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Australian preacher blames abortion for deadly fire

Think Pat Robertson et al. are uniquely American? Think again. Here's an item in the Sydney Morning Herald about the leader of a fringe church in Australia:

The Pentecostal church's leader, Pastor Danny Nalliah, claimed he had a dream about raging fires on October 21 last year and that he woke with "a flash from the Spirit of God: that His conditional protection has been removed from the nation of Australia, in particular Victoria, for approving the slaughter of innocent children in the womb". [...]

Pastor Nalliah said he was helping to co-ordinate fire relief, including providing trucks to distribute clothes and food and giving his own blood, but he said he must tell "the truth".

Asked by the Herald if he did not believe most Australians would regard his remarks as being in appallingly bad taste, he said today: "I must tell people what they need to hear, not what they want to hear."

He said it was no use "molly-coddling" Australians.

Asked if he believed in a God who would take vengeance by killing so many people indiscriminately - even those who opposed abortion, Mr Nalliah referred to 2 Chronicles 7:14 to vouch for his assertion that God could withdraw his protection from a nation.

"The Bible is very clear," he said. "If you walk out of God's protection and turn your back on Him, you are an open target for the devil to destroy."

TORSTEN BLACKWOOD/AFP/Getty Images

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Khatami attacked

The Times is reporting that former Iranian president and current presidential candidate Mohammad Khatami was attacked by a mob in Tehran during celebrations for the 30th anniversary of the Iranian revolution:

During the revolutionary celebrations, attackers waving sticks approached the cleric, shouting “Death to Khatami. We do not want American government.” 

According to Mr Khatami’s Baran Foundation, the attackers were repelled by his own supporters, who chanted, “Khatami, Khatami, we support you.”

Mr Khatami was escorted from the street by his bodyguards who took him to shelter in a nearby building.