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The First Pentecostals

Civil UnrestReligious ConflictsJudaismChinaWorld War II (1939-1945)

The article "The House of the Spirit" (by Mark Kendall, Jan. 8) gives the impression that Pentecostalism originated in Los Angeles and sort of popped out of nowhere. While the Los Angeles movement did bring Pentecostalism to the attention of the world, it was hardly the first such movement.

The article doesn't mention the Rev. Charles F. Parham, founder of the first Pentecostals in the modern sense, in 1901 in Topeka, Kan. And even that was not the beginning of such ideas. As far back as the 1700s, preachers such as John Wesley were generating the Holiness movement, which led to ideas that eventually led to modern Pentecostalism.

Natalie G. Hall
Encino

China Saved His Life, but Not Individual Freedoms

How ironic that Jerry Moses returned to China in gratitude for that country's decent treatment of him as a Jewish refugee during World War II—the very country where to practice one's religion gets one thrown in prison today ("Return of a Shanghai Jew," by Adam Minter, Los Angeles Times Magazine, Jan. 15). What if he were to hand out the Torah, hold a prayer service or surf the Internet to post a political opinion? Don't even consider it. An individual may be grateful for a wartime hide-out, but that does not change the fact that he has returned to a country where he dare not speak his opinions. His life was saved, but individual freedoms were not.

Caroline Miranda
North Hollywood

The Evolution of Words From Quill to Computer

As a writer, poet and documentary filmmaker, I can relate to Dan Neil's bafflement about today's world of words ("All That Sass," 800 Words, Jan. 15). We have come a long way from Puritanism and Shakespeare to "whatcha talking 'bout" and "my bad" to "myspacing" and the digital scrambling of e-words.

Neil could have added that we also tend to "complexify" words. For example, "elevated arterial levels" means "high blood pressure," and "hitting a tree" is put mildly as "coming to an arboreal stop."

Colleen Yorke
Altadena

I was reading Neil's column on infosnacking and realized that I do that all the time. Information in small bits. Like eating five times a day. Food for the mind.

Michael Caplan
Albuquerque

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