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May 20th, 2011
07:32 PM ET

Avlon on the end of the world

A Christian radio group says the world will end on Saturday. CNN talks with John Avlon about the possibility. Avlon is a CNN contributor, senior political columnist for The Daily Beast and the author of "Wingnuts: How the Lunatic Fringe Is Hijacking America."

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: End times • Faith Now

Strauss-Kahn arrest rattles French, American Jewish communities
Dominique Strauss-Kahn addressing a conference on security and policy in Israel in 2010.
May 20th, 2011
06:31 PM ET

Strauss-Kahn arrest rattles French, American Jewish communities

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

Until this week, Dominique Strauss-Kahn was an object of Jewish pride, a hugely successful leader of the International Monetary Fund and an outspoken supporter of Israel who was viewed as potential contender to become France’s first Jewish president.

Now, the arrest of the former IMF chief on sexual assault charges has rattled France’s Jewish community, raising concerns that the case could inflame anti-Semitism and inspiring similar handwringing among some American Jews.

“Today, it is an incredible waste. … For me personally it is an incredible loss,” Rabbi Michel Serfaty, president of the Jewish-Muslim Friendship of France, said. “We lost him to a human weakness.”

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Faith Now • France • Judaism

Baldwin goes behind camera for faith-based video
Stephen Baldwin (left) partnered with singer Cory Lamb on the video "Break the Cycle"
May 20th, 2011
05:27 PM ET

Baldwin goes behind camera for faith-based video

By Steve Almasy, CNN

(CNN) – Singer Cory Lamb’s new single is called “Break the Cycle,” a song about going from the world where you exist for yourself to one where you live for God.

“It’s about being in the world, not of it,” Lamb said recently by phone from New York.

The message of the song resonates with Stephen Baldwin, the youngest of the acting Baldwin siblings and a devout Christian who has been known to share his story of redemption - and his own breaking of “the cycle.”

Baldwin, who says he was born again shortly after the attacks of 9/11, directed the video for Lamb’s debut song on his new CD, also entitled “Break the Cycle.” It’s the first time Baldwin has ever directed a music video. But he seemed unfazed by being behind the camera instead of being in his usual spot out front.

FULL POST

- Producer/Writer

Filed under: Culture & Science • Faith • Florida • Music • TV

It's the end of the world as we know it – so let's go dine
May 20th, 2011
04:25 PM ET

It's the end of the world as we know it – so let's go dine

If the doomsday sayers of the Family Radio ministry are to be believed, the people of Earth are set to to meet their end on May 21, 2011. Saying farewell to one's nearest and dearest and preparing a howdy-do to to one's eternal fate is pretty grim business; might as well face it on a full stomach.

If you knew the world's end was imminent, what would you want for your last meal?

Make your final menu selection and submit your vote at Eatocracy

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Death • End times • Food

Manny Pacquiao laces up gloves in country's fight over birth control
Manny Pacquiao, right, easily defeated Shane Mosely this month, but can he repeat in the Filipino birth control bout?
May 20th, 2011
04:22 PM ET

Manny Pacquiao laces up gloves in country's fight over birth control

Manny Pacquaio's latest fight could be much tougher than pounding on “Sugar” Shane Mosley for 12 rounds.

Fresh off his trouncing of the American welterweight contender, Pacquiao, 32 – who also serves as a Sarangani representative in the Filipino Congress – has entered the ring again to denounce a reproductive health bill that he and his fellow lawmakers are considering.

The bill has several controversial provisions, such as the requirement that women experiencing problems after abortions, which would still be banned, must be treated humanely and compassionately.

Pacquiao and President Benigno Aquino III, a backer of the bill, agree abortion should be outlawed, The Manila Times reported. Where they part ways is on the issue of contraception, according to Filipino media.

Aquino believes couples should be educated on birth control and should be free to choose the method they deem most appropriate, the Philippine Daily Inquirer reported. Pacquiao, on the other glove, opposes contraception and paraphrased Genesis to defend his stance.

“God said, ‘Go forth and multiply.' He did not say, ‘Go and have just one or two children,’” the People’s Champ said, according the paper.

