NAE tells Bush to act now on Sudan

NAE tells Bush to act now on Sudan
Nearly 50 evangelical leaders from a variety of theological and political perspectives have called on President Bush to take "swift action" to stop the "genocide" in the Darfur region of Sudan. The letter, organized by the National Association of Evangelicals, called for three specific actions: massive humanitarian aid; active exploration of intervention options, including military intervention; and work to remove Sudan from the U.N. Human Rights Commission.

"We view this as an opportunity to reach out to Muslims in the name of Jesus," NAE president Ted Haggard told The Washington Post. "Christian people are appalled by this kind of genocide, and we don't want it taking place in our generation."

Ark still in the dark

Ark still in the dark
A major scientific expedition in the Black Sea had many successes in the use of underwater archaeology, live networking, and the examination of a 1,500-year-old Byzantine trading vessel. But its most publicized archaeological investigation associated with the expedition was a wash. National Geographic Society archaeologist Fredrik Hiebert and Titanic discoverer Robert Ballard said wood that drifted into the Black Sea contaminated the site, so they weren't able to test their theory that the sea's flooding was that recounted in the biblical story of Noah.

"We were not able to get a smoking gun," Ballard told the Associated Press.

Other efforts to prove the existence of the biblical flood—and to find Noah's ark—continue.

United Methodists gear up for another lesbian minister's trial

United Methodists gear up for another lesbian minister's trial
On the heels of the ludicrous acquittal of lesbian Methodist minister Karen Dammann, the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference has announced that it will file ecclesiastical charges against Beth Stroud, who announced her homosexual behavior in an April 2003 sermon.

"I know that, by telling the truth about myself, I risk losing my credentials as an ordained United Methodist minister," Stroud said. "But I have realized that not telling the whole truth about myself has been holding me back in my faith."

"Church law prohibits 'self-avowed, practicing homosexuals' from being ordained or appointed as clergy in The United Methodist church," the district says in a press release.

Group claims credit for church bombings

Group claims credit for church bombings
A little-known Muslim group calling itself the Planning and Follow-Up Organization in Iraq says it was responsible for Sunday's attacks against six churches in the country.

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"You wanted a crusader war, so these are the results. … We warned you," the group said on a terrorism website, according to Reuters.

"We were able Sunday to direct several painful strikes at the dens of evil, corruption, immorality, and evangelization.

"America didn't only occupy and militarily sweep Muslim countries, it also set up hundreds of evangelization organizations and printed books about the Holocaust and distributed them in Muslim countries to wrench Muslims from their religion and make them Christians.

"The wars now in Iraq and Afghanistan are hateful crusader wars against Muslims by America and its minions, with the blessing of the Pope who has the leaders of America between his hands like slaves.

The Iraqi government doesn't seem to think that the group was really behind the bombings. They seem to still see Abu Musab al-Zarqawi as the prime suspect. That's not just a guess: The attacks apparently used the same types of explosive and detonators as earlier Zarqawi-linked attacks.

Whoever was behind the bombing failed to divide the country along religious lines, says Reuters. They united it instead. There's still a threat of infighting among the country's factions, Reuters reporter Edmund Blair says, but not between Christians and Muslims. The threat now, is that the attacks "could play into the hands of extremists in trying to push the Christians out of Iraq," analyst Ghassan al-Attiyah told Blair. "That would be a disaster for the Iraqis."

The Washington Post and The New York Times similarly report displays of unity in the aftermath of the attacks. The Associated Press and a separate Reuters story focus on Christians' fears of more attacks.

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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.
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Ted Olsen is Christianity Today's executive editor. 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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