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Sudan's president warns of tighter Islamic law
December 20th, 2010
06:01 PM ET

Sudan's president warns of tighter Islamic law

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir has warned that he will tighten the application of Islamic law, or sharia, in northern Sudan if southern Sudan votes for independence next month, the Sudan News Agency reported.

"If the separation of the South unfortunately happens, the constitution will be amended and sharia will become the main source of legislation," al-Bashir said.

Sharia already is the law of the land in northern Sudan, but the authorities have relaxed their enforcement of it since a 2005 peace treaty ended more than 20 years of civil war.

Read the full story here.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Africa • Belief • Church and state • Islam • Quran

December 20th, 2010
11:27 AM ET

My Take: Religious Cities are Among the Most Violent

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

In one of the more jarring passages in God is Not Great, the celebrated atheist Christopher Hitchens writes of being asked a “straight yes/no question” by the conservative Jewish broadcaster Dennis Prager. Hitchens was to imagine seeing a large group of men approaching him in a strange city at dusk: “Now - would I feel safer, or less safe, if I was to learn that they were just coming from a prayer meeting?”

Hitchens' answer, of course, is that he would feel less safe. And the rest of his polemic, which is subtitled “How Religion Poisons Everything,” is an extended attempt to explain why.

Whether religious people are more prone to criminality than unreligious people is, of course, an empirical question. So in some sense it doesn’t make all that much sense to argue about it. Just go instead and look at the data.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog contributor

Filed under: Atheism • Opinion • United States • Violence

'God' speaks on upcoming memoir
December 20th, 2010
10:46 AM ET

'God' speaks on upcoming memoir

Editor's Note: This report comes to us from CNN's Marquee Blog about all things entertainment.

According to Entertainment Weekly, the reason God inked a recent book deal with Simon & Schuster is because he’s “tired of being misinterpreted.”

The higher power recently spoke with EW about his upcoming memoir – as told to former "Daily Show" exec David Javerbaum – his Twitter account and (but of course!) Justin Bieber.

(It turns out that Javerbaum and God are represented by the same literary agency, according to a release from Simon & Schuster. He's also co-authored "America: The Book" and "Earth: The Book," as well as "What to Expect When You're Expected: A Fetus's Guide to the First Three Trimesters.")

Read the full story about the new book by "God."

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Books • Culture & Science • United States

Police: American tourist's body found in Israel
December 20th, 2010
10:42 AM ET

Police: American tourist's body found in Israel

The American woman whose body was found outside Jerusalem was a longtime traveler to Israel with a "beautiful and gentle spirit," her employer said Monday.

Authorities launched a search for Kristine Luken after the woman with whom she had been hiking arrived at a picnic spot with multiple stab wounds.

That woman, Kay Susan Wilson, said the two were hiking in a forest near Beit Shemesh, west of Jerusalem, when two men attacked them, tied them to a tree and stabbed them, according to police spokesman Mickey Rosenfeld.

Luken was in Israel both to visit Wilson and also professionally in her new role running tour operations for the Christian ministry CMJ UK, the group's CEO, Robin Aldridge, said in a statement on the organization's website.

Read the full story of the American tourist killed in Israel here.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Israel • Violence

The 'zombie theology' behind the walking dead
December 20th, 2010
06:00 AM ET

The 'zombie theology' behind the walking dead

By John Blake, CNN

Some people find faith in churches. David Murphy finds it in zombies.

Murphy, the author of “Zombies for Zombies: Advice and Etiquette for the Living Dead,” says Americans' appetite for zombies isn’t fed just by sources such as the AMC  hit series “The Walking Dead” or the countless zombie books and video games people buy.

Our zombie fascination has a religious root. Zombies are humans who have “lost track of their souls,” Murphy says.

FULL POST

- CNN Writer

Filed under: Art • Culture & Science • Death • Trends • TV

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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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