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Today's Top Five

1. Dozens dead after church attacks in Nigeria; Pakistan churches also hit
As if the Muhammad cartoons controversy story wasn't complicated enough, related violence over the weekend has complicated the matter even more. The events are stark enough: Muslims attacked two churches in Sukkur, Pakistan, and have continued to riot in Nigeria, where at least 30 churches were burned and at least 45 people have been killed. Most of the Nigerian attacks have been in the city of Maiduguri, capital of Borneo state.

But the riots aren't only about the cartoons. Pakistan's riots were mostly about rumors that a Christian teenager had thrown pages of the Qur'an into a trashcan, but, as AFP notes, "Sukkur has recently been the scene of almost daily protest rallies against the cartoons." Nigeria's latest riot, in Bauchi, was over a teacher's confiscation of a student's Qur'an. Riots in the country over the weekend were tinged with political tension over rumors that President Olusegun Obasanjo, a Christian, will seek a third presidential term, and concerns over a looming national census.

Still, it appears that outrage over the cartoons set the stage for the riots. And outrage over the riots seems to be the next big story in Nigeria. The statement issued by Peter Akinola, president of the Christian Association of Nigeria (and head of the Anglican Church there) is dramatic. "From all indications, it is very clear now that the sacrifices of the Christians in this country for peaceful co-existence with people of other faiths has been sadly misunderstood to be weakness," says his written statement. It continues:

It is no longer a hidden fact that a long standing agenda to make this Nigeria an Islamic nation is being surreptitiously ...
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Launched in 1999, Christianity Today’s Weblog was not just one of the first religion-oriented weblogs, but one of the first published by a media organization. (Hence its rather bland title.) Mostly compiled by then-online editor Ted Olsen, Weblog rounded up religion news and opinion pieces from publications around the world. As Christianity Today’s website grew, it launched other blogs. Olsen took on management responsibilities, and the Weblog feature as such was mothballed. But CT’s efforts to round up important news and opinion from around the web continues, especially on our Gleanings feature.
Ted Olsen
Ted Olsen is Christianity Today's managing editor for news and online journalism. He wrote the magazine's Weblog—a collection of news and opinion articles from mainstream news sources around the world—from 1999 to 2006. In 2004, the magazine launched Weblog in Print, which looks for unexpected connections and trends in articles appearing in the mainstream press. The column was later renamed "Tidings" and ran until 2007.
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