Vandalized Adventist Church Building
Upsets Serbian President
|DESTRUCTION: Vandals broke into the Adventist church in Stapar, Serbia, and set fire to the building, destroying the pulpit and several church benches. [South-East European Union]|
he vandalism of a small Adventist village church in Serbia gained national attention when the country’s president, Boris Tadiæ, spoke out against it in a recent national address. In his comments to the nation, Tadiæ said the January 8 incident was hooliganism and that such acts must be stopped.
Unidentified people broke into the Adventist church in Stapar, in the municipality of Sombor, and set fire to the building, destroying the pulpit, several church benches, and the floor. Neighbors alerted the fire brigade, and information about the attack reached the members in the village.
Church officials say that since the fire occurred, many Adventist church buildings and institutions in Serbia have come under police observance and protection.
Prior to this incident, Miodrag Zivanovic, president of the South-East Europeon Union, had written an open letter about religious freedom in Serbia and sent it to government organizations, including the Ministry of Religion, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, and the media. Zivanovic’s letter was a reaction to the sermon of Archbishop Pavle, the head of the Serbian Orthodox Church, who in a recent sermon called for peace and tolerance.
The Adventist church pastor, Dragan Kanazir, said that he was surprised that an incident on such a scale would occur. “Even though there were many similar incidents in the region, nothing of this magnitude was expected,” said Kanazir.
This is not the first time an Adventist church in Serbia has been targeted by vandals. In April 2003 an Adventist pastor was severely beaten and 11 churches were vandalized. Church officials then called the string of attacks an “orchestrated campaign against a religious minority” in a predominantly Orthodox country.
“Serbian society has had to face many acts of religious intolerance for the last 10 years . . . mixed with religious nationalism,” said John Graz, secretary general of the International Religious Liberty Association. “The strong reaction of the authorities in this case against such an act is encouraging.”
The Seventh-day Adventist Church in Serbia has 177 churches and 7,950 members. The Stapar church has 30 members. —Adventist News Network/AR.
|REVIEW EDITORS: The three living Adventist Review editors pose for a picture (from left): Kenneth H. Wood, Bill Knott, and William G. Johnsson. [Sandra Blackmer]|
The three living Adventist Review editors—Kenneth H. Wood (1966-1982), William G. Johnsson (1982-2006), and Bill Knott (current editor)—posed together for a picture after participating in a Sabbath school program depicting the history of the magazine at the Spencerville church in Maryland on January 20.
In the 157-year history of the Adventist Review, formerly called The Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, The Review and Herald, and The Present Truth, among others, only 11 men have served as the editor-in-chief: James White (1849-1881, intermittent); Uriah Smith (1855-1903, intermittent); John Nevins Andrews (1869-1870); Alonzo T. Jones (1897-1901); William W. Prescott (1903-1909); William A. Spicer (1909-1911, 1945); Francis M. Wilcox (1911-1944); Francis D. Nichol (1945-1966); followed by Wood, Johnsson, and Knott. —AR.
New President Appointed for Walla Walla General Hospital
Monty E. Knittel has been named president and CEO of Walla Walla General Hospital (WWGH) in Washington, an Adventist Health facility. He will assume his new role by March 1, 2007, succeeding Morre Dean, who recently was elected president and CEO of Glendale Adventist Medical Center in Glendale, California.
For the past 20 years, Knittel has served in a variety of roles at Adventist Medical Center in Portland, Oregon. Most recently, he was vice president of Business Development and Marketing with regional oversight for marketing and strategic planning at Tillamook County General Hospital and Walla Walla General Hospital.
For more information about Adventist Health, click here
—Adventist Health Corporate Communication/AR.
Former NAD Secretary, Church in Canada President, Dies
John W. Bothe, both a former secretary of the North American Division (NAD) and a former president of the Adventist Church in Canada, died after a long illness at age 88 on October 25 at the Loma Linda University Medical Center.
Bothe served for many years in Canada, including Newfoundland, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta. In 1962 he was elected president of the church in Canada and served in that capacity for 12 years. In 1974 Bothe was elected as an associate secretary and then later as secretary of the North American Division. In 1985, he and his wife, Genevieve, left Takoma Park, Maryland, and moved to Loma Linda, where Bothe served as the representative of the church on the campus of Loma Linda University, a post he held until 1991.
Bothe is survived by his wife Genevieve, two daughters, a son, three stepsons, 11 grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren. He was predeceased by his first wife, Anita. —AR.