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April 25th, 2011
03:55 PM ET

France's Islamic veil ban spurs passionate reaction worldwide

(CNN) - When Zahra Jaferi heard that France had banned the wearing of certain types of traditional Islamic headscarves in public, she said she felt conflicting emotions.

A practicing Shiite Muslim and correspondent for The Trentonian newspaper in New Jersey, Jaferi wears a headscarf, saying she believes strongly in her right to express freedom of religion.

At the same time, she said France has a right to preserve its culture and traditions.

CNN's iReport asked its community of citizen-journalists to offer their opinion on the ban and the larger role of Islam in modern society. Jaferi is one of several iReporters who responded.

Read the full story

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Church and state • France • Islam • Muslim

April 25th, 2011
03:39 PM ET

Hindus volunteer to clean up religious offerings from Jamaica Bay area

By Rachel Garrett and Nina Golgowski, CNN

New York (CNN) - Volunteers toiled for hours recently cleaning mostly man-made debris from a New York coastline, the scattered religious offerings from a growing Hindu population in Queens.

The group has drawn concern among local conservationists after leaving offerings - clothing, statues, plastic flowers and other items - along the Gateway National Recreation Area near Jamaica Bay.

"I was appalled to see the condition of the place," said New Yorker Nagassar Ramgarib, a practicing Hindu. "It was really disgustingly filthy."

Many defend the practice, considered a sacred Hindu tradition. Millions of worshippers leave offerings to the gods at India's Ganges river each year.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Environment • Hinduism • New York • United States

Annual White House Easter Egg Roll
April 25th, 2011
01:57 PM ET

Obamas kick off action-packed Easter Egg Roll

Washington (CNN) -– With the Easter Bunny at their side, the first family opened up their backyard to 30,000 people from all 50 states for the annual action-packed Easter Egg Roll on Monday.

As Colbie Caillat sang the national anthem, President Obama appeared on the Truman Balcony overlooking the South Lawn with the first lady, their daughters Sasha and Malia, and his mother-in-law, Marian Robinson.

Read the full story at The 1600 Report

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Barack Obama • Easter • Holidays • Politics

April 25th, 2011
01:41 PM ET

Billboard battle over Judgment Day

(CNN) - We've told you about the caravan of RVs touring the country to warn people about the end of the world, which they say will begin on May 21.

Now, the American Atheists are mounting a counter-campaign.

The group has posted a billboard in Oakland, California - home to Family Radio, which is spreading the "awesome news" that Judgment Day is near - declaring that such messages are "nonsense."

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Atheism • Death • End times

April 25th, 2011
01:10 PM ET

Stadium transformed for Easter service

Seattle's Mars Hill Church held its Easter service at Qwest Field. KCPQ's Jeff Van Sant reports.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Easter

April 25th, 2011
12:52 PM ET

How one boy met Jesus

11-year-old Colton Burpo says he met Jesus eight years ago when the boy almost died from a burst appendix.

His father, Todd, chronicles it all in the book, "Heaven is for Real," a New York Times paperback bestseller.

CNN's Don Lemon spoke with Todd and Colton, who describes what Jesus was like.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Books • Christianity • Church • Nebraska • TV • TV-CNN Newsroom • United States

April 25th, 2011
12:48 PM ET

Tennessee church's gas giveaway

One Knoxville church gave back to the community by giving away $10,000 in gasoline.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Church • Tennessee • United States

April 25th, 2011
11:26 AM ET

Israeli man killed near West Bank holy site

From Shira Medding, CNN

(CNN) - An Israeli man was killed and four others were wounded early Sunday morning near Joseph's Tomb, a Jewish holy site in the northern West Bank city of Nablus, an Israeli military spokesman said.

A Palestinian police officer shot the civilians "after identifying suspicious movements," the spokesman said, citing information about the incident provided by Palestinian officials.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Israel • Jerusalem • Violence

My Take: Trump a litmus test for GOP
April 25th, 2011
09:10 AM ET

My Take: Trump a litmus test for GOP

Editor's Note: Stephen Prothero, a Boston University religion scholar and author of "God is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions that Run the World," is a regular CNN Belief Blog contributor.

By Stephen Prothero, Special to CNN

I don’t really care whether Donald Trump is running for president. But I am dying to see how Republicans respond to him.

Today’s Republican Party draws on a wide variety of strands, and those strands pull it in different directions. The party’s libertarian roots are visible in Paul Ryan and Rand Paul and other Ayn Rand aficionados who have classically favored maximizing individual freedom by cutting taxes and minimizing government.

Its roots in social conservatism and the Religious Right are visible in Sarah Palin and George W. Bush and their opposition to abortion rights.

These two strands conflict, of course, on questions of gay marriage and marijuana decriminalization - whenever the individual liberty so prized by libertarians bumps up against the efforts favored by social conservatives to Christianize the nation.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog contributor

Filed under: Abortion • Christianity • Opinion • Politics • Tea Party • United States

Indian spiritual guru dies at 85
An Indian child looks at portraits of Spirtual Leader Sri Satya Sai Baba at a shop near Prashanthi Nilayam on April 6.
April 25th, 2011
09:04 AM ET

Indian spiritual guru dies at 85

By Harmeet Shah Singh, CNN

New Delhi, India (CNN) - Famed Indian spiritual guru Sri Sathya Sai Baba died Sunday of respiratory failure, his doctors said. He was 85.

The orange-robed spiritual leader with a puff of dark hair is considered a living god by his followers in India and overseas.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Asia • Faith & Health • India

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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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