Religion: The Battle of Amami Oshima

Life is grim on Amami Oshima, an island in the typhoon-swept East China Sea, 200 miles southwest of Japan. The islanders are beset by leprosy, poverty, poisonous snakes, and fire. Again and again, storm-spread fires have all but wiped out the wooden shanties of Nase, the island's largest town (pop. 43,000). This month such a fire razed one of Nase's poorest sections—and blazed up into an ideological battle between a Communist and a Christian.

The well-matched antagonists are an agile-minded Red politico and a Franciscan priest from New Haven, Conn. Father Jerome Lukaszweski rushed food, milk and clothes to the disaster area:...

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