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US church council visitors see gain in Christianity in USSR

Delegates from the US National Council of Churches completed a 12-day tour of the Soviet Union Tuesday which some members said left them with a sense that Christianity is growing stronger in this nation.

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One delegate said the church here ''has some freedom and some very severe limitations on that freedom,'' but it includes ''some of the most courageous, vital Christians I've ever met.''

The 18 Americans visited Moscow, Leningrad, Tallinn, Riga, and Odessa, attending Russian Orthodox, Baptist, Lutheran, Methodist, and Roman Catholic services.