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September 24th, 2010
07:45 PM ET

Religious event at Fort Bragg protested as violating constitution


Editor's Note: CNN Pentagon Producer Jennifer Rizzo brings us this story.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - A watchdog group concerned with keeping apart religion and government is calling for the cancellation of an evangelical concert scheduled at Fort Bragg on Saturday.

Americans United for Separation of Church and State said the "Rock the Fort" event, put on by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, violates the Constitution and is targeting people for conversion.

"It's not the Army's job to convert Americans to Christianity," said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United. "This event is totally unacceptable and must be canceled."

The group sent a letter to Army officials on Thursday.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Church and state • Military

September 24th, 2010
04:58 PM ET

Fourth lawsuit filed against Pastor Eddie Long

A fourth lawsuit has been filed against Atlanta-area pastor Eddie Long, alleging he coerced a 17-year-old into a sexual relationship during a 2005 trip the two took to Africa.

The suit - filed, like the others, in DeKalb County, Georgia, State Court - claims Long invited Spencer LeGrande, now 22, on a trip to Kenya.

On the first night in Nairobi, Long asked LeGrande to come to his room, where the youth told the pastor he was having difficulty going to sleep, the
suit states. Long provided Ambien, a sleep aid, and they both took the drug, according to the suit.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Georgia • Homosexuality • Pastors • Sex abuse

Poles rediscover Jewish heritage
September 24th, 2010
02:30 PM ET

Secret Jewish heritage converts neo-Nazi

Editor's Note: CNN's Kristin Cuff files this report from Warsaw, Poland.

Pawel sits in the synagogue learning the Torah, praying and getting advice from his rabbi.

He appears to be enjoying a happy life married to his childhood sweetheart and the mother of his two children.

But he and Ola have traveled further than most - from hate-filled neo-Nazism through the shock and anger of learning their heritage was Jewish to taking their place in the synagogue as Orthodox Jews.

They met at school in Poland's capital, Warsaw, when they were 12 but as their teen years passed Pawel first then Ola grew into the neo-Nazi scene.

At 18 they married and a few years later Ola was nagged by a conversation with her mother that she barely remembered - something about Jewish roots.

Read the full story

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Judaism • Neo-Nazi

September 24th, 2010
11:56 AM ET

September 24th, 2010
11:51 AM ET

September 24th, 2010
11:15 AM ET

My Take: The Curious Case of the Christian Hipster

Editor's Note: Brett McCracken is author of the recently published Hipster Christianity: When Church and Cool Collide. He works as managing editor for Biola University's Biola Magazine and writes regularly for Christianity Today and Relevant. He comments on movies, media, and popular culture at his blog, The Search.

By Brett McCracken, Special to CNN

I grew up within conservative evangelical Christianity, and I’m thankful I did. But throughout my youth - and indeed, even now, at 27 - there are things about it that made me bristle. Things like televangelism, angry political picketing, boycotts, horrible Christian movies, copycat Christian music, anti-intellectualism, hyper-politicized discourse, “Left Behind” hysteria about the “end times,” and “hell houses” (don’t ask).

For many of my peers who grew up within this peculiar milieu, it was enough to sour them on Christianity entirely (lamentable, but understandable). But for many others, it simply urged them to rediscover the heart of the faith and explore Christian identity in terms that felt more pertinent to the world around them.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Culture & Science • Opinion • United States

Sex abuse victim learns of Pope's role
September 24th, 2010
09:32 AM ET

Sex abuse victim learns of Pope's role

Editor’s note: This story is drawn from CNN's one-hour special, “What the Pope Knew,” which aired Sept. 25 and Sept. 26, at 8pm and 11pm ET.

By Brian Rokus
CNN Special Investigations Unit

MORRISONVILLE, Ill. – Matt McCormick was in the seventh grade when Father Alvin Campbell gave him a ride home from a baseball game.  As they were driving along country roads, Campbell put his hand on McCormick’s thigh and “just left it there.”

It was the first time the priest had touched him. During the next three years, McCormick says, the abuse would go much further.

That was 25 years ago.  Just three months ago, he learned that Pope Benedict XVI played a role in keeping his abuser in the church when CNN told him about a letter signed by the pontiff – then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger – refusing to defrock the pedophile priest.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Catholic Church • Pope Benedict XVI • Sex abuse

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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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