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September 9th, 2010
10:01 PM ET

Trump offers to buy site of controversial center

Real estate mogul Donald Trump has offered to buy the lower Manhattan site where a Muslim group plans to build an Islamic community center for 25 percent more than the current owners paid for it.

Trump made the offer Thursday in a letter to Hisham Elzanaty, an investor in the Islamic center site.

Read the full story

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: 'Ground zero mosque' • 9/11 • Food • Houses of worship • Islam • Mosque • Muslim • New York • United States

September 9th, 2010
10:00 PM ET

Florida pastor says he's 'rethinking' canceled Quran burning

A Florida pastor who called off a Quran burning said late Thursday he was "rethinking our position" after a Muslim leader said the minister incorrectly announced that the proposed Islamic center near New York's ground zero would be moved as part of a deal.

The dramatic development was one of several twists on a day when President Barack Obama and Defense Secretary Robert Gates urged the Rev. Terry Jones to call off the Saturday event, timed for the ninth anniversary of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

During the afternoon, Jones canceled his plan to burn copies of the Quran, based on what he said were assurances from a local Muslim leader that the Islamic center in New York would be moved - an assertion rejected by the center's visionary in New York.

Read the full story

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: 'Ground zero mosque' • 9/11 • Florida • Islam • Muslim • New York • Quran • United States

September 9th, 2010
04:33 PM ET

That other worship space at ground zero

Editor’s Note: CNN’s Mary Snow is filing a story tonight on the Situation Room about St. Nicholas Church, the only church destroyed at ground zero on 9/11. She filed this report from New York. You can watch Mary’s piece on the Situation Room today on CNN between 5pm-7pm EST and tell us what you think.

Here in New York City, there’s been much focus on the Cordoba House that’s near ground zero, but did you know there was a church destroyed on 9/11 that has yet to be rebuilt?


St Nicholas is a Greek Orthodox Church. It was a tiny three-story church that sat on a lot 22 feet by 50 feet in the shadow of the south tower at the World Trade Center site. When the tower fell it crushed the church building. Rebuilding efforts have gone nowhere.  The church has been negotiating with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey for years, but both sides accuse the other of walking away from negotiations.

The Port Authority says, in essence, that a window has passed for the church to rebuild at a nearby location with tens of millions of dollars of public money because construction at a security center at ground zero couldn’t wait. Now, if the church wants to rebuild at its original location, it’ll have to wait until 2013, when construction is complete.

What do you think? Should a third party get involved to find a solution?

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: 'Ground zero mosque' • Christianity • Church and state • Greek Orthodox Church • New York • TV • United States

September 9th, 2010
03:25 PM ET

September 9th, 2010
03:17 PM ET

Obama: Quran-burning plan is 'recruitment bonanza for al Qaeda'

A plan by the pastor of a small Florida church to burn Qurans on September 11, which has triggered worldwide controversy, is a "recruitment bonanza for al Qaeda," President Barack Obama said Thursday.

"You could have serious violence in places like Pakistan or Afghanistan" as a result of the proposal by the Rev. Terry Jones of the Gainesville, Florida-based Dove World Outreach Center, Obama said on ABC's "Good Morning America." "This could increase the recruitment of individuals who'd be willing to blow themselves up in American cities, or European cities."

Jones has said he will proceed with the plan Saturday, the ninth anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks, despite increased pressure to abandon the proposal and warnings that going ahead could endanger U.S. troops and Americans worldwide.

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- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Florida • Interfaith issues • Islam • Quran • United States

A time for all to atone for tech sins?
September 9th, 2010
03:15 PM ET

A time for all to atone for tech sins?

Eric Yaverbaum is as guilty as anyone of making technological transgressions. He's ignored family to check emails while at the dinner table and tuned out of actual conversations to tune into Twitter.

But the 49-year-old New York public relations executive isn't afraid to admit his sins.

"I'm the guy who sleeps with his BlackBerry," Yaverbaum says. "I'm raising my hand and saying, 'Yes, I'm an addict.'"

He is trying to make amends, though, and thinks you should, too. It is that time of year, after all.

FULL POST

- CNN Writer/Producer

Filed under: Judaism • Technology

September 9th, 2010
02:03 PM ET

Christians baptized in the Jordan River

[cnn-video url=http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/living/2010/09/07/schwartz.jordan.river.baptism.cnn]
Editor's Note: CNN's Mike Schwartz files this report from CNN's Jerusalem bureau.

For the hundreds of Christians on the river bank, the water in the Jordan is sacred.

"It’s the same river where Jesus himself was baptized. That is not important to baptism itself, but for the experience it is something special," said Robert Ekh, the senior pastor from Livets Ord (Word of Life) in Uppsala, Sweden. He says his church is comparable to Pentecostal churches in the United States.

Ekh recently led a group of 1,500 Christians from 35 countries to Israel, to follow in the footsteps of Christ as laid out in the Gospels in the New Testament. He said the baptism ceremony he presided over was an important moment in the pilgrimage.

"It’s something that changes you inside. The Bible becomes alive in a totally different way. Your faith becomes concrete and real because you are standing in the places where things happen."
FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Israel

Faith plays key role for trapped Chilean miners, families
September 9th, 2010
01:12 PM ET

Faith plays key role for trapped Chilean miners, families

Editor's note: CNN's Patrick Oppmann is reporting on the efforts to free the 33 trapped miners in Chile.  He filed this post from Copiapo, Chile:

For the Rev. Juan Carlos Sansadral, there is only one word to describe the survival of 33 Chilean miners in a collapsed mine: “miracle.”

Whether or not their salvation will ever officially be classified as an act of God remains to be seen, but the Catholic priest who oversees a parish in the area and has counseled many of the miners’ families stands firm. “It was truly a miracle,” he said.
FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Catholic Church • Chile

September 9th, 2010
12:59 PM ET

My Take: God and football

Editor's Note: Chad Gibbs is the author of God & Football: Faith and Fanaticism in the SEC. He found football at the age of eight, found God one year later, and has spent the rest of his life worshiping one of the two. He and his wife currently live in Auburn, Alabama, with their dogs Bob Vance and Harper. Visit his blog here.

By Chad Gibbs, Special to CNN

When I began writing my book on God and football, the aptly titled "God and Football," the first words I put down were these.

“I was immersed in the waters of Southeastern Conference football twelve months before I was submerged into those of believers’ baptism.”

I go on to say this is not a unique testimony, at least not down south where our God and our pastime scrimmage daily for our hearts and minds.
FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Opinion • Sports • United States

September 9th, 2010
11:21 AM ET

My Take: Imam Rauf is Not a Moderate

Editor's Note: Stephen Prothero, a Boston University religion scholar and author of "God is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions that Run the World," is a regular CNN Belief Blog contributor.

By Stephen Prothero, Special to CNN

I have never met the man behind the Islamic community center near ground zero, so my first chance to take the measure of Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf came last night when he was interviewed by Soledad O’Brien on “Larry King Live.”

A few weeks ago, the imam’s wife, Daisy Khan, told me during a conference call that moving the center was “off the table for now.” Last night Imam Feisal initially indicated that he would not be moved either.
FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog contributor

Filed under: 'Ground zero mosque' • Church and state • Interfaith issues • Islam • Leaders • Mosque • Muslim • New York • Opinion

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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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