Religion: Patching Up a Family Feud

Northern and Southern Presbyterians are ready to reunite

Just 45 miles from Fort Sumter, where the Civil War began on April 12, 1861, clergy and lay delegates from the Charleston, S.C., area assembled last week in the small, red-carpeted sanctuary of Bethel Presbyterian Church in Walterboro. The issue under consideration there and at similar gatherings across the South: whether to end the Presbyterians' own North-South schism, which dates from the Civil War. After an hour of genteel debate, the Walterboro meeting voted for reunion, 42 to 41.

The two denominations voting on reunion are the Presbyterian Church in the U.S. (P.C.U.S.), most of...

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