The days after Holy Week are always a bit overwhelming here at Weblog headquarters. Newspapers and magazines around the country run religion stories whether they're newsworthy or not, and our usual search terms get jillions of extraneous results. Still, there have been some truly interesting developments over the last few days, and we've combed through the world's publications to bring you …

Today's Top Five

1. Two dead, 40 wounded, 100+ detained after three days of Egypt rioting
An Egyptian man, whom the government says suffers from "psychological disturbances," attacked three Coptic Christian churches in Alexandria, Egypt, on Friday. (In Egypt, it wasn't Good Friday, because the Copts and other Orthodox Christians celebrate Holy Week a week later than Western churches do.) One man was killed in the attacks, and local Muslims reportedly didn't like what they heard chanted during the Saturday funeral march. As they say, rioting broke out. The Associated Press reported:

Police fought back against Coptic Christians, who were encircled by a security cordon around the Saints Church in downtown Alexandria after hurling stones and bottles from inside the police line. Fellow demonstrators tossed Molotov cocktails from the balconies of nearby buildings.
Police could be seen repeatedly beating a boy of about 12, who was among the crowd of Coptic young people who fled into the church, slamming the doors behind them, or dashed down narrow streets surrounding the church. Most of the protesters were between the ages of 12 and 25.
Later, a huge mob of what appeared to be Muslim protesters charged the police cordon from the other side.
Mustafa Mohammed Mustafa, a Muslim Brotherhood parliamentarian, said a 24-year-old Muslim died early Sunday of wounds from a beating by Christians during rioting Saturday.

"Violence subsided Monday but sectarian feelings remained high," the news service reported. Bishop Bemwah Ghali told the AP, "There was a sort of a truce, but this is not the end of the crisis. We really need a radical solution that can quell this anger." As CT has regularly reported in the past, it's hard to be a Copt in Egypt.

2. Bob Reccord resigns from North American Mission Board
Bob Reccord, president of the Southern Baptist Convention's domestic missions agency, quit yesterday, two and a half weeks after board trustees announced he would be under "Executive Level controls" in the job he has held since the North American Mission Board was created in 1997. A February article in The Christian Index, the newspaper of the Georgia Baptist Convention, had accused Reccord of mismanaging finances and other faults. A board investigation cleared Reccord of unethical behavior, but the events "created an environment which makes it difficult to lead the organization and to stay on mission," Reccord said.  The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is the only mainstream news source to carry the news, but you'd think that the departure of the head of a $124-million missions agency—especially one that has been so prominent in the Katrina relief efforts—would be bigger news. Religion writers must be taking some time off after the busy Holy Week / Passover rush. Baptist Press and Associated Baptist Press have their articles up. CT will be posting its own news report soon.

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3. Judas backlash
The biggest Holy Week backlash against the Gospel of Judas came not from pulpits, but from several of the same mainstream media outlets that had pumped the manuscript earlier in the week. Both The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times question National Geographic's dealings with Swiss art dealer Frieda Nussberger Tchacos, who received a suspended sentence in 2001 for possession of looted antiquities and reported antiquities trafficking. "In the past, she was at the center of the looting in Italy," Italian state prosecutor Paolo Ferri complained to the Los Angeles Times. Archaeological Institute of America president Jane Waldbaum told The New York Times that the Gospel of Judas is itself "a looted object." That's the big reason that Yale University turned Tchacos down when she tried to sell them the article. A Los Angeles Timeseditorial slams Tchacos as a modern Judas: "Thirty pieces of silver then, or $1.5 million now: It's still about money." The paper also savages National Geographic for being more concerned with "commercial zing than scholarly thoughtfulness. … [T]he society's willingness to cut deals over a find whose legality is unclear, without being forthright about its role, its associates or the money involved, adds a legitimate sheen to the shady world of illegal antiquities dealing and helps sustain that unsavory market."

4. What's an evangelical?
The New York Times's Michael Luo turned in an Easter story familiar to evangelicals (and, by now, to readers of The New York Times, which has been doing variations on the theme for a few years): Evangelicals are not monolithic. "It seems that now, at a time of heightened power, old fissures are widening, and new theological and political splits are developing," writes Luo. John Green largely gets to frame the debate, distinguishing between "traditionalist, centrist, and modernist" evangelicals. For a 1,100-word story, it's not bad, but it could have used some notion of what traditionally has unified evangelicals, both in the 18th-century sense and in the post-war, Graham-era sense.

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5. Christian Legal Society loses college funding case
UC Hastings College of the Law doesn't have to fund or recognize a chapter of the Christian Legal Society because the group's ban on non-Christian and homosexual members is a matter of conduct, not speech or religious belief, U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White ruled yesterday. The school's anti-discrimination policy "affects what [the society] must do if it wants to become a registered student organization—not engage in discrimination—not what [the society] may or may not say regarding its beliefs," he wrote. There's no response yet from CLS or from the Alliance Defense Fund, which publicized the case earlier. The decision doesn't seem to yet be online, but Weblog is eager to read it: Is White suggesting that the Constitution only protects religious assent to dogma, not actions that derive from belief?

Quote of the day:
"Moses stood there on top of a cliff, and as long as he held up his arms, the children of Israel won. Well, after a while he got tired, so there were two men that came and held up Moses' arms so they could win the battle. That's my job—to hold up the arms of the man of God, like Billy Graham or Rick Warren, in the media."

—Christian publicist Larry Ross, in a profile in this week's New York Times Magazine. Ross reluctantly admitted that he has also represented Benny Hinn, though he tried to keep "his distance for Billy Graham's sake."

More articles

Egypt riots | Religious liberty | Islam | Depicting Muhammad | Opus Dei paper runs Muhammad-in-hell cartoon | Time's cover package on Opus Dei | Opus Dei | Da Vinci Code | Rowan Williams Easter/Judas/Da Vinci Code sermon | Gospel of Judas | Historical Jesus | The meaning of Easter | Easter in America | Easter stunts | War on Easter? | Easter on the Gulf Coast | Easter in India | Easter in Iraq | Easter in the Middle East | More on the Holy Land | Reenacting Holy Week | Passover | Pope's Easter messages | Pope Benedict, one year in | Catholicism | 1980 nun murder trial in Toledo | Nun killed in Buffalo | Abuse | Crime and violence | War and terrorism | Genocides past and present | Life ethics | Philippine president commutes all death sentences | Abortion | Ky. prof leads destruction of pro-life display | Higher education | University of the Cumberlands gay student issue | Guilty plea in Trinity racist letters case | Education | Evolution | Science | Bible | History | Books | Entertainment | Art and drama | Music | Film | A&E's God or the Girl | Women | Church life | Church buildings | Church closings | Spirituality | Anti-"fundamentalism" | Spiritual travel | Immigration | Netherlands & Iran | Politics | Taxes | Church and state | Signs and symbols | Baptism | Marriage | Sexual ethics | Demonstrations | William Sloane Coffin | Jerry Falwell | Missions & ministry | Money & business | People | Religion polls | Other stories of interest
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Egypt riots:

  1. Arrests over Egyptian faith riots | Fifty-two people have been detained in Egypt over their alleged involvement in three days of religious violence in the city of Alexandria (BBC)

  2. Muslims and Coptic Christians clash in Egypt | Muslims and Christians rioted in Alexandria for a third day Sunday, burning cars, pillaging shops, and attacking one another with stones and Molotov cocktails (The New York Times)

  3. Third day of sectarian clashes in Egypt | Police fired live ammunition into the air and lobbed tear gas into rioting crowds of Christians and Muslims on Sunday in a third day of sectarian violence in Egypt's second-largest city (Associated Press)

  4. Sunday: Egypt holds 15 in Coptic-Muslim strife | Fighting broke out Saturday between hundreds of Coptic Christians and Muslims at the funeral of a man knifed to death in an attack outside a church (Associated Press)

  5. Elderly man killed in Coptic church attacks in Egypt | The Egyptian government, which is sensitive to sectarian incidents, cast the attack as an aberration (The New York Times)

  6. Saturday: Man kills 1 in church attacks in Egypt | A man with a knife attacked worshippers at Coptic churches in this northern Egyptian city Thursday, killing a 78-year-old man and wounding five before he was arrested, the government said (Associated Press)

  7. Egyptian police teargas protesters | Police clash with both Muslim and Christian groups (Reuters)

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Religious liberty:

  1. New security policy: All religious gatherings need govt permission now | Cell to be set up at the home department (Daily Times, Pakistan)

  2. Advani for legislation to prohibit forcible conversions | Senior BJP leader L K Advani today said there has been a spurt in systematic religious conversions in the past few years and national and state level legislations should be introduced to prohibit conversions through inducement or coercion (PTI, India)

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  1. Egypt's grand mufti issues fatwa: no sculpture | More than 1,300 years after the Muslim conquest swept through Egypt, one of the country's highest religious authorities has declared that its ancient sculptures are forbidden by Islam (The Christian Science Monitor)

  2. Malaysian court to decide conversion case | Malaysia's highest court has agreed to take up the question whether Muslims who renounce their faith must still answer to the country's Islamic courts (Associated Press)

  3. Drug model 'changed religions in four days' | Bali drug model Michelle Leslie told Indonesian police she was a Christian just hours after her arrest - then changed her religion to Islam four days later (The Daily Telegraph, Australia)

  4. Islam faces its future | Two murders in Muslim countries, though committed by isolated individuals, suggest a vein of intolerance that diminishes Islam and restrains human development (Editorial, The Boston Globe)

  5. Judeo-Christian tradition adapts, not so Islam | For Jews as for Christians, placing themselves within the arc of the biblical narrative involves interpretation, the reverential act of trying to isolate in the Scriptures that which is eternal, and apply it to contemporary circumstances. (Jonathan Last, Philadelphia Daily News)

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Depicting Muhammad:

  1. A costly Muhammad cartoon | Administrator at Belmont University is out of a job after his political artwork gets attention (Inside Higher Ed)

  2. Viewers didn't see the humor | At least not all of it, as Comedy Central opts to black out an image of Muhammad in a new "South Park" episode (Los Angeles Times)

  3. Also: Comedy Central again steals 'South Park' thunder | Comedy Central has gone all cautious and timid again, this time banning an image of Muhammad from an episode of its irreverent cartoon series "South Park," citing "recent world events" (Lisa de Moraes, The Washington Post)

  4. A 'South Park' lecture | Art, yet again, imitates life (Editorial, The Washington Times)

  5. 'South Park' creators skewer own network | Instead of Muhammad image, Holy Week show featured an image of Jesus Christ defecating on President Bush and the American flag (Associated Press)

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Opus Dei paper runs Muhammad-in-hell cartoon:

