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Pope's Christmas message urges peace in troubled lands
December 26th, 2010
10:39 AM ET

Pope's Christmas message urges peace in troubled lands

In his traditional Christmas message delivered Saturday to crowds braving winter's chill, Pope Benedict XVI urged peace in the Middle East and asked for God's comfort upon beleaguered Christian communities in Iraq and elsewhere in the region.

The annual "To the City and the World address, known in Latin as "Urbi et Orbi," mentioned other global hot spots.

The pope wished for security in places overcome by conflict like Somalia, Sudan's Darfur region, Ivory Coast, Afghanistan and the Korean peninsula and those nations like Haiti that are grappling with the consequences of disease and natural disaster.

"May the light of Christmas shine forth anew in the Land where Jesus was born, and inspire Israelis and Palestinians to strive for a just and peaceful coexistence," Benedict said in the speech delivered in 64 languages, from English and Latin to Maori and Maltese.

Read the full story of the Pope's Christmas message here.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Catholic Church • Mass • Pope Benedict XVI • Vatican

Imam of controversial N.Y. mosque proposal to begin U.S. speaking tour
December 26th, 2010
10:26 AM ET

Imam of controversial N.Y. mosque proposal to begin U.S. speaking tour

The imam behind the controversial Islamic community center and mosque planned near the site of the September 11 attacks in New York will begin a nationwide speaking tour next month to promote the project and encourage interfaith dialogue, a spokeswoman said Friday.

Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf has been at the center of a national firestorm over his proposal to build a high-rise community center and mosque two blocks north of ground zero, when the World Trade Center's twin towers stood before the 2001 airliner attacks.

"His speaking tour commences on January 15 in Detroit, and he will continue speaking throughout the year in about 12 different markets," Leyla Turkkan, the imam's spokeswoman, told CNN.

Read the full story here about the speaking tour and security concerns surrounding it.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: 'Ground zero mosque' • Belief • Islam

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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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