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Indian court splits holy site in three
September 30th, 2010
02:16 PM ET

Indian court splits holy site in three

A disputed holy site in India will be divided in an attempt to satisfy competing religious claims to the site, the Allahabad High Court ruled Thursday.

Muslims, Hindus and a local sect will all get part of the land at Ayodhya, the three-judge panel said.

Muslims have already said they will appeal to the Supreme Court.

Thousands of people have died in sectarian violence in India since Hindu extremists razed a Muslim mosque on the site in 1992. Many Hindus believe the site is the birthplace of one of their most revered deities.

Read the full story

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Culture wars • Hinduism • Muslim

September 30th, 2010
08:59 AM ET

iReports capture Atlanta pastors blasting, defending pastor Eddie Long

Two new CNN iReports capture Atlanta pastors with opposite takes on the sexual coercion allegations facing Pastor Eddie Long, who's also based in the Atlanta area.

In one iReport, Dennis A. Meredith (pictured), Affirming Pastor at Tabernacle Baptist Church in Atlanta - which Meredith calls the largest church-based transgendered ministry in the southeastern U.S. - blasts Long for his alleged behavior and for his past criticism of homosexuality. The video was made by an independent filmmaker and submitted by a member of Meredith's congregation.

View the iReport video of Meredith here.

Mark Anthony Mitchell, Sr., is Senior Pastor of Atlanta Urban Foursquare Church and Executive Director of Jesus for Justice Poor People’s Campaign, a nonprofit community development corporation. Close to Long in the past, Mitchell has penned a defense of the pastor, calling it an "open letter from his spiritual son."

Here's the top:

As a once favored son of Bishop Eddie L Long, I have gotten many calls this week from associates near and afar asking me my current thoughts on my spiritual fathers’ current situation. Many have advised me to distance myself from him implying that my acknowledgement of him may be an affront to my character, accountability and integrity.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Georgia • iReport • Pastors • United States

September 30th, 2010
08:00 AM ET

My Take: Getting in the way of gun violence

Editor's Note: Shane Claiborne is an author and activist and an architect of Philadelphia's Simple Way community. His books include "Jesus for President" and the bestselling "Irresistible Revolution."

By Shane Claiborne, Special to CNN

Last week there were gunshots again. This time, four people were hit with bullets. One was 3 years old.

I don’t live in Afghanistan or Iraq, but in North Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, a place where 5-year-olds know how to distinguish the sound of fireworks from the pops of a gunfire.

Nearly every night this week there have been gunshots. And it’s been only about six months since we heard gunshots on our street one cold February night and looked out the window to see a 19-year-old kid stumbling down the block with blood pouring out of his body. We held him, prayed with him and watched him die.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Opinion • United States

September 29th, 2010
04:44 PM ET

UK political drama follows biblical pattern

CNN's Richard Allen Greene posts from London:

Today's dramatic announcement by British politician David Miliband - once widely expected to succeed Gordon Brown as leader of the Labour Party - that he is stepping back from front-line politics completes a chapter in a political psycho-drama that has transfixed the British political classes for months.

You see, it's not just any upstart who beat David Miliband (pictured, right) to the leadership post. It's his younger brother, Ed (pictured, left).

Commentators here have been dragging out parallels of other brothers as they struggle to explain what happened, but they seem to have missed the obvious comparison: Jacob and Esau.

FULL POST

- Newsdesk editor, The CNN Wire

Filed under: Bible • Britain • Europe • Judaism • United Kingdom

Christine O'Donnell talks faith and politics
September 29th, 2010
02:09 PM ET

Christine O'Donnell talks faith and politics

In one of her last interviews before her national media blackout, Delaware Republican U.S. Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell did an interview with CBN, the Christian Broadcasting Network.

O'Donnell told CBN correspondent Jennifer Wishon that if elected she wants to make the Constitution the litmus test for legislation. O'Donnell also talked about some of the challenges her campaign faced in the 2008 election, when she ran against Joe Biden for his U.S. Senate seat.

God continued to strengthen and empower us when, you know, His strength is perfected in our weakness. And that's what's exciting because you see, if it weren't for faith, when all logic said it's time to quit, we pursued. We marched on because we knew God was not releasing us to quit. And now with such an important lame duck session you realize why we were to endure all that stuff.

Her interview appeared today on The Brody File.  You can see the video here.  O'Donnell's interview is about 18 minutes into the video.

Shameless Plug: You can also see Belief Blog Co-Editor Eric Marrapodi and David Brody break down faith and politics about 11 minutes, 30 seconds into the video.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Christianity • Politics

Muslim Fast-a-Thon
September 29th, 2010
02:05 PM ET

Muslim Fast-a-Thon

Over at the Wall Street's Journal's Metropolis Blog, Jo Piazza writes about Muslim students putting on a "Fast-a-Thon" at New York University.

Fast-a-Thon participants refrain from eating from sunrise to sunset and donate the money they would have spent on food to charity — this year, to Islamic Relief, which is directing money to flood victims in Pakistan. The day culminates with a communal dinner and celebration, including prayers and poetry. The event is typically held during the Muslim holiday of Ramadan, but this year’s fast was pushed back to accommodate the university calendar.

The event drew about 350 students according the the Journal. it also drew from a wide range of students.

[United Muslim Association] co-sponsored the event with sixteen other student groups including Campus Crusade for Christ and the Muslim Urban Professionals (known to members as “muppies”).

You can read the full article over at Metropolis.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Education • Food • Holidays • Interfaith issues • Islam • New York • Ramadan • United States

Bishop Long's 'anointed' path to power at New Birth
September 29th, 2010
12:26 PM ET

Bishop Long's 'anointed' path to power at New Birth

Jonathan Walton was walking through Bishop Eddie Long's church one day when he saw something that disturbed him.

He stared at a 30-foot banner draped behind the pulpit of New Birth Missionary Baptist. Church. It displayed a profile of a grinning Long with the caption: "What is God up to?"

"Everywhere you went in that church, his name and face was there," says Walton, an assistant professor of religion at Harvard Divinity School in Massachusetts. "His image has replaced the cross."

Long's image is now under assault. Four young men have filed civil lawsuits accusing him of abusing his spiritual authority to coerce them into sexual relationships, allegations he has denied in a statement issued by his attorney.

While most people focus on the men's allegations, few have paid attention to how Long acquired and maintains his authority at New Birth, which has an estimated 25,000 members.

Read the full story

- CNN Writer

Filed under: Christianity • Church • Ethics • Homosexuality • Sex abuse

September 29th, 2010
11:24 AM ET

White House ties pregnancy aid grants to 'common ground' abortion plan

The Obama administration announced its first round of grants from a new fund aimed at helping pregnant women and parenting teens on Wednesday, a move the White House framed as part of its "common ground" approach to abortion.

The Health and Human Services Department distributed $27 million for the federal government's Pregnancy Assistance Fund on Wednesday, the department said in a press release, awarding grants to 17 states and 13 American Indian tribes

The grants support programs helping pregnant women and teen parents who are trying to complete high school or who need assistance with health care, child care and housing, HHS said. The grants can also be used to combat violence against pregnant women.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Abortion • Barack Obama • Catholic Church • Health care • Politics

September 29th, 2010
10:59 AM ET

September 29th, 2010
10:54 AM ET

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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.

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