  1. Opus Dei paper prints prophet in hell cartoon | A cartoon depicting Muhammed in hell has been published by an Italian magazine close to Opus Dei, bringing angry criticism from Muslim groups and disapproval from the Vatican (The Guardian, London)

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  1. Update: Italian editor apologizes to Muslims | The editor of an Italian monthly has apologized "as a Christian" for any offense to Muslims over a humorous caption for a drawing showing the Prophet Muhammad in hell, Italian news reports said Sunday (Associated Press)

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Time's cover package on Opus Dei:

  1. The ways of Opus Dei | It's not the villain that The Da Vinci Code sets it up to be. but it has been a mystery. An inside look at the most controversial group in Catholicism (Time)

  2. Opening up Opus Dei | Time photographer Erika Larsen got a rare glimpse inside the group's U.S. headquarters in New York City. A photo essay (Time)

  3. Living out her faith every day | One member's brief story (Time)

  4. Finding sanctity in all tasks | A real Silas (Time)

  5. Broken by the demands | A former member's brief story (Time)

  6. Disenchanted by blind obedience | Another former member's brief story (Time)

  7. Can a thriller be both fair and fun? | Opus Dei on The Da Vinci Code movie (Time)

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Opus Dei:

  1. Opus Dei: Fact and fiction | Find out about the secretive catholic group featured in 'The Da Vinci Code' (Good Morning America, ABC)

  2. Opus Dei asks for 'Da Vinci' disclaimer | The conservative religious group Opus Dei has asked for a disclaimer on the upcoming film based on the best-selling novel "The Da Vinci Code" (Associated Press)

  3. Also: Opus Dei asks "Da Vinci" film makers for respect | Catholic group Opus Dei has told Sony Pictures that putting a disclaimer on the upcoming movie "The Da Vinci Code" stressing it is a work of fiction would be a welcome show of respect toward the Church (Reuters)

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Da Vinci Code:

  1. Closing the book | 'Da Vinci Code' author fences off his N.H. house in a quest for security and privacy (The Boston Globe)

  2. 'Da Vinci Code' rebuttals pop up | Christian voices worldwide marked Easter weekend with concern over the upcoming cinema thriller The Da Vinci Code, based on Dan Brown's best seller (USA Today)

  3. Faith is still there to be found, say church leaders | Christian leaders have appealed to Australians to suspend their disbelief, fired by popular fascination with The Da Vinci Code, and embrace the Easter message of hope and salvation (The Sydney Morning Herald)

  4. The debate on DaVinci | With the popularity of "The Da Vinci Code' continuing unabated, secular and relgious leaders grapple with the book's impact on the faithful (The Miami Herald)

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  1. Many Canadians believe Da Vinci theory | Poll: 17% of Canadians, 13% of Americans accept premise that Jesus married and had a family (CanWest News Service)

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Rowan Williams Easter/Judas/Da Vinci Code sermon:

  1. Archbishop issues rebuttal to Da Vinci Code's conspiracy theorists | Dr Rowan Williams, the archbishop of Canterbury, gently mocked believers in The Da Vinci Code and promoters of the recently discovered Gospel of Judas for missing the point of the Christian message of Easter during his sermon at Canterbury Cathedral yesterday (The Guardian, London)

  2. No cover-up behind the Gospel, says Williams | Conspiracy theories and newly discovered ancient texts will not undermine the truth of the Gospel, the Archbishop of Canterbury said in his Easter Sunday sermon (The Telegraph, London)

  3. 'Da Vinci Code mystery is no match for the Gospel truth' | Church leaders said the novel was the product of a cynical society (The Times, London)

  4. Enough in itself | Christianity should not become the latest quarter for conspiracy theorists (Editorial, The Times, London)

  5. Bad novels cannot compete with the truth | The Gospels present us with a challenging truth, while convoluted conspiracy theories offer a perversely comforting fiction that is damaging not only to our spiritual health, but also to the currency of truth itself (Editorial, The Telegraph, London)

  6. The devil and Da Vinci | The ease with which supposedly sophisticated people fall for the fantasies of books such as The Da Vinci Code is surprising and depressing (Editorial, The Telegraph, London)

  7. Archbishop of Canterbury's sermon | Text in full (BBC, video)

Gospel of Judas(news):

  1. Emergence of the Gospel of Judas offers a tangled tale of its own | New details about the manuscript call into question the relationship between antiquities dealers, museums and collectors (The New York Times)

  2. Judas gospel figure has tainted past | A dealer credited with 'rescuing' the document allegedly played a major role in the looting of antiquities. She received a suspended sentence (Los Angeles Times)

  3. Christian mavericks find affirmation in ancient heresies | Across the country, observers say, the Gospel of Judas is striking a chord with progressive Christians. Not so much for its heretical theology, but as an ancient symbol of their modern mission to update what defines faithfulness (The Christian Science Monitor)

  4. Discovery of new gospel no fictional tale | Mario Roberty, who first came across the document in 2001, spent years having it translated and restored after the text took a 30-year adventure. He concedes the gospel is a moneymaker for himself and the art dealer who entrusted it to his foundation (Associated Press)

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  1. Pope calls Judas double-crosser in homily | Pope Benedict XVI Thursday recounted the Biblical betrayal of Jesus by Judas, calling the apostle a double-crosser for whom "money was more important than communion with Jesus, more important than God and his love." (Associated Press)

  2. Papal preacher blasts Da Vinci Code, Judas gospel | A Vatican official on Friday railed against "The Da Vinci Code," branding the book and its upcoming film version as just more examples of Jesus being sold out by a wave of what he called "pseudo-historic" art (Reuters)

  3. 'Gospel' sheds more light on early church than on Judas | Despite splashy headlines touting a potential exoneration of Christianity's most notorious villain, most experts say the newly published "Gospel of Judas" reveals far more about the pluralism of the second-century church than it does about the historical Judas Iscariot or his role in the death of Christ (National Catholic Reporter)

  4. History, faith meet in Akron bank vault | A portion of the Gospel of Judas is sitting in a bank vault on South Main Street (Akron Beacon Journal, Oh.)

  5. Worn pages tell a tale | Millionaire art dealer Bruce Ferrini had it all: fame, fortune and respect. But tragedy struck the Bath resident, and his storybook life began to unravel (Akron Beacon Journal, Oh.)

Gospel of Judas (editorials):

  1. Judas' deal, 2,000 years later | Thirty pieces of silver then, or $1.5 million now: It's still about money (Editorial, Los Angeles Times)

  2. The missing | It is the Gospel of Judas's lack of a resurrection story that ultimately betrays it as non-canonical, as undeserving of inclusion in the New Testament (Editorial, The Philippine Inquirer)

  3. Judas in context | Gospel sheds light on history, but not Christ (Editorial, The Dallas Morning News)

Gospel of Judas (opinion):

  1. A debate flares on betrayal | Did Judas betray Jesus, or did the National Geographic Society and assorted scholars betray Judas? (Peter Steinfels, The New York Times)

  2. Judas saves | Why the lost gospel makes sense (Christopher Hitchens, Slate)

  3. Faith is not shaken by a Judas 'gospel' | As Holy Week drew on, other voices began raising doubts about the Gospel of Judas — not about its authenticity, but about its importance (Helen Colwell Adams, Lancaster Sunday News, Pa.)

  4. As One Who Serves | On Christ's real message and the Gospel of Judas. N. T. Wright's Maundy Thursday sermon (

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  1. A prophecy: 'The Judas Code' is coming | Biblical fiction, long out of favor, is making a major comeback (Mary Rourke, Los Angeles Times)

  2. A new twist on Judas | Beyond the buzz over gospel's publication (E. J. Dionne Jr., The Washington Post)

  3. Judas gospel evokes some grim memories | The writers, and especially the editors, of the Christian Bible had an understandable interest in discrediting the Jews. Turning Judas into the archetype of the untrustworthy, despicable Jew played perfectly into that plan (Frida Ghitis, Ft. Worth Star-Telegram, Tex.)

  4. Gospel of Judas has more hype than revelation | While the Gospel of Judas is remarkable as an ancient find, the text discloses no more about the historical Judas than Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code (Beverly Kelley, Ventura County Star, Ca.)

  5. Getting Judas off the hook? | Before addressing the question that is most often asked, "Why did Judas betray Jesus?" we need to ask, "What did Judas betray?" (David E. Garland, Waco Tribune-Herald, Tex.)

  6. Jesus and Judas at Easter time | If the document is "true" — if Jesus conspired with Judas to betray him to the Romans — then Jesus was a fraud and so were the four evangelists and so is the whole Christian story (Andrew M. Greeley, Arizona Daily Star)

  7. Christians cry foul far too often | News articles about the Gospel of Judas aren't a form of persecution (Issac J. Bailey, The Sun News, Myrtle Beach, S.C.)

  8. A place at the table for Judas? | Part of the Easter tradition for Christians is celebrating Jesus' forgiveness of those who crucified Him (Fran Wood, The Star-Ledger, Newark, N.J.)

  9. And the traitors will become heroes | There is of course nothing in the Gospel According to Judas that brings us closer to the historical figures of Judas or Jesus. There is also no basis to the claim that had this text not disappeared for 1,700 years, Christian anti-Semitism would not have developed like it did (Guy G. Stroumsa, Haaretz, Tel Aviv)

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Historical Jesus:

  1. Is Jesus risen? Literal view gains ground | In recent years, there has been a rise in the popularity and stature of books that embrace the traditional view of Easter, experts say (The Washington Post)

  2. Defending the faith | Millions of Christians read the Easter story through the lens of faith. But a growing number of people are reading it like an Oliver Stone script as Easter conspiracy stories gain traction in popular culture. (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

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  1. Resurrecting faith | Not all Christians believe in the resurrection of Jesus (The Australian)

  2. The persistence of faith | Christians reach beyond Easter uproar to find hope (Detroit Free Press)

  3. A recast Passion still holds reverence | It wasn't your father's Passion play. And it sure wasn't Mel Gibson's. No flogging. No gore. No Pontius Pilate. For that matter, no Jesus (Rich Barlow, The Boston Globe)

  4. Jesus nation | The never-ending American battle over how to think about Jesus (Richard Wightman Fox, Slate)

  5. Jesus' bones | Here's hoping we never find them (Chloe Breyer, Slate)

  6. No doubt about Easter's true meaning | Casting nagging doubts drives newsstand sales (John Kass, Chicago Tribune)

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The meaning of Easter:

  1. The Easter vocation | Jesus' remarkable command to Mary Magdalene is the climax of John's story of Easter morning. N. T. Wright's Easter sermon (

  2. Why I won't stop going to church | Just in time for Easter (Patrick O'Hannigan, The American Spectator)

  3. Passionate last words | Father George W. Rutler focuses on what Jesus said at the end (National Review Online)

  4. 'Other Christians' | Easter is an appropriate time to meditate on the idea that God knows we are a mixture of good and evil, but loves us anyway (Jane Williams, The Guardian, London)

  5. Gimme that prime-time religion | With so many faiths celebrating holy days in the spring, it's important to remember why we believe what we do (Marc Gellman, Newsweek)

  6. A blessing or a purse, it's your choice | Marking liberation, be it physical or spiritual, raises a question: Released from slavery, we are free to do what? (Diane Winston, Los Angeles Times)

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Easter in America:

  1. Megachurches fill big venues on Easter | To celebrate one of Christianity's holiest days, tens of thousands of worshippers packed an unusual place of worship — the Georgia Dome (Associated Press)

  2. People stand, the Spirit walks: Easter at the Georgia Dome | The stadium hosted an estimated 40,000 people for a four-hour event billed as the world's largest Easter service (The New York Times)

  3. A time to celebrate | Special services, helping hands mark Easter (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

  4. Photos: Easter services around Atlanta (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

  5. Students reenact Easter story as rite of passage | At a South Pasadena church school, bringing the Passion to life is a tradition for each year's eighth-grade class (Los Angeles Times)

  6. Vandals strike church on Easter | "Satanic" graffiti was found just before Easter services on the exterior of the Santa Cruz Missionary Baptist Church on the 700 block of Woodrow Avenue (Santa Cruz Sentinel, Ca.)

