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July 14, 1999






GLOBAL UPDATE

___bluebull Indian Christians demand report bemade public. An Indian Christian group is demanding the New Delhi government make public a report on the January killing of an Australian missionary and his two young sons. The report by a government commission should be made public "so that the conspiracy behind the murders is unearthed," said the United Christian Forum for Human Rights. In January, Graham Staines, 58, and his sons, 10-year-old Philip and 8-year-old Timothy, were burned
CUBA
TENS OF THOUSANDS of Cuban Protestants hold an unprecedented open-air celebration at Havana's Revolution Square in a further sign of increased religious tolerance by the ruling Communist Party June 20. Banging tambourines, joining hands, waving banners and chanting "Christ Lives!" or "Cuba for Christ!" up to 100,000 people filled the square for the culmination of month-long Protestant celebrations across the island. (Reuters)
to death in their vehicle after leaving a Bible study class in the Indian state of Orissa.
___Eighteen men were charged with murder, arson and criminal conspiracy in the case. However, the man considered the prime suspect, Dara Singh, still is at large.

___bluebull Jerusalem embassy decision draws mixed reaction. President Clinton's decision to block plans to relocate the American embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem has gained the support of liberal American Jews, as well as the condemnation of more conservative ones. In 1995, Congress overwhelmingly passed legislation mandating the embassy move by June 1999. But the law also contained a waiver provision that allowed Clinton to block the move on national security grounds. Running for the presidency in 1992, Clinton promised to move the embassy to Jerusalem, which most countries do not recognize as Israel's capital but rather as disputed territory under international law. Once in office, Clinton said moving the embassy would complicate Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts.
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___bluebull Protestants arrested in Mexico. Thirteen evangelical Protestants were arrested in southern Mexico after angering Roman Catholic Indian villagers by trying to build a church. The incident occurred in the state of Chiapas, where conflict between majority Catholics and minority Protestants, generally converts from Catholicism, has intensified in recent years. The 13 were arrested in the village of Mitziton, where they sought to construct a church.

___bluebull Eight Christians released by Laos. Eight Christians, jailed in Laos for their participation in an illegal Bible study group, have been released after serving more than a year in jail, a U.S. embassy spokesman said.
___ The Christians were convicted of illegal assembly and creating social divisions. Most of the 44 Christians originally detained in the January 1998 raid of a Bible study meeting near Vientiane, the Laotian capital, were Laotian members of the U.S.-based evangelical Christian organization Partners in Progress.

___bluebull Jerusalem man sentenced for attack on missionaries. An ultra-Orthodox Jew has been sentenced in Jerusalem to 18 months in prison for vandalizing the apartment of two Swiss Christian missionaries who allegedly sought to convert Jews. Aharon Kornblit was among a crowd of about 500 ultra-Orthodox Jews who attacked the missionaries' apartment in Jerusalem's Mea Shearim neighborhood. In a decision read over Israeli radio, Judge Ruth Or said she imposed the tough sentence to send a message. "If such vandalism had been done to Jewish homes in a Christian country, the entire Jewish world would demand the vandals be punished, and justly," Or said.
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