By Rachel Streitfeld, CNN
Washington (CNN) – For the second time this month, members of Congress will hold a hearing on American Muslims - this time with a decidedly different spin.
A Senate Judiciary subcommittee plans to consider “measures to protect the rights of American Muslims” in a March 29 hearing, just weeks after an unrelated House committee prompted a flurry of controversy and media attention by examining the “radicalization of American Muslims.”
Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, said Tuesday that he called the hearing on Muslims’ civil rights in response to “a spike in anti-Muslim bigotry” including highly-publicized protests over a proposed Islamic center near Ground Zero in New York and a Florida pastor who planned to burn copies of the Koran.
By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor
PETA, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, is calling for a more animal-friendly update to the Bible.
The group is asking translators of the New International Version (NIV) to remove what it calls "speciesist" language and refer to animals as "he" or "she" instead of "it."
The head of Syria's Daraa governate was removed from his position Wednesday as violence flared in the city of Daraa, Syrian state television reported.
Earlier Wednesday, Syrian security forces opened fire into a crowd of demonstrators in front of a mosque in Daraa, witnesses said.
Reports from human rights and advocacy groups said up to six people were killed and a number of others wounded in the incident.
An eyewitness who did not want his named used out of concern for his safety said security forces shot into the crowd in front of the Al Omari mosque before daybreak. He also said he heard an explosion.
By Richard Allen Greene, CNN
Organized religion will all but vanish eventually from nine Western-style democracies, a team of mathematicians predict in a new paper based on census data stretching back 100 years.
It won't die out completely, but "religion will be driven toward extinction" in countries including Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the Netherlands, they say.
It will also wither away in Austria, the Czech Republic, Finland and Switzerland, they anticipate.
They can't make a prediction about the United States because the U.S. census doesn't ask about religion, lead author Daniel Abrams told CNN.
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.