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Bernice King, MLK's daughter, leaves Eddie Long's church
The Rev. Bernice King shares the pulpit with Bishop Eddie Long at New Birth Missionary Church in this file photo.
May 31st, 2011
06:30 PM ET

Bernice King, MLK's daughter, leaves Eddie Long's church

By John Blake, CNN

(CNN) – The Rev. Bernice King, daughter of the legendary civil rights leader, is leaving an Atlanta megachurch that’s been rocked by a sex scandal involving its preacher.

King’s announcement came a week after Bishop Eddie Long, senior pastor of New Birth Missionary Church, settled out of court with four young men who filed lawsuits against him last year claiming he coerced them into sexual relationships.

King said her announcement had nothing to do with Long’s legal battles. She said Tuesday she was “tremendously blessed” by Long’s ministry but that now she’s going start her own.

“I’m going to launch a ministry. I’m not calling it a church right now,” King said during an interview with Atlanta radio station Praise 102.5. “What God is showing me doesn’t look like what people are accustomed to.”

FULL POST

- CNN Writer

Filed under: Celebrity • Christianity • Pastors

My Take: There’s nothing brief about a hookup
May 31st, 2011
11:58 AM ET

My Take: There’s nothing brief about a hookup

Editor's Note: Dannah Gresh is author of What Are You Waiting For? The One Thing No One Ever Tells You About Sex.

By Dannah Gresh, Special to CNN

Recent studies have revealed some good news in the sex culture among college co-eds: there are more virgins among them now than was the case a few years ago.

These days, 29% of females and 27% of males between ages 15 and 24 claim to be virgins, up from 22% of both sexes in 2002, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

But among the college students who aren’t abstaining, we’re seeing more sex, thanks to casual hookups. According to recent research from Stanford University, the majority of college co-eds are still having sex, with an average 9.7 sexual partners for men and 7.1 for women.

Thankfully, we have more scientific information about casual sex than our parents did when they drove their Volkswagen buses to Woodstock for a dose of the sexual revolution. They wanted to think—as many of those cruising along the New Millennium highway still do—that we can engage in the act of sex without the emotion.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Opinion • Sex • Sexuality

For Baha'i educators, a lesson in power from Iran
Eleven of the educators detained for teaching members of Iran's Baha'i community.
May 31st, 2011
09:43 AM ET

For Baha'i educators, a lesson in power from Iran

By Mitra Mobasherat and Joe Sterling, CNN

(CNN) – The three Iranian security officers rang the doorbell, politely informed the man of his arrest, thoroughly searched the house, confiscated high-tech gear and books, and whisked him away to the nation's notorious Evin Prison.

The early Sunday morning raid took three hours. Now, every second seems like an eternity for the man's anguished family members, praying for his physical safety, hoping for his release, and getting their heads around the prospect of a long stint in prison, his relatives told CNN.

His family says the reason for his arrest is his religion.

Read the full story on the plight of Iran's Baha'i educators
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Baha'i • Iran • Persecution

Dalai Lama gives up political role, remains Tibetan spiritual leader
May 31st, 2011
09:30 AM ET

Dalai Lama gives up political role, remains Tibetan spiritual leader

By Harmeet Shah Singh, CNN

New Delhi (CNN) - The Dalai Lama has formally relinquished his political and administrative powers, a spokesman said Tuesday.

The Tibetan spiritual leader approved amendments to the exiled constitution to enable him to devolve his political responsibilities into the community's elected leadership and judiciary, according to officials.

Lobsang Choedak, a spokesman for the exiled Tibetan government, said the changes were carried out during a three-day session of its parliament in the Himalayan town of Dharamsala, India. The Dalai Lama approved them Sunday.

Read the full story about the Dalai Lama relinquishing his political role
- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Dalai Lama • India • Politics • Tibet

May 31st, 2011
08:48 AM ET

Counterprotesters confront Westboro Baptist Church at Arlington

Washington (CNN) - Protesting members of the controversial Westboro Baptist Church were met with an unlikely group of counterprotesters Monday at Arlington Cemetery.