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  1. Also: Santa Cruz police investigate graffiti sprayed on church | Parishioners of the Santa Cruz Missionary Baptist Church got an unpleasant surprise on Easter morning: Someone had spray-painted upside-down crucifixes and other graffiti on the outside of the church (San Jose Mercury News, Ca.)

  2. Shunning the bunny in New York | The Christian Cultural Center in New York is stressing that Easter is not just about chocolate bunnies and Easter egg hunts. As Fred Mogul of member station WNYC reports, the center wants its congregation to celebrate Christ's resurrection (Weekend Edition Saturday, NPR)

  3. Worshipping, cowboy style | Soggy weather doesn't dampen Easter morning church service at the Auburn Wild West Stampede (The Sacramento Bee, Ca.)

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Easter stunts:

  1. Crucify me? Sorry, I've changed my mind | Faced with a cross, a set of 4in nails and a man with a hammer, and surrounded by bleeding self-flagellants, Dominik Diamond's plans to be crucified during one of Easter's most brutal religious ceremonies literally ended in tears yesterday (The Telegraph, London)

  2. A crucifixion too far as TV stunt backfires | Dominik Diamond, a Scottish television and radio presenter, yesterday broke down in tears and refused to be nailed to a wooden cross as part of a re- enactment of the Passion of Christ in the Philippines (The Scotsman)

  3. 'God made me cancel my own crucifixion' | Dominik Diamond broke down and wept after watching nine Filipinos take their turn to be whipped and nailed on crosses and realising that his turn was next (The Times, London)

  4. Church blasts Robbie 'crucifixtion' | Church leaders have attacked pop star Robbie Williams for his controversial "crucifixion" stunt, which was shown on TV on Easter Sunday (Virgin, U.K.)

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War on Easter?

  1. Christian holidays mix history, culture | Holidays, and the historical links with our nation and culture, are merely the highest-profile targets of an ongoing campaign by secularists (Shannon L. Goessling, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

  2. Amen to this: Easter not basket case | Easter Sunday is doing just fine, thank you (Jennifer Harper, The Washington Times)

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Easter on the Gulf Coast:

  1. One church's Easter gift to another | Ashburn worshipers send pews to hurricane-struck Miss.  congregation (The Washington Post)

  2. Finding new meaning in Holy Week | After Katrina, Gulf Coast ministers working with extra burden (The Washington Post)

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  1. A little faith can go far in New Orleans | Holy Week on the Gulf Coast (The Washington Times)

  2. An Easter sermon on recovering from Katrina | The Mississippi coastal town of Bay St. Louis has been undergoing a renewal since Hurricane Katrina flooded the town last fall. With the faithful celebrating Passover and Easter this week, Madeleine Brand speaks to the Rev. Sebastian Myladiyil of St. Rose de Lima Parish about how his sermon this Sunday will address the town's physical and spiritual reconstruction (Day to Day, NPR)

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Easter in India:

  1. 'Hindu' activists ransack prayer halls | A group of about eight to 10 persons allegedly belonging to a Hindu organisation barged into a prayer hall, assaulted the priest and ransacked the property at Bantaguri in Bantwal taluk on Easter Sunday (Deccan Herald, India)

  2. Six held on charge of disrupting prayer meeting | The Bantwal police have not been able to arrest those involved in an attack at a prayer hall of the Believers Church of India at Bantaguri on Sunday (The Hindu, India)

  3. Earlier: Miscreants disrupt prayer meeting | The reason for the attack is being investigated (The Hindu, India)

  4. Conversion: Two Christians eves held | Two Christian women accused of trying to convert people to their religion have been arrested in Jabalpur district of Madhya Pradesh, the police said on Sunday (IANS, India)

  5. Also: Two Christian women arrested and charged with conversion | The arrest followed a report filed by someone who remained anonymous. The two women were distributing flyers about the Bible (, Catholic news service)

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Easter in Iraq:

  1. Where attending church at Easter is itself a test of faith | To reach her church to celebrate Good Friday today, Sameera Girgis will be smuggled on to a bus at a secret location, walk through a chicane of razor wire, and submit to a body search by gunmen guarding the Evangelical Protestant Church in central Baghdad. Security teams will check even her Bible to ensure that there is no bomb inside (The Times, London)

  2. U.S. troops attend Easter services in Iraq | In Iraq, U.S. troops held sunrise services to mark Easter Sunday. It was a week for all religions -- Jewish soldiers marked Passover, and the Muslim soldiers celebrated the Prophet Mohammed. But the majority of U.S. troops are Christian, and many came out to pray today at bases across Iraq (All Things Considered, NPR)

  3. Iraq's Christians mark Good Friday | Members of Iraq's Christian minority visited churches in Baghdad and across the country to mark Good Friday. Under Saddam Hussein, Christians enjoyed a degree of protection. Now many are fleeing Iraq because of the continuing violence (All Things Considered, NPR)

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  1. Iraqis find respite in faith, priest says | Attendance is booming at the Rev. Andrew White's church as more Iraqi Christians seek solace in religion to cope with a life of car bombings, kidnappings and deprivation (Associated Press)

  2. Faith makes for safety in Baghdad, the most dangerous parish in the world | Since last Easter all of my lay leaders have been killed, a suicide bomber turned up in church, people have been killed at our church entrance, we have endured car bombs and been attacked and our church has been surrounded by concrete barricades (Andrew White, The Times, London)

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Easter in the Middle East:

  1. Christians celebrate Easter with religious fervour | Christians celebrated Easter with great religious fervour and enthusiasm on Sunday amid tight security (Daily Times, Pakistan)

  2. Finding solace in 'Rocket City' | Religious services reach U.S. Troops in remote corner of Afghanistan (The Washington Post)

  3. 30ft high Jerusalem wall bars pilgrims' way | Pilgrims wishing to follow in the footsteps of Jesus to Jerusalem from the place where he raised Lazarus from the dead will soon need their own miracle, as the ancient route is about to be severed by the Jerusalem wall (The Telegraph, London)

  4. Christians prevented from attending Jerusalem rites | As pilgrims from around the world gathered at the site of the Crucifixion, church leaders protested that Israel had prevented thousands of the Holy Land's Christians from attending Easter celebrations (The Times, London)

  5. Jerusalem's Old City welcomes celebrants | Thousands of pilgrims packed the narrow alleyways of the Old City to mark Jesus' resurrection — more visitors than in recent years, reflecting a downturn in the Palestinian-Israeli violence that had kept tourists away (Associated Press)

  6. Religion Today: Holy fire | The upcoming ceremony on April 22 — the eve of Orthodox Easter — has elements for even higher drama. The land scandal has splintered the Greek Orthodox, one of the caretakers of the Holy Sepulcher shrine (Associated Press)

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More on the Holy Land:

  1. 2 Muslim families work together to keep open site where Jesus was crucified, buried | Rivalries over the Church of the Holy Sepulcher have sparked brawls, riots and even a 19th-century war. Nothing is too small to fight about, not even a key (Knight Ridder)

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  1. Christian Left rejects Hamas boycott | Leaders of the Christian left in Europe and the US are backing calls by the patriarchs and heads of churches in Jerusalem for the EU and the US to resume aid to Hamas (The Jerusalem Post)

  2. Jerusalem, now | It is an extraordinary time in an extraordinary city — a place where both armies and souls contend, and where hope coexists with anxiety (The New York Times)

  3. In the West Bank, politics and tourism remain bound together inextricably | Not only does Israel regulate the movement of tourists to the West Bank and their Palestinian guides, but Israeli tour operators mostly control how and where tourists dollars are spent (The New York Times)

  4. Holy land roots | Arab Christians from the Mideast recall walking where Jesus did (The Orlando Sentinel)

  5. Palestinian Christians suffer, too | Coming here for a firsthand look, I found the plight of the village's Christians worse than I had reported (Robert Novak, Chicago Sun-Times)

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Reenacting Holy Week:

  1. Pilgrims retrace Jesus' route in Jerusalem | Thousands of Christian pilgrims filled the narrow streets of Jerusalem's Old City on Good Friday, retracing the route that Jesus followed on the way to his crucifixion (Associated Press)

  2. Devotees nailed to cross in Philippines | At least 11 Filipino devotees were nailed to the cross during Good Friday reenactments of Christ's final hours (Associated Press)

  3. Day that Jesus came to the Arndale Centre | Never before has the music of so many blasphemers, adulterers, Judases, sodomites, narcissists, drunkards, pill poppers, and ne'er-do-wells been compiled to celebrate the passing and second coming of Jesus. (Simon Hattenstone, The Guardian)

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  1. Some Jews see trespass in church seders | Christian phenomenon that's gaining popularity across the country -- to the consternation of many in the Jewish community as well as some interfaith leaders (The Washington Post)

  2. Christians' interest in Seders is on the rise | Critics worry about confusing traditions (Asbury Park Press, N.J.)

  3. Seders with a different purpose | Christians warm up to Passover (Los Angeles Daily News)

  4. Passover, potlucks, and plagues | For 27 years, Temple Beth Hillel has held a camping Seder for the Jewish holiday. Wind, heat or thunderstorms have given the events a near-biblical feel (Los Angeles Times)

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Pope's Easter messages:

  1. Benedict urges peace in his first Easter address | Alluding to the Iran nuclear issue, the pope calls for 'serious and honest' talks. Memories of John Paul lend Holy Week rites extra gravity (Los Angeles Times)

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  1. Pope's Easter message calls for diplomacy | In his first Easter message as pontiff, Pope Benedict XVI on Sunday urged nations to use diplomacy to defuse nuclear crises — a clear reference to worries over Iran — and prayed that Palestinians would one day have their own state alongside Israel (Associated Press)

  2. Pope leads candelit Easter vigil mass | Pope Benedict XVI ushered in Easter services late Saturday with a dramatic, candlelit vigil in St. Peter's Basilica, saying Christ's resurrection was "the most crucial leap" in the history of mankind (Associated Press)

  3. Pope calls for nuclear diplomacy | Pope Benedict, in his first Easter message, called on Sunday for an "honorable solution" to the nuclear standoff with Iran, a truly independent Palestinian state, and global cooperation to combat terrorism (Reuters)

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Pope Benedict, one year in:

  1. Pope of surprises? | John Paul II was a tough act to follow. A long-time Vatican observer reflects on Benedict's first year. An interview with Richard John Neuhaus (Newsweek)

  2. One year on, Pope Benedict confounds critics | Not only has "God's rottweiler" not bitten, he has barely even barked (Reuters)

  3. Benedict keeps focus on church | Unlike his globetrotting predecessor, this pope is quietly working to reshape the papacy (Los Angeles Times)

  4. Benedict's appeal moves beyond 'caricature' | The past year has revealed Benedict as a surprisingly popular and empathetic pontiff, Vatican experts say (USA Today)

  5. Quiet pope confounds expectations | His style is certainly very different to his predecessor, and the first year of his papacy appears to have been a quiet one (BBC)

  6. Pope Benedict surprises many during first year | John Allen, Vatican correspondent for the National Catholic Reporter, talks to Renee Montagne about the first year of Pope Benedict's papacy. He was elected one year ago this week and has surprised many Vatican observers by failing to play the role of arch-conservative (Morning Edition, NPR)

  7. Ratzinger's quiet non-revolution | A year into his papacy and the radical shift many had expected when Pope Benedict XVI became pope last spring has yet to arrive. Instead, he has chosen discretion (Der Spiegel, Germany)

  8. Benedict's first year | One year on, he shapes up to be more a consulter than an enforcer more a teacher than a star (John L. Allen Jr., National Catholic Reporter)

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  1. A very surprising Pope | He is no longer characterized as the Rottweiler, but as the German shepherd, dedicated to keeping an eye on his flock. Even commentators who would scarcely describe themselves as fans have been impressed (Stephen McGinty, The Scotsman)

  2. Blessings all round from the iPod Pope | A year ago Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was billed as 'God's rottweiler' when he succeeded the charismatic John Paul II. Instead he has surprised us with his taste for iPods, Prada and a gentle message of 'all you need is love' (Peter Stanford, The Observer, London)

  3. From God's rottweiler to 'my German Shepherd'—the transformation of Pope Benedict | The Pope Benedict XVI Fan Club has become one of the most popular religious websites on the internet (Elizabeth Day, The Telegraph, London)

  4. A 'kinder, gentler' Benedict in first year as pope | He has not lowered the boom. He has not cracked down on persons or trends in the church (James M. Weiss, The Boston Globe)

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  1. This Catholic church is born again | Evangelical approach helps attendance soar (Chicago Tribune)

  2. China official says no timetable on Vatican ties | China has no timetable for re-establishing ties with the Vatican, a religious official was quoted as saying, throwing into doubt earlier reports that the two sides could have diplomatic relations by the 2008 Olympics (Reuters)

  3. Catholic confessions | Five years ago this month, I became a Catholic (Gregory Rodriguez, Los Angeles Times)

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1980 nun murder trial in Toledo:

  1. Priest's murder trial starts | Potential jurors quizzed in nun's slaying (The Toledo Blade, Oh.)

  2. Landmark murder trial of priest to start Monday | Toledo nun was killed day before Easter '80 (The Toledo Blade)

  3. Priest headed to trial over nun's slaying | When Sister Margaret Ann Pahl's body was found the day before Easter 26 years ago, she had been strangled and stabbed in a hospital chapel. The wounds on her chest and neck resembled a cross. Jury selection was to begin Monday in the murder trial of the man accused of her killing, the Rev. Gerald Robinson, the same Roman Catholic priest who presided at Pahl's funeral Mass (Associated Press)

  4. No shortage of drama as priest's trial opens | Jury selection in his trial begins today in Lucas County Common Pleas Court under the glare of intense media cover-age, including gavel-to-gavel coverage planned by CourtTV (The Toledo Blade)

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Nun killed in Buffalo:

  1. Missing nun dead; man charged | Parolee lived in her shelter; police say suspect attacked sister during a burglary (The Buffalo News, N.Y.)

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  1. Sister Karen was careful, but determined to help | She worked tirelessly for ex-convicts, peace (The Buffalo News, N.Y.)

  2. She took a stand for others | Personal recollection: Remembering Sister Karen Klimczak (Paula Voell, The Buffalo News, N.Y.)

  3. Nun who founded ex-con home found dead | The body of a missing Catholic nun was found Monday after her stolen cell phone led police to a parolee who was living in the home for former prison inmates where she worked, authorities said (Associated Press)

  4. Monday: Police searching for nun who founded Hope House | A search is under way for Sister Karen Klimczak, founder and director of Hope House, a residence for former prison inmates (The Buffalo News, N.Y.)

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  1. Church battling plans to ease abuse lawsuits | The Catholic Church is having early success in fighting proposals in state legislatures that would permit people claiming they were sexually abused as children to sue priests and other church officials long after the alleged offenses occurred (USA Today)

  2. Archdiocese loses case to keep former priests' records secret | The Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal to withhold personnel records of two former California priests involved in an investigation of child molesting (The New York Times)

  3. Also: Mahony must give D.A. files | Supreme Court's stance on records of two priests accused of abuse could affect many more cases (Los Angeles Times)

  4. Also: High court won't interfere with subpoenas | The Supreme Court on Monday refused to interfere in a California prosecutor's efforts to obtain confidential counseling records kept by the Catholic Church on two priests under investigation for molesting children (Associated Press)

  5. Court overturns ex-priest's conviction | The 2nd District Court of Appeal ruled 2-1 on Thursday that misconduct occurred during Fernando Lopez's trial when the prosecutor expressed her personal opinions to jurors (Associated Press)

  6. Churches fail to guard against child abuse | Thousands of Christian churches have failed to introduce formal child protection policies despite the violent death of Victoria Climbié six years ago, research shows (The Telegraph, London)

  7. Diocese priest abuse case to get under way this week | The trial in the first of 12 cases involving a former Catholic priest accused of molesting altar boys at Christ the King Church in Burlington in the 1970s is scheduled to get under way this week in Burlington (Burlington Free Press, Vt.)

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  1. 85 plaintiffs seek federal trial against archdiocese | Forty claims move to state court, where they're more likely to have a jury hearing (The Oregonian)

  2. Also: Archdiocese sex abuse cases head for court | A judge cleared the way Monday for nearly 130 sex abuse claims to go to trial, almost two years after the Catholic Archdiocese of Portland filed for bankruptcy (Associated Press)

  3. Ex-Foxborough priest indicted on decades-old rape charge | Despite the lapse of time since the alleged crime occurred, the district attorney was able to pursue charges because of a provision in the statute of limitations that excludes any period of time a suspect is not a resident of Massachusetts (The Boston Globe)

  4. 28 names added to list of accused abusers | A Boston-based group pushing for more public access to information on the clergy sexual abuse crisis said Monday that the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago had published an incomplete list of clergy accused of sexually abusing minors and offered a roster with 28 additional names (Chicago Tribune)

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Crime and violence:

  1. Humanitarian crisis in N. Uganda neglected | The depredations of the cultlike Lord's Resistance Army has led to suffering on a mass scale for the Acholi population in northern part of Uganda — with little notice from the outside world (Associated Press)

  2. Head of St Lucia's Roman Catholic Church survives assassination attempt | Police say the Archbishop was speaking to someone outside the church, when a man walked up to his back and attempted to slash his throat with a knife (Caribbean Net News)

  3. Also: Bishop Felix leads Castries procession after brutal Wednesday attack (Trinidad & Tobago Newsday)

  4. Pope honors priest shot to death in Turkey | Pope Benedict XVI recalled the sacrifice of a cleric slain in Turkey as the pontiff on Thursday celebrated a Holy Week Mass dedicated to priests (Associated Press)

  5. Alabama church arson suspects plead not guilty | Three young men accused of setting fire to nine Baptist churches in rural Alabama pleaded not guilty during a brief hearing before a U.S. magistrate on Thursday (Reuters)

  6. Rally prays for healing in Duke case | A bishop who led a prayer rally Sunday called for healing in the community inflamed by racial tensions after a black woman alleged she was sexually assaulted by white members of the Duke University lacrosse team (Associated Press)

  7. Family says delay cost victim his last rites | Police shooting notice took several hours (The Washington Post)

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  1. 'I still forgive him' | Paralyzed at 3 by a stray gunshot, Hub girl faces the man who fired it (The Boston Globe)

  2. Also: A child's message of grace amazes her city | ''I know he didn't mean to do it,'' Kai Leigh Harriott, 5, said of the man whose stray gunshot left her paralyzed (The Boston Globe)

  3. Police warns churches | The police have warned leaders of born-again Christians not to use violence against other Pentecostal denominations (New Vision, Uganda)

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War and terrorism:

  1. Former Iraq hostage considered suicide | "I thought it might help the Canadians, if they got rid of the Brit," said Norman Kember, who was abducted along with two Canadians and an American, Tom Fox. Fox was later killed (Associated Press)

  2. Also: Mixed reaction to Kember remarks | Friends of former Iraq hostage Norman Kember have praised him for giving an interview with the BBC, but others have said it was too early for him to speak (BBC)

  3. Home sought for Ground Zero cross | A priest working to keep a steel cross on the site of the World Trade Center attacks is optimistic that he and the property owners will work out an agreement (Associated Press)

  4. Also: Rev. standing guard over WTC 'cross' | The ground zero cross, spared an exile in storage at Kennedy Airport, appeared bound yesterday for a temporary home alongside downtown's St. Peter's Church (New York Daily News)

  5. Civil rights leader boosts war protesters | The Rev. Joseph Lowery on Sunday urged war protesters camping near President Bush's ranch to keep working for peace (Associated Press)

  6. For war's wounded, another dawn to celebrate | More than 400 people, including about a half-dozen injured soldiers, who assembled to pray on a breezy spring morning at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Northwest Washington (The Washington Post)

