Three Protestants died in Turkey when five young Muslims stormed a Christian publishing house on April 18. According to Turkish media, the assailants each carried notes saying they'd slit the Christians' throats to defend Turkey's Islamic identity. Two victims—Necati Aydin and Ugur Yuksel—converted from Islam to Christianity. German citizen Tilmann Geske also died in the attack in the southeastern Malatya province. Aydin and Yuksel were the first Turkish converts to Christianity killed for their faith since the Turkish Republic was founded in 1923, according to Compass Direct. But attacks in previous months have claimed the lives of an Italian Catholic priest and an Armenian Christian journalist.

A federal judge in March struck down 1998 legislation intended to protect children from pornography. The Child Online Protection Act (COPA) would have required websites with sexually explicit material to verify visitors' age through adult-access codes, credit card numbers, or similar measures. Federal Judge Lowell Reed Jr. said the law "prohibits much more speech than is necessary to further Congress' compelling interest" in protecting minors. Internet filters, he said, more effectively and more constitutionally keep children from viewing pornography than COPA does. The Supreme Court upheld an injunction against COPA in 2004, and the law never took effect.

A Georgia judge sentenced a suburban Atlanta couple for the beating and subsequent death of their 8-year-old son, Josef. Joseph and Sonya Smith each received life-plus-30-years in prison. Authorities investigated the Smiths' Tennessee-based church, Remnant Fellowship, which supports corporal punishment, but did not find that the church's teaching contributed to the boy's death. Remnant Fellowship, headed by Weigh Down Workshop's Gwen Shamblin, says the Smiths are innocent and is raising funds for an appeal.

Related Elsewhere:

"Young Muslims in Turkey Murder Three Christians" reported on the Malatya murders in Turkey. More commentary and links are in weblog.

Related news stories include:

Malatya murder suspect can make statement soon | The chief suspect in the Malatya murders, Emre Günaydın, could be well enough to make a statement in two days time, said Sezai Yılmaz, dean of İnönü University Medical Faculty. (Today's Zaman)
Ten arrested over Turkey murders | Flat mates there said accused were quiet - believers, but not overtly devout (BBC)
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12 to be charged in Turkey Bible murders | A court jailed five suspects. Six others were released pending trial, the court said. A 12th suspect, who tried to escape from police by jumping from a fourth-floor balcony at the scene of the killings, remains hospitalized (Associated Press)
Turkish Islamists face Christians' death trial | The attack was the third against Christians in Turkey in a year. The common link was that the killers claimed they were defending Islam from Christian proselytizing (The Telegraph, London)
The banality of the murders of three Christians in Turkey | We will continue to pray in our churches for our nation, but our nation will continue to see us as enemies. (Ziya Meral, Turkish Daily News)
Turkey's Christians face backlash | Several recent murders have confronted Turkey's growing ranks of Christian evangelicals (The Christian Science Monitor)

Christianity Today reported on the Child Online Protection Act in 1998.

The New York Times posted "Court Rejects Law Limiting Online Pornography" about the March ruling.

Rob Moll commented on the questions about doctrine and child abuse brought up in the Smiths' murder trial in CT Liveblog.

The Dallas Morning News blog has more information, including an AP article, about the conviction.

Previous Christianity Today stories about Remnant Fellowship include:

New Sect: Weigh Down guru Gwen Shamblin's Remnant Fellowship grows | Remnant Fellowship grows, but critics see 'graceless legalism. (December 9, 2002)
Shamblin Faces Religious Discrimination Suit | Former employee files charges against Weigh Down founder. (Oct. 13, 2000)
Christian History Corner: Weighty Matters | Gwen Shamblin's teachings sound an awful lot like some in the early church—and not in a good way. (Sept. 22, 2000)
The Weigh Is Narrow | As former employees claim they were pressured to join Shamblin's church, the Weigh Down Workshop leader attempts to clarify her stance on the Trinity. (Sept. 15, 2000)
Gwen in the Balance | Thomas Nelson cancels book contract with Weigh Down author over her controversial comments rejecting the Trinity. (Sept. 8, 2000)
The Weigh & the Truth | Christian dieting programs—like Gwen Shamblin's Weigh Down Diet—help believers pray off the pounds. But what deeper messages are they sending about faith and fitness? (Aug. 25, 2000)
'Judge Us by Our Fruits' | The founder of Weigh Down responds to her critics. (Aug. 25, 2000)

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