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'Hallelujah Chorus' not heavenly for California mall
December 21st, 2010
12:30 PM ET

'Hallelujah Chorus' not heavenly for California mall

Editor's Note: Read more about the mall evacuation from CNN affiliate KXTV.

Two months after a California mall was closed following a devastating fire, authorities had to close it again Monday night after Christmas singers clogged the shopping center.

"The enthusiasm for the Halleluiah event tonight was far greater than anticipated by organizers," said a statement from the Westfield Galleria at Roseville. "Out of an abundance of caution, the center was evacuated. We apologize for this inconvenience."

The Sacramento Choral Society was holding what police called a "well-publicized" event to sing the "Hallelujah Chorus" in the mall's food court, scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

Read more about the flash mob chorus that shut down a mall with a Christmas tune sing-a-long.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: California • Christianity • Christmas • Holidays • United States

Sending hope in a shoe box
December 21st, 2010
11:26 AM ET

Sending hope in a shoe box

Sixteen-year-old Valery Bianco and his 13-year-old sister Marina Bianco take extra care in preparing and wrapping their shoe box gifts for "Operation Christmas Child."

They know firsthand what these gifts could mean to a child.

"I was almost 10 when I received my shoe box, and it was touching to receive a gift as an orphan, someone people don't care about," Valery says.

Those shoe boxes were the first gifts that Valery and Marina received during their life at a Russian orphanage.

Read the full story about Operation Christmas Child a charity run by Franklin Graham.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Charity • Christianity

Fort Worth transit agency bans faith-based ads
December 21st, 2010
11:15 AM ET

Fort Worth transit agency bans faith-based ads

By Katie Glaeser, CNN

The message from Fort Worth, Texas: no more religious advertisements allowed, at least on its transit system.

The pro and anti-religious ad battle has been front and center this holiday season. Atheist groups and the Catholic League had a billboard brawl in New York late last month, and now the fight has reached Texas.

The Board of the Fort Worth Transportation Authority (The T) voted unanimously last week to formally adopt an advertising policy for all T property which includes a ban on faith-based ads.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Atheism • Belief • Christianity • Church and state • Culture wars • United States

December 21st, 2010
06:00 AM ET

Sacred Spaces: Washington's Basilica

Editor's note: Sacred Spaces is an occasional series on the Belief Blog. In this installment, CNN Senior Photojournalist Anthony Umrani takes us inside the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington.

By Anthony Umrani, CNN

Sister Miriam MacLean is buzzing around the Basilica of the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. A steady stream of tourists trails closely behind her.

As director of visitor services, she leads the tours of the massive mosaic domed church in Washington. It may be one of Washington’s lesser known tourist attractions, but the shrine gets nearly 1 million visitors a year and keeps its doors open 365 days of the year.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Catholic Church • Christianity • Mass • United States • Vatican

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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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