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The largest Lutheran organization in the U.S., the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, voted Friday to bring gay and lesbian clergy members into its fold -- provided they are in committed relationships -- signaling another seismic shift in the American Protestant scene this year.

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The heads of Northern Ireland's main Protestant and Catholic political parties have joined together in an historic power-sharing government. Ian Paisley, leader of an anti-Catholic church, and Martin McGuinness, formerly of the IRA, will lead the new government. Both men have spent time in prison for their extremist roles in the conflict.

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