• Narnia Christian link played down | Cast and crew members of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe have played down the significance of Christian symbolism in their version of CS Lewis's novel. Warning: This story contains plot spoilers (BBC)
  • The magic of Narnia | About 50 years ago, C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien, friends and fellow Oxford dons, wrote two of the most beloved and enduring fantasy series of books of all time, "The Chronicles of Narnia" and "The Lord of the Rings," respectively. (Bismarck Tribune, N.D.)

Christians & Hollywood:

  • Hollywood missionaries | In a drive to boost revenues, American film bosses are targeting the country's 30 million evangelical Christians. And the religious right is proving only too glad to help them along. (New Statesman, UK)
  • Should Hollywood cater to 'Christians'? | And what in God's name does that mean? With 'Left Behind,' the right pushes the public into its definitions (Don M. Burrows, Minnesota Daily)

Religion & politics:

  • Conservative Christians strategize for '06 elections | Focus on the Family hosts a confab of leaders to talk turnout, gay-marriage bans and key battles to retain Senate seats. (Denver Post)
  • Protesters blast 'reverse Robin Hood' | Street theater imitated a medieval morality play Wednesday as opponents of federal budget cuts affecting Medicaid, food stamps and student loans gathered on the windblown county courthouse lawn in Billings. The withering criticism by a local Lutheran minister added to the chill. (Billings Gazette, Mt.)
  • Advocates call for immigration reform | A Florida association that provides child care and education to immigrants and low-income families celebrated its 40th anniversary Wednesday in Orlando by calling for immigration reform. (Orlando Sentinel)


  • Row over pill may see pro-life activists in Italy's abortion clinics | Berlusconi moves to woo conservative Catholics. Vatican intervenes over easy access to termination(The Guardian, UK)
  • Rep. Davis Warns of backlash if Roe v. Wade is overturned | Reversal of the landmark Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion nationwide could produce an upheaval in U.S. politics and would put candidates who oppose abortion rights at risk of defeat in many parts of the country, a leading House Republican said yesterday. (Washington Post)

Church & state:

  • Church ready to fight IRS | The Internal Revenue Service is taking on the popular and liberal All Saints Episcopal church in a fight for its very survival. (CBS News)
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  • Church financial disclosure bill hits snag in House | A bill requiring religious organizations to disclose their finances ran into opposition in the House after leaders of smaller religious denominations said they feared becoming "collateral damage" in the Roman Catholic church's clergy sexual abuse scandal. (Boston Globe)
  • RC made Ambassador to Vatican | The Government has appointed a Roman Catholic as ambassador to the Vatican for the first time since the Reformation. (Ruth Gledhill, Times, London)
  • Muslim wins right to reject the hijab | Islamic groups across Europe have campaigned for years for the right of Muslim women to wear the religious headscarf, or hijab. Now a Muslim woman in the Netherlands has won the right not to wear it. (Times, London)

Mercer University & Georgia Baptists:

  • Baptists, gays and trustees | At a surface level, the conflict at Mercer University this week appears to be about tolerance of gay students. The Georgia Baptist Convention voted Tuesday to sever ties to Mercer, citing the university's decision to let a gay student organization sponsor a session where students could talk about homosexuality. But whatever some Baptist leaders may have said about Mercer welcoming gay groups, the university actually asked the student group to disband, which it did. (Inside Higher Ed)
  • Mercer, Baptists eye end to fruitful tension | Tuesday was a sad day both for Georgia Baptist people and Mercer University. (Editorial, Macon Telegraph, Ga.)

Human rights & religious freedom:

