Today's Top Five

1. Muslim converts in America

Yesterday's Washington Post profiles a handful of Hispanic immigrant women who converted from Catholicism to Islam. "Across the nation, thousands of Latino immigrants are redefining themselves through Islam. … Precise numbers are not available, but estimates range from 40,000 to 70,000."

Some of their reasons for converting are typical of any immigrant convert: Encounters with new religious ideas and a search for belonging in a new culture. But those aren't the only reasons. "In Islam, some say they see a devoutness and simplicity they find lacking in Catholicism. … Latino women find what most Westerners rarely see—a respect for women, unlike, some converts say, the machismo culture in which they were raised." These women are happy to trade their halter tops for the hijab.

Before evangelicals think that nominal Catholics might simply be prone to convert, a Dallas Morning News story is ready to rebut those notions. Eric Meek was a Southern Baptist Texan who was featured in a short documentary on white Christians who converted to Islam. "Islam is everything I wanted Christianity to be," Meek says in the documentary. "It's got such a magical attraction to it. It's a way of life that chooses to worship an unseen God through a process of daily living."

The Dallas Morning News admits it hasn't discovered any sort of trend. There are few white, Texan, Christian converts to Islam. Only time will tell if Islam will turn out to be everything Meeks wanted Christianity to be. Hopefully, the Morning News will keep us informed.

2. Gay marriage ban short of votes in Senate

The Senate's same-sex marriage amendment stands little chance of passing. "The amendment would prohibit states from recognizing same-sex marriages," writes the Associated Press. "To become law, the proposal would need two-thirds support in the Senate and House, and then would have to be ratified by at least 38 state legislatures." Fewer than 50 Senators support it, and the amendment needs two-thirds support to pass. So, with pundits suggesting the Republicans will lose seats in Congress and could lose the majority in one or both houses, Weblog wonders: Is this the end of the Federal Marriage Amendment, the beginning of the end, or the end of the beginning?

3. Iowa prison ordered to close Bible program

Prison Fellowship's InnerChange Freedom Initiative was ordered to stop its program at Iowa's Newton Correctional Facility and to repay the state $1.53 million. The suit was brought by Americans United for the Separation of Church and State. The judge issued a stay on his order while Prison Fellowship appeals the ruling. Prison Fellowship responded saying, "This decision, if allowed to stand, will enshrine religious discrimination. It has attacked the right of people of faith to operate on a level playing field in the public arena and to provide services to those who volunteered to receive them."

Article continues below

4. La. Senate sends abortion ban to governor

Louisiana governor Kathleen Blanco is expected to sign a bill that would ban all abortions except those necessary to save the life of the mother or to prevent permanent harm to the mother's health. Doctors found guilty of performing abortions could be sentenced to 10 years in prison and $100,000 in fines. One caveat: The bill would take effect only if the U.S. Constitution is amended to allow abortion bans or if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade.

5. Going to church by staying at home

"A growing number of Christians across Washington and around the country are moving to home churches—both as a way to create personal connections in the age of the megachurch and as a return to the blueprint of the Christian church spelled out in the New Testament, which describes Jesus and the apostles teaching small groups in people's homes," writes The Washington Post.

George Barna says that since 2000 more than 20 million Americans have flirted with alternative forms of church. House church groups put the number far lower—in the tens of thousands, according to Dawn Ministries.

More Articles

Same-sex marriage | Homosexuality | Politics | Abortion | Church and state | AIDS | First Amendment | Education | Religious freedom | China | 6-6-06 | Taylor crash | Global Day of Prayer | Islam | Catholicism | Church life | Church growth | Relief work | Church discipline | Church scandal & crime | Books | Da Vinci Code | Film and TV | Sports | People | Spirituality | More articles of interest

Same-sex marriage:

  1. Gay marriage ban short of votes in Senate | President Bush and congressional Republicans are aiming the political spotlight this week on efforts to ban gay marriage, with events at both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue — all for a constitutional amendment with scant chance of passage but wide appeal among social conservatives. (Associated Press)

  2. Bush backs amendment to ban gay marriage | President Bush On Saturday Backed A Resolution To Amend The Constitution To Define Marriage As A Union Between A Man And A Woman Even Though The Idea Has Little Chance Of Being Passed In The Senate. (Associated Press)

