East-West Church & Ministry Report
Vol. 5, No. 1, Winter 1997, Covering the Former Soviet Union and East Central Europe

News Notes

"Hope for the Balkans," an historic gathering of the region's evangelical Christians, took place on 6-7 September 1996.  A total of 1,500 delegates (including 900 from Serbia and Montenegro, 140 from Romania, 120 from Bulgaria, and 50 from Hungary) met in Belgrade "to proclaim the hope which neither politicians nor economic riches can offer.  Only  the gospel of Jesus Christ, the son of God, can bring such hope."  Organizers and sponsors included the Serbian Evangelical Alliance, the European Evangelical Alliance, AD 2000 and Beyond, and New Eastern Europe for Christ.  The conference received positive and fair coverage in many television and print media.  Source:  Serbian Evangelical Alliance press release;  tel/fax:  381-11-622642; fax:  381-11-104831; New Eastern Europe for Christ Mission News (December 1996); tel: 42-88-742-769; fax: 42-88-430-23; e-mail: cekov@bb.sanet.sk.

A pilot project showing of the Campus Crusade "Jesus" film in a Polish Catholic diocese began in the fall of 1996, with negotiations for distribution in a number of Catholic dioceses in Western and Eastern Europe projected for 1997.  Contact: Paul Cowan, Campus Crusade, 1012 Moorefield Hill Place, SW, Vienna, VA 22180; tel. and fax: 703-242-2266; e-mail: cowanpl@aol.com.

Metaphrasis, an informative Russian religious news service, suspended publication in November 1996 because of insufficient subscriptions. Source: e-mail communication from  Sergei Chapnin, editor (mf@glas.apc.org).

In 1996 the Roman Catholic Community of St. Egidio, with the help of a U.S. Institute of Peace grant, helped mediate an agreement between Serbian President Slobodan Milosovic and Ibrahim Rugova, leader of Serbia's predominately Albanian enclave of Kosovo, permitting the resumption of public schooling for the region's children.  The Rome-based Community of St. Egidio is involved in conflict resolution projects worldwide and has been involved in humanitarian aid, health, and education projects in the Balkans since 1991.  The Institute of Peace also awarded a grant in 1996 to the United Methodist Committee on Relief for a conference on conflict resolution at the University of Sarajevo, Bosnia. Source: PeaceWatch, no. 2 (October 1996), 14; and no. 3 (December 1996), 9.

In November 1996 Father Andriy Chirovsky, president of the Canadian-based Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky Institute of Eastern Christian Studies, announced the donation of a second million-dollar endowment for a chair in Eastern Liturgy given by Peter and Doris Kule.  The Sheptytsky Institute, which trains seminarians for the Ukrainian Eastern-Rite Catholic Church in North America, is affiliated with St. Paul University's faculty of theology, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Brother Andrew, head of Open Doors, a Christian ministry focused on aid to persecuted Christians worldwide, received the Religious Liberty Award from England's Evangelical Alliance in November 1996.  Source: Compass Direct, 19 December 1996.

Compass Direct began operation in April 1996.  This news service, a successor to Open Doors-funded News Network International, focuses on persecution of Christians worldwide.  Its  19 December 1996 issue, for example, reports increasing harassment of Christians in Uzbekistan, including the November 18 arrest of 64 Pentecostals in Tashkent and their release on November 30.  Subscriptions include 12 issues per year, plus periodic FLASH NEWS supplements.  E-mail subscriptions run $20/year, or $25/year with reprint rights.  Print subscriptions are $65/year, or $75/year with reprint rights.  A separate subscription to FLASH NEWS by fax is $15/year.  Contact:  Jeff Taylor, managing editor, Compass Direct, Box 27250, Santa Ana, CA 92799; tel: 714-418-9150; fax: 714-531-2681; e-mail: 75273.3666@compuserve.com.

News Notes, East-West Church & Ministry Report, 5 (Winter 1997), 12-13.

Written permission is required for reprinting or electronic distribution of any portion of the East-West Church & Ministry Report.

1997 East-West Church and Ministry Report
ISSN 1069-5664

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