  7. Christians face charges over break-in | Four Christian activists will face a committal hearing this week over a break-in at a top military base in central Australia (, Australia)

  8. Reinventing religion | In a time when many violent acts are made in the name of religion, what does it mean to be one of the faithful? (Weekend Edition Saturday, NPR)

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Genocides past and present:

  1. Mayor jailed over Rwanda genocide | A Rwandan ex-mayor has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for aiding and abetting killing in the 1994 genocide (BBC)

  2. Rwanda survivors say Hollywood has got it wrong | Details matter, they say (Reuters)

  3. 'I've seen too much blood in my life' | Scores of her relatives were slain in Rwanda. Now, she pleads for the thousands dying in Sudan (The Boston Globe)

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  1. The slaughter spreads | Sudan seems determined to extend its genocide to Chad (Nicholas D. Kristof, The New York Times)

  2. Fifteen killed in south Sudan militia clashes | Fifteen people including 11 civilians have been killed in clashes between militia fighters in southern Sudan since Saturday, straining a deal that ended the country's north-south civil war, officials said on Monday (Reuters)

  3. Chad says Sudan exporting turmoil | Chad accused Sudan on Sunday of trying to use the conflict in Darfur to destabilize the whole of central Africa and it demanded the international community intervene to prevent regional turmoil (Reuters)

  4. U.S. seen as delaying Sudan sanction debate | A year ago, the U.N. Security Council authorized targeted sanctions against Sudanese officials, and others responsible for atrocities in Sudan's Darfur region. But some U.N. diplomats accuse the U.S. of holding up talks on a list of people to be targeted by the sanctions (Morning Edition, NPR)

  5. Rallying against genocide | Rarely has there been such an extraordinary range of groups so committed to act -- not just sign petitions to end atrocities (Nat Hentoff, The Washington Times)

  6. A PBS documentary makes its case for the Armenian genocide, with or without a debate | This documentary honors the victims of the Armenian genocide and also pays tribute to dissidents who are brave enough to speak out despite government censorship (The New York Times)

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Life ethics:

  1. A date with death | With a simple glass of barbiturate, this man offers people a permanent solution to their problems. So far Ludwig Minelli has helped more than 40 Britons to kill themselves. How does he get away with it? (The Times, London)

  2. Spitzer unveils $1 billion stem cell proposal | Eliot Spitzer, who is running for governor of New York State, promised that his administration would push for a bond to pay for stem cell and other medical research (The New York Times)

  3. Push for stem cell funds stalling on Capitol Hill | Millions at stake for Mass. firms (The Boston Globe)

  4. Steele wants death penalty reexamined | Democrats criticize timing of statements (The Washington Post)

  5. Also: Death Row gives Kaine a test of faith, duty | Governor faces dilemma in 1st clemency request (The Washington Post)

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Philippine president commutes all death sentences:

  1. Philippines commutes 1,200 death sentences | Gloria Macapagal Arroyo said the death sentence would be commuted to life in prison for everyone on death row. Her justice minister said the government would commute all future death sentences as well (Associated Press)

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  1. Arroyo commutes death sentences | Philippine President Gloria Arroyo's decision to commute the death sentence for more than 1,000 convicts has been condemned by victim support groups (BBC)

  2. Manila's Arroyo commutes all death sentences | Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo commuted all death sentences to life imprisonment in an Easter gesture slammed by critics on Sunday as an abuse of power (Reuters)

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  1. 'Roe v. Wade': The divided states of America | How states would be likely to respond if Roe were reversed (USA Today)

  2. Ripples from law banning abortion spread through South Dakota | Many people in South Dakota are uneasy in their spot at the leading edge of the country's clash over abortion (The New York Times)

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Ky. prof leads destruction of pro-life display:

  1. NKU prof put on leave | A professor who led students in destroying an anti-abortion display at Northern Kentucky University has been placed on leave for the remaining week and a half of classes, NKU administrators announced Monday (The Cincinnati Enquirer)

  2. Professor put on leave after abortion spat | A college professor has been put on leave and will retire at the end of the semester after admitting she told students to destroy an anti-abortion display on campus (Associated Press)

  3. Damage to Ky. anti-abortion display probed | A university professor is under investigation after some of her students pulled up crosses from an anti-abortion display on campus and dumped them in the trash (Associated Press)

  4. Lawmaker wants prof fired | English teacher urged students to ruin Right to Life display (The Cincinnati Enquirer)

  5. Crosses at NKU stir free speech flap | A Northern Kentucky University literature professor could be disciplined for her role in the removal of nearly 400 crosses that were erected on campus as part of a display by a right to life group (The Kentucky Post)

  6. A new way to debate: vandalize! | It's moot how you feel about abortion. This is about respect and intelligent discourse (Dan Hassert and Robert White, The Kentucky Post)

  7. Destruction is not free speech | If Jacobsen helped destroy the display, she deserves to face criminal charges. For her crass disregard for free speech and self-righteous disdain for opinions she opposes, she deserves to lose her position on the NKU staff (Editorial, The Cincinnati Enquirer)

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  1. Free speech on campus | Northern Kentucky University professor Sally Jacobsen made a big mistake when she invited her students to help her tear down an anti-abortion display on campus (Editorial, The Kentucky Post)

  2. Right to Life group to press charges against protestors | Students plan vigil to protect display (The Northerner, NKU student newspaper)

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Higher education:

  1. Judge rules against Christian group | UC Hastings College of the Law is entitled to deny funding and official recognition to a Christian student group because it bars gays, lesbians and non-Christians as members, a federal judge ruled Monday (San Francisco Chronicle)

  2. Congress moves to except religious schools from gay rights laws | Private Christian colleges would be excepted from local and state non-discrimination laws under a proposed amendment to the Higher Education Act—a move that would allow the schools to legally reject LGBT students (

  3. Colleges consider stressing danger of pressure groups | After years of doing little to educate students on the groups, some colleges are reconsidering whether they should do more to teach students about the dangers of cults (The Boston Globe)

  4. Tech students file freedom of speech suit | Attacks on homosexuality, feminism violate student conduct guidelines (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

  5. 8th Circuit finds for Okla. man who preaches on Ark. campus | Panel: University of Arkansas at Fayetteville must revise policy imposing limits on how often off-campus groups can use school facilities (Associated Press)

  6. Also: Setting the rules on free expression | Strict limits on the number of times someone can use public space at a public university are unconstitutional, a federal appeals court ruled Friday (Inside Higher Ed)

  7. On the road: Young gay activists | The Equality Riders have been received cautiously but cordially at most stops so far (Newsweek)

  8. Also: Student gay activists are on an equality trek, says 'Mr. Sulu' | A busload of young people visiting campuses got a chilly reception but some welcome help (Minneapolis Star-Tribune)

  9. Notre Dame may have to repay $500K grant | Yes, the University of Notre Dame can be ordered to pay back a $500,000 federal grant it used to train Catholic school teachers, a federal appellate court ruled Thursday (Chicago Sun-Times)

  10. The indignity of Notre Dame | The university's new president endorses the wrong feminism (Colleen Carroll Campbell, National Review Online)

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  1. There's another side of the issue at Belmont to be considered | The issue is much more than the TBC being opposed to non-Baptist trustees at Belmont University. The real issue is: Has Belmont violated an agreement that was signed in good faith in 1951? (Lonnie Wilkey, The Tennessean, Nashville)

  2. A war over words | Christian activists have a new battle: the war on Christian students. But this war is being waged in courtrooms instead of on right-wing radio, and what's really being defended is the right to free speech (Editorial, Los Angeles Times)

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University of the Cumberlands gay student issue:

  1. Cumberland controversy loses intensity | Senator to announce funding; gay activists to rally in park (Lexington Herald-Leader, Ky.)

  2. Friday: Gay and Christian | He didn't seek notoriety but will be advocate (Lexington Herald-Leader, Ky.)

  3. Baptist leader defends decision | Scriptures cited as basis for expulsion (Lexington Herald-Leader, Ky.)

  4. Saturday: Legislators oppose pharmacy proposal | Gov. Ernie Fletcher said yesterday that he has not decided whether he will veto state money for a proposed pharmacy school at the University of the Cumberlands in Williamsburg (Lexington Herald-Leader, Ky.)

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Guilty plea in Trinity racist letters case:

  1. Woman pleads guilty in racist letters case | Alicia Hardin, 20, also was ordered Thursday to perform 200 hours of community service, pay $2,000 restitution and cease all contact with Trinity International University, a small Christian school in suburban Chicago (Chicago Tribune)

  2. Hate- crime case in court | Fine, probation: Trinity co-ed sent threatening letters (The News Sun, Waukegan, Ill.)

  3. Ex-student at Trinity convicted for threats | In plea deal, woman gets probation (Chicago Tribune)

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  1. Milwaukee expands school voucher program | Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle signed a measure last month to increase the number of participants in the Milwaukee program from the current 15,000 students to as many as 22,500 next school year (Associated Press)

  2. Who's in control? | Christian student group senses bias as district reviews facility-use policy (Ft. Worth Star-Telegram, Tex.)

  3. Also: Bible study group sues to be treated like other clubs | Lawyers representing a faith-based student organization, which sued the Plano school district in March alleging religious discrimination, plan to ask for a temporary restraining order today in a U.S. district court (Ft. Worth Star-Telegram, Tex.)

  4. Pocola school sued over prayers | The federal program coordinator of the Pocola School District has filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Muskogee charging school officials with promoting religion for "prayer sessions" during biannual employee meetings (Times Record, Ft. Smith, Ark.)

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  1. Poetic justice: Nev. teen can recite mild curses in verses | Federal judge rejects school's objection to 'damn' and 'hell' in W.H. Auden's 'The More Loving One,' says ninth-grader may use poem in state contest (Associated Press)

  2. Playing politics with the Bible: Coming to a school near you? | Public schools need to teach about the Bible, but not a prescribed, narrow interpretation (Charles C. Haynes, First Amendment Center)

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Education (non-U.S.):

  1. Call to cut religions' role in schools | Members of the largest classroom teaching union will warn today of the dangers of the creeping influence of religious organizations in education, including Christian fundamentalist sponsors of state schools where creationism is routinely taught (The Guardian, London)

  2. Also: This is a clash of civilisations - between reason and superstition | Religious schools are indoctrinating and divisive. The people don't want them. So why are MPs backing them? (Polly Toynbee, The Guardian, London)

  3. 'Anti-church' texts complaint rejected | Victoria's Equal Opportunity Commission has rejected claims the state's high school students are being brainwashed with textbooks that ridicule and demean the Catholic Church (The Australian)

  4. Also: Church vilified in classrooms | Religious wars have no place in our school education system (Kevin Donnelly, The Australian)

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  1. Creationist to will lead seminary science center | Intelligent-design advocate leaving (The Courier-Journal, Louisville, Ky.)