Article continues below
  1. Bush makes new push for gay-marriage ban | President George W. Bush on Saturday urged the Senate to pass a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, in a congressional election-year pitch to conservatives whose enthusiasm for him has cooled. (Reuters)

  2. Religions unite on same-sex marriage | A myriad of religious leaders from various faiths have come together in support of a U.S. Constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage. (UPI)

  3. Bush to press for U.S. ban on same-sex marriage | President Bush is beginning a major push for a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, part of a new campaign to appease cultural conservatives who say he and his party abandoned their issues after the 2004 elections. (The New York Times)

  4. Believers push for marriage measure | The breadth of support among religious groups for a constitutional amendment defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman extends well beyond the boundaries of evangelical Protestantism. (The Washington Times)

  5. Bush turns up heat to prevent same-sex marriages | He again calls for amendment to ban such unions, but it's unlikely to pass (Houston Chronicle)

  6. GOP targets gay marriage | The Senate has begun debate on a constitutional amendment banning it. (The Christian Science Monitor)

  7. Theological analysis of gay unions overdue | For an issue that is supposedly religious in character, I am surprised that there has been so little actual theological analysis of the proposal to ban gay and lesbian marriage in the Colorado Constitution. (J. Philip Wogaman, Denver Post)

  8. Clergy split over gay marriage | Church leaders look to Bible to back their positions, pro and con (Associated Press)

  9. Gay marriage to be outlawed in Australia | Australia's conservative government will overrule same sex marriage laws in the nation's capital, Prime Minister John Howard said on Tuesday, saying marriage should only be between men and women. (Reuters)

  10. Conservatives watching Senate debate on gay marriage | President Bush's push for the constitutional ban on same-sex marriage that is being debated in the Senate this week comes as many Republicans and religious conservatives are beginning a campaign to help lawmakers who support it during this year's elections — and to punish those who do not. (The New York Times)

  11. Here comes the money | Ballot measures on gay relationships bring out donations (Rocky Mountain News)

Article continues below

Back to top


  1. Williams reinstates cleric in gay dispute | An evangelical cleric who was stripped of his licence by his bishop last year following a dispute over homosexuality was reinstated yesterday by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams. (The Telegraph, UK)

  2. Gay man loses church music job | Last month, Mr. Nadeau ended his final Sunday Mass at St. Agnes Catholic Church with a wrenching solo on "God Help the Outcasts." His other life, as the artistic director of one of the nation's largest homosexual male choirs, had cost him his job. (Associated Press)

  3. Church groups preach tolerance; Eyman doesn't turn in signatures | The religious right aren't the only ones who know how to get organized, said a group of Christian leaders who gathered Monday to remind the public that their beliefs are founded on tolerance and human rights for all. (Seattle Post Intelligencer)

Back to top


  1. Christians launch progressive network | A new network, aimed at promoting progressive thinking and acting as a counterweight to the growing influence of conservative evangelicals, has been launched by liberal Christians in Victoria. (The Age, Australia)

  2. A model of faith | Rick Warren is no liberal. He backed President Bush in the 2004 election and opposes abortion and stem cell research. But in a refreshing change from today's unhealthy norm, Warren is spending his time and clout not on the divisive issues that have come to define the Christian right — abortion, stem cell research, a supposedly anti-God judiciary and so on — but on a campaign that can bring people together and save many lives in the process. (Tom Krattenmaker, USA Today)

  3. Republicans reignite hot-button issues | Senate votes on gay marriage, estate tax are aimed at rallying conservative base (Wall Street Journal)

  4. Even when he's home, Romney's focus can be off Massachusetts | For much of this year, the knock on Gov. Mitt Romney was that he's been out of state much of the time, furthering his own political interests. Now, the question may be whether he's doing the same even when he's at home. (Associated Press)

  5. Latin American voters not seen toeing Catholic line | The Roman Catholic Church holds great weight in Latin America, but voters plagued by economic worries are largely tuning out the church's moral messages during elections this year. (Reuters)

  6. Prosperity is the force behind New Puritanism | Our nation is embroiled in an eerie New Puritanism that picked up steam with President Reagan, swept moderates out of the Southern Baptist Convention, caught the notice of politicians seeking a new Republican majority, and now - perhaps sensing that a window of opportunity is closing - is pushing hard a political and moralistic agenda that shows an astonishing disregard for American history and heritage. (RNS)

Article continues below
  1. Health sharing has its critics | With healthcare costs spiraling and about 46 million Americans without medical insurance, a number of evangelical Christian organizations have been created to promote the voluntary sharing of medical costs. (RNS)

  2. O.C. bishop adds to call for charitable immigration policies | Parishioners are divided in response to Brown's sermon. Some object to its political timing. (The Los Angeles Times)

Back to top


  1. La. Senate sends abortion ban to gov. | Gov. Kathleen Blanco was expected to sign a strict abortion ban into law after the Senate gave the measure final legislative approval Monday. (AP)

  2. What happens when there is no plan B? | The conservative politics of the Bush administration forced me to have an abortion I didn't want. Well, not literally, but let me explain. (Dana L., Washington Post)

Back to top

Church and state:

  1. Court rejects evangelical prison plan over state aid | A federal judge in Iowa ruled Friday that a state-financed evangelical Christian program to help inmates re-enter society was "pervasively sectarian" and violated the separation of church and state. (The New York Times)

  2. Iowa prison ordered to close Bible program | A judge has ruled that a Bible-based prison program violates the First Amendment's freedom of religion clause by using state funds to promote Christianity to inmates. (Associated Press)

  3. 'We are one with Christians' | Maha Sabha secretary-general Sat Maharaj was pleased with the Government's decision to remove the Trinity Cross as the country's highest award, but in a conciliatory move he urged Christians not to take offence. (Trinidad News)

  4. City, group in clash on Commandments | An evangelical Christian group unveiled an 850-pound granite sculpture of the Ten Commandments yesterday at its Capitol Hill rowhouse a stone's throw from the Supreme Court, despite a threat of $300-a-day fines. (Washington Post)

  5. Commandments monument not a concern | Most residents and visitors on Capitol Hill yesterday said they do not object to the display of the Ten Commandments outside a house just steps from the Supreme Court building, despite the District's ruling that a permit is needed. (Washington Times)

Article continues below

Back to top


  1. The gilded age of home schooling | In what is an elite tweak on home schooling — and a throwback to the gilded days of education by governess or tutor — growing numbers of families are choosing the ultimate in private school: hiring teachers to educate their children in their own homes. (The New York Times)

  2. Everything you always wanted to know . . . | From "Captain Condom" to abstinence-only, how much should children be taught about sex? (Washington Post)

  3. Christian school reins in academic freedom, professors say | Rebellion at Patrick Henry College reflects tension between liberal arts classes and biblical worldview. (Washington Post)

Back to top


  1. AIDS toll may reach 100 million in Africa | It began quietly, when a statistical anomaly pointed to a mysterious syndrome that attacked the immune systems of gay men in California. No one imagined 25 years ago that AIDS would become the deadliest epidemic in history. Since June 5, 1981, HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, has killed more than 25 million people, infected 40 million others and left a legacy of unspeakable loss, hardship, fear and despair. (Associated Press)

  2. After 25 years of AIDS, the news only gets worse | After a quarter century, the devastating outbreak of the human immunodeficiency virus that causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome is still surging, a savage wonderment of microbiology. (The Boston Globe)

  3. Zambia: Aids will orphan 20% of children by 2015 | Current official estimates indicate that over 1,1-million Zambian children are orphans, mostly as a result of Aids. (Mail & Guardian, South Africa)

Back to top

First Amendment:

  1. Connecticut city takes first step to evict in eminent domain case | Defying Gov. M. Jodi Rell, the City of New London voted on Monday to begin the process of evicting the remaining residents of its Fort Trumbull neighborhood. The vote, 5-2, signaled that a long battle over eminent domain is near a resolution. (The New York Times)

  2. Suit filed over church's picketing of funeral | The father of a marine killed in Iraq filed a lawsuit against a fundamentalist splinter group from Kansas that picketed his son's funeral, claiming the group defamed the family and invaded its privacy. (The New York Times)

  3. Marine's father sues funeral protesters | The father of a Marine whose funeral was picketed by anti-gay protesters from a fundamentalist Kansas church filed an invasion-of-privacy suit against the demonstrators Monday. (AP)

  4. Judge in Dover case still fighting | John E. Jones III is using the intelligent-design debate to answer his critics and talk about judicial independence. (Philadelphia Inquirer)

Article continues below

Back to top

Religious freedom:

  1. Hoo haa about conversion | Distressed people who convert to Christianity do so neither by force nor allurement; it's only because of the setting of a good example of social service (Malice - Kushwant Singh, Afternoon Dispatch & Courier, India)

  2. Palestinian sheepherder at a loss over theft of flock | She said police have asked for bribes, and some Muslims from Bethany dismissed her loss because she is a Christian. (The Boston Globe)

  3. Demanding equal rights | Dalit Christians protest being kept out of caste based reservations for 50 years (Mumbai Mirror, India)

  4. Thousands urge removal of Timor prime minister | An estimated 100,000 people have been displaced by the violence, with thousands camped out in church grounds and parks, too frightened to return to their homes. (Reuters)

  5. 16 Christains found innocent and freed | Sixteen Christians in Madhya Pradesh, India, have been declared innocent after spending two years in prison on homicide charges. (The Washington Times)

Back to top


  1. China's top cardinal criticizes government | The highest ranking Roman Catholic Church official in China Sunday criticized the Chinese government for the Tiananmen Square massacre of 1989. (UPI)

  2. Cardinal faults Chinese rulers at anniversary of Tiananmen | The highest official of the Roman Catholic Church in China used the 17th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre on Sunday to strongly criticize the Chinese government and call on it to hold a full and open review of the killings. (The New York Times)

Back to top


  1. Should we be worried about the next 6-6-06? | Chronicling the events of a century of June sixths in the pages of The Los Angeles Times reveals plenty of mayhem, but overall the world didn't suffer much. (The Los Angeles Times)

  2. 666 forecast has some people worried sick, sick, sick | Is today's date -- 6-6-6 -- merely a curious number or could it mean our number is up? (Associated Press)

  3. 666: The number of the beast (and, gulp, today's date) | According to Revelations, they are the devil's own digits. They have even been used to 'prove' that Nero and Ronald Reagan were Satan in disguise. So it is little wonder Doomsday obsessives believe the world will end today. (The Independent, UK)

  4. Prayer vigil targets Devil's Day | Dutch evangelical Christians are to hold a round-the-clock prayer vigil to ward off the forces of evil on Tuesday - the so-called Devil's Day. (BBC)

Article continues below
  1. What's in a date? On 6/6/6, the possibilities are endless | Today is June 6, 2006, also known, if you drop the zeroes, as 6/6/6. It's a number that is either portentous or meaningless, depending on who's counting. (The New York Times)

  2. Not your ordinary Tuesday | No reason to fear a date like 6.6.06, experts say (Canadian Press)

  3. Today's date can be seen as Bible's 'number of the beast' | Many will mark today as the anniversary of D-Day. But for others, the sixth day of the sixth month of the sixth year of the century adds up to only one thing: 666, the mark of the beast. (Express-News, San Antonio)

  4. Dodging a 'baby of the beast' birthdate | Some mothers-to-be have planned to induce labor early to avoid giving birth on June 6 of this year, sparing their babies the 6-6-06 birthdate. Mike Pesca reports on efforts to get around the "mark of the beast" (NPR)

  5. Date with the Devil | Those who seek 'the number of the Beast' need look no further than today's calendar (Washington Post)

  6. A Date With Destiny or Just Another Day? | For some, today's date evokes 666, a number linked to Apocalypse. (Los Angeles Times)

Back to top

Taylor crash:

  1. Mourners remember girl in mistaken ID case | For more than a month, Laura VanRyn's friends and relatives thought she had survived a van crash that killed five people, and they celebrated the young woman's milestones as she recovered. (Associated Press)

  2. Mistaken life-death ID case roils school | They had much in common, much more than their long, blond hair: optimistic smiles, a flair for sports and a devotion to religion. And those who knew them say the two shared an uncanny knack for making a friend of anyone they met. (Associated Press)

  3. Authorities bungled mixed-up victims case | Authorities missed one opportunity after another to avoid — or at least correct sooner — the sad mix-up between a student killed in a van crash and a classmate who survived. (Associated Press)

  4. Weeks after accident, a twist of fate | In an unusual mix-up that has stunned this town south of Grand Rapids, the authorities said that Laura VanRyn, 22, had died in the accident and that another student from her college, Whitney Cerak, 18, had survived and had been in a rehabilitation center with the VanRyns by her side. (The New York Times)

Back to top

Global Day of Prayer:

  1. Christians unite | Thousands of Calgarians take part in Global Day of Prayer (Calgary Sun)

  2. Christians around the world unite in prayer Sunday | Global Day of Prayer event to be held at the Phenix City Amphitheater (Columbus Ledger-Enquirer, Ga.)

Article continues below
  1. Christians around world join celebration | John Casamayor flipped open his well-thumbed Bible to explain why he and his family headed to a hockey stadium to pray with thousands of other Christians in Calgary -- and the hoped-for hundreds of millions worldwide. (Globe and Mail, Canada)

  2. Capetonians join 500 million people in prayer | The Global Day of Prayer drew thousands of people to the Bellville Velodrome on Sunday, resonating with similar gatherings around the globe, according to organisers Transformation Africa. (Cape Times, South Africa)

  3. A day of global prayer | Dr. Jimmy Poon believes the prayer of Christians can help heal Toronto's woes. (Toronto Sun)

  4. Faithful hope their prayers reach far | O.C. Christians to gather for Global Day of Prayer on Sunday in San Juan Capistrano. (Orange County Register)

Back to top


  1. Muslim congressional aides taking stand | At midday on Fridays, Muslims gather to pray in a basement room of the U.S. Capitol. Kneeling on sheets they've spread over the floor and facing east toward Mecca, they are members of the Congressional Muslim Staffers Association, about two dozen congressional aides who are part of a small but growing minority in America and in the halls of government. (Associated Press)

  2. Pell 'keen to provoke Islam debate' | Australia's most senior Catholic, Cardinal George Pell, would rather provoke debate than have sensible discussions about Muslims, the Islamic Council of NSW (ICNSW) says. In an interview with a US Catholic newspaper, Dr Pell again declared Islam was more warlike than Christianity. (Ninemsn, Australia)

  3. Pope, Blair call for Islam-Christianity dialogue | British Prime Minister Tony Blair had a private audience with Pope Benedict XVI Saturday calling for Islam-Christianity dialogue, in particular with 'moderate Islam', the Holy See said in a statement. (Islamic Republic News Agency, Iran)

  4. Profits and the prophet | The excesses of global finance pose a profound threat to Islam. (The Guardian, UK)

  5. Muslims in the Heart of Texas | Few saw the film until late February, when a Muslim group posted it to the Web. (The Dallas Morning News)

  6. Arrests shake image of harmony | Muslims in Canada brace for a backlash after foiled bomb plot (Washington Post)

  7. A clash of culture, faith | Latinas balance Catholic upbringing, adoption of Islam (Washington Post)

Back to top


  1. The roots of the Holocaust | Is the new pope prepared to carry forward his predecessors' revolutionary moral reckoning with Christianity's co-responsibility for the Holocaust, or does he intend to initiate a new era of denial? (James Carroll, The Boston Globe)

Article continues below
  1. Whose silence? | I write with hesitation, with respect, with awe and with a profound, humbling and scary sense that I am about to go, as they say, above my pay grade. But what, I have to ask, did the pope mean by what he said at Auschwitz? (Richard Cohen, Washington Post)

  2. Pope Benedict joins youths for rally | Pope Benedict XVI joined a cheering crowd of 350,000 people overflowing from St. Peter's Square for a Saturday evening rally aimed at boosting the faith and encouraging efforts to spread the Roman Catholic Church's message throughout the world. (Associated Press)

  3. No more navel gazing in church, priest says | An Italian priest is resorting to some innovative theology to rid his church of young women's bare midriffs. (Reuters)

  4. Rare Latin mass a return to ritual | Only a small percentage of Catholic churches have permission from their bishops to celebrate a Mass that was essentially set aside in the 1960s. (Washington Post)

  5. Communion denied to activists | Gay rights supporters wear rainbow sashes to Minn. mass (Washington Post)

  6. When faithful flee | In Europe, anger and disenchantment lead many Catholics to seek spirituality on their own terms. Here and across the country, many who leave do not join other churches. (Philadelphia Inquirer)

  7. A faith in flux | Young Catholics in the region and across America identify strongly with their church, but aren't in lockstep with it. (Philadelphia Inquirer)

  8. Faithful, yet not traditional Catholics | Doctrinal differences, social issues, scandals lead congregations away from church hierarchy. (The Los Angeles Times)

  9. New York's Catholic century | Today, the Archdiocese of New York, which stretches from Staten Island to Orange County (Brooklyn and Queens form a separate diocese) and includes 2.5 million Catholics, faces financial strains as well as a critical shortage of priests. But its troubles are an indirect reminder of the significant influence the church wielded for more than a century, a period bookended by two legendary bishops. (Peter Quinn, The New York Times)

  10. Boston Archdiocese gets new chief financial officer | Former banker James P. McDonough was named Monday as the chief financial officer of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston. (Boston Globe)

Back to top

Church life:

  1. Presbyterians install moderator | More than 1,000 delegates are set to meet to install the new moderator of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland. (BBC)

Article continues below
  1. Going to church by staying at home | Clergy-less living room services seen as a growing trend (Washington Post)

  2. Latham had the right idea: Archbishop | In a Sydney speech marking the 150th anniversary of Anglicare, the church's welfare agency, Dr Jensen said Mr Latham made laudable efforts to create community and remind people to love their neighbours. What was missing from his attempts was the Christian gospel, the Archbishop said. (The Age, Australia)

  3. 'Christecology' takes root | At Madison Christian Community, 10 percent of the building's energy comes from solar panels, and the garden tractor is being converted to run on vegetable oil from nearby Pasqual's restaurant. (Wisconsin State Journal)

  4. Spirit stirs Durham church | Intensity, multiculturalism define Pentecostal congregation (News & Observer, N.C.)

  5. Faithful, churches connect online | Webcasts are perhaps the biggest thing since televangelism for churches to reach people around the world. And they're cheaper. (St. Petersburg Times)

  6. Pastor: Tattoos are not a mark against faith | Steve Bensinger is a man who loves his Christian faith — and loves his tattoos. Tattoos cover more than half of his body and include an angel killing a demon and Jesus on the cross. (Knight Ridder)

Back to top

Church growth:

  1. Village pastor attempts to reach younger families | Grace Chapel has been established as a mission church of the Chapel of Christian Faith, and it plans to build on 16 acres on County Road 462. (Villages Daily Sun, Fla.)

  2. Carol Stream holds back on utilities | The village of Carol Stream issued a sort of warning to Wheaton Bible Church concerning its ongoing construction of a new house of worship along North Avenue just outside of town. (Daily Herald, Chicago suburbs)

  3. Churches say area growth is driving building plans | Three southern Sarasota County churches, trying to keep up with growing congregations, are nearing approval for major construction projects. (Sarasota Herald-Tribune)

  4. Filled with light, a Presbyterian church is dedicated | Even the most secular couldn't believing something special was happening when the gray skies broke Sunday morning and a beam of sunlight filled the center aisle of the West Side Presbyterian Church, just as the Rev. J. Michael Pulsifer began its dedication service. (The New York Times)

Back to top

Relief work:

  1. Quake survivors throng churches in Indonesia's Java | Christian survivors of the earthquake that devastated areas of Java island prayed outside damaged churches on Sunday, just over a week after the disaster killed more than 6,000 people. (Reuters)

Article continues below
  1. Relief group logs 500,000 hours | The parking lot and the property surrounding St. Paul United Methodist Church resembled the staging area for an invasion Sunday afternoon as a new batch of volunteers began arriving to begin their efforts at helping to rebuild Jackson County. (The Mississippi Press)

Back to top

Church discipline:

  1. Public shaming was at its prime in early America | The idea that Christians should be morally accountable to one another is as old as Christianity itself. (The Dallas Morning News)

  2. Taking tough love to task | Church, ex-member battle over whether discipline went too far (The Dallas Morning News)

Back to top

Church scandal & crime:

  1. 'Worshippers' steal from church | The raiders mingled with worshippers during a Sunday service, then re-entered Prestatyn Parish to steal the money. (BBC)

  2. Taking tough love to task | Church, ex-member battle over whether discipline went too far (The Dallas Morning News)

  3. New Jersey priest is sentenced to 5 years for embezzlement | A 62-year-old priest was sentenced on Friday to five years in prison after pleading guilty to embezzling more than $2 million from a church in the wealthy parish of Rumson. The thefts, over a seven-year period, went to finance a lavish lifestyle and to help once-wealthy parishioners who had fallen on hard times. (The New York Times)

  4. Pastor admits to affair | Lake City leader quits, leaves town (The Capital Times, Wisc.)

  5. Priests tempted by full coffers | A criminal investigation into the finances of one of Connecticut's wealthiest churches has stunned the Wall Street titans and other donors who have helped to fund the explosive growth of evangelical Christianity in the US. (The Australian)

  6. Suit citing abuse by Ind. priest dismissed | Twenty-three people who claim they were molested by a Roman Catholic priest decades ago waited too long to sue the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, a judge has ruled. (Associated Press)

Back to top


  1. One nation, under God -- or not | For most of the 20th century, the main debate over religion was whether it was merely dying or already dead. (San Francisco Chronicle)

  2. Booked for the summer | Clergy and scholars share their leisure reading lists (The Dallas Morning News)

  3. 'Abraham' returns readers to shores of Tigris, Euphrates | Abraham — a person who is found in three of the world's major religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam — is the subject of a good biography: "Abraham: The First Historical Biography" by David Rosenberg (Green Bay Press Gazette)

Article continues below
  1. Coulter says book examines 'mental disorder' of liberalism | Ann Coulter explains what motivated her to write her just-released book Godless: The Church of Liberalism (Crown Forum, 2006), how faith played a role, what "virtues" the Church of Liberalism promotes and much more. (Human Events)

Back to top

Da Vinci Code:

  1. 'Code' premieres in Bahrain | Controversial film The Da Vinci Code will get its first screening in Bahrain tomorrow. (Gulf Daily News, Bahrain)

  2. The Code that is rocking the world | So what if Leonardo da Vinci in 1498 drew Mary Magdalene as sitting right next to Jesus at the Last Supper? Does that change anything about our faith? (Dennis Matanda, The Monitor, Kampala, Uganda)

  3. Divinity school student reflects on 'Da Vinci' debate | As a graduate student specializing in biblical studies, I have been both excited and intrigued by the intense dialogue surrounding "The Da Vinci Code," just as I was by that surrounding "The Passion of the Christ" and the recently published Gospel of Judas. (Matthew Burgess, Courier-Journal, Louisville)

  4. Pakistan Bans Da Vinci Code, Christians Happy | Pakistani Christians have welcomed the government's decision to ban the screening of the Da Vinci Code in cinema houses or possession of it on video cassettes or discs. (Islam Online)

  5. Christians in Egypt rap 'The Da Vinci Code' | Cairo: The Da Vinci Code, a film based on the novel by Dan Brown, has infuriated many Christians around the world. Egypt is no exception. (Gulf News, United Arab Emirates)

Back to top

Film and TV:

  1. Driving out the devil is a ratings winner in Congo | Although the Democratic Republic of Congo will next month hold its first democratic elections since its independence from Belgium in 1960, televised exorcisms rather than political debates are dominating the airwaves in a country where the majority of the population still believes in black magic, the broadcast networks are saturated with a dozen religious channels competing for converts, most of them owned by Christian cults led by charismatic preachers. (The Telegraph, UK)

  2. Church fears return of Omen curse | At Guildford cathedral, used in the first Damien film, the dean worries that the remake will again drive people from its doors (The Observer, UK)

Back to top


  1. The Rockies pitch religion | In Colorado, there stands a holy shrine called Coors Field. On this site, named for the holiest of beers, a team plays that has been chosen by Jesus Christ himself to play .500 baseball in the National League West. And if you don't believe me, just ask the manager, the general manager and the team's owner. (The Nation)

Article continues below
  1. Organizers hope D-Backs embrace Faith Night | The Arizona Diamondbacks are not quite sure which night will be Faith Night this season. And the way it's planned, most fans won't know when Faith Night is either. Sometime, though, probably in August or September, the team will join two other Major League Baseball teams in hosting a promotion that is supposed to fill the soul as well as the upper-deck seats. (Arizona Republic)

  2. Power teams flex their spiritual muscle | The obvious question is what does smashing a stack of bricks with your forehead have to do with the Great Commission? (Knight Ridder)

  3. Churches invite fans to take a pew to watch games | Churches across Germany are encouraging football fans to swap their barstools and pints for a pew and a prayer, hiring big screens to broadcast World Cup games to their congregations. (Reuters)

  4. Sports and salvation on faith night at the stadium | It has long been noted that in certain parts of the United States, a fine line separates sports from religion. But at a minor league indoor football game last month in Birmingham, Ala., fans may have witnessed as transparent an attempt to merge football and church as had ever been tried. (The New York Times)

Back to top


  1. The next Billy Graham? | Rob Bell, the 35-year-old pastor of Mars Hill, a nondenominational Bible church (though the signs on its doors call it a "Jesus community") in Grandville, Mich., is waiting for the two dozen film crew members to complete their preparations so he can shoot his first scene. (Chicago Sun-Times)

  2. Finding my religion | The Rev. Nancy Taylor talks about her former life and what it's like being a new minister (San Francisco Chronicle)

Back to top


  1. Ex-Mormons say breaking up was hard to do | A group of former believers offers support for what it contends is a step made difficult by the church. Officials say that's not true. (The Los Angeles Times)

  2. Century-old synagogue keeps the faith | With American Jews experiencing a 50 percent intermarriage rate and synagogues struggling to stay open as memberships decline, Beachmont's Temple B'nai Israel has beaten the odds. It turns 100 years old this month. (The Boston Globe)

  3. Walking on water? How liberal Christians interpret the Bible | As a liberal Christian, I have been inclined to interpret the Bible for my own purposes, to uncover what resonates for me today. Where the fundamentalist finds unerring truth, I have looked for poetry. (Baltimore Sun)

Article continues below

Back to top

More articles of interest:

  1. Virginity pledgers often dishonest about past | Teenagers who take pledges to remain virgins until marriage are likely to deny having taken the pledge if they later become sexually active. Conversely, those who were sexually active before taking the pledge frequently deny their sexual history, according to new study findings. (Reuters)

  2. Fitness may be next to godliness, but it won't sell protein shakes | Through the popularity of online video, Pat Robertson, the conservative religious broadcaster and former presidential candidate, now has another claim to fame: superhuman strength. Despite that, the protein shake Mr. Robertson credits for this astounding feat will no longer be on store shelves. (The New York Times)

  3. Brethren, why don't you want to live in holy matrimony? | Another mass wedding code-named 'the big one' is set to take place at Omega Healing Centre next month. Pastor Michael Kyazze started this idea after realising that many Christians in his church were co-habiting with impunity. (The Monitor, Kampala, Uganda)

  4. Discovering religion | Thanks to its remoteness, the Ethiopian countryside has escaped being overrun by tourists. (Sydney Morning Herald)

  5. Church crowds laugh with Christian comics | Comedian Gilbert Esquivel is the son of migrant farmworkers, so he knows hardship. "You've heard of Army brats -- we were Salvation Army brats," he joked at a recent show. (RNS)

  6. Israel jails hundreds of Sudanese refugees | The Sudanese, some 220 men and women, say they fled massacres and religious persecution in the war-torn Darfur region and in southern Sudan. But they are not eligible for asylum here because Israel considers their country, an Arab League member, to be an "enemy state." (Associated Press)

Back to top

Related Elsewhere:

Suggest links and stories by sending e-mail to

What is Weblog?

See our past Weblog updates:

June 2b | 2a | May 31
May 26 | 24
May 19 | 18 | 17
May 11 | 10 | 9 | 8
May 5 | 4 | 3
April 28 | 27b | 27a | 19
April 12 | 11 | 7
March 31 | 30 | 28

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.
Previous Weblog Columns: