Death penalty may be back on table for Shelter Now workers
The eight foreign aid workers standing trial in Afghanistan for promoting Christianity may be executed, says a senior Taliban official. "We will punish them according to the laws they have broken," Taliban chief justice Mawlawi Noor Mohammad Saqib told the Pakistan-based news agency Afghan Islamic Press. "If they have broken the law and should be hanged, then we will punish them like that." But Saqib told a different story to the western media. "Talk of what the punishment will be is premature," he told the Associated Press. "We are not saying anything about the trial proceedings or about the punishment until it is finished." Saqib also refused to meet with three Western diplomats today.

Burnhams reported alive as Abu Sayyaf members killed
New Tribes missionaries Martin and Gracia Burnham are alive but suffering, say media reports out of the southern Philippines island of Basilan. Civilians who saw the missionaries last week say food is scarce both among the Abu Sayyaf rebels and their 18 captives. Meanwhile, fighting continues between the kidnappers and the Philippine military, and the government has promised to add more soldiers to the effort. Three of the rebels and one solider were killed in fighting yesterday. But in a hopeful turn of events, American hostage Guillermo Sobero was reportedly seen alive despite reports that the Abu Sayyaf decapitated him. Military officials are still investigating the sighting.

Curious George publishers angry at being aped in Jews for Jesus pamphlet
That crazy monkey created by Margaret and H.A. Rey is always getting into trouble for being places he shouldn't be. And the latest place he's been spotted is in an evangelistic tract by Jews for Jesus. The man in the yellow hat, a.k.a. publisher Houghton Mifflin, has sued the organization for a minimum of $500,000, saying the tract has "confused the consuming public" into thinking Curious George "is associated with or endorses" the messianic organization. Jews for Jesus spokeswoman Susan Perlman says the tract is protected parody, and, besides, "We think Curious George would like it."

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Homosexual unions:

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Church life:

Missions and ministry:

Popular culture:

  • Bono ripe for sainthood | He is a committed Christian after all, and famous for his good works. Not to mention the fact that he's already done more preaching than the 12 apostles combined. (Frank McNally, The Irish Times)
  • Church puts faith in Harry Potter | St Elizabeth Ann Seton Church in Syracuse, New York, is running classes comparing Potter with Jesus Christ. (The Sunday Times)
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  • How to link two media, and two faiths as well | It's not often that a scholarly work is turned into film, but Marvin R. Wilson's Our Father Abraham: The Jewish Roots of the Christian Faith is about to become a PBS documentary (The New York Times)
  • Earlier: Film Tries to Bridge Jewish, Evangelical Chasm | A new documentary explores each group's concept of prayer, the Bible, and the Messiah. (Christianity Today, Jan. 24)
  • Bill Bright: Twilight of the evangelist | Along with Billy Graham, he's one of the giants of the Evangelical movement. Now the Campus Crusade for Christ founder wants to write Christian potboillers (Time)
  • The Word made fresh | A review of Alister McGrath's In The Beginning: The Story of the King James Bible and How it Changed a Nation, a Language and a Culture (The Sydney Morning Herald)

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