Wheaton College dropping Crusader mascot

Billy Graham's alma mater is changing its mascot "as a matter of principle," says Wheaton College President Duane Litfin. "I came to realize that those [Crusades] were not very happy episodes in Christianity. They are not something we want to glorify." The college is currently undergoing a search for a new mascot. Suggestions include the Cherubs, Eagles, Flames, Lions, Sojourners and Whirlwind. (Wheaton's Web site has a letter from Litfin announcing the mascot change, comments from other college-related personnel supporting the change, and a mascot nomination form).

China, high on defeating U.N. criticism, continues religious persecution

One of the bigger stories we missed last week in the ChristianityToday.com Weblog was China's defeat of a U.S. resolution to censure the country for religious and political repression. It was the tenth year in a row that the United Nations failed to act on such a measure, but this year's lobbying by Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and other major American officials was particularly intense (see articles on the defeat in The Washington Post, The New York Times, and The Los Angeles Times, among other news sites). Since then, China has apparently upped its crackdown on religious dissidents; 100 members of the Falun Gong movement were arrested in Tiananmen Square Tuesday.

Sudan halts most bombing of Christian south

"Lieutenant General Omar Hassan al-Bashir, the president of the republic, late yesterday night directed the general command of the armed forces to stop all air bombing operations in the south of the country except in self-defence and in operations areas," reported al-Sharia al-Siyassi (id in a Reuters wire story). See ChristianityToday.com's ...

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