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October 20th, 2010
07:08 PM ET

Report: Obama to skip Sikh Temple in India partly out of head covering concern

President Barack Obama will not be visiting the Golden Temple - the architectural pride of the Sikh faith - during his trip to India next month, according to the New York Times:

Revered by Indians of all faiths, it is a cherished emblem of India’s religious diversity. So it was no surprise when the gold-plated marvel was promoted as the likely third stop on President Obama’s visit to India, scheduled for early November.

But the United States has ruled out a Golden Temple visit, according to an American official involved in planning. Temple officials said that American advance teams had gone to Amritsar, the holy city that is the site of the temple, to discuss a possible visit. But the plan appears to have foundered on the thorny question of how Mr. Obama would cover his head, as Sikh tradition requires, while visiting the temple....

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Asia • Barack Obama • Hinduism • India • Politics

October 20th, 2010
03:57 PM ET

Black preachers who 'whoop' - minstrels or ministers?

Editor's Note: CNN's Soledad O'Brien looks at how some are fighting debt from the pulpit in "Almighty Debt: A Black in America Special," premiering at 9 p.m. ET on October 21.

The Rev. E. Dewey Smith Jr. bangs on the pulpit with his fist. He shuts his eyes and moans. Then a high-pitched sound rises from his throat like the wail of a boiling tea-kettle.

"I wish you'd take the brakes off and let me preach," he tells his congregation during his Sunday morning sermon.

Rows of parishioners stand to shout. One woman in a satiny blue dress jumps up and down like she's on a pogo stick. A baby starts to cry.

Read the full story

- CNN Writer

Filed under: Black issues • Christianity • Church • Music • Race

October 20th, 2010
03:48 PM ET

Court rejects Vatican Bank appeal against seizure of funds

Italian prosecutors' decision to seize Vatican Bank funds as part of an investigation into possible money-laundering was correct, an Italian court ruled Wednesday.

The Vatican expressed "surprise" that its appeal had been rejected and stood by its position that the investigation was the result of a misunderstanding.

Italian prosecutors last month froze Vatican Bank transactions for the first time ever, after the bank failed to provide all the information required by anti-money laundering rules.

Read the full story

- Newsdesk editor, The CNN Wire

Filed under: Catholic Church • Vatican

My Take: O'Donnell's and America's First Amendment ignorance
October 20th, 2010
09:43 AM ET

My Take: O'Donnell's and America's First Amendment ignorance

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

It’s time for our politicians to take the religious literacy quiz.

In a debate on Tuesday with Democrat Chris Coons, Republican Senate candidate from Delaware Christine O’Donnell seemed to be learning, in real time and reluctantly, that the First Amendment prohibits the establishment of religion.

As Coons was arguing against the teaching of creationism in the public schools on the grounds that the First Amendment mandates the disestablishment of religion, O’Donnell said, “The First Amendment does? Let me just clarify: You’re telling me that the separation of church and state is found in the First Amendment?”

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog contributor

Filed under: Christianity • Church and state • Delaware • Education • Opinion • Politics • Polls • Religious liberty • United States

Pope creates two dozen new cardinals
October 20th, 2010
09:20 AM ET

Pope creates two dozen new cardinals

Pope Benedict XVI announced Wednesday that he would  create 24 new cardinals - putting his stamp on the body that will select his replacement when he dies.

The 24 senior Catholic clergy who will be getting their red hats next  month include two from the United States, plus men from Egypt, Brazil, Poland,  Italy, Zambia, Ecuador, Sri Lanka and Germany, among others.

Many of the incoming cardinals are already based in the Vatican as senior  officials of Roman Catholic Church bodies.

With the new influx, Benedict will have created 62 cardinals since  becoming pope in 2005. It's the third time he has created new cardinals.

Known as "princes of the church," cardinals are the highest level of the  hierarchy below the pope - and when a pope dies, cardinals under the age of 80  vote on his replacement.

Read the full story

- Newsdesk editor, The CNN Wire

Filed under: Bishops • Catholic Church • Pope Benedict XVI

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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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