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Today's Top Five

1. Turkey time
It's no surprise that Turkey is in the news this week. But the big story has nothing to do with Thanksgiving: Pope Benedict XVI making his first trip to a Muslim nation, which warrants a cover story from Time. Richard John Neuhaus and Tariq Ramadan face off in op-ed sidebars.

2. Bush goes to church in Vietnam
"Though no sermon was delivered Sunday in the church where President Bush took a 'moment to converse with God,' he offered his own precept outside," the Associated Press reported. "'A whole society is a society which welcomes basic freedoms,' Bush said, adding that there's none more basic than 'the freedom to worship as you see fit.'"

A separate Associated Press dispatch notes that "harassment has eased enough that the United States decided this week to remove Vietnam from a list of the world's worst violators of religious freedom. … [But] if things have opened up for ordinary Catholics, the Vietnamese government continues to place restrictions on the church hierarchy, limiting the number of priests it can train, churches it can build or seminaries it can open."

3. Nicaragua bans all abortions
Even those to save the life of the mother. Some Nicaraguans opposed the bill, saying the six-year prison term wasn't long enough.

4. Canada's approval of gay marriage has galvanized the country's evangelicals
So reports The New York Times.

5. Norway's Lutherans vote to spin off from state control
But the Church of Norway "would likely still rely heavily on state funding," says Aftenposten. "Political rhetoric was already running high over the weekend about what this might mean, and whether a separation is a good idea."

Quote of the day "You don't want to take the trucks out. You want to keep shining ...

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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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