Early in the year, 5 of the 12 bishops who joined the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Kiev patriarchate returned to the Autonomous Ukrainian Orthodox Church, which is loyal to the Moscow patriarchate. The Kiev patriarchate was formed in 1992, six months after Ukraine became an independent state.

      In the U.S. a report was submitted on March 17 to Archbishop Iakovos seeking to end the financial scandal that developed when a former employee of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of North and South America used archdiocesan funds to pay private development bills in a joint real estate endeavour with the archdiocese. The agreement was challenged by the New York state attorney general on October 19. The Joint Committee of Orthodox-Roman Catholic Bishops met in Detroit, Mich., on March 8-10 for their 12th bilateral dialogue. The implications of "communion theology" and the "sister churches terminology" for the relations of the two church bodies were discussed, as were the relationships with the Oriental Orthodox churches.

      The Orthodox Church in America celebrated its bicentennial in September, marking the arrival of Russian Orthodox monks on Sept. 24, 1794, in Alaska, then under Russian influence. (STANLEY S. HARAKAS)

      This updates the article Eastern Orthodoxy.


      Armenian Patriarch-Catholicos Vazgen I died in Yerevan, Armenia, Aug. 18, 1994, at the age of 85. (See OBITUARIES (Vazgen I ).) He was a highly respected symbol of national unity in Armenia and for the Armenian diaspora and worked for peace in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

      Islamic fundamentalists were suspected of responsibility for the shootings of five members of Egypt's eight million-member Coptic Christian community on March 11, 1994, just outside the Muharraq Monastery, 30 km (19 mi) north of Asyut, a stronghold of the militant al-Jamaˋa al-Islamiya (Islamic Group). The action was protested by Pope Shenouda III, head of the Coptic Orthodox Church.

      Aghan Baliozian, the archbishop of the Armenian Apostolic Church in Australia, was elected the first president of the National Council of Churches in Australia, established on July 3 in Syndey. Among the 13 member churches were the Armenian, Coptic, and Syrian orthodox churches.

      In Addis Ababa, Eth., Abune Paulos, patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, reopened the Holy Trinity Theological College, which had been closed by the communist government 17 years earlier. Faculty and students were recruited, and classes began in September 1994.



      For most Jews the past half century had been a struggle to create a secure political Jewish state in the Middle East and to disseminate worldwide knowledge about the destruction of European Jewry during the Holocaust. Both objectives were significantly advanced in 1993 and 1994 with the signing of an Israeli-Palestinian agreement and the opening (April 1993) of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. Indeed, the momentous steps toward peace between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) now pushed the world's Jews to accept a new vision of Israel, one that did not necessarily include every square centimetre of land bequeathed to Abraham by God. In the U.S. the prospect of peace challenged the Jewish community to occupy itself with issues relating to hearth rather than to homeland. "There has to be more of a reason to be Jewish, a reason that's going to play itself out in . . . how you see yourself, how you relate to other people, how you live your life," said Conservative Rabbi Joel Zaiman of Baltimore, Md., in May.

      Two of Judaism's four major denominations occupied themselves with discussions of sexual morality in 1994. Among the Reform rabbinate, which represents most of the world's Jews, an effort to prescribe a set of tenets for sexual behaviour for rabbis took shape, and the Conservative movement took on the issue of premarital sex, saying it must occur within the bounds of a committed relationship.

      While the world's Jews dallied over such questions, however, one West Bank settler demonstrated the pathos of Jewish faith. On February 25, the holiday of Purim, when the Book of Esther is read, Baruch Goldstein burst into the Cave of the Patriarchs mosque in Hebron and killed about 30-40 Arab Muslims during their prayers. Goldstein, a religious Jew, had apparently taken literally the commandment in Esther to wipe out descendants of Haman, an enemy of ancient Persia's Jews. While Goldstein was repudiated by most Jewish religious leaders, right-wing settlers in Israel's territories agreed he had followed God's commandment and said that making peace with their Arab enemies was tantamount to violating God's will. Goldstein's action seemed especially anachronistic as representatives of the two ancient religions were seeking new ways to live together in peace. (See CRIME, LAW ENFORCEMENT, AND PRISONS (Crime, Law Enforcement, and Penology ).)

      The cost of underestimating religious sentiment was not limited to the understanding of extremist Jewish groups. Pope John Paul II's notable overtures toward Jews included recognition of Jews' right to live in Israel. He declared Jews "our elder brothers in the faith." The Vatican-Israeli agreement on diplomatic relations at the end of 1993 created a unique opportunity for Jews to engage in the first genuine dialogue with the Catholic Church in centuries. Some Israelis resisted the accord, however, because the Catholic Church wanted the Israeli representative to the Holy See to be a diplomat, not a rabbi. Representative of this view, for example, was former Israeli chief rabbi Shlomo Goren (see OBITUARIES (Goren, Shlomo )), who at a large interfaith meeting in Jerusalem declared, "There is nothing for us to talk about with the goyim [gentiles]." He also opposed the accords with the PLO. Israel's Orthodox establishment boycotted the Jerusalem conference, which sought to discuss modern challenges to religions worldwide. By comparison, Roman Catholic Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger said Jews and Christians must accept each other "neither in disregard of their faith nor in its denial, but out of the depth of faith itself."

      The community of Jews in Berlin saw the reopening of the New Synagogue, together with a Jewish cultural centre, late in 1994. The landmark building in the eastern part of the city was built in the 1860s and had been closed since it was burned by the Nazis on Kristallnacht in 1938.

      The Lubavitch Hasidic movement mourned the loss of its leader of nearly a half century, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, who died on June 12, 1994, at the age of 92. (See OBITUARIES (Schneerson, Menachem Mendel ).) Schneerson built the Lubavitchers from a small band decimated in the Holocaust to a powerful, satellite-connected world organization with some 200,000 followers. Schneerson's influence extended widely, especially in Israel, where politics and religious doctrine bore his mark. (NOAM NEUSNER)

      This updates the article Judaism.


      Three peace marches dramatically asserted Cambodian Buddhism's political force during 1993-94. After escorting refugees to safety across Khmer Rouge-held territories, the Venerable Mahaghosananda's Dhammayetra Movement led thousands of Buddhists to Phnom Penh in March 1993, encouraging Cambodians to defy guerrilla threats against participating in subsequently successful national elections. Khmer Rouge shelling disrupted an April 1994 march for national reconciliation; one monk and one nun were killed. In June Prince Norodom Ranariddh welcomed Sri Lankan offers to retrain the Cambodian Buddhist Sangha and replace Buddhist scriptures destroyed by the Khmer Rouge. During June Sri Lankan Buddhist missionaries also began building a monastery at the Buddha's Nepalese birthplace, Lumbini, and presented gifts of sacred relics to Nepal.

      Riots involving Hindu nationalists and refugee Tibetan Buddhists jarred Dharmshala in April 1994; leaflets threatened violence against Tibetans who remained after July. Most offices of Tibet's government-in-exile were shifted to Delhi, but local leaders persuaded the Dalai Lama to stay. Throughout the year protests continued against government oppression of opposition Buddhist groups in Vietnam.

      In March 1994 a nephew of the 16th Karmapa, leader of the Black Hat (Kangyu) order of Tibetan Buddhism, challenged the November 1993 enthronement of his uncle's successor/reincarnation, sanctioned by China and the Dalai Lama, with a rival he supported as the true Karmapa. The ensuing violence in Delhi fulfilled the 5th Karmapa's prediction that the 17th Karmapa's succession would be conflict-ridden. In April the Rev. Suh Eui Hyun, leader of the Chogye order representing 80% of South Korean Buddhism, resigned after violent confrontations with reformist monks. The Reform Council took power, added women to the Chogye Assembly, and decentralized temple management nationwide, ending the government's assurance of official Buddhist support. Financial and sexual scandals in the spring involving several popular monks reverberated throughout Thailand as reports of monastic corruption flooded the popular press.

      In May a Japanese monk, defining Buddhist temples as lucrative corporations with monks as employees, formed what may have been the world's first religious labour union. Wakyo Goda's union organized walkouts and sick-outs against temple superiors. In the same month, Western and Japanese musicians joined 100 chanting Buddhist monks for a rock concert at Nara's famous Todai Temple. Head priest Shinkai Shindoh defended the innovations as Buddhist attempts to make people happy and appeal to the Japanese youth.

      The December 1993 unveiling of a 24-m (79-ft)-high Chinese-made bronze Buddha image of Hong Kong design, facing China from Hong Kong's Lantau Island, was hailed as an important step toward forging new relations. (JONATHAN S. WALTERS)

      This updates the article Buddhism.


      Caste tension and strife within the Indian Hindu community continued in 1994. On March 11 the cause of the fundamentalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)—a Hindu nation ("Hindutva")—suffered a major defeat. The Indian Supreme Court affirmed the constitutional principles of secular democracy and upheld the action of the central government in dismissing BJP governments in four states following the BJP-sanctioned demolition of a mosque in Ayodhya in 1992 by Hindu militants who believed the mosque desecrated the legendary birthplace of the god Rama. The ensuing Hindu-Muslim riots throughout the country led to the deaths of an estimated 2,000 people.