Read the full story on This Just In, CNN's news blog

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Abortion • Catholic Church • Faith & Health • Health care • Philippines • Politics • Sports

Doomsday hits: An end of the world soundtrack
May 20th, 2011
04:17 PM ET

Doomsday hits: An end of the world soundtrack

So many songs, so little time.

To hear it from the followers of the Christian broadcasting network Family Radio, Saturday will mark the beginning of the end. Those who’ve been selected for salvation will move on to heaven, but the rest will experience unspeakable suffering until the world ends on October 21.

With all this doomsday talk, we at CNN have been contemplating our favorite end-of-the-world songs – music to listen to as the world falls apart, if you will. Here is our top 10 list, to get the soundtrack rolling.

See the list on CNN's Marquee Blog

- CNN Writer/Producer

Filed under: Death • End times • Music

May 20th, 2011
12:35 PM ET

What would Jesus do: Florida church to pray Sunday for Osama bin Laden

By Amy Sullivan, Time

The mass this Sunday at Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church in West Palm Beach will be offered on behalf of five people. Only one of them is a recently deceased head of a global terrorist network.

Parishioner Henry Borga requested the mass intention, on behalf of one Osama bin Laden, which is a long-standing tradition in the Catholic Church in which masses are offered for souls in purgatory or to remember someone who has died or in honor of someone still living. Borga told a local television channel that he placed the request for bin Laden because "he needs forgiveness and compassion from God."

Read the full story at Time.com
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: 9/11 • Catholic Church • Osama bin Laden

Apple triggers 'religious' reaction in fans' brains, report says
At product launches, Apple store employees cheer for the first customers to buy the company's latest gadgets.
May 20th, 2011
12:16 PM ET

Apple triggers 'religious' reaction in fans' brains, report says

By Mark Milian, CNN

(CNN) - Next time Grandma asks why you're going to the mall on Sunday morning instead of church, tell her you're going to Apple Chapel.

For Apple fans, the brand triggers a reaction in the brain that's not unlike that of religious devotees, according to a BBC documentary series that cites neurological research.

Read the full story
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Culture & Science • Faith Now

May 20th, 2011
10:39 AM ET

Doomsday church: Still open for business

By Annalyn Censky, CNNMoney

New York (CNNMoney) - By now, you've probably heard of the religious group that's predicting the end of the world starts this weekend.

Harold Camping and his devoted followers claim a massive earthquake will mark the second coming of Jesus, or so-called Judgment Day on Saturday, May 21, ushering in a five month period of catastrophes before the world comes to a complete end in October.

At the center of it all, Camping's organization, Family Radio, is perfectly happy to take your money - and in fact, received $80 million in contributions between 2005 and 2009. Camping founded Family Radio, a nonprofit Christian radio network based in Oakland, Calif. with about 65 stations across the country, in 1958.

Read CNNMoney's story about Family Radio's financials, and why some employees are planning to come to work Monday

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: End times • Faith Now • Money & Faith

May 20th, 2011
10:31 AM ET

Harold Camping says the world ends Saturday; he's said that before

By Kayla Webley, Time

In a comfortable office, Bible placed firmly atop his lap, 89-year-old Harold Camping is preaching with utter certainty about the end of the world. "May 21, 2011, is the day of judgment," he says with conviction, in a YouTube video posted last year. "It is the day that ends all gospel salvation activity ... It is the most important day by a billion times than any other day the world has ever known." On that day, Camping estimates roughly 207 million people, or about 3% of the world's population, will be plucked from the earth. What will follow is five months of earthquakes and other calamities until the world officially ends on Oct. 21 of this year.

Like all who proselytize the end the world, Camping has spread his message using a small army of followers; in his case, they're supported by a substantial budget that by some estimates is more than $100 million. There have been stories in the media of families selling their homes, quitting their jobs and budgeting their finances such that by May 21 they will be left with nothing. After all, they won't need it, right? (See photos of the cinematic vision of the apocalypse.)

But Camping has been wrong before.

Read the full story at Time.com

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • End times • Faith Now

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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 and Eric Marrapodi with daily contributions from CNN's worldwide newsgathering team.

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