By Padmananda Rama, CNN
Washington (CNN) – National Cathedral officials intend to reopen its doors in time for 9/11 prayer services, a spokesman said Thursday.
The Washington landmark has been closed since parts of its Gothic structure were damaged during last week's earthquake.
President Barack Obama is scheduled to give a keynote address at an interfaith service at the cathedral on the evening of September 11. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta will also speak during a service Friday, September 9.
"I think that if the secretary of defense and President Obama are coming, that means it's safe to be here," cathedral spokesman Richard Weinberg told members of the media during a press tour of the cathedral's nave, the first since the 5.8 magnitude earthquake on August 23.
By Chris Welch, CNN
Minneapolis, Minnesota (CNN) –Prior to 2006, few people even knew that then-Minnesota state legislator Keith Ellison was a Muslim. Because of his English name, he said, no one thought to ask.
But five years ago, when he ran for a seat in the United States House of Representatives - a race he would go on to win - word of his religious affiliation began to spread.
“When