      Undeterred by the high court's ruling, the BJP government of New Delhi enacted a law on March 31 imposing severe criminal penalties for the slaughter of cows, regarded by Hindus as sacred, and the sale or possession of beef. No bail would be allowed for those charged with the crime. The new law also established cow shelters throughout the city to accommodate an estimated 150,000 sick or old cows, which formerly could be slaughtered.

      The political power of the BJP was openly challenged during the year by Hindu groups that regarded the BJP's agenda as reasserting the ancient domination of Indian society by the Brahmins and other upper castes. In May the 120-year-old reformist group Arya Samaj announced its intention to launch a political party to counter Hindu nationalism and promote liberal principles, including the political and economic emancipation of the lower castes, the abolition of child labour, and the full equality of women in Indian society.

      Savouring newly found political power through a political coalition that defeated the BJP in state elections in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, leaders of the Bahujan Samaj Party representing the untouchables (which make up more than 16% of India's population) and the Samajwadi Janata Party representing lower ("backward") castes publicly denounced 1994 celebrations of the 125th anniversary of Mohandas Gandhi's birthday. Although Gandhi sought the end of untouchability and called the untouchables Harijans, or children of God, the untouchables call themselves Dalits—"the oppressed"—and view Gandhi as a Brahmin elitist who sought to continue what one Dalit leader characterized in an April rally as "the divine slavery which the Hindu caste system has imposed on [Dalits]."

      The bold assertion of political power by the Dalits brought retaliation from upper castes. During the year there were numerous reports of the burning of Dalit villages and murder of their inhabitants and the raping of Dalit women by upper-caste men. In January more than 4,000 were arrested in demonstrations when the Congress Party government in Maharashtra renamed a prestigious university in honour of the late B.R. Ambedkar, a leader of the untouchables who was the chief architect of the Indian constitution.

      On January 8 Chandrasekharendra Saraswati, the revered Hindu leader, died. (See OBITUARIES (Saraswati, Swamigal Chandrasekharendra ).) Throughout his life he had advocated religious tolerance in a land of great religious diversity and strife.


      This updates the article Hindusim (Hinduism).


      The struggle between conservative fundamentalist and moderate groups increased in intensity in many places in the Muslim world in 1994. The conclusion of the peace accords between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization brought new long-term consequences for Muslims. Religious questions involving the holy places in Jerusalem were not specifically addressed in the agreement, and when Israel indicated that Jordan (which had overseen restoration of the Dome of the Rock and contributed $6 million-$8 million to restoration activities) should take the lead, the PLO was concerned lest it lose influence in the holy city. There was widespread Muslim outrage at the terrorist shooting of Muslims in the Hebron mosque massacre in February.

      Elections in Turkey in March found the religious Welfare Party winning control in many localities, including the city governments of Ankara and Istanbul. Incidents occurred involving attacks or demonstrations against persons accused of behaving in ways considered un-Islamic. For two years Algeria had been under martial law while the military government tried to suppress widespread conservative fundamentalist violence. In Egypt foreign tourists continued to come under attack from Muslim terrorists. At the UN population conference in Cairo in September, some conservative Muslim groups joined with the Vatican in opposing the draft program promoting birth control. (See Sidebar (REFUGEES: The Cairo Conference ).)

      Violence by and against Muslims was also reported in The Sudan, the Philippines, East Timor, Afghanistan, China, Malaysia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina, where fighting continued without great hope of a settlement. In Bangladesh a group calling itself the Council of Islamic Soldiers set a bounty for the death of a physician, Taslima Nasrin (see BIOGRAPHIES (Nasrin, Taslima )), because of her published writing. Tragedy occurred during the hajj to Mecca in May when some 270 pilgrims died in a stampede during the rite at Mina. About two and a half million Muslims went on pilgrimage during that period.

      Grand Ayatollah Mohammad Ali Araki, Marja al-Al'la, the leading Shi'ite clergyman, died in late November in Tehran at the age of 105 or 106. In a blatant political move, the ruling Iranian mullahs pressed for Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to succeed Araki but, under pressure, Khamenei had to withdraw his candidacy.

      Abu Dhabi announced construction of a large mosque to cover an area of more than 46,500 sq m (500,000 sq ft) at a cost estimated at $150 million. Meanwhile, plans for a mosque to be built in the outskirts of Moscow aroused controversy. Two prominent Western businesses apologized for inadvertently using passages of Islamic texts on their products—McDonald's on throwaway food bags and Chanel on clothing.

      In the United States four Muslims were sentenced to life imprisonment for the bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993. In February Louis Farrakhan, leader of the separatist Nation of Islam, demoted his senior assistant, Khalid Abdul Muhammad, for anti-Jewish remarks made in November 1993. Controversy continued, however, because of Farrakhan's own statements at the time and later in the year. Muhammad was subsequently shot and wounded by a dissident after a speech in southern California in May. An experiment by the Chicago Housing Authority using members of the Nation of Islam's New Life, Inc., organization to patrol inner-city housing projects drew both praise and criticism. More than half a dozen Islamic finance companies in the U.S. began offering mortgages and investment opportunities that would avoid the use of interest, which is prohibited by Islamic law. (REUBEN W. SMITH)

      This updates the article Islām.

▪ 1994

      Religion and violence were linked in several prominent incidents in 1993, including a shoot-out in Texas, a bombing in New York City, and rioting in India. But in the midst of conflict, interfaith understanding made progress, too. Homosexuality, the role of women, financial problems, and church-state relations provided challenges for religious groups during the year.

      The fiery demise of the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas, that claimed the lives of David Koresh and at least 74 of his followers—preceded by a shoot-out in which four federal agents were killed—focused attention on how to define and deal with cults. The Seventh-day Adventist Church took pains to disassociate itself from the Koresh group, noting that the latter began as a sect in 1959 when it left a group that had itself earlier broken away from the Adventists. (See Seventh-day Adventist Church (Religion ), below.) A statement issued after the Waco events by 16 religious and civil liberties groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union and the National Council of Churches, said, "Under the religious liberty provisions of the First Amendment, government has no business declaring what is orthodox or heretical, or what is a true or false religion."

      Islamic fundamentalism came into the limelight again when followers of Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman were indicted on conspiracy charges in the February bombing of the World Trade Center in New York, in which six people were killed and 1,000 injured. Abdel-Rahman's insistence on the use of the Qurˋan to govern Islamic societies and his advocacy of violence to overthrow Muslim leaders who disagree were criticized by a number of mainstream Islamic scholars, and several major mosques had refused to grant him a forum even before the bombing. (See Special Report (Special Report: Middle Eastern Affairs ).)

      Members of an extremist Hindu movement called the Shiv Sena attacked Muslim neighbourhoods in Bombay and touched off riots that left hundreds dead in January. In August a bomb destroyed the Madras office of another militant Hindu group, killing at least 10 people and injuring 4. Indian Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao was widely criticized for failing to take strong action against Hindus following the violence in Bombay. (See Hinduism (Religion ), below.)

       Adherents of All Religions by Seven Continental Areas, Mid-1993Some of India's interfaith conflicts made their way to the Parliament of the World's Religions (for figures on adherents of all religions by continent, see Table (Adherents of All Religions by Seven Continental Areas, Mid-1993)), a nine-day gathering held in Chicago that drew representatives of Bahaˋi, Buddhist, Christian, Confucian, Hindu, Jain, Jewish, Muslim, Native American, Shinto, Sikh, Taoist, Unitarian, and Zoroastrian groups. At an early session, a Sikh from Punjab denounced Hindus for persecuting his faith, touching off a shouting match that ended only when police arrived. Some Zen Buddhists objected to prayers offered to God, saying that they "can practice religion with or without God." Orthodox Christians walked out to protest the involvement of neopagans and other groups that "profess no belief in God or a supreme being." Four Jewish organizations withdrew as sponsors to protest an appearance by Nation of Islam Minister Louis Farrakhan, whom they accused of having promoted religious intolerance.

      Despite these problems, the parliament ended with an address in which the Dalai Lama, the exiled Tibetan Buddhist leader, stressed the common teachings—compassion, forgiveness, and love—of the major faiths and with the signing of a "Global Ethic" statement that condemned environmental destruction, hunger, poverty, sexual discrimination, and violence, especially "aggression and hatred in the name of religion."

      Catholic-Jewish relations got a boost when one of Israel's two chief rabbis, Israel Meir Lau, spiritual leader of Israel's Jews of European descent, met with Pope John Paul II at the Vatican in September and when the Vatican recognized the state of Israel in December. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America asked its ecumenical affairs department to prepare a statement addressed to the Jewish community repudiating "the anti-Judaic rhetoric and violent recommendations" of Martin Luther.

      The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) voted to endorse the Consultation on Church Union (COCU) plan for mutual recognition of ministers and joint celebration of communion, becoming the third of its nine member denominations and the first large mainline body to take the step. In St. Louis, Mo., in July, two other COCU members, the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the United Church of Christ, held joint national meetings for the first time. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America voted to work toward a 1997 deadline for achieving full communion with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Reformed Church in America, and United Church of Christ.

