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1. Taliban takes Korean short-term mission team hostage, killing two
Afghanistan's resurgent Taliban used the team of 23 short-term workers from Saemmul Presbyterian Church as a bargaining chip, pressuring the South Korean government into a reported ransom payment and a promise to withdraw its 200 troops in the country. Bae Hyeong-gyu and Shim Seongmin were killed before the negotiation was completed.
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2. Atheism tops the bestseller charts
Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, and Christopher Hitchens may be unhappy about the continuing "God delusion," but they can't be too displeased with their royalty checks.
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3. Presidential campaigns start early, with some faith surprises
Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama spoke easily of their faith, while Rudy Giuliani, John McCain, Mitt Romney, and Fred Thompson all stumbled in appeals to Christian voters.
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4. Ruth Graham promoted to glory
The daughter of missionaries who, as a teenager, wanted to die a martyr's death, Ruth Graham instead became the wife of the world's most prominent evangelist—and an inspiration to millions.
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5. Anglican Communion fractures over Scripture, homosexuality
Global South leaders issued an ultimatum for the U.S. Episcopal Church to return to orthodox interpretation of Scripture, four U.S. dioceses took steps to exit the church, and the basis for a conservative new Anglican province in the U.S.was laid. Besides that, all was quiet in the Anglican Communion.
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6. Three Christians tortured and killed in eastern Turkey Turkey's bid for entry into the European Union hasn't pleased the country's ultranationalist fringe, members of which are charged with slitting the throats of three Protestants at a Christian ...

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