Religion in the World

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“Religion in the World,” Ensign, May 1971, 75

Religion in the World

A record total of more than four hundred thousand Moslems from more than sixty nations around the world joined a million Saudi Arabians in their journey to the holy city of Mecca during the Moslem month of pilgrimage, Zul Hadji (February).

Five thousand acres of malaria-infested wilderness in the lowlands of northwestern Ethiopia are becoming a modern-day promised land for twenty-five thousand black Falasha Jews, a people whose primitive form of Judaism has survived more than two thousand years of isolation from other Jews. Falasha means stranger or immigrant in Goez, the ancient Ethiopian tongue. Falashas believe that they, like other Ethiopians, are descendants of King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba. They are black skinned and speak Amharic, the national language of Ethiopia. “We must act to keep our young people in the community,” they say of this project. “The survival of our traditions is in danger.”

“I am convinced the military is deeply concerned and is doing something about drugs,” said Dr. Robert V. Moss, president of the United Church of Christ, upon returning from Vietnam. “I think a great deal more has to be done, but I am encouraged.” He declared that the drug problem was one of the deepest concerns to the 215 chaplains he visited in Vietnam. Dr. Moss traveled with Dr. William Thompson, chief executive officer of the United Presbyterian Church of the USA, and Dr. Robert Marshall, president of the Lutheran Church of America. Dr. Moss said the biggest problem facing chaplains in Vietnam is the morale of the men.

The Yale Divinity School and the Berkeley Divinity School, both in New Haven, Connecticut, will merge this spring. The new theological training program will stress a social ministry consisting of field community work instead of the traditional academic program. “We’re breaking wholly new ground, and we have to,” said the Rev. Dr. Colin W. Williams, dean of the Yale Divinity School. “This is a dramatic change for both of us, and I believe it’s the trend of the future.”

Twenty of the 100 members of the United States Senate are Methodists. There are 66 Methodists in the House of Representatives. But in this session of Congress the Roman Catholics predominate, with 13 senators and 103 representatives. Other denominational representation includes: Presbyterians, 16 senators and 67 representatives; Episcopalians, 17 senators and 49 representatives; Baptists, 8 senators and 43 representatives; United Church of Christ, 6 senators and 21 representatives; Mormons, 3 senators and 7 representatives.