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  • BEHIND THE HEADLINES Rabbi goes to China, seeking freedom for imprisoned pastor

    WASHINGTON, Sept. 16 (JTA) – Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein could not get Pastor Peter Xu Yongze out of his head. The leader of the underground house church movement in China, Pastor Xu was imprisoned by the Chinese government earlier this year for heading what the state has labeled a “heretical cult.” His Protestant church, located in…

  • BEHIND THE HEADLINES Religious persecution measure poses dilemma for Jewish groups

    WASHINGTON, Sept. 16 (JTA) – Republican leaders in Congress are pushing ahead in their campaign to fight religious persecution abroad. But it remains to be seen whether legislation now pending, which was inspired by the movement to free Soviet Jewry, will have substantial Jewish support. Some religious groups and lawmakers have been actively seeking that…

  • Swiss fund authorized to pay Holocaust survivors very soon

    WASHINGTON, Sept. 10 (JTA) – The World Jewish Restitution Organization has authorized the first payment of $12 million from Switzerland’s Holocaust Memorial Fund, paving the way for Eastern European Holocaust survivors to begin receiving restitution as early as October. Initial payments in the amount of $1,000 are slated to be dispersed to about 12,000 Jews…