      An ecumenical celebration of the 400th anniversary of the (Lutheran) Church of Sweden drew the participation of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople; Edward Cardinal Cassidy, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity; and Bishop John Hind of the Church of England. A conference in Santiago de Compostela, Spain, sponsored by the Faith and Order Commission of the World Council of Churches (WCC) drew 400 participants. WCC General Secretary Konrad Raiser called for "a new ecumenical reality" that would go beyond official theological dialogues. Greek Orthodox Archbishop Stylianos of Australia, who chaired the Orthodox delegation to the meeting, said the Orthodox participants were "deeply offended" by some comments made at the gathering, apparently referring to remarks in favour of ordination of women and shared communion.

      The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) approved a three-year churchwide study on whether to ordain practicing homosexuals while retaining its ban on allowing them to serve as clergy, elders, and deacons. The action at the church's General Assembly in Orlando, Fla., touched off a demonstration by more than 60 people, including the Rev. Jane Spahr, a lesbian whose clergy appointment by a congregation in Rochester, N.Y., was overturned by the denomination's highest court in 1992. Leaders of the National Council of Churches (NCC) made plans for a discussion involving representatives of its 32 member churches and of homosexual groups, including the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches, which had tried unsuccessfully for more than a decade to gain membership or observer status in the NCC. Mel White, an evangelical writer who ghostwrote books for the Rev. Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson, announced his homosexuality when he was installed as dean of the 1,200-member Cathedral of Hope in Dallas, Texas, which describes itself as the world's largest gay and lesbian congregation. (See Special Report (Homosexuality and the Churches ).)

      The Anglican dioceses of Vermont and Toronto elected women bishops in 1993; only one woman had previously been elected to such a position in the worldwide Anglican Communion. The Mennonite Church chose Donella M. Clements as its moderator, making her the first woman to hold its top position. The Christian Reformed Church (CRC), which had debated ordination of women for several years, voted at its synod to allow local congregations to decide the matter for themselves. Although another synod would have to ratify the resolution before it could be implemented, the action touched off immediate protests by conservatives, including a group of Korean-American church leaders who formed a breakaway body that included more than a third of the CRC's 47 Korean-language congregations. A week before the CRC synod met, the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in America, a smaller, evangelical church body, urged the CRC to repent over its "departure from the Scriptures in its doctrine and practice." The Church of England's 1992 decision to open the priesthood to women led some opponents, including the retired bishop of London, to join the Roman Catholic Church.

      A growing number of cases involving sexual misconduct of Catholic clergy prompted Pope John Paul II to set up a panel of Vatican and U.S. Catholic Church experts to determine how best to handle such matters under church law, while the U.S. bishops established their own eight-member committee on the matter. The pope won cheers from 186,000 youths who attended a week-long international gathering in Denver, Colo., but surveys found that many Catholic teens took issue with the church's teachings on abortion, birth control, and homosexuality. In an encyclical titled Veritatis splendor, Latin for "The Splendour of Truth," John Paul said opposition to church teaching "cannot be seen as a legitimate expression of Christian liberty" and urged that clergy who violated official doctrines be removed from their positions. (See Roman Catholic Church (Religion ), below.)

      In November the Rev. Gordon L. Summers of the Moravian Church was sworn in as president of the NCC. Financial problems prompted several denominations, including the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), and Southern Baptist Convention, to make more budget cutbacks. However, the WCC ended up in the black for the second year in a row, and three former U.S. presidents, Jimmy Carter, Gerald Ford, and Ronald Reagan, agreed to serve as honorary cochairmen of a drive to raise $10 million for the faith and order work of the National and World Councils of Churches.

      U.S. Pres. Bill Clinton drew criticism from his own denomination, the Southern Baptist Convention, which opposed his policies on abortion and homosexual rights and urged him to "affirm biblical morality in exercising his public office." Earlier Clinton had invited leaders from 15 denominations in the NCC to meet with him in the White House, signaling a greater openness to mainline denominations than had been the case in the Reagan and Bush administrations. Leaders of the NCC, the U.S. Catholic Conference, and the Synagogue Council of America met in Washington, D.C., in June and issued a 4,000-word statement seeking to initiate "a fresh debate over the renewal of the general welfare" in the United States. The statement said the welfare of the weakest members of society was "a crucial moral test" of the common good. (See Special Report (Homosexuality and the Churches ).) Most religious leaders and associations applauded Clinton's signing on November 16 of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which reinstated significant restrictions on the government's ability to regulate religious practices.

      In a unanimous ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the right of the Santeria religious group to sacrifice animals during worship services, saying that no religion or religious practice may be "singled out for discriminatory treatment" even if its activities were viewed as "abhorrent" by most people. In an Arizona case, the high court ruled 5-4 that government-funded sign language interpreters may be provided for deaf parochial school students because such aid benefits the child and not the school. A unanimous decision in a New York case said religious groups must be allowed to use public schools after hours if such access was accorded to other community groups.

      Massachusetts' highest court overturned the 1990 manslaughter convictions of a Christian Science couple whose son died after they relied on spiritual rather than medical healing. The 6-1 ruling said David and Ginger Twitchell had "reasonably believed" they could rely solely on spiritual treatment without fear of prosecution. But a Minneapolis, Minn., jury returned a $5.2 million verdict against a woman who relied solely on spiritual healing while her 11-year-old son was dying from diabetes and against six other defendants, including a Christian Science congregation. The verdict was the first time that civil damages had been assessed against the church in connection with its teachings on spiritual healing.

      In a widely discussed book titled The Culture of Disbelief, Yale law professor Stephen L. Carter said religion "often thumbs its nose at what the rest of the society believes is right" and that such dissent is necessary to preserve a healthy democracy. Carter said that "a religion is, at its heart, a way of denying the authority of the rest of the world." (DARRELL J. TURNER)


Anglican Communion.
      One hundred top Anglican leaders met in Cape Town, South Africa, in January 1993 to wrestle with a daunting list of issues, including threats to the communion's unity posed by the 13 provinces that had ordained women. The archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev. George Carey, presided at the meetings, while the archbishop of Cape Town, the Most Rev. Desmond M. Tutu, acted as host to this first-ever joint meeting between the communion's primates and the Anglican Consultative Council, which represented churches in 163 countries. The international gathering followed a November 1992 meeting of Southern Africa's Anglican bishops, who condemned South African political leaders over "growing and shocking tolerance of corruption, lies, and murder in political life." Criticizing both the South African government and the African National Congress, the bishops decried the "moral deterioration in South African society." Meanwhile, the sixth assembly of the All-Africa Conference of Churches (AACC) conferred the first AACC peace award upon two Mozambican churchmen, Anglican Bishop Dinis Sengulane of the Lebombo diocese and Roman Catholic Archbishop Jaime Gonçalves, in recognition of their contribution to the peace process in Mozambique.

      The Church of England continued to grapple with the aftermath of its November 1992 decision to ordain women. Parliament approved the decision in November 1993. England's Roman Catholic bishops promised a "generous and understanding" welcome to Church of England members who could not accept the decision and chose to leave. Among the first to do so was Graham Leonard, the retired bishop of London, a longtime opponent of women's ordination. Carey told an ecumenical gathering in Belgium that "hopes for organic unity seem to have faded" between Anglicans and Roman Catholics.

      U.S. Episcopalians were surprised by a membership gain for the second straight year, reversing a steady decline that began in 1966. In June the diocese of Vermont elected the Rev. Mary Adelia McLeod as its bishop, the first woman bishop to lead a U.S. diocese and only the second woman Anglican bishop worldwide. In November the Anglican Church of Canada elected Victoria Matthews of Toronto as its first woman bishop.

      A conference in August on "Shaping Our Future: A Grassroots Forum on Episcopal Structures" attracted more than 1,000 participants from 96 dioceses. Participants ranging from traditionalists to liberal activists gathered in St. Louis, Mo., to discuss changes in the church's structure and organization in order to focus more effectively on its mission.


Baptist Churches.
      The largest black Baptist religious group in the nation and probably in the world, the National Baptist Convention, USA, met in New York City's Madison Square Garden, beginning Sept. 8, 1993, for its 113th annual gathering. First organized in 1880, the National Baptist Convention had more than 33,000 churches and was the third-largest Protestant denomination in the U.S. Discussions at the New York convocation showed that the organization was moving away from its conservatism of a few years earlier—when the leadership opposed, for instance, the methods of Martin Luther King, Jr.—toward more progressive positions such as voicing opposition to the Gulf war. The organization was now focusing more attention on issues such as "economic empowerment" of blacks, ways congregations can deal with AIDS, and strategies for halting the waste of young black lives through crime, poverty, and lack of opportunity.

      National Baptist Convention president Theodore J. Jemison was again the subject of controversy. Some members questioned the wisdom of building a $12 million headquarters in Nashville, Tenn.; the organization had $4 million of the debt still outstanding. In 1992 Jemison had been charged with perjury in the rape trial of boxer Mike Tyson.

