Baptists who crusaded for years to get the Rev. Georgi Vins released from Soviet prison camps, found themselves confronted by Vins during sessions of the Baptist World Alliance here.
Vins, released last year in a Russian-American prisoner exchange, charged that leaders of the All-Union Council of Evangelical Christian Baptist atending the congress were agents of the Soviet secret police. He held a separate meeting in competition with the world alliance congress.
Vins' charges were rejected as "insulting and stupid" by the Rev. Alexei Bichkov, secretary of the All-Union Council the only Baptist group approved by the Soviet government. Bichkov headed the Russian delegation at the meeting here.
Dr. Gerhard Class of West Germany, newly elected general secretary of the BWA, expressed regret over the clash. "As true Christians we should not judge but try to understand one another," he said.
The Rev. Robert Denny, of the United States, who was the previous general secretary, sought to cool the dispute. "We're not here to disagree with anyone," he said. "Our commission is to preach the gospel, not meddle in politics."
The All-Union Council's support for the Communist regime in the Soviet Union was one of the reason Vins' faction split off in the 1960s. For most of the years of his imprisonment, Vins became the symbol to evangelical Christians in this country of Soviet oppression of religion.