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US Methodists toughen stand against abortion

The United Methodist Church has toughened its stand against abortion. The quadrennial governing conference of the 9.4 million-member denomination also voted Monday to retain the denomination's current opposition to ''the practice of homosexuality'' as ''incompatible with Christian teaching.''

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The conference of the nation's second-largest Protestant body accepted a document for churchwide study which recommends the church not limit itself to solely male words for God. No words can actually ''express the full majesty and mystery of the living God,'' the report said, adding that more inclusive imagery ''can expand our understanding of God.''

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