      Among white Baptists, the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, an organization of moderates, reacted to the tensions and battles resulting from a fundamentalist takeover of the Southern Baptist Convention and met to draw up and adopt a new constitution. Former U.S. president Jimmy Carter endorsed and pledged financial support for the group, and he gave the keynote address at the meeting. Carter, a lifelong Southern Baptist and deacon in his home church in Plains, Ga., said he valued his Southern Baptist heritage but regretted the denomination's bitter internal politics during the past 14 years.

      The Baptist World Alliance reported that the number of Baptists was growing in the Middle East, where Bible distribution was seen as a major evangelism tool. Continuing persecution of evangelicals was, however, still being reported in the region.


Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).
      The Rev. Richard L. Hamm, 45, a Nashville, Tenn., church official, was elected in July 1993 as the Christian Church's youngest-ever chief executive. He assumed a six-year term as general minister and president of the Indianapolis, Ind.-based denomination. His election was a highlight of the first Common Gathering of the Disciples General Assembly and the General Synod of the United Church of Christ in July. The mainline churches had enjoyed a unique "ecumenical partnership" since 1985.

      The climax of the historic event in St. Louis, Mo., was an address, broadcast live across the United States, by the Anglican archbishop of Cape Town, Desmond M. Tutu.

      The assembly took note of the disastrous flooding in the U.S. Midwest and voted $30,407 to support local relief efforts. In all, the Disciples of Christ contributed more than $575,500 toward flood relief.

      Earlier in the year, general minister and president C. William Nichols called for U.S. Pres. Bill Clinton to lift the ban on gays in the military, while the assembly came out in favour of civil rights for gays and lesbians, supported the establishment of a national health plan in the U.S., and called for peace and an end to ethnic cleansing in the Balkans. In other church-wide activities, the Rev. Patricia Tucker Spier, a Tipton, Ind., pastor and former missionary to Japan, was elected president of the Division of Overseas Ministries.


Churches of Christ.
      In 1993 it was reported that 80 Churches of Christ had been established in the former U.S.S.R. in the past two years. More than 100 volunteer and seasoned preachers spent all or part of 1993 in missionary efforts. World Christian Broadcasting sent weekly messages across all the former Soviet Union as well as into China. The North Atlanta, Ga., church sent 40 workers to Siberia to strengthen the church there and evangelize, while the Highland church in Memphis, Tenn., sent extensive medical supplies to Kiev, Ukraine. International Christian University of Vienna was accredited in Ukraine and began classes in Kiev. Christians from Zagreb, Croatia, and Belgrade, Yugos., met in Kaposvar, Hung., to pray for peace. The first religious campaign in Cuba since 1959 targeted nine cities and reported 94 baptisms.

      The National Crusade for Christ met at the Los Angeles Convention Center for one week in July, with 7,500 attending the first day. "One Nation Under God," a nationwide direct mail and advertising campaign that reached 102 million households in the U.S. in 1992, sent 11 million copies of "Good News Is for Sharing" to Canadian households and 1.2 million to households in the Caribbean in 1993.


Church of Christ, Scientist.
      Mary Baker Eddy's Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, named by the Women's National Book Association as one of the books by women whose words had changed the world, was the focal point of the 98th annual meeting of the members of the First Church of Christ, Scientist, held in Boston in June. Virginia Harris, chairman of the Christian Science board of directors and publisher of Mrs. Eddy's writings, said of the Christian Science textbook, "Science and Health is itself a journey, a spiritual journey of understanding God, and of coming to know ourselves as God's treasured children." Nathan Talbot, outgoing president of the Mother Church, announced the list of officers, which included Dieter K. Förster of Bad Soden, Germany, who would serve as president for 1993-94.

      In the financial report to members, the board of directors announced that the balanced budget presented at the 1992 annual meeting had been met and that the pension reserve income was more than adequate to cover all payments to retired employees. Although challenges remained, the report pointed out, the church's financial condition had improved since 1992. (See Introduction, above.)


Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
      By the end of 1993 there were 20,000 LDS congregations in the world. The internationalization of the faith continued with the sending of higher-education missionaries to Mongolia, health specialists to Bulgaria, and welfare aid to Somalia. Moreover, a 15-year program for small-scale agriculture was inaugurated in Mexico, and meetinghouses were completed in Swaziland and Belize.

      As the church was celebrating the centennial of the completion of the Mormon Temple in Salt Lake City, Utah, officials announced the dedication of the completed temple in San Diego, Calif.; the construction of temples in Bountiful and American Fork, Utah; Orlando, Fla.; St. Louis, Mo.; Hartford, Conn.; and Preston, England; and the acquisition of sites for temples in Bogotá, Colombia; Guayaquil, Ecuador; Hong Kong; and Spain.

      The elegant 10-story church-owned Hotel Utah in Salt Lake City was renovated to become an administrative headquarters and public gathering place and was renamed the Joseph Smith Memorial Building. In view of the illness of the church's 94-year-old president, Ezra Taft Benson, some officials advocated the establishment of emeritus status for aging apostles.

      Weary of its one-party (Republican) image and wishing to see Utah more equally represented by Republicans and Democrats, church officials began preaching the benefits of political diversity. Late in 1993 actions were initiated to discipline militant feminists and vocal intellectual and doctrinal dissenters.

      For the first time in 100 years, a Mormon official was invited to speak at the World Parliament of Religions, held in Chicago in the summer.


Jehovah's Witnesses.
      At a time when "hate thy neighbour" seemed the trend, the international convention of Witnesses held in Moscow stood in vivid contrast. More than 23,000 delegates from around the world attended; 1,489 were baptized. Later 64,714 Witnesses convened in Kiev, Ukraine, where 7,402 were baptized—the largest number ever immersed on one occasion. During the summer, 45 conventions were held elsewhere in Eastern Europe and Eurasia, with nearly 11,000 attending in four cities of former Yugoslavia alone.

      In a move to stop what Judge S.K. Martens of the European Court of Human Rights called "the rise of fierce religious intolerance which is sweeping over our modern world," the court on May 25 made a landmark decision exonerating the Witnesses. Greece was found guilty of intolerance when it arrested Witnesses for "proselytism." In upholding the European Convention of Human Rights, which states that "everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion," the court ruled that this implies "the freedom 'to manifest [one's] religion.' Bearing witness in words and deeds is bound up with the existence of religious convictions." Judge Martens added: "Whether or not somebody intends to change religion is no concern of the State's and . . . all religions and beliefs should, as far as the State is concerned, be equal." (MILTON HENSCHEL)

PROTESTANT CHURCHES: Lutheran Communion.
      Two of the five largest North American Lutheran denominations chose successors to leaders retiring in 1993—Telmor Sartison as bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada and Karl Gurgel of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America assembly established "diaconal ministers" as a new category of rostered ministry, approved statements on racism and the care of the earth, committed more resources to rural ministry, and approved a timetable that would allow the 1997 assembly to vote on "full communion" with the Episcopal Church and three U.S. Reformed denominations. In October a study group released a draft statement on sexuality that prompted controversy.

      In the middle of the year, the Council of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) met in Norway. After heated debate it approved a resolution on the situation in the former Yugoslavia that observed that "in this sinful world the threat of the use of military action seems unavoidable, in order to protect human life, to limit killing, and to avoid even greater suffering." It added that "military force can only be the last resort after all other means have been exhausted."

      Steps were taken toward resolving leadership conflicts in church bodies in Indonesia and the Philippines. Lutherans in El Salvador held their first congress. In Tanzania, Lutheran representatives from across Africa met with people from international organizations for a consultation on ethics and the economy. The Japan Evangelical Lutheran Church marked its centennial by expressing "deep repentance" for its role during World War II. Lutherans in The Netherlands took further steps in a long process to unite with the two main (and much larger) Reformed church bodies there. Latvian Lutherans chose a new archbishop.

      The Church of Sweden, the largest Lutheran church body in the world, marked the 400th anniversary of the formal end of the Reformation period in Sweden and Finland. In September the international Lutheran-Roman Catholic Joint Commission announced that it had found a large measure of consensus on the doctrine of "justification." Differences on this issue were a major reason the two communions separated in the 16th century. Earlier the LWF Council had also endorsed a consultation with Seventh-day Adventists.

      Led by the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, about two dozen church bodies—many quite small—announced formation of the International Lutheran Council, committed to "the inspired and infallible Holy Scriptures." Five ILC members—in Nigeria, South Korea, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, and India—also belonged to LWF, but most ILC members were critical of LWF positions and actions.


Methodist Churches.
      Figures released in 1993 by the World Methodist Council showed a 16% rise in membership over the preceding five years and a 12% rise in the total Methodist community, including young people and adherents. The areas of significant growth were Africa, Asia, and South America. There was a 1% drop in membership in North America and an 8% drop in Europe, although the overall Methodist community had risen slightly in both areas. World membership was over 29 million and the total world community over 60 million. Following disclosures at the Executive Committee in 1992 that the World Fund of the World Methodist Council, which covered the Council's administrative expenses, was likely to be running at an annual deficit, the wealthier of the 68 member churches were urged to increase their contributions significantly.

