Religion in the World


U.S. Supreme Court has ruled it unconstitutional for states to earmark funds for secular educational purposes in parochial schools, but has upheld the use of federal funds for construction grants to church-supported colleges, provided the resulting buildings are for nonreligious use. The federal grant system was upheld in a Connecticut challenge, and the other action was taken in cases from Rhode Island and Pennsylvania.

The first United States newsmen to go to Red China since 1950 have reported that that government’s drive against religion and religious practices seems to have had a “sweeping effect.”

For the first time, as of January 1, 1971, there are more lay teachers than priests, nuns, and brothers conducting classes in Roman Catholic schools. A report indicates that enrollment in Catholic schools and colleges in the U.S. is down by 295,353 from 1970, with a drop of more than 1.2 million students since 1965.

Thirty-three Baltic Jews, desiring to immigrate to Israel, fasted overnight in Moscow’s central post office to dramatize those desires. Participants in the hunger strike said fifty other persons in the Latvian capital of Riga were staging a similar protest. Meanwhile, nine persons were on trial in Kishinev, Moldovia, and faced the possibility of seven years in prison for similar protest activities.

Evangelist Billy Graham has told the California Legislature that American young people are turning to the “Jesus revolution” and that religion may even replace sex and drugs as the major theme of rock music. “You remember five years ago, John Lennon said the Beatles are more popular than Jesus,” Dr. Graham stated. “The Beatles have now broken up and George Harrison is singing ‘Lord, Take My Hand.’”

The Most Reverend Bernard M. Kelley, auxiliary bishop of Providence, Rhode Island, has chosen to leave the Roman Catholic hierarchy, whose structure, he feels, has not changed since the Council of Trent in the sixteenth century. He said his resignation was due primarily to “an abiding sense of frustration” resulting from his inability to comprehend or conform to those old-time policies.