  2. Academic worry grows over "intelligent design" | Just days after an academic controversy erupted in Canada over the theory of evolution, Britain's top science organization has taken the unusual step of issuing a warning about the global rise of ''intelligent design'' as a rival explanation for life on Earth (Vancouver Sun)

  3. Star of creationist circuit flies in hoping to stir the faithful in small towns of Britain | Far away from lofty pulpits, a small band will gather to welcome their champion, John Mackay (The Guardian, London)

  4. We believe in ET, not ID | The tweedy academics of America have joined my battle to stop a creationist takeover of outer space (Seth Shostak, The Guardian, London)

  5. Environmentalism and the apocalypse | The most contentious recent battle between creationists and evolutionary biologists is not the debate about the newly discovered ''missing link" between fish and land animals. Rather, it is a bizarre incident that involves predictions of doomsday and charges of encouraging terrorism (Cathy Young, The Boston Globe)

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  1. Media reports on scientists' faith were full of distortions | As it turns out, a clear majority of scientists surveyed were either atheist or agnostic (John Bice, Lansing State Journal, Mi.)

  2. Science does not challenge my faith - it strengthens it | Atheists accuse the church of lack of reason. It is time that they examined the poor logic of their own arguments (Richard Harries, The Observer, London)

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  1. Dig aims to unearth miracle of Jesus | Cana, the village in Galilee where the Bible says Jesus changed water into wine, has been excavated by archaeologists in a crash effort to uncover its ruins before they are pulverized by local building contractors (The Washington Times)

  2. Celebs: An effort of biblical proportions | It's hard to find God in Hollywood. Just ask Robi Reed, who's casting "The Bible Experience," a 70-hour audio recording of the Old and New Testaments performed by black actors (Newsweek)

  3. Thus sayeth the Lord (in the voice of James Earl Jones) | The voice is everything when it comes to audio versions of the Bible (The Seattle Times)

  4. Scholars, writers take on Bible | Some ask: Are Bible texts authentic? Are stories true? (The Dallas Morning News)

  5. One faith, many Bibles | There are literally hundreds of English versions of the Christian Bible on the market, ranging from the traditional to the trendy (Chicago Sun-Times)

  6. Endless new attempts to debunk old story | I am no longer surprised when, every year around this time, stories and new revelations emerge in the news seeking to unravel the fabric of the Christian story (The Orlando Sentinel)

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  1. The president who died for us | How Americans interpreted Abraham Lincoln's Good Friday murder (Richard Wightman Fox, The New York Times)

  2. It's gospel: Religion has always divided America | But Founding Fathers had a nonsectarian God in mind, authors argue (The Dallas Morning News)

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  1. Gwinnett parent wants Harry Potter off shelves | Move over Lord Voldemort. Harry Potter has a new foe. A Gwinnett County parent wants the popular series removed from all school libraries in the state's largest school district (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

  2. St. Martin's inks Winkler book | Hoping to cash in on the current domestic tragedy of the moment making headlines—that of Mary Winkler, the southern preacher's wife who, for still-inexplicable reasons, killed her husband and then fled the scene with their kids—St. Martin's Press has signed a book on the seemingly demure, down-home housewife (Publishers Weekly)

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  1. Beyond the well-known stories | John D. Spalding reviews The Last Week by Marcus J. Borg and John Dominic Crossan (Los Angeles Times)

  2. Chapter and verse | Arguments for a less literal reading of the Bible, given the errors of scribes and a trend to mistake allegory for history. Rich Barlow reviews How to Read the Bible by Steven L. McKenzie, Misquoting Jesus by Bart Ehrman, and The Secret Message of Jesus by Brian McLaren (The Boston Globe)

  3. Jesus and Judas: Testimonials | A roundup of the new books (The Washington Post)

  4. New in paperback: Easter readings | A new edition of Randall Balmer's Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory, Jonathan Edwards: America's Evangelical, Getting on Message: Challenging the Christian Right From the Heart of the Gospel, and other new releases (The Washington Post)

  5. Leaps of faith | The ways believers understand the sacred and the profane. Lauren F. Winner reviews An Infinity of Little Hours by Nancy Klein Maguire, The God Factor by Cathleen Falsani, and My Life With the Saints by James Martin (The Washington Post)

  6. You don't have to be a saint to be a saint | Cathleen Falsani on James Martin's My Life With the Saints (Chicago Sun-Times)

  7. The zeal of a convert | A Catholic intellectual's prescription for the church's renewal. Patrick Allitt reviews Catholic Matters by Richard John Neuhaus (The New York Times Book Review)

  8. Cracking Dante's code | Matilde Asensi's The Last Cato, the latest entry in the Da Vinci Code sweepstakes, is a strange, ambitious, sometimes interesting, often frustrating piece of work. Review by Patrick Anderson (The Washington Post)

  9. Confessional | A "black-belt sinner" describes her conversion to Catholicism in spiritual -- and spirited—verse. Judith Kitchen reviews Sinners Welcome by Mary Karr (The Washington Post)

  10. 'Collar' tells story of one year, five seminarians | Jonathan Englert spend a year at Sacred Heart seminary outside of Milwaukee, following five older men among the seminary's 80 students. He chronicled their classes and their downtime, their conflicts and their hopes (Weekend Edition Saturday, NPR)

  11. The scoop on 'Misquoting Jesus' | Subtitle might have been 'Revenge of the Nerds' (Garwood P. Anderson, The Orlando Sentinel)

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  1. Bible Game plays for youngsters | Serious religion students need not apply, as the title caters mainly to younger gamers through 20 minigames that present a humorous introduction to main figures and events from the Old Testament (The Washington Times)

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Art and drama:

  1. The play's the thing at Pittsburgh church targeting new crowd | Drama relates Bible stories in a gritty urban setting; even pastors have tattoos (The Wall Street Journal)

  2. Searching for truth amid the suffering | At what point does bearing witness become exploitation? (Mark Feeney, The Boston Globe)

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  1. For God and country | With two songs about faith up for awards next month, it appears that country, once the high temple of blue-collar good times, bad love and bar fights, has migrated to the altar (The New York Times)

  2. Episcopal churches turn to U2 to pack pews | Ushers handed out earplugs and fluorescent glow sticks for the "U2 Eucharist," a communion service punctuated by the Irish rock band's music (Associated Press)

  3. Simple gifts: The power of classic hymns | Bill Henderson, author of  Simple Gifts: Great Hymns: One Man's Search for Grace talks about his love of classic hymns and their spiritual significance (All Things Considered, NPR)

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  1. Hollywood turns to divine inspiration | Inspired by box-office smashes such as The Passion of the Christ and The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, studios are not only casting an eye to more religious-themed stories, but they're also marketing movies more aggressively than ever to churchgoers (USA Today)

  2. List: Movies with a spiritual bent abound this year and next | A look ahead at what you can expect (USA Today)

  3. The passion of Philip Anschutz | Is the financier of Walden Media bringing a faith-based business model to Hollywood? (Fortune)

  4. You've heard it all before | "Preaching to the Choir" couldn't be more aptly titled (The Washington Post)

  5. Also: Gospel comedy "Preaching" to limited audience | "Preaching to the Choir" is essentially "Brother Act" (Hollywood Reporter/Reuters)

  6. D.C. -- on screen and unfiltered | Showing "moral majority" types as closeted bigots, perverts and hypocrites is a grand cinematic pastime (Jonah Goldberg, Los Angeles Times)

  7. Author Jakes lands inspiring deal with Sony | Bishop T.D. Jakes, the self-help author behind the religious-themed drama "Woman Thou Art Loosed," has signed a production and distribution deal with Sony Pictures Entertainment (Reuters)

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A&E's God or the Girl:

  1. A real-life decision reflected on TV | Prospective priests give 'God or the Girl' a thumbs-up for its glimpse at their fork in the road (The Orlando Sentinel)

  2. 'God or the Girl,' a new show on A&E, follows four men contemplating the priesthood | A&E's show, where men have to choose between the priesthood and a life that includes marriage and family, trivializes the decision and the deeply held beliefs that drive it (The New York Times)

  3. On A&E, the call of the collar | In the wrong hands, "God or the Girl" -- a new A&E reality series about four young men debating whether to enter the priesthood -- could have been a blasphemous mess. Mercifully, it's a heartfelt, if slightly tedious, program about regular guys struggling with the biggest decision of their lives (The Washington Post)

  4. Priest or no priest? | In God or the Girl, four men ponder the celibate life (Slate)

  5. Related: 'God or the Girl' charts sacrifices of aspiring priests | Television critic Andrew Wallenstein reviews the new A&E reality series God or the Girl, which profiles four aspiring Catholic priests who wrestle with the sacrifices they make for a life devoted to the church (Day to Day, NPR)

  6. This reality show has a higher calling | A&E's ''God or the Girl" isn't nearly as bad as it sounds (The Boston Globe)

  7. Heaven help us | God or the Girl plumbs the depths of tastelessness (Father David Nuss, National Review Online)

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  1. Pilgrims trace women's role in early church | Inscriptions and images found on tombstones, frescoes and mosaics throughout the Mediterranean show that women held respected roles in the early Christian church that were identical to those held by men. They were apostles, priests, deacons and bishops (Weekend Edition Sunday, NPR)

  2. Equal in the eyes of God? | Christian tradition holds that there were three women at the foot of Jesus' cross. But why have they, and millions of Christian women, been silenced? (Michèle Roberts, The Guardian, London)

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Church life:

  1. Carter, Baptist groups issue new covenant | Former President Jimmy Carter, the nation's most famous ex-Southern Baptist, has forged a "Baptist Covenant" with Baptist groups that do not embrace Southern Baptists' conservative tilt (Religion News Service)

  2. Baptists to help churches rebuild | Three of the nation's largest black Baptist denominations announced plans Monday to help ruined churches and their church members find redevelopment money and rebuilding expertise for churches, nursing homes or other church projects across the storm-ravaged Gulf Coast (The Times-Picayune, New Orleans)

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  1. Modern ministry is off to raucous start | Pastor seeks to engage young generation in Md. (The Washington Post)

  2. Photo essay: An improbable church is born | Rev. Tony Lee, pastor and founder of the Community of Hope church, holds Easter service at the Legend Nightclub Sunday (The Washington Post)

  3. Church's coffee campaign is stirring up new interest | Thousands turned out Sunday to cash in on $10 Starbucks gift certificates at Flamingo Road Church in Cooper City (The Miami Herald)

  4. Exercising, religiously | Could weekly religious attendance extend your life nearly as much as regular exercise or statins? (The Washington Post)

  5. Sunday sermons, no longer unplugged | Many Christian clergy are turning to non-traditional methods to give their Sunday sermons a more contemporary feel (All Things Considered, NPR)

  6. Clergy notices the trend toward casual dress | Casual dressing has become the American norm, and churches have not been immune to the trend (Quad-City Times, Ia.)