      The Fifth International Seminar on Evangelism was held at Cliff College, Sheffield, England, in January 1993. During Pentecost 1993 approximately 2,000 Kingdom Missions were organized by Methodist churches worldwide as a contribution to the Decade of Evangelism. The Evangelisch-methodistiche Kirche, previously divided into two episcopal areas for the former East and West Germany, agreed to unite under a single head, Bishop Walter Klaiber.

      The Roman Catholic-Methodist international commission that had been in existence for 25 years met in Vienna and worked on developing a common understanding of Revelation. The Anglican-Methodist Commission, which had held meetings in Jerusalem and Dublin, discovered large areas of agreement; discussions were continuing on the historic episcopate. The preparatory commission of the Methodist and Orthodox churches sent a formal proposal to the World Methodist Council and the 15 autocephalous Orthodox churches to set up an international commission to meet annually in 1997-2000.

      The World Methodist Historical Society held an international conference in Cambridge, England, in July 1993 to coincide with the centenary celebrations of the British Wesley Historical Society. In September the Consultative Conference of European Methodist Churches met in Herrnhut, Germany. Discussions between the British Church and the Central Conferences in Europe of the United Methodist Church and clergy in Ireland, Italy, Portugal, and Spain resulted in 1993 in a proposal for a European Methodist Council.


Pentecostal Churches.
      American Pentecostal leaders held a historic "summit" meeting of leaders in January 1993 in Phoenix, Ariz., in an effort to heal the divisions between black and white Pentecostals that had existed since the formation of the Pentecostal Fellowship of North America (PFNA) in 1948. In October the annual PFNA session voted to disband if necessary in order to build a bridge to the Church of God in Christ, the predominately black church that was the largest Pentecostal denomination in the U.S.

      In August the Assemblies of God elected Thomas Trask to succeed retiring General Superintendent Raymond Carlson. Also in August the International Pentecostal Holiness Church reelected B.E. Underwood general superintendent, while in June the Pentecostal Church of God reelected James Gee to lead the church.

      Oral Roberts retired in January as president of Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Okla., and was succeeded by his son, Richard Roberts. Also in January, Paul Morton, pastor of the Greater St. Stephen Full Gospel Baptist Church in New Orleans, La., organized the nationwide "Full Gospel Baptist Fellowship," made up mostly of pastors in the National Baptist Church, the largest African-American denomination in the country. In September 1,500 Roman Catholic Charismatics gathered in Assisi, Italy, for an international leaders retreat led by Raneiro Cantalamessa, preacher to the papal household. At the end of the retreat, Pope John Paul II greeted the group and praised Catholic charismatics for adding many new vocations to the church.

      The Society for Pentecostal Studies met in November in Guadalajara, Mexico, its first convocation outside the U.S.


Reformed, Presbyterian, and Congregational Churches.
      During 1993 interchurch consultations and articles identified a number of significant concerns for and among the Reformed churches. As they strove for independence—and a new interdependence—Reformed, Presbyterian, and Congregational churches from Africa, Asia, and Latin America sought more contact and exchanges. The World Alliance of Reformed Churches (WARC) continued to grow and help provide these networking opportunities; membership expanded to 188 churches in 90 countries.

      High on the agenda of churches of Reformed heritage was the need for a just resolution of the global debt crisis, which compounds the poverty in many nations. Churches registered alarm at the growing racism in Europe, and popular and legal resistance to migration from the South to the North mobilized churches in Europe and North America to public demonstrations of support for minorities and migrant labour populations.

      Questions related to the acceptance of homosexuals in the Christian community riveted the attention of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). The 1993 General Assembly reaffirmed its commitment to full civil rights for gays and lesbians and called for continuing study of the possibility of their ordination.

      Throughout Central and Eastern Europe, efforts to secure the return of church properties confiscated by former Communist regimes remained at the centre of concern for Reformed churches. In Romania and Russia, churches sought to influence the drafting of new laws that would ensure equal treatment for minority religious groups.

      The heresy of the theological justification of apartheid was the focus of a WARC consultation convened in March 1993 for branches of the Dutch Reformed Church (DRC) family in southern Africa. The South African Dutch Reformed Church had been in suspended membership in the alliance since 1982 because of its theological support of apartheid. Leading representatives of the church agreed that its renunciation of the theology of apartheid had to be exhibited in word and deed. DRC union with the Dutch Reformed Mission Church, the Dutch Reformed Church in Africa, and the Reformed Church in Africa—churches that had been created to divide believers of the Reformed tradition on lines of race—was recognized as essential to demonstrate a genuine renunciation of the theological justification of apartheid. The executive committee of the WARC agreed to wait at least two years before considering reinstatement of the DRC to regular membership.

      One of America's best known clergymen, the Rev. Norman Vincent Peale, died in December (see OBITUARIES (Peale, Norman Vincent )).


Religious Society of Friends.
      New leadership took over the Friends World Committee for Consultation (FWCC) in late 1992, with Thomas F. Taylor assuming the office of general secretary in the world office in London and Asia Bennett becoming executive secretary of the FWCC Section of the Americas. Bennett, who represented Friends at the meeting of secretaries of the Christian World Communions in October 1992 in Washington, D.C., found that large Christian bodies were struggling with the same dilemmas that perplexed the Religious Society of Friends: the balance between faith and works, the pull between evangelical and liberal agendas, the right response to questions of sexual orientation, and the role of women.

      The unrest in Kenya continued into 1993, causing the internal displacement of many people in Quaker regions. Responding to this need, FWCC Africa Section's Committee for Peace and Social Concerns, organized by Kenyan Friends, continued to provide relief funds and temporary housing in one of the affected areas.


Salvation Army.
      A new world leader was elected by the Salvation Army's High Council when it met in April 1993: Commissioner Bramwell H. illsley, a Canadian, who had been serving as chief of staff at International Headquarters in London. General Tillsley told the press that the Army should have the courage to speak out on social issues such as poverty, homelessness, pornography, drugs, and child abuse. "There is a crying need in our world today for men and women of integrity," he said.

      Two years after it resumed activities in the former Soviet Union, the Salvation Army commissioned and ordained its first Russian officers. Outgoing general Eva Burrows, who had ordered the Army's return to Russia after an enforced 70-year absence, flew to Moscow to commission 10 officers, including a pediatrician, a psychologist, a lawyer, a professor, and a former Red Army colonel. In addition to its rapidly expanding spiritual and welfare work in the Russian cities of St. Petersburg and Moscow, the Army extended its work into Moldova, Georgia, and Ukraine.

      General Burrows also strengthened the Army's ties with China. Following meetings in Beijing (Peking), she reported, "The potential for the growth of God's Kingdom in China is even beyond our imagining. Hallelujah!"


Seventh-day Adventist Church.
      Celebrating 100 years of Adventism in southern Asia, the Annual Council of the world church met in Bangalore, India, in 1993. The church at first grew very slowly there, but in recent years India had become a fruitful field for growth, and membership in 1993 approached 200,000. The church in India was also moving toward financial strength; the centenary year saw the first conference, Mizoram, achieve self-support.

      The church took major steps toward developing a satellite communication network. Live telecasts were beamed to Adventist churches from Moscow, Toronto, and São Paulo, Brazil. Regular satellite programming was scheduled to begin in 1994.

      Through its relief arm, Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA), the church was active in more than 90 countries on behalf of the poor, the homeless, and the dispossessed. In Bosnia, ADRA served as the conduit for all mail as well as relief supplies to Sarajevo, while in Somalia it set up a medical clinic to augment its feeding program.

      The siege and subsequent inferno at a ranch near Waco, Texas, brought Adventists into national attention in many countries. David Koresh had once been a member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church and had targeted Adventists for recruitment. The church dissociated itself from Koresh's teachings and practices and made it clear that the Branch Davidians had no connection with the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

      As of Dec. 31, 1992, Adventists had a presence in 204 countries and a total membership of 7,498,653.


Unitarian (Universalist) Churches.
      Meeting in Budapest, a global summit of Unitarian leaders in 1993 laid the groundwork for establishing a World Unitarian Council. For the first time, a member of the U.S. clergy was starting work in Moscow and St. Petersburg.

      The strongest organization within the global picture was North America's Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA). Its 32nd annual General Assembly, held June 24-29, drew 2,998 registrants to Charlotte, N.C., to discuss "Universalism: For Such a Time as This" and to celebrate Universalism's 200-year history. The Rev. John A. Buehrens was elected president. The General Assembly passed resolutions urging congregations to include the word "Universalist" in some manner in their official name, affirming the right of women to have access to abortion-counseling services, supporting the rights of indigenous peoples, affirming environmental justice, and condemning violence against women.

      The year 1993 marked the introduction of a new hymnal, Singing the Living Tradition, and the start of a $10 million capital funds campaign, of which over 60% was already pledged.

      The General Assembly of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches, representing Great Britain and Northern Ireland, adopted a long-range strategic plan, "Unitarian Vision 2001." A ceremony to mark the ending of a marriage and a blessing of a same-sex partnership were part of a new book of life ceremonies for special occasions. Issued by the London Unitarian headquarters, the book received the 1993 Spiritual Social Inventions Award of the (U.K.) Institute for Social Inventions.

