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Christian college journalists dismissed, claim censorship at North Central University

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Two editors at North Central University's student newspaper have been dismissed after refusing to publish the paper because of what they call censorship by the Minneapolis Christian college's administration.

Chuck Bahr, news editor of the Northern Light, said the staff decided this week to stop production rather than comply with orders "to only publish things that cast North Central in a positive light" and to have stories read and edited by university officials.

North Central responded by dismissing Bahr and editor-in-chief Hope Bahr, his wife, he said.

The staff "has dealt with censorship issues for years," he said, but administration demands intensified recently after publication of an opinion column on the Assemblies of God doctrine on speaking in tongues and stories about the administration's decision not to allow Soulforce gay-rights advocates to visit the campus April 17.

North Central is owned and operated by the Assemblies of God.

Chuck Bahr acknowledged that as the paper's publisher, the administration has legal authority over its operation, but he said, "The principle of the matter is that as Christians and journalists, we have to publish stories that are true and accurate."

North Central spokeswoman Susan Detlefsen said Northern Light will continue to publish under different editors.

The university also issued a statement saying it could not comment at length on its actions because they involve student records but that they were prompted by "conflict of interest" issues and "a cumulative series of events and actions." It also said that Chuck Bahr was not fired, but rather demoted to staff writer.


"God is so great and merciful that he does not require that we name him precisely. God is even willing to be anonymous for a time. Remember how God led the Three Wise Men from the East to Christ? The Wise Men did not know the God of Israel or Jesus. They worshipped the stars. So God used a star to lure them."--The Twelve Steps for Christians


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