Religion: The Gospel, with Gestures

On Berlin's bustling Schloss Strasse last week, worshipers streamed silently into St. Matthew's Evangelical Church. With none of the vestibule chatter common to most church crowds, they seated themselves on straight-backed wooden chairs facing a simple black cross above the plain altar. They did not sing, give hearty responses or even say amen. The only voice was that of elderly (59) Pastor Otto Bartel, who for 29 years has ministered to Berlin's deaf-mutes.

As Pastor Bartel read the service, his nimble hands and massive, tired old face came alive. He took his sermon text...

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