      Celebrating the 100th anniversary of the World Parliament of Religions (Chicago, 1893), the International Association for Religious Freedom met in Bangalore, India, on August 14-18. It was composed of 60 member groups from every continent.


The United Church of Canada.
      On behalf of the United Church of Canada, moderator Stanley McKay called for government action in 1993 on such issues as the Balkan conflict and the North American Free Trade Agreement and its impact on agriculture. He expressed support for the Lubicon people in northern Alberta and offered United Church support to the prime minister in dealing with economic reform.

      Work continued on the development of a new hymnal and worship book. The committee overseeing the book's development circulated a sampler of representative hymns, psalms, and prayers in anticipation of publication in November 1995.

      The recommendations of a consultants' report on financial and information systems occupied the attention of the national office staff. When fully operational in 1994, the new systems would allow the church to redirect up to $1 million annually to nonadministrative programs and enable more efficient and accurate information sharing. Some of the denomination's 13 conferences (regional administrative units) were experimenting with new organizational structures. The success of these experiments could lead to a total restructuring of the current four-tier organizational system, which had been functioning since the denomination's inception in 1925.

      In 1993 four United Church ministers filed lawsuits against the denomination, two of its conferences, four presbyteries (other local administrative units), and up to 20 staff and volunteer officeholders. The suits were filed in response to the denomination's process of dealing with sexual harassment charges levied against the four. The suits (seeking millions of dollars in damages) were in court and would evolve through 1994.

      The United Church suffered a major loss in the sudden death on October 9 of its senior executive officer, the Rev. Howard M. Mills, general secretary of the General Council. Mills had served the church faithfully in that office since 1987.


United Church of Christ.
      For the 1.6 million-member United Church of Christ, the year 1993 was characterized by intensive efforts toward church identity and renewal, the strengthening of ecumenical commitments in the United States and around the world, and the deepening of domestic and international social witness.

      In July the General Synod of the United Church of Christ and the General Assembly of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) met jointly for the first time (see Christian Church, above). At the General Synod meeting, the UCC delegates approved a Statement of Commitment that called for the church to be attentive to the Word, inclusive of all people, responsive to God's call, and supportive of one another.

      Other resolutions of the Synod made the UCC "a multiracial and multicultural church," encouraged the participation of children in the full worship life of the church, including communion, called for an end to discrimination against gays and lesbians, endorsed a publicly financed approach to health care reform, and called for a cease-fire and an end to ethnic cleansing in the former Yugoslavia. The General Synod also discussed a new church hymnal being developed, proposed church structural changes, and approved a $30 million fund campaign. Many delegates assisted in flood relief along the Midwest rivers.

      Paul H. Sherry and Doris R. Powell were reelected unanimously for four-year terms as president and treasurer, respectively, of the church. Victor Melendez was elected moderator of the General Synod and Donna Debney and Anthony Taylor as assistant moderators.

      In January 1993 the president of the church led a delegation of UCC church leaders to Hawaii to apologize to the native Hawaiian people for the participation of some UCC forebears in the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy in 1893 and to reach for reconciliation as the church moved toward a new century.



      The year 1993 was marked by speculation about Pope John Paul II's state of health after his cancer operation on July 15, 1992. The Vatican dismissed the rumours as alarmist and, as if to prove them wrong, the pope did not relax his strenuous round of visits. February saw him in Benin and Uganda, where he announced the start of an African synod on April 10, 1994. African theologians regretted that it would take place in Rome and feared it would be manipulated.

      On his way back from this, his 10th visit to Africa, John Paul paused in The Sudan, a country under a Muslim fundamentalist regime where Christians had been severely persecuted. The papal visit was seen as a diplomatic exercise that won only a temporary respite for the Christians.

      The papal visit to Spain in mid-June came tactfully after the elections in which the Socialist Felipe González Márquez, an agnostic, had narrowly defeated José María Aznar, a devout Catholic. The pope opened the neo-Gothic Cathedral de la Almudena in Madrid (begun in 1911) and went to the Seville world's fair to conclude the Columbus quincentenary.

      One visit John Paul was unable to make was to Sarajevo, capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, once the epitome of good Christian-Muslim relations. In January he did the next-best thing by inviting Bosnian Muslims to Assisi to an ecumenical meeting, where they told their story movingly and dramatically. The Vatican also tried to stay in touch with the Serbian Orthodox Church, and in August Godfried Cardinal Danneels, president of Pax Christi, went to Belgrade, Yugos., to meet Patriarch Pavle. Despite the difficulty of being evenhanded, it was generally agreed that John Paul tried to restrain the Catholic Croats and that the Bosnian Muslims found in him a friend, though an ineffectual one.

      In August the pope made visits, postponed from the previous year, to Jamaica and to Yucatán state, Mexico, to conclude the Columbus quincentenary celebrations. In Yucatán the pope apologized to the Indian peoples for their centuries of oppression. The main purpose of this journey, however, was to attend the World Youth Day festival at Denver, Colo., on August 12-15, the first time the event had been held in the U.S. After a noncommittal first meeting with Pres. Bill Clinton, the pope delivered his main message, on the need to assert an objective moral order against any "privatization" of morality.

      Though it was not realized at the time, John Paul was in effect giving a preview of the theme of his next encyclical, Veritatis splendor, scheduled to appear October 5, though it was dated August 6, the 15th anniversary of the death of Pope Paul VI. An early draft was leaked by German sources in July, so the encyclical was widely discussed before it appeared. It was concerned with fundamental moral principles and the need to "form consciences" so the morally good could be perceived. The encyclical did not, as some had feared, declare infallible Humanae vitae, the 1968 encyclical banning artificial birth control, though it accorded the earlier statement such a high degree of authority that dissent from it was not allowed. It included an appeal to bishops to be especially vigilant in the supervision of moral teaching. Coincidentally, an Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission report on moral questions suggested a remarkable convergence of method between the two churches. The only moral question disputed in official documents was artificial contraception.

      Charges of sexual abuse were brought against a number of U.S. churchmen late in the year. In November a former seminary student filed suit against Joseph Cardinal Bernadin of Chicago, claiming sexual abuse in the 1970s, but the National Conference of Catholic Bishops rallied in support of the cardinal. Three weeks later, however, a former priest was sentenced to a long prison term in Massachusetts for sexually abusing children in his parish in the 1960s; the Franciscan Order reported that 11 friars in California had been guilty of molesting seminary students; and at year's end the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, N.M., claimed that it was facing bankruptcy because of expenses connected with the legal defense of priests charged with abuse of their parishioners.

      The church lost a major spokesman for ecumenism with the death in July of the Scotsman Gordon Cardinal Gray (see OBITUARIES (Gray, Gordon Joseph Cardinal )).

      John Paul visited the Baltic republics early in September, where he warned against the dangers of chauvinist nationalism—by which he meant past anti-Semitism and present anti-Russian feelings. He paid tribute to "the historic importance and glorious tradition of the Orthodox Church." But his outstretched hand was not grasped. The Russian Orthodox Church was still smarting at the loss of western Ukraine, where four million people had reverted to the Uniate Church. A law proposed in May would have restricted "foreign" missionaries in Russia. Pres. Boris Yeltsin refused to sign it, however, and it got lost in his quarrels with the parliament.

      The Vatican established full diplomatic relations with Israel on December 30, clearing a path for reconciliation between the two that had begun with the Second Vatican Council in 1965. A papal visit to Jerusalem in 1994 was widely anticipated.

      In March there was a restructuring of the European Bishops' Council, which had been judged "too Western." Its new president, Archbishop Miroslav Vlk of Prague, was host of an enlarged symposium that was received in Hradcany Castle by Pres. Vaclav Havel. The meeting became stormy, however, as Jolanta Babiuch, a Warsaw sociologist, charged that the Polish church was losing the faithful because of its triumphalism and its attempted alliance with the rich and powerful. The Polish bishops denied this, but the September 19 election, when former Communists made a dazzling comeback, proved them wrong. (See Vatican City (Vatican City State ).)



      The issue of religious freedom and the status of the Russian Orthodox Church as the national church of the Russian people came to the fore when Parliament passed a law on July 31, 1993, requiring the registration of foreign missionaries so as to limit proselytism. Pres. Boris Yeltsin did not sign the law as passed, returning it to Parliament with recommendations reflecting international human rights agreements. In October the crisis between President Yeltsin and Parliament was mediated by Patriarch Aleksey II. Two unusual moves were taken by the Russian Orthodox Church in 1993: the establishment of a church bank to finance church projects and the announcement on February 12 of the founding of an Orthodox University in Moscow.

      A rare Greater Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople was called by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I on July 30-31 to discuss the uncanonical activities of the patriarch of Jerusalem, Diodoros, who had been seeking to establish his own jurisdiction in Australia. Representatives acted to discipline the patriarch, and within days the Jerusalem patriarchate announced its withdrawal from the disputed area.

      In the process of being reestablished, the Orthodox Church in Albania faced ethnic tensions. Several Greek nationals among the clergy were expelled by the government. Nevertheless, the building of new churches, the establishment of a seminary, and other new programs continued apace.

