Today's Top Five

1. West calls for Rahman's freedom as Afghan clerics call for death
There are some signs of hope for Afghan Christian convert Abdul Rahman. German chancellor Angela Merkel says Afghanistan president Hamid Karzai personally assured her that Rahman would not be executed. And unnamed "senior Afghan government officials" are saying he could be released soon. It looks like the trial will take place on Saturday. (We won't be able to update until Monday.) If he's freed but kept in Afghanistan, he's as good as dead. The New York Times reports that Friday prayers at mosques around the country focused on why Rahman should be killed—if not by the government, then by the faithful. It's heartening to see so many newspaper editorials supporting Rahman's case, and so many news outlets keeping a close eye. Perhaps this case could mark the beginning of increased media attention to religious freedom cases worldwide.

2. Former First Things editor Damon Linker attacks Neuhaus
Richard John Neuhaus's new book, Catholic Matters, is a mere 260 pages. The New Republic's review of the book, written by the former editor of Neuhaus's First Things journal, seems almost as long. Damon Linker's 8,952-word "review"—mostly about Neuhaus and very little about Catholic Matters—seems more a promotion of Linker's forthcoming book, The Theocons: Secular America Under Siege than a book review. But Neuhaus fans and foes won't care. They'll just be amazed that the article goes with the byline. The article is long and detailed—CT readers might be interested in Linker's suggestions that Neuhaus is ultimately no friend of evangelical Protestants—but the final paragraph captures the gist:

That is the America toward which Richard ...
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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 editorial director. 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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