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Eddie Long, investor clash over church money
February 3rd, 2011
05:45 PM ET

Eddie Long, investor clash over church money

Bishop Eddie Long, the Atlanta pastor who has received massive media attention since four young men accused him of sexual coercion last September, is entangled in a dispute with an entrepreneur over $1 million in investments that Long wants returned to his church members.

The week-long dispute has included dueling press statements, an accusation of character assassination and a YouTube video in which Long pleaded with the entrepreneur to show compassion.

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- CNN Writer

Filed under: Christianity • Georgia • Pastors • United States

February 3rd, 2011
04:07 PM ET

President Obama's remarks at National Prayer Breakfast

Here's the White House transcript of President Barack Obama's address Thursday morning to the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington:

I want to begin by just saying a word to Mark Kelly, who’s here. We have been praying for Mark’s wife, Gabby Giffords, for many days now. But I want Gabby and Mark and their entire family to know that we are with them for the long haul, and God is with them for the long haul.

And even as we pray for Gabby in the aftermath of a tragedy here at home, we're also mindful of the violence that we're now seeing in the Middle East, and we pray that the violence in Egypt will end and that the rights and aspirations of the Egyptian people will be realized and that a better day will dawn over Egypt and throughout the world.

For almost 60 years, going back to President Eisenhower, this gathering has been attended by our President. It’s a tradition that I'm proud to uphold not only as a fellow believer but as an elected leader whose entry into public service was actually through the church.

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- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Barack Obama • Politics • Prayer

February 3rd, 2011
03:46 PM ET

Chilean miner sheds light on underground religious life
Chilean miner Jose Henriquez and his wife after being brought to the surface. Henriquez addressed the National Prayer Breakfast on Thursday.
February 3rd, 2011
12:15 PM ET

Chilean miner sheds light on underground religious life

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

One of the rescued Chilean miners shed new light Thursday on the intense religious and spiritual experiences of many of the miners while trapped underground for 52 days last year, saying that faith was a key part of surviving t he ordeal.

"We realized we had only one alternative and that was God himself," said Jose Henriquez in an address to the National Prayer Breakfast on in Washington, speaking to a crowd that included President Barack Obama.

"We were different creeds and churches," Henriquez said, speaking in Spanish with simultaneous translation. "So I got them in a circle and made sure everyone could pray in a participatory fashion. And as we prayed we began to know the presence and blessing among us of God in the mine. We were strengthened, our spirits were revived.”

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- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Belief • Bible • Chile • Christianity • South America

February 3rd, 2011
11:15 AM ET

Giffords' husband: Maybe good will come from tragedy

By the CNN Wire Staff

The husband of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords said Thursday that while we may never know why she and 18 other people were shot - six fatally - it could be part of a larger plan and that good may come of it.

"What allowed me to be here today is Gabby's condition," Capt. Mark Kelly said Thursday at the National Prayer Breakfast. "It continues to improve. Every day she gets a little bit better, and the neurosurgeons and neurologists tell me that that's a great sign. The slope of that curve is very important."

Giffords, 40, was among 19 people shot January 8 as she held a "Congress on Your Corner" event at a supermarket in Tucson, Arizona. Among the dead were a 9-year-old girl and a federal judge; 13 others, including Giffords, were injured. Authorities believe Giffords, who was shot in the head, was the primary target. A suspect is facing federal charges.

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- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Politics • Prayer

U.K. diverted aid money to fund pope visit, lawmakers find
Pope Benedict XVI and British Prime Minister David Cameron during last September's papal visit to England.
February 3rd, 2011
09:59 AM ET

U.K. diverted aid money to fund pope visit, lawmakers find

By Sakshi Grover, CNN

The British government diverted 1.85 million pounds ($3 million) of foreign aid money to help pay for the state visit of Pope Benedict XVI last year, lawmakers charged Thursday.

"How does the papal visit count as aid?" asked the parliamentary committee that oversees Britain's Department for International Development.

The committee spotted the diversion of aid money when going over the department's accounts, members said.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Catholic Church • Europe • Pope Benedict XVI • United Kingdom

February 3rd, 2011
07:05 AM ET

Pakistani teen jailed for blasphemy, group says

Pakistan must immediately drop blasphemy  charges against a teenager and let him out of jail, Human Rights Watch said.

"Pakistan has set the standard for intolerance when it comes to misusing  blasphemy laws, but sending a schoolboy to jail for something he scribbled on  an exam paper is truly appalling," Bede Sheppard, senior children's rights  researcher at Human Rights Watch, said in a statement Wednesday.

Police told CNN Tuesday that they had arrested a teenager accused of  writing insulting comments about Muslim prophet Mohammed in a school exam.

They arrested 17 year-old Sami Ullah in Karachi after receiving a  complaint from the local board of education, said Karachi police official  Qudrat Shah Lodhi.

Read the full story on the teen jailed for blasphemy
- Newsdesk editor, The CNN Wire

Filed under: Islam • Muslim • Pakistan • Religious liberty • Teens

February 3rd, 2011
12:01 AM ET

Obama delivers major speech on personal faith

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

President Barack Obama gave an unusually personal speech about his religious faith on Thursday, saying that "it is the biblical injunction to serve the least of these that keeps me going and keeps me from being overwhelmed," in address to a prayer breakfast in Washington.

The speech, delivered at the National Prayer Breakfast, comes on the heels of public opinion surveys that show only a minority of Americans know that Obama is a Christian and that a growing number believe he's a Muslim.

"My Christian faith has been sustaining for me over the last couple of years and even more so when Michelle and I hear our faith questioned from time to time," the president said Thursday, referring to his wife. "We are reminded that ultimately what matters is not what other people say about us but that we are true to our conscience and true to our God."

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Barack Obama • Christianity • Politics

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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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