      In Greece troubled relations between the Orthodox Church and the state continued as a Greek court restored three bishops to diocesan positions they had lost with the return of democracy in 1974. The Holy Synod, led by Archbishop Seraphim of Athens, opposed the decision and refused to conform to it, provoking new calls for a review of the relationship of church and state in that predominantly Orthodox country.

      With the division of Czechoslovakia into two nations, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, the Orthodox Church there implemented a plan for ministering to its divided flock. The chief hierarch, Metropolitan Diodoros, would be known as metropolitan of the Czech Republic and Slovakia. In the meantime, in Slovakia the government further denied the Orthodox adequate space for worship and confiscated Orthodox churches and turned them over to the Eastern rite church.

      Representatives of the (predominantly Russian) Orthodox Archdiocese of Western Europe met in Paris on May 31 and elected Archimandrite Sergey Konovalov archbishop, following the death of Archbishop George on April 6. Orthodox theologian and priest Boris Bobrinskoy was elected dean of St. Sergius Institute, Paris, on June 23.

      Patriarch Mstyslav Skrypnyk of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church—Kiev patriarchate died on June 11 in Grimsby, Ont., at age 95. Volodymyr Romanyuk, a former prisoner in Soviet labour camps, was made patriarch in Kiev in October. The jurisdiction was established in 1990 when Ukrainians in large numbers severed relations with the Ukrainian Church under the Moscow patriarchate, headed by Metropolitan Vladimir of Kiev.



      Patriarch Paulos of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church visited ecumenical leaders in Geneva in 1993 to seek assistance for his church, which suffered persecution during the Ethiopian communist regime.

      Armenian Orthodox Patriarch-Catholicos Vasken I met on January 21 with Patriarch Aleksey II of Moscow. They issued a declaration calling for openness and understanding between Christians and Muslims in the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh. Vasken I also met in Montreux, Switz., with Sheikh-ul-Islam Pashazadeh, the chief religious leader of the Caucasian Muslims, urging the political authorities of both Armenia and Azerbaijan to resolve the conflict peacefully.

      In mid-March, during a meeting of Muslims and Christians in Cairo, Pope Shenouda III, leader of the Coptic Oriental Orthodox Church headquartered in Egypt, publicly condemned the continuing violence of Muslim fundamentalists against Christians. In May representatives of the Oriental Orthodox Church and the World Alliance of Reformed Churches met in Egypt to initiate a dialogue between the two traditions. Plans were made for a second meeting in 1994 in The Netherlands.



      Although the U.S. Jewish community—and particularly its political and financial leaders—found ample room to congratulate itself for certain successes in 1993, the organized community was facing a decline in the number of Jews and in the practice of Judaism.

      The opening in April of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., was the culmination of a 48-year quest to memorialize the six million European Jews killed by the Nazis. The museum, a compilation of materials of the period, established the Holocaust as fact and symbol in the life of Jews and other Americans. (see Museums .) The Holocaust, wrote the Baltimore (Md.) Jewish Times, had been a "quasi-religion" for almost five decades, especially in the period before the 1967 Israeli-Arab War, when it seemed that the events of Europe might repeat themselves in the Middle East as Israel's neighbours threatened to wipe it off the map.

      In the aftermath of the November 1992 annual meeting of the General Assembly of the Council of Jewish Federations in New York, leaders began to face the demographic challenge of a population shrinking because of aging and marriages outside of Judaism. Shoshana Cardin, of the National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership, chastised Jewish leaders, saying that they had practiced "checkbook Judaism," trying to do with cash what they could not do with their own children—create a generation of Jews willing to practice the faith. Accordingly, observing spiritual law, studying religious texts, and attending synagogue were coming to be emphasized as more important than giving money to Israel. Several communities—including Houston, Texas; Hartford, Conn.; Cleveland, Ohio; New York; and Los Angeles—formed special forums in which synagogues and Jewish community federations could exchange ideas and resources to improve the spiritual component of Jewish public life. The alliances were a dramatic departure from the familiar organization of the Jewish community.

      If rhetoric heralded a revival in the religious life of the Jewish community, several institutions noted for their commitment to Judaism still suffered from a lack of support. College centres of the Hillel Foundation, established to provide a cultural and religious home for young Jews, suffered financial distress in a year in which American Jews donated at least $1 billion to support Jewish community federations and Israel. In March 1993 the Baltimore Jewish Times reported that two organizations, one that helped recently arrived Russian Jewish émigrés learn more about Judaism and another that sought to counter messianic Jews and their proselytizing, were closing or experiencing severe cutbacks because of inadequate financial support.

      The crisis of identity raised an additional issue: whether concerns about assimilation would have a reactionary effect, pushing more Jews toward the strict laws of Orthodox Judaism. This familiar argument was taken up anew by the Chief Rabbi of England, Jonathan Sacks. A year earlier Sacks had argued that conciliation with an "open society" and subsequent attempts to abandon religious observance had left Jews and Judaism too weak to battle assimilation: "Jews did not keep Torah in order to survive as Jews," he said. "They survived as Jews in order to keep Torah. But the two are inextricable."

      Far from debates over identity and assimilation was the New York-based Lubavitch community, a Hasidic sect organized around Rabbi Menachem Schneerson, whom they considered a holy man. Although fewer than 1% of the world's Jews were Lubavitch, Schneerson's influence was disproportionately great. In 1993 in particular he made headlines when some of his followers encouraged him to declare himself the Messiah, an idea that outraged many Jews. Although Schneerson had earlier suffered a stroke that left him partially paralyzed and unable to speak, the messianics scheduled a satellite television hookup on January 31 so that he could reveal himself as the Messiah before an international audience. The rabbi, however, did not do so.


      Buddhism entered India's politico-religious tumult during 1992-93 as the Buddha Gaya Mahabodhi Vihar All-India Action Committee agitated for exclusive control of the site of Buddha's Enlightenment. Protesting Hindu control of Bodh Gaya's management and Hinduization of the Buddhist cult at the international Buddhist centre, the primarily Dalit Committee, led by Japanese-born Arya Nagarjun Surai Sasai, marched from Bombay to Bodh Gaya in September-October 1992, lobbied, and staged a sit-in in May 1993.

      Tamang leaders met in Darjeeling, India, during March to launch a campaign of posters, processions, and petitions aimed at securing scheduled tribe status for the large Tibeto-Burman Buddhist community spread throughout India's northern states and Nepal. In the same month, Ladakhi Buddhists demanded a role in settling the Kashmir problem, while a pan-Himalayan Buddhist organization called on India's government to challenge China by recognizing the Tibetan government-in-exile.

      Despite arrests of pro-independence monks and nuns during March and May, Tibetans continued to protest Chinese oppression. Defying Chinese objections, Thailand allowed the Dalai Lama to join other Nobel laureates in Bangkok, Thailand, in February to protest continued Burmese imprisonment of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. Reports of imprisonment and torture of dissident Buddhist monks continued to filter out of Myanmar.

      Throughout the year Vietnamese Buddhists protested Hanoi's persecution of the opposition Unified Buddhist Church. Buddhist monks threatened self-immolation during confrontations in January; in February a Paris-based human rights organization charged that one monk had been tortured to death while another eight were being imprisoned in an effort to force them to support the state-backed Vietnamese Buddhist Church. In July Vietnamese demonstrators at European Community headquarters demanded religious freedom. The state-backed Asian Buddhist Conference for Peace issued a declaration from Hanoi in March that affirmed "the vitality of Vietnamese Buddhism" after advocating global nuclear disarmament, expressing solidarity with Cambodian Buddhists, condemning Khmer Rouge massacres of Vietnamese civilians, and calling for Korean reunification.

      During 1992-93 Sri Lankan Buddhism celebrated its 2,300th anniversary. Archaeologists meanwhile announced the discovery of the ashes of Arhant Mahinda, traditional apostle of Sri Lankan Buddhism. Government festivities were spoiled by the assassination in May of the celebration's architect, Pres. Ranasinghe Premadasa.

      A 34-m (112-ft)-tall bronze statue of Buddha, one of the largest in the world, was unveiled in December at the Po Lin monastery in Hong Kong. The Buddhist world lost one of its most articulate spokesmen in July with the death of Bhikkhu Buddhadasa of Thailand.


      The year 1993 began amid the turmoil generated by the destruction on Dec. 6, 1992, of the medieval mosque in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh, by Hindu militants, who believed the building was originally an ancient Hindu temple marking the birthplace of the god Rama. The ensuing bloody clashes between Hindus and Muslims throughout the nation claimed at least 2,000 lives within a few weeks, most of them Muslims. In Bombay riots resulted in the death of more than 600 Muslims, well over 550 alone during nine days within the first two weeks of January. Hundreds of Muslims were arrested in Ayodhya as they attempted to conduct prayers at the site of the destroyed mosque. On March 12 a series of bomb explosions in Bombay linked to a Muslim criminal element killed over 200, wounded more than 1,200, and badly damaged the headquarters of the Shiv Sena, the most powerful and radical Hindu organization in the city.

      Prime Minister Narasimha Rao had promised the construction of both a temple and a mosque in Ayodhya outside the disputed area. On February 25, in defiance of a government ban, the fundamentalist Hindu Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) attempted to hold a rally in New Delhi. Anticipating the worst, the government arrested or detained over 60,000 Hindus and sealed off New Delhi with barricades. Scuffles with the police led to the arrest of nearly 5,000, including 110 BJP members of Parliament.

      On July 25 the government introduced two highly controversial bills intended to divorce politics from religion. The proposed legislation included a constitutional amendment declaring equal respect by the state for all religions and a prohibition on the state's professing, practicing, or propagating any particular religion. In response to the bombing of the headquarters of a militant Hindu organization in Madras on August 8, the Tamil Nadu state government banned all religious processions.

      On August 29 and September 3, respectively, the Sri Venugopalaswamy and the Sri Yoga Ramachandraswamy temples near Vellore in Tamil Nadu state were reconsecrated in an ancient ceremony (kumbhabhishekam) after having fallen into disrepair through centuries of neglect. The temples were adorned with new images of the gods, the original ones having been either looted or damaged by vandals. The restoration of the temples drew attention once more to the deteriorating condition of India's religious monuments. Of the more than one million monuments in the country, only 5,000 were protected as nationally significant, and the Archaeological Survey of India operated on a $10 million annual allocation. Many of the ancient shrines had poor security, inviting not only occupation by squatters but also theft of images to supply a thriving international market in Indian antiquities. On September 1, for example, police recovered from the jungle near Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, a 9th-century image of Vishnu, valued at nearly $200,000, which had been removed from an unguarded temple in the area.


      Significant trends in Islam of recent years remained valid in 1993: the increasing spread of fundamentalism, continuing warfare and violence in many Muslim areas, notably Palestine and Somalia, and Islam's sustained growth accompanied by visible manifestations of its presence. Terrorist plots in New York involving the World Trade Center and the United Nations building evoked an emotional reaction by some of the U.S. public and media against Arabs and Muslims and highlighted the need to educate the public to avoid stereotypes and distinguish Muslims in general from political terrorists. Both the United States and Europe saw instances of hate crimes against Muslims and acts of desecration against mosques.

      The growing power of Islamic fundamentalism, often erupting into terrorist actions, continued to be felt in a number of Muslim nations. (See Special Report (Special Report: Middle Eastern Affairs ).) In Algeria the death toll climbed to more than a thousand since mid-1992 as sporadic fighting became almost endemic. Tunisia and Morocco suffered the same problems, although with fewer casualties. In Egypt some of the violence was turned against foreigners as terrorist groups tried to upset the government by discouraging tourism and choking off the substantial income it brought. Radical fundamentalist reformers also attacked moderate and secular Muslim writers and intellectuals in these countries, as well as in Turkey, for holding antifundamentalist views.

      Muslims in Bosnia began fighting among themselves during the fall. The civil war in Tajikistan continued as well, with outside support from Afghanistan, itself still reeling from 14 years of war and civil violence. In various locations in India, Muslims and Hindus clashed in bloody violence; the most serious encounter was in Bombay in January. Fighting continued in The Sudan and in a number of other northern and sub-Saharan African countries with large Muslim populations.

      In the United States public awareness of the increasing Islamic presence was on the rise. There were claims that Muslims in the U.S. were undercounted. A total population figure of over four million, and still rising, seemed quite likely. Capt. Abdul-Rasheed Muhammad was appointed as the first chaplain for the estimated 2,500 Muslims in the U.S. Army. Media stereotyping of Muslims and Arabs remained a serious and important concern during the year. A conference held in Kansas City, Mo., in September was attended by some 7,000 American Muslims, both from immigrant families and African-American converts, who were concerned about anti-Muslim attitudes, principally, but not entirely, resulting from the bombing of the World Trade Center.

      Islamic growth was underscored by the construction of two large mosques—one in Caracas, Venezuela, which was the largest in Latin America, and one in Casablanca, Morocco, which boasted the tallest minaret in the world. An Islamic society, formed recently in southern Spain by Spaniards claiming descent from the Moors resident in Spain before 1492, continued to flourish and reported developing an Islamic centre and attracting an increasing number of converts.


       Adherents of All Religions by Seven Continental Areas, Mid-1993One hundred years passed between the 1893 World's Parliament of Religions at Chicago and the 1993 Parliament of the World's Religions in the same city. During the century massive religious shifts took place. Adherents of Christianity grew from 550 million to 1.9 billion yet remained at virtually the same percentage level throughout (34% of the world). Adherents of the other world religions increased even faster, however. Islam expanded from 12.4% of the world in 1893 to 18.2% today. Even more significant was the arrival of virtually universal religious pluralism; almost all faiths spread out of their homelands by emigration and today have widespread diasporas, many, in fact, having become worldwide religions. (For figures on adherents of all religions by continent, see Table (Adherents of All Religions by Seven Continental Areas, Mid-1993).)

      This updates the articles Buddhism; Christianity; Eastern Orthodoxy; Hindusim (Hinduism); Islām; Judaism; Protestantism, history of (Protestantism); religion, study of; Roman Catholicism; and Micropædia entries on the various denominations.

* * *

      human beings' relation to that which they regard as holy, sacred, spiritual, or divine. Religion is commonly regarded as consisting of a person's relation to God or to gods or spirits. Worship is probably the most basic element of religion, but moral conduct, right belief, and participation in religious institutions are generally also constituent elements of the religious life as practiced by believers and worshipers and as commanded by religious sages and scriptures.

      The subject of religion is treated in a number of articles. For treatment of particular religious systems, as well as founders, reformers, and other religious personages, see biblical literature; Buddhism; Calvin, John; Calvinism; Christianity; Confucianism; Confucius; Eastern Orthodoxy; Greek religion; Hinduism; Islam (Islām); Jainism; Jesus Christ; Judaism; Luther, Martin; Middle Eastern religion; Moses; mystery religion; Protestantism (Protestant Heritage); Protestantism, history of (Protestantism); Roman Catholicism; Roman Catholicism, history of (Roman Catholicism); Shintō; Sikhism; Taoism (Daoism); Zoroastrianism. For cross-cultural discussion of religious beliefs and practices, see ceremonial object; creed; death rite; dietary law; doctrine and dogma; feast; myth; nature worship; prayer; purification rite; religious dress; religious experience; religious symbolism and iconography; rite of passage; ritual; sacrament; sacrifice; sacred; theology; worship. For philosophical and ethical aspects, see ethics; metaphysics; science, philosophy of. For a review of the efforts to systematically study the nature and classify the forms of religious experience, see religion, study of.

* * *

Universalium. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Нужно решить контрольную?

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Religion — religion …   Dictionary of sociology

  • RELIGION — L’ÉTYMOLOGIE du terme religion reste incertaine; elle est controversée depuis l’Antiquité. À la suite de Lactance, de Tertullien, les auteurs chrétiens se plaisent à expliquer le latin religio par les verbes ligare, religare , lier, relier. La… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Religion — • The voluntary subjection of oneself to God Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Religion     Religion     † …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • religion — RELIGION. s. f. Culte qu on rend à la Divinité, suivant la creance que l on en a. La Religion Juifve. la Religion Chrestienne. la bonne, la fausse Religion. la Religion de Mahomet. professer une Religion. faire profession d une Religion. faire… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • Religion — Re*li gion (r[ e]*l[i^]j [u^]n), n. [F., from L. religio; cf. religens pious, revering the gods, Gr. ale gein to heed, have a care. Cf. {Neglect}.] 1. The outward act or form by which men indicate their recognition of the existence of a god or of …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • religión — sustantivo femenino 1. Área: religión Conjunto de creencias y prácticas que ponen en relación al hombre con la divinidad. religión budista. religión católica. religión cristiana. religión judía. religión monoteísta. religión musulmana. religión… …   Diccionario Salamanca de la Lengua Española

  • Religion — Sf std. (16. Jh.) Entlehnung. Im Frühneuhochdeutschen entlehnt aus l. religio ( ōnis) (auch: gewissenhafte Berücksichtigung, Sorgfalt ), zu l. relegere bedenken, achtgeben . Gemeint ist ursprünglich die gewissenhafte Sorgfalt in der Beachtung von …   Etymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen sprache

  • religion — religion, denomination, sect, cult, communion, faith, creed, persuasion, church can all denote a system of religious belief and worship or the body of persons who accept such a system. Religion, the usual uncolored term, may apply to a system (as …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • religion — Religion, Profession de religion, Hierodulia, B. Faire profession de religion, In manum conuenire antistitis, In mancipio antistitis esse coepisse, B. Diverses religions, Aliae atque aliae religiones. Estimant que c estoit contre la religion et… …   Thresor de la langue françoyse

  • religión — (Del lat. religĭo, ōnis). 1. f. Conjunto de creencias o dogmas acerca de la divinidad, de sentimientos de veneración y temor hacia ella, de normas morales para la conducta individual y social y de prácticas rituales, principalmente la oración y… …   Diccionario de la lengua española

  • religion — [ri lij′ən] n. [ME religioun < OFr or L: OFr religion < L religio, reverence for the gods, holiness, in LL(Ec), a system of religious belief < ? religare, to bind back < re , back + ligare, to bind, bind together; or < ? re + IE… …   English World dictionary

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”