Florida Church Cancels Visit
A Florida church canceled this week's scheduled sermons by Illinois Sen. Barack Obama's former pastor because of security concerns, although Tampa police said they were prepared to provide protection.
Officials at Bible-Based Fellowship Church in Tampa said they asked the Rev. Jeremiah Wright not to deliver the sermons planned for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. The Rev. Earl Mason said the controversy about Wright's past sermons would have been a distraction.
Mason said sheriff's officials told him that they would not provide certain security for Wright's visit. But a sheriff's spokeswoman said the agency was available to assist police.
Wright was the longtime pastor of a Chicago church attended by Obama, a Democratic presidential candidate. Some of his sermons have received scrutiny and criticism in recent weeks.
-- Associated Press
VATICAN REQUEST DENIED
Saudis Won't Build Christian Church
Saudi Arabia will deny a request by the Vatican to build that Muslim country's first Christian church, according to a report broadcast Tuesday by a television channel owned by the Saudi royal family.
The report came the same day that Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah announced plans to host a conference of monotheistic religions, including Islam, Christianity and Judaism, a project that he said he had discussed with Pope Benedict XVI on a visit to the Vatican last November.
The conference would be the first such interreligious event in Saudi Arabia, which forbids public observance of any faith but Islam.