By Allan Chernoff, CNN Senior Correspondent
New York (CNN) – The wife of the former imam for a controversial Islamic cultural center says she and her husband are considering creating an interfaith cultural center in that facility, a surprising announcement in light of the recent rift between the center's owners and the activist couple.
Daisy Khan discussed the idea at a More Magazine luncheon Tuesday, saying the interfaith center could be housed at the Park51 site - controversial because of its proximity to ground zero, where the twin towers of the World Trade Center fell in the terrorist attacks of 9/11 - or at another location.
By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor
(CNN) - The worst of the recession may be over for some of America’s churches, a survey released Wednesday on religions donations indicated.
According to the survey, called State of the Plate, 43% of churches saw a rise in contributions in 2010, compared to 36% that saw an increase the year before.
Meanwhile, 39% of churches saw their giving dip last year, down from 47% that reported declines in 2009.
The survey, which is not scientific, garnered responses in February and March from 1,507 churches, most of them U.S.-based. The survey included responses from 86 churches from other countries, primarily Canada.
“Giving increases have begun to provide a glimmer of hope for many churches,” the survey reported.
Hena Akhter's last words to her mother proclaimed her innocence. But it was too late to save the 14-year-old girl.
Her fellow villagers in Bangladesh's Shariatpur district had already passed harsh judgment on her. Guilty, they said, of having an affair with a married man. The imam from the local mosque ordered the fatwa, or religious ruling, and the punishment: 101 lashes delivered swiftly, deliberately in public.
Hena dropped after 70.
Bloodied and bruised, she was taken to hospital, where she died a week later.
Amazingly, an initial autopsy report cited no injuries and deemed her death a suicide. Hena's family insisted her body be exhumed. They wanted the world to know what really happened to their daughter.
First, an 11-foot wooden cross was stolen from Saint John's Lutheran Church in Arroyo Grande, California.
Then, weeks later, the cross was discovered set aflame in the middle of the night outside the bedroom window of a 19-year-old woman of mixed race.
Now authorities are investigating the case as a theft, arson and hate crime, police said Tuesday. The burning cross was erected in a neighbor's large front yard adjacent to the house rented by the woman and her mother.
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.