  7. Planting the gardens of faith | Churches sprouting up to serve new Christians (Ft. Wayne News-Sentinel, Ind.)

  8. Cathedral cleaner uses toothbrush and light touch | Edwin Cardenas cleans while on knee pads -- and this is the sort of work he's been doing for 20 years (Morning Edition, NPR)

  9. Pentecostal movement celebrates humble roots | L.A.'s Azusa Street to mark centennial of fast-growing religion centered on Holy Spirit (Religion News Service)

  10. Orombi first archbishop to preach at KPC | Dr Henry Orombi of the Church of Uganda has broken barriers becoming the first archbishop to preach in a Pentecostal church (The Monitor, Uganda)

  11. Clever church ad edgy but too lean | The ad probably will generate visibility. But will raising so complex an issue in so playful and "edgy" a manner actually help people decide their religious affiliation? (Frank Bentayou, The Plain Dealer, Cleveland)

  12. Wanted: a divine wit | A lack of humour may be standing between the shepherd and His sheep (Peter Preston, The Guardian, London)

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Church buildings:

  1. Veneta congregation sues Pentecostal Church of God to reclaim church | Likening the situation to the dispute over who owns Catholic property within the bankrupt Archdiocese of Portland, a Pentecostal congregation in Veneta has returned to court seeking to reclaim its former church building and land (The Register-Guard, Eugene, Ore.)

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  1. McLean church rebutting allegation | Zoning violated, neighbors assert (The Washington Post)

  2. A lady beloved by many | L.A.'s Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels is a huge sacred space, but, says an admirer, 'As big as it is, it gets smaller when you know it' (Los Angeles Times)

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Church closings:

  1. Keeping the faith, doggedly | Next month marks two years since Star of the Sea was officially suppressed. On this holiest day of the Christian calendar, a time of renewal and rebirth, its parishioners are still praying that the church they love somehow will be reborn. (Bella English, The Boston Globe)

  2. Minus priests, parishioners lead services at 3 occupied churches | It was an Easter Sunday service at St. Frances Xavier Cabrini church in Scituate, and it was led almost entirely by women (The Boston Globe)

  3. Bittersweet Easter as parish fights for survival | Two packed Easter services may have been the last at St. Paul's Roman Catholic parish on Staten Island, which is set to close under an impending realignment (The New York Times)

  4. Amherst church will be empty on Easter | Faced with sky-high heating bills and a decline in parishioners, a 19th-century Roman Catholic church in Amherst will sit empty this Easter weekend for the first time in its history (CBC Nova Scotia)

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  1. Faith in America | Faith & politics with Sister Joan Chittister, Rabbi Michael Lerner, author Jon Meacham, Professor Seyyed Hossein Nasr, Rev. Richard Neuhaus, and Pastor Joel Osteen. Plus, a Meet the Press Minute with Rev. Billy Graham (Meet the Press, NBC, video)

  2. We've got to have faith | Australians might not be looking for traditional religion as much as a new spirituality (The Sydney Morning Herald)

  3. Finding your soul in the suburbs | Don't bother searching your McMansion, says a spiritual observer. Try solitude, then venture where everyone doesn't look just like you. (Chicago Tribune)

  4. If the flood comes too soon, this ark won't be quite ready | Pastor Richard Greene has been building since Easter 1976 (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

  5. Paradise lost, and regained | There are many paths that can lead us to lose our religion; to regain our way, we must acknowledge that it is our behaviour, rather than our belief, that is primary (Peter McKnight, Vancouver Sun)

  6. New kind of Christianity? | Some Christians are practicing their faith in ways that are less than traditional (Early Show, CBS)

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  1. Fight the good Easter fight | The defenders of the secular state, believers and non-believers, can only hope to disarm fundamentalism by finding a language that allows for doubt without compromising its own familiar principles - its faith in a rationally ordered society, a respect for science, for evidence-based knowledge, for non-religious education, and tolerance of religion supported by laws protecting individual rights. (Editorial, The Guardian, London)

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  1. Resurgent religion has done away with the country vicar | The establishment of the Church of England took God out of religion, but there are risks in a more vigorous approach to faith (Giles Fraser, The Guardian, London)

  2. The Christian paradox | How can a faithful nation get Jesus so wrong? What it means to be Christian in America today (Bill McKibben, The Age, Melbourne, Australia)

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Spiritual travel:

  1. Bearing the cross together as the waters part | Blistered feet and pub lunches help to unite Christians on the Northern Cross pilgrimage (The Times, London)

  2. More agencies are serving the flock: religious travelers | With faith-based trips gaining new attention, participants are finding varied activities and upscale lodging (Los Angeles Times)

  3. £144m vision for Christian theme park on course | Andrea  Webster says she is close to securing a site for the attraction but there is a long way to go in the fundraising. She is currently in negotiations with a landowner in Yorkshire for a site covering 200 acres (Yorkshire Post, U.K.)

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  1. Mother again faces deportation to Mexico | In 2004, Myrna Dick was pregnant, and a federal judge in Missouri said Myrna's fetus essentially was already an American citizen. He could not be expelled, and as a result, neither could she. Until Zachary was born. (Associated Press)

  2. Catholic bishops to left of flock on immigration | A new poll shows U.S. Catholics, like Americans at large, oppose granting amnesty to illegal aliens, despite their bishops' stance in favor of such a path to citizenship (The Washington Times)

  3. For priests, foot-washing is symbolic in immigration debate | For the past 15 years, the Rev. Mike Seifert has come to the immigration detention center to wash immigrants' feet and celebrate Mass with them during the Holy Week before Easter (Associated Press)

  4. Family, churches help Haitian immigrant fight deportation | Josue Theodore, 33, of Pawtucket, was involved in the music ministry of churches in Rhode Island before being detained in October, more than two and a half years after a judge ordered he leave the country (Associated Press)

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  1. Call for Spanish at the pulpit | With pews at three dozen Catholic churches overflowing with thousands of Hispanic immigrants attending services in Spanish, local church leaders are taking major steps to recruit and train badly needed Spanish-speaking priests (Puget Sound Business Journal, Wa.)

  2. Catholics full of show on illegal immigration | The Catholic Church's support of illegal aliens is simply another ploy to build up underpopulated congregations with Hispanic, largely Catholic, immigrants. Well, that's the way the cynical part of me sees it. The less cynical part of me sees it as another misguided attempt at charity by the church in its ongoing efforts to catch up with the modern world (Mary Grabar, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

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Netherlands & Iran:

  1. Dutch suspend deportations of Iranian gays, Christians | Immigration and Integration Minister Rita Verdonk has bowed to pressure from parliament and agreed not to deport Iranian gay people and Christian converts for the time being (Expatica, Netherlands)

  2. Iranian gays and Christians can stay - for the time being | The Netherlands will not send any homosexual or Christian asylum seekers back to Iran, for the time being at least. Earlier this year, Immigration Minister Rita Verdonk announced that these people would not be at risk if deported to their home country (Radio Netherlands)

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  1. Social issues top GOP pre-election agenda | Between now and the November elections, Republicans are penciling in plans to take action on social issues important to religious conservatives, the foundation of the GOP base, as they defend their congressional majority (Associated Press)

  2. Looking to win in November, with a 2-year-old playbook | Wooing conservatives: Efforts that may have worked for Republicans last time, like anti-gay-marriage initiatives, is on the runway. But 2006 is nothing like 2004 (The New York Times)

  3. McCain courting Iowa conservatives | "I don't want to say it's an insurmountable hurdle, but it's a big, big hill to climb," said Steve Scheffler, who heads the Iowa Christian Alliance. "There's no support for McCain in this constituency, and I don't see how you can make a scenario where you can bypass us." (Associated Press)

  4. Religious faith a key element in life and work of Strickland | Supporters call Ted Strickland's faith, his son-of-a-steelworker upbringing, and a voting record they dub moderate, key selling points in his campaign to become Ohio's first Democratic governor in 16 years (The Toledo Blade, Oh.)

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  1. The prayer breakfast presidency | The past reveals that the benefits of faith in God in our public life have outweighed their costs. (Jon Meacham, The Washington Post)

  2. Finding religion | Democrats try to talk like God-fearing folk (Joseph Lindsley, The Weekly Standard)

  3. American theocracy | The infusion of religion into American politics has become the GOP's Achilles' heel, turning the party of Lincoln into the party of theocracy (Kevin Phillips, The Nation)

  4. Humanity the loser in rigid models of rule and religion | It is possible to have secular politics with spiritual value (Tim Costello and Jim Wallis, The Sydney Morning Herald)

  5. Church cites schedule, resigns as polling site | A Brentwood church will end its 12-year run as a polling place after the May 2 Republican primary, citing scheduling conflicts and a clutter of campaign signs, officials said (The Tennessean, Nashville)

  6. The 'American Inquisition' | It is not surprising that a leader, who believes that his Christian God chose him to be president at this moment in history and that his Almighty speaks directly to him, should preside over this American Inquisition (James Reston Jr., USA Today)

  7. Simpson Miller defends her religious utterances | Emphasizes that country needs values and morals (Jamaica Gleaner)

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  1. Jesus and the tax man | Christ had a lot to say about taxation - but what he meant depends on who you ask (The Salt Lake Tribune)

  2. TBN says its tax refund will go to charity | More than half the money that Trinity Broadcasting Network will get back because of a ruling that parts of its Hendersonville campus are not subject to taxes will go to local charities, a company official said today (The Tennessean, Nashville)

  3. Heaven: The good ol' USA without the taxes | I'm certain the rich people on Earth have it in their minds that their way of life will continue in heaven (Art Buchwald, The Washington Post)

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Church and state:

  1. Detroit is sued over grants | A resident and an atheist group oppose funds given to 2 churches for Super Bowl fix-up (The Detroit News)

  2. Also: Suit: Detroit grants to churches illegal | New Jersey-based atheists group and a city resident are suing this city and its Downtown Development Authority, saying that $690,000 in grants to churches for cleanup work before the Super Bowl violated the First Amendment (Asbury Park Press, N.J.)