Hours before President Barack Obama led the nation's Memorial Day observances at the Tomb of the Unknowns, three members of the Westboro Baptist Church were challenged by others who disagreed with them - including members claiming to be from the Ku Klux Klan.

The Kansas-based church has attracted nationwide attention for its angry, anti-gay protests at the funerals of U.S. military members.

Read the full story about the Westboro Baptist Church's Memorial Day protest
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Military • Westboro Bapitst Church

May 30th, 2011
12:33 PM ET

Joplin mourns its dead

Peace Lutheran Church in Joplin, Missouri, remembers the tornado victims one week later. CNN's Chris Turner reports.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Bible • Christianity • Church • Death • Lutheran • Missouri • United States

May 30th, 2011
10:43 AM ET

U.S. budget ax threatens successful AIDS program in Africa

By Eric Marrapodi, Jim Acosta and Tom Foreman, CNN

Washington (CNN) - The biblical story of Lazarus is happening again in Africa. At least it looks that way.

One moment, men, women and children suffering from AIDS are lying at death's door, barely able to move, open their eyes, or speak. Then a few days or weeks later, they are walking, talking, laughing; truly appearing to have come back from the dead.

This astonishing transformation has been repeated all over the continent thousands of times over the past decade. And, since 2003, America has been helping to pay for it.

But a budget-slashing effort in Congress this year threatens to bring much of that progress to a sudden and catastrophic halt.

Read the full story on CNN.com/Politics

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Africa • Belief • Christianity • Foreign policy • Politics • TV • United States

Faith comes to the forefront on Sunday in Joplin
May 29th, 2011
08:03 AM ET

Faith comes to the forefront on Sunday in Joplin

(CNN) – Sunday has long been a day for reflection in Joplin, Missouri, with residents flocking to churches and other places of worship for guidance, understanding and a sense of community.

Now, several of those churches are gone, as are scores who might otherwise be going to them, thanks to a horrific tornado that ripped through the southwest Missouri city one week ago. That makes this Sunday especially significant, not to mention the subsequent days, as religious leaders try to offer meaning after such a senseless disaster.

"You could see ... the challenge they are going to face, as they preach funerals in the weeks to come," Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon said after meeting faith-based leaders this week. "It's enormous."

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Catholic Church • Church

May 27th, 2011
03:50 PM ET

My Take: No justice in Eddie Long's settlement

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

The Roman Catholic Church isn't the only religious institution that has failed to respond directly and transparently to allegations of sexual impropriety.

Bishop Eddie Long, the pastor of the Georgia-based New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, has just settled out of court with the four young men who alleged Long had sexually coerced them. And neither side is talking.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog contributor

Filed under: Buddhism • Catholic Church • Christianity • Leaders • Pastors • Protestant • Scandal • Sex abuse • United States

Judge blocks Veteran Affairs from barring 'Jesus Christ' prayer
More than 6,000 people are expected to attend a Memorial Day ceremony at Houston National Cemetery.
May 27th, 2011
01:47 PM ET

Judge blocks Veteran Affairs from barring 'Jesus Christ' prayer

A federal judge in Texas has told the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs that it cannot censor a pastor's invocation at a Memorial Day ceremony.

The VA had ordered the Rev. Scott Rainey to remove a phrase using Jesus Christ from the prayer, arguing the line excluded other beliefs held by veterans, KHOU-TV in Houston reported.

On Thursday, U.S. District Judge Lynn Hughes disagreed, writing the government cannot "gag citizens when it says it is in the interest of national security, and it cannot do it in some bureaucrat's notion of cultural homogeneity," according to a report in the Houston Chronicle.

Read the full story about the judge's prayer ruling on CNN's This Just In blog.
- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Christianity • Church and state • Prayer • Texas

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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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