Religious-Ethnic Strife Stirs Concern

From Associated Press

Assessing 1992's main religious developments, the dean of Vanderbilt University Divinity School says the rise of religious-ethnic conflict is "clearly the most serious thing we're seeing."

Joseph C. Hough said the conflict is most evident in emergence of neo-Nazism in Germany, in Slavic republics of the former Soviet Union and in India, but is simmering elsewhere, including the United States.

Among other developments he cited: political failure of the religious right to make "family values" a winning issue in the presidential campaign, and influence of conservative Christians exerted on the Republican Party; an approaching showdown over lesbian and gay ordination in Protestant churches; ethical questions surrounding physician-assisted suicide by the terminally ill; reopening of churches in Russia after years of religious oppression and influx of fundamentalist religious organizations; the human genome research project to map genetic information so as to better understand creation and humanness, a project which could bring new medical benefits but also lead to abuses.

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