  3. Campaigning from the pulpit: Why not? | It is the regulation of the churches' expression, and not their expression itself, that should raise constitutional red flags (Richard W. Garnett, USA Today)

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  1. A small victory for freedom of religion | Last Thursday, a three-judge panel of the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal unanimously overturned one of this country's most notorious judgments against freedom of religion and freedom of speech: 2002's Owens v. Saskatchewan (Lorne Gunter, National Post, Canada)

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Signs and symbols:

  1. Gov signs bill on religious symbols | State Sen. Ira Silverstein (D-Chicago) proposed the legislation after a Chicago condo association removed a Jewish symbol from a resident's door post (Chicago Sun-Times)

  2. New law protects religious displays by condo owners | As Jewish households throughout the state prepared for Passover on Wednesday, Gov. Rod Blagojevich signed a bill into law guaranteeing condominium residents the right to hang a mezuza or other religious object at their doorways (Chicago Tribune)

  3. Governor signs bill to show Commandments | Fletcher says he'll consider other displays (Lexington Herald-Leader, Ky.)

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  1. Rite of baptism trickles away | This Easter, the holy day of resurrection, statistics find Americans slowly drifting away from the ancient baptismal ritual (USA Today)

  2. Old rite gets new welcome | Christ Church Episcopal is offering "open baptism" as part of its Easter Vigil service. It's an unorthodox approach, because the only requirement for people wishing to be baptized is that they show up a half hour ahead of the ritual and join a relatively brief baptismal recitation (The Independent, Hillsdale, N.Y.)

  3. Renewing a life through baptism | At Easter, a shared symbolism (The Indianapolis Star)

  4. Archbishop revives baptism ceremony - in heated pool | Baptism by total immersion has always been regarded as valid by the Church of England but has been rare because of the practical difficulties. It is a much more common custom in Africa, where the archbishop was born (The Telegraph, London)

  5. Also: Worshippers take outdoor baptism | The Archbishop of York has immersed four people in a pool of water during open-air Easter baptisms (BBC)

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  1. Marriage debate gets boost | Both sides lean on a few big contributors early in campaigns. A marriage alliance gets $35,000 from Focus on the Family. Tim Gill's $55,000 aids a partnership plan (The Denver Post)

  2. Traditional marriage group seeks a few liberal allies | The Alliance for Marriage (AFM) is assembling broad left-right coalitions, including many black and Hispanic pastors, in several key states to convince senators to support a constitutional amendment against homosexual "marriage," which is set for a June vote in the Senate (The Washington Times)

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  1. Study: Conversion rate less than 20% for non-Jewish spouses | Fewer than one-fifth of gentiles who marry Jews convert, according to a new study by the American Jewish Committee (The Jerusalem Post)

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Sexual ethics:

  1. The most homophobic place on earth? | Crimes against gays are mounting in Jamaica and across the Caribbean (Time)

  2. Citing anti-gay stance, outspoken priest quits | "This is the end of a sad tale of how wicked so-called Catholic priests and bishops drove me and a few other priests out because we dared to speak up about the corrupt brotherhood of homosexuals in the priesthood," said John Nesbella (The Tribune-Democrat, Johnstown, Pa.)

  3. Church units not penalized for refusing gay adoptions | State holds off pending exemption bill (The Boston Globe)

  4. Also: Mass. holds off on adoption agency penalty | Catholic adoption agencies won't be penalized by the state for refusing to consider gays and lesbians as adoptive parents, though doing so violates state anti-discrimination laws (Associated Press)

  5. Minister finds Bible backs gay clergy and marriage | "I am so convinced that Jesus and the Bible, rightly understood, support the equality of all persons, including gays and lesbians, and that the church cannot continue going against its central values," says Jack Rogers, former moderator of the Presbyterian Church (Detroit News)

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  1. Outrage at funeral protests pushes lawmakers to act | A tiny fundamentalist splinter group is showing up at funerals claiming that God is killing soldiers in Iraq to punish America for condoning homosexuality (The New York Times)

  2. 'Idiot' says neo-Nazi rally was a prank | Danbury-area resident apologizes for hoax (The News-Times, Danbury, Ct.)

  3. Earlier: Danbury grants rally permit to religious group | Prayer rally and vigil moved after report that neo-Nazis would attend (The News-Times, Danbury, Ct.)

  4. Earlier: Neo-Nazis say they're coming to Danbury (The News-Times, Danbury, Ct.)

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William Sloane Coffin:

  1. Rev. William Sloane Coffin dies at 81; fought for civil rights and against a war | The Rev. William Sloane Coffin Jr. sought to inspire and encourage an idealistic and rebellious generation of college students in the 1960's from his position as chaplain of Yale University (The New York Times)

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  1. Former chaplain William Sloane Coffin dies | Former Yale University chaplain was known for his peace activism during the Vietnam War and his continuing work for social justice (Associated Press)

  2. William Sloane Coffin Jr., chaplain who was lifelong 'disturber of the peace,' dies | Early activism against the Vietnam War brought him international notoriety during a lifelong career of civil disobedience (The Washington Post)

  3. William Sloane Coffin Jr, 81; former Yale chaplain and civil rights, peace activist (Los Angeles Times)

  4. Rev. W.S. Coffin, activist, former Yale chaplain dies (New Haven Register, Ct.)

  5. Acknowledging the conscience of a nation | The Rev. William Sloane Coffin Jr., a former senior minister of Riverside Church, was a clarion voice who shaped opinions across two generations (The New York Times)

  6. The legacy of William Sloane Coffin | Coffin called the church to translate its moral teachings into politics (Scotty McLennan, The Boston Globe)

  7. For God, for country | Remembering the radical chaplain William Sloane Coffin Jr (Mark Oppenheimer, Slate)

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Jerry Falwell:

  1. Supreme Court won't hear Falwell's appeal | Evangelist Jerry Falwell on Monday lost a Supreme Court appeal of a case that sought to shut down a Web site with a similar name but opposite views on gays (Associated Press)

  2. Falwell on presidential contenders | Now "friends" with McCain, wouldn't support Giuliani, and thinks a pro-choice Democratic can't win evangelicals (Late Edition, CNN, at end of transcript)

  3. Falwell says he won't back Giuliani (Associated Press)

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Missions & ministry:

  1. Baptist missions leader quits | Management of finances questioned (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

  2. Also: NAMB president Bob Reccord resigns | Cites 'philosophical and methodological differences' as reasons for parting ways (Baptist Press)

  3. Also: NAMB president Bob Reccord resigns over allegations of poor management (Associated Baptist Press)

  4. Yes, in your backyard | Homeless centers are rarely welcomed, but smart design can soothe neighbors' fears (Los Angeles Times)

  5. Christian strongmen flex their muscles to pump their message | Making good choices essential, they tell students (The Edmonton Journal)

  6. Mission diminished | Christianity has declined in Wales over the years. Now an Indian priest wants to save it (Up to the Minute, CBS News)

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Money & business:

  1. Christianity, the brand | How Larry Ross took "a bungee jump for God" and helped turn religious public relations into big business (The New York Times)

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  1. Tithing rewards both spiritual and financial | Pr. George's among nation's most giving (The Washington Post)

  2. Local churches investing in online bank focused on the black community | Relying on churches for investment capital is "something old that has become new again" (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

  3. Not a good Friday for Red Barons | Minor league team's home opener not on WNEP because of Christian holiday (Times-Leader, Wilkes-Barre, Pa.)

  4. Christian pair's sex shop website | A Christian couple have set up a website offering sex toys and advice specifically aimed at married couples (BBC)

  5. Some find sushi, and Rev. Moon, hard to swallow | Moon's agenda and goals are so divergent from my own that I'd rather not put even a dime in his pocket (Eric Zorn, Chicago Tribune)

  6. Former HealthSouth CEO focuses on ministry | Ordained as a minister and acquitted in a $2.7 billion fraud, fired HealthSouth CEO Richard Scrushy is done with the corporate boardroom. Now, he says, it's all about God (Associated Press)

  7. Leap of faith: Workplaces embrace spirituality | Religion and spirituality are seeping into work settings across the country, often in ways that were taboo just years ago (The Arizona Republic)

  8. For a divine economy, follow the Old Testament | Most of us assume the solution to problems with the economy lies in coming up with something new. But a group of Christian thinkers in Cambridge believe the answer lies in getting back to the economic model laid out in the Bible (The Sydney Morning Herald)

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  1. God, the Bushes, and Billy Graham | The 41st president of the United States pays homage to the world's most influential Protestant evangelist. Graham's largely unifying legacy is worth considering at a time when faith seems ever more divisive (Jon Meacham, Newsweek)

  2. Serbian Orthodox Church head hospitalized | Patriarch Pavle, The 91-year-old leader of more than 7 million Orthodox Serbs was taken to a top military hospital in Belgrade "because of the general condition of his health, related to his age," the church said in a statement (Associated Press)

  3. Towey resigns as White House faith-based initiative head | New post as president of St. Vincent College in Pennsylvania unrelated to other staff changes, officials say (The New York Times)

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Religion polls:

  1. For almost all Americans, there is God | A new CBS News poll shows that almost all Americans believe in God or some higher power and more than half pray often and consider religion an important component of their daily lives (CBS News)

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  1. In God's presence | Poll find religious belief - if not observance - remains strong among Canadians (The Ottawa Citizen)

  2. Mixing politics, religion bad idea in Canada, poll suggests | Canadians are becoming increasingly uneasy about mixing religion and politics and they'd be more likely to vote for a party lead by an atheist or a Muslim than an evangelical Christian, suggests a new poll (CanWest News Service)

  3. Canadians believe in God, not church | Almost half of Canadians believe they have been in the presence of God and one in three say they have had a religious or mystical experience, reveals a new poll (CanWest News Service)

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Other stories of interest:

  1. Evangelicals debate the meaning of 'evangelical' | At a time of heightened power for evangelical Christians, old fissures are widening, and new theological and political splits are developing (The New York Times)

  2. Highway crash kills 58 Mexicans on Easter tour | Their bus, said to be going 70 mph, plunges off a dangerous road and into a ravine. A 7-year-old girl and two others survive (Los Angeles Times)

  3. Christian theme riding high on a pigskin | Jerseys will carry Biblical names (Toronto Star)

  4. How has Christianity changed? | As people flock to celebrate Easter and considering the rise of the so-called super churches in Africa, has Christian faith changed? (BBC)

  5. Masons fall on hard times | Once a bedrock of U.S. culture, group faces aging, declining membership (The Dallas Morning News)

  6. Lebanon, my Lebanon | Marjayoun, a small Christian village tucked in a rugged corner of Lebanon, is dying (Anthony Shadid, The Washington Post)

  7. Balancing AIDS prevention | In 2003, Congress required that one-third of all US money spent on preventing AIDS overseas be used for promoting abstinence and fidelity. Ever since, there have been complaints that this was getting in the way of efforts to fight the disease (Editorial, The 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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