  • Christians in China persevere despite religious restrictions | With 1.3 billion souls in China, how many must be sick and in need, Pastor Zhang Yongqiang asked his flock last Sunday at Beijing's Gangwashi Protestant Church. (USA Today)
  • The cost of faith | On the surface, the 40-odd worshippers -- mostly Muslim converts -- at the Diyarbakir Evangelical Church appear to have plenty to celebrate. After three years of official obstruction, the black stone building they renovated in central Diyarbakir was formally recognized as a church a year ago, becoming the first new Protestant church in southeastern Turkey since the founding of the Turkish republic 82 years ago. (The Washington Times)
  • Saudi Arabia: Teachers silenced on blasphemy charges | A Saudi court has sentenced a high school chemistry teacher to more than three years in prison and 750 lashes for talking to his pupils about his views on a number of current topics, such as Christianity, Judaism and the causes of terrorism. (Reuters)
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  • US panel releases chilling report of North Korean religious persecutions | The United States government released chilling interviews with North Korean refugees who witnessed bloody executions of religious believers, to highlight suppression of religious freedom in the hardline communist state. (AFP)
  • North Korea expels European aid groups | North Korea has ordered non-governmental European aid groups to leave the country after the European Union submitted a U.N. resolution criticizing Pyongyang's human rights record, aid workers said Wednesday. (Associated Press)
  • Scared Christians flee homes in Pak | Following last week's attack on two churches at Sangla Hills by a frenzied mob of Muslims following accusations that a Christian had desecrated the Quran, the Christian community in the country is a scared lot, with many of them fleeing their homes. (, India)


  • Priest removed from job after suit alleging abuse | Former altar boy at Germantown Catholic Church says cleric molested him during 2001-02 (Washington Post)
  • Trail of abuse leads to seminary | St. John's in Camarillo fielded a disproportionate number of alleged molesters, records show, in some cases up to a third of the graduating class. (Los Angeles Times)
  • Ruling on priest files is upheld | The California Supreme Court on Wednesday let stand a court order forcing Cardinal Roger M. Mahony to give authorities the confidential files of two former priests accused of child molestation. (Los Angeles Times)
  • Former altar boy sues priest in R.I. | A Dominican priest was removed from public ministry here yesterday and moved to another city after a former altar boy he allegedly molested in Maryland four years ago filed suit against the priest, according to the Dominican order and the Archdiocese of Washington. (Boston Globe)
  • Settlement reached in abuse case against Catholic diocese | A lawsuit filed against Maine's Roman Catholic diocese by a Boothbay Harbor woman whose son was allegedly abused by a priest more than a quarter century ago was settled out of court Wednesday. (Boston Globe)

Missions & ministry:

  • State St. coffeehouse denies forcing out non-Christians | A local coffee shop has spent the last few months restructuring after allegations of religious discrimination triggered the loss of many volunteers and staff members. (Daily Cardinal, Wisc.)
  • Pastor camps on church roof for turkeys | A pastor said he will camp on his church's roof until he collects 500 donated turkeys for needy families. Pastor David Martin of the Pitcairn Assembly of God has been on the roof, camping in a tent, since Monday. (Boston Globe)
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  • Highlight for teens | Young Life makes the Gospel live for high-school students (Winston-Salem Journal, N.C.)
  • Missionary work sends chaplain overseas | While many organizations are asking for generous donations and contributions to give to those who have lost loved ones or their homes in the earthquakes in Pakistan and surrounding areas, Koshy simply wants to lend a nonprofit, helping hand. (The Daily Orange, Syracuse, N.Y.)

Church life:

  • You're never too old for baptism | A churchgoer has been baptised at the age of 101. (Times, London)
  • On Ohio flatland, a megachurch's eye-catcher dominates | Jesus first appears in a flash, a white statue rising from the flat cornfields 40 miles north of Cincinnati. Then he is gone, hidden behind a gas station. (The New York Times)
  • Highrock Church eyes St. Athanasius | An Evangelical Covenant Church from Somerville is likely to purchase Saint Athanasius the Great Greek Orthodox Church. (Arlington Advocate, Mass.)
  • S.C. Baptists elect new leader | Convention ends with Spartanburg pastor becoming president (The State, S.C.)
  • Woman takes active role in ministry, faith | Rita Root became first female pastor at local Federated Church (Northern Star Online, DeKalb, Ill.)
  • Pastor plans walk to promote tolerance | The Scottsdale leaders of a national progressive Christian movement are planning a cross-country walk next year to promote a message of tolerance. (East Valley Tribune, Ariz.)

