Today's Top Five

1. Korean Christians deported, banned from Afghanistan
Thousands of South Korean Christians reportedly traveled to Kabul for a "peace festival and educational and entertainment programs,"  sponsored by a group called Asian Culture and Development. (Other reports say that only 927 Koreans made it into the country.) Hundreds more were en route when Afghanistan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade announced that the festival was cancelled and that all Korean Christians would be deported. Ministry officials apparently told the group that it was over "security concerns," but Interior Ministry spokesman Yousef Stanezai has a different story: "The program was against the Islamic culture and customs of Afghans."

"Rumors that Korean prostitutes had entered the country and that the Christian groups were carrying 'giant crosses' marching through downtown did little to defuse the situation," Chosun Ilbo reports dryly.

About 300 Koreans were in India and were forbidden from boarding planes to Kabul. Their group leader says they'll sue the Foreign Ministry in Korea "for damages caused by Seoul's campaign to exaggerate the danger of holding such an event in Afghanistan," the Korea Times reports. "They also plan to file a protest with the Afghan embassy in Seoul for issuing visas that were useless due to the prohibition of entry into Kabul airport."

Interested? Be sure to read our March cover story on the eagerness of South Korean missionaries. It explains a lot about the Afghanistan controversy.

2. Christian sympathy for Hezbollah? Depends what side of the border you're on  "Christian villages across Lebanon's mainly Shiite Muslim south have been spared the death and destruction wrought by Israeli warplanes," the Associated ...

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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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