Casper H. Nannes, 72, a veteran journalist who was religious news editor of The Washington Evening Star for many years, died Saturday of congestive heart failure at his home in Washington.

Mr. Nannes served as a general assignment reporter for The Star from 1943 to 1949, was tennis editor from 1946 to 1960 and was religious news editor from 1949 to 1968.

He was president of the Religious Newswriters Association from 1956 to 1958 and also was governor of the Lawn Tennis Writers Association of America in 1951. He was vice president of the Middle Atlantic Lawn Tennis Association from 1948 to 1960.

Mr. Nannes, who held a doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania, was bron in Fall River, Mass., and received his bachelor's degree at Rutgers University, where he was later an instructor in English. He also taught English at the University of Illinois from 1935 to 1938.

After retiring from The Star, Mrs. Nannes was a free-lance writer of articles on subjects that included religion and travel.

He was the author of "Politics in the American Drama" and "Cavalcade '76."

Mr. Nannes received awards in the fields of both tennis and religion, including the 1963 W. Dickson Cunningham Sr. tennis award and the 1954 Religious Public Relations Council Award.

In addition to his wife, Margaret, survivors include two stepsons, Bailey Young, of Paris, and Christopher Young, of Columbia, Mo.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the Heart Association.