Church of England:

  • Williams calls for Church harmony | The Archbishop of Canterbury has warned against tensions and splits in the Church over homosexuality and the ordination of women bishops. (BBC)
  • Ambush imperils Williams' conciliation hope | Deadly timing of attack on homosexual tolerance. Protest ignores plea for understanding. (The Guardian, UK)
  • Archbishops threaten split over gay clergy | Revolt against leadership of Rowan Williams leaves church facing schism (The Guardian, UK)
  • Give prayer a chance to heal church rifts, says Williams | Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, yesterday urged members of his fractious flock to seek out and pray with an opponent as a means of restoring Anglican unity over the ordination of women bishops and gay people in the clergy. (The Guardian, UK)
  • Primates challenge Williams over stance on homosexuals | Conservative Anglican leaders last night launched a stinging attack on the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, accusing him of a failure of leadership over homosexuality. (The Telegraph, UK)
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  • 'We must learn to get out of God's way' | Debates in the General Synod of the Church of England are like scenes from the film Groundhog Day, the Archbishop of Canterbury said yesterday. (Times, London)
  • Church of England evil, say archbishops | Rowan Williams's views on homosexuality are under attack (Times, London)
  • Anglican bishops attack leader over gays | Almost half the world's Anglican archbishops have mutinied over the divisive issue of gay clergy, demanding action from Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams over "unrepented sexual immorality" in the church. (Reuters)


  • Pope invites head of Greek Orthodox Church to visit Rome for new chapter in relations | Pope Benedict XVI has invited the leader of the Greek Orthodox Church to visit Rome in a bid to help reconcile the 1,000-year-old schism between the two churches, the Vatican said Thursday. (Associated Press)
  • Singling out one mother for sainthood honors all mothers | Sainthood is a step closer for an Italian mother of 11 children because she exemplifies what the Catholic Church expects of its followers - large families. (Hudson Sun, Mass.)


  • Faiths unite at cemetery | A poignant ceremony has taken place to mark the official opening of a special multi-faith baby cemetery. (Enfield and Haringey Independent, UK)
  • Muslims and Christians in talks | Africa's religious leaders are meeting in Nairobi to discuss how Christianity and Islam can promote peace in the continent. (The Nation, Nairobi, Kenya)

Jews & Christians:

  • Save the Jews … | … from Christians? (David Klinghoffer, National Review Online)
  • Israel finds an ally in American evangelicals | Conservative evangelical Christians, who disagree with liberal American Jews on almost everything else, have emerged as some of the staunchest supporters of Israel.( Knight Ridder)


  • A question of faith | Buddhism is the fastest-growing religion in Glasgow, according to a unique spiritual map of the city. (Glasgow Evening Times, UK)
  • Reflecting on values may counter stress | Simply thinking about something personally meaningful can ease some of the physiological effects of stress, a new study suggests. (Reuters)
  • Giving thanks gives focus to the role of relationships | Thanksgiving is in many ways the ultimate American holiday. Nearly everyone, natural-born citizen or not, celebrates with ritual foods, events and gatherings. (Kris Moore, The Oregonian)
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More articles of interest:

  • Wilco frontman captivates crowd in intimate solo performance. | Messiah College doesn't sound like the likeliest of venues for a solo performance by Jeff Tweedy. The Wilco frontman admitted as much during his show Saturday at the Brubaker Auditorium. (News of Delaware County, Pa.)
  • Blogs add whole new dimension to killings | Ludwig, 18, Lititz, Pa., is being held in the shootings deaths of the parents of his girlfriend, Kara Beth Borden, 14. The two fled after the crime, or perhaps she was abducted. They were captured Monday in Hendricks County. This could be just another grisly tragedy, senseless and sad, a mystery. But the fact that Ludwig and Borden, both home-schooled Christians, had blogs chock full of personal information adds a whole other dimension. (Indianapolis Star)
  • In Jamaica, gay rights now an issue worth debating | The island, long seen as homophobic, is beginning to rethink its hard-line stance. (Los Angeles Times)
  • Loving Jesus (and cute boys too) | Anne Dayton and May Vanderbilt, two single career women in their mid-20s, were having lunch with girlfriends two years ago when the subject turned to chick lit — tales of bed-hopping alcoholics and foul-mouthed fashionistas made popular by such best-selling novels as "Bridget Jones's Diary." Vanderbilt and Dayton joked that there should be chick lit for Christians like them, whose faith might be strong but whose single-girl imperfections loom just as large. (Naples Daily News, Fla.)
  • Childhood lost to pop culture | You can't judge a book by its cover. But we're not talking books. We're talking children who are walking around with too much of their bodies exposed. Where are the adults, the protectors, the guides, the mothers and fathers who are supposed to be looking out for these kids? (Beverly Beckham, Boston Globe)

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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 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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