home
RSS
'God is' billboard replaces controversial Lincoln Tunnel atheist billboard
December 23rd, 2010
05:44 PM ET

'God is' billboard replaces controversial Lincoln Tunnel atheist billboard

By Emanuella Grinberg and Nicole Saidi, CNN

An atheist billboard on the New Jersey side of the Lincoln Tunnel that declared Christmas a "myth" has been replaced by a pro-Christian billboard.

The old billboard, put up in late November by the American Atheists organization, said "You know it's a myth. This season, celebrate reason."

The sign stirred controversy among Christian organizations, prompting the Catholic League to erect its own pro-Christmas billboard on the New York side of the tunnel that read, "You Know It's Real: This Season Celebrate Jesus."

The new sign, which was posted by the Manhattan-based Times Square Church, reads "God is," and includes a word cloud of religious themes.

FULL POST

- egrinberg

Filed under: Atheism • Catholic Church • Christianity • Christmas • Holidays • iReport

December 23rd, 2010
04:33 PM ET

Christmas blossoms in China

Editors note: "Jaime's China" is a weekly column about Chinese society and politics. Jaime FlorCruz has lived and worked in China since 1971. He studied Chinese history at Peking University (1977-81) and served as TIME Magazine's Beijing correspondent and bureau chief (1982-2000).

Inside Beijing's Immaculate Conception Cathedral more than 1,000 parishioners gather to say mass.

A young Chinese priest conducts the service, which is punctuated by hymns and Christmas carols sung by a choir. The priest enjoins the congregation to "pray for the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI and the Chinese bishops."

It is a stark change from Chairman Mao's time in the 1960s and '70s, when religion was banned in China as the "opiate of the people" and Christmas was taboo.

In the early 1980s, years after Mao died, the government began loosening its religious restrictions. Back then, some Catholic friends and I would bike to Immaculate Conception for midnight mass. At the gate, wary church officials screened people who wished to enter.

Read the full story
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: China

Pat Robertson's marijuana remarks cause stir
December 23rd, 2010
04:15 PM ET

Pat Robertson's marijuana remarks cause stir

By Alan Silverleib, CNN

The Rev. Pat Robertson - a longtime fixture in Christian conservative politics - is drawing attention for questioning an article of faith among many Republicans: mandatory prison sentences for certain marijuana-related crimes.

Some pot legalization advocates noted that Robertson also appeared to question the criminalization of possession of small amounts of marijuana - a position later denied in a written statement released by his media outlet, the Christian Broadcasting Network.

"It got to be a big deal in campaigns," Robertson said on the December 16 edition of his show "The 700 Club." "Lock 'em up, you know. That's the way these guys ran, and they got elected. But that wasn't the answer."

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Politics • TV

December 23rd, 2010
02:10 PM ET

Christians face rising persecution, experts say

By Richard Allen Greene, CNN

A pastor sits on death row in Iran. His crime? Renouncing Islam  for Christianity.

A Christian mother of two faces execution in Pakistan - and a preacher  has put a price on her head in case the president pardons her. Her crime?  Insulting the Prophet Mohammed.

In Iraq, dozens of Christians lie in fresh graves. Their fatal mistake?  Going to church.

And these are not simply isolated incidents, but part of a broader  pattern, experts say.

"There does appear to be an upsurge in violence directed against  Christians," said Leonard Leo, the chairman of the U.S. Commission on  International Religious Freedom.

FULL POST

- Newsdesk editor, The CNN Wire

Filed under: Christianity • Coptic • Egypt • Iran • Iraq • Middle East • Persecution • Religious violence • Violence

Some Iraqi churches tone down holiday festivities over threats
December 23rd, 2010
10:44 AM ET

Some Iraqi churches tone down holiday festivities over threats

Some churches in Iraq plan to tone down holiday celebrations following violence targeting Christians in recent weeks.

Church leaders made the decision recently after a meeting in Iraq's Kurdish north, said Archbishop Louis Sako, the head of the Chaldean Church in Kirkuk.

There will be no Christmas Eve mass, no Santa or decorations at some churches during Christmas or the New Year, Sako said. Some churches will continue with Christmas Day mass as usual.

Cancellations don't include the relatively safe Kurdish region in northern Iraq.

Authorities said they will increase security around churches in Kirkuk. In Mosul, residents said celebrations have been canceled.

Read the full story here of toned down Christmas in Iraq.
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Church • Church and state • Iraq

December 23rd, 2010
10:32 AM ET

'Seinfeld' actor reminices about Festivus

On Thursday morning Jerry Stiller talked about the legacy of Festivus, a secular holiday popularized in an episode of "Seinfeld," on CNN's American Morning.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Holidays • TV • TV-American Morning

December 23rd, 2010
10:29 AM ET

'John of God': Faith healer?

In Brazil, a man claims to be able to heal seriously ill people through faith. CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta investigates.

Over at the AC 360 blog you can read a full piece on 'John of God' by Susan Casey at O Magazine.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Americas • Belief • Faith • God • TV

December 23rd, 2010
08:27 AM ET

Pakistan parties protest possible blasphemy law changes

Pakistan's religious parties are planning protests this week against any attempts to change the nation's blasphemy laws, a party spokesman said Thursday.

Moulana Amjad Khan, spokesman for the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazal ur Rehman (JUI-F) party, said the JUI-F and other religious parties are going to hold the rallies on December 24.

JUI-F recently left the collation government led by President Asif Ali Zardari's Pakistan People's Party.

Religious parties have been upset since the governor of Punjab province, Salman Taseer, helped file a mercy petition with Zardari's office, requesting a pardon for Asia Bibi, a Christian woman sentenced for death for blasphemy.

Read the full story here.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Islam • Quran • Religious liberty

December 23rd, 2010
07:00 AM ET

My take: Why my church rebelled against the American Dream

Editor’s Note: David Platt, Ph.D., is the author of the New York Times bestseller Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream and is senior pastor of the 4,000-member Church at Brook Hills in Birmingham, Alabama.

By David Platt, Special to CNN

We American Christians have a way of taking the Jesus of the Bible and twisting him into a version of Jesus that we are more comfortable with.

A nice middle-class American Jesus. A Jesus who doesn’t mind materialism and would never call us to give away everything we have. A Jesus who is fine with nominal devotion that does not infringe on our comforts.

A Jesus who wants us to be balanced, who wants us to avoid dangerous extremes, and who for that matter wants us to avoid danger altogether. A Jesus who brings comfort and prosperity to us as we live out our Christian spin on the American Dream.

But lately I’ve begun to have hope that the situation is changing.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Christianity • Opinion

TRENDING: An atheist view of December
December 23rd, 2010
07:00 AM ET

TRENDING: An atheist view of December

By Katie Glaeser, CNN

“Christians don’t deserve a monopoly on holiday cheer," reads a simple yet loaded statement on the American Atheists’ website.

But how could Christians monopolize a holiday that is based on their beliefs?

It turns out that traditions associated with Christmas have morphed into social norms adopted even among nonbelievers.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

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

Advertisement
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.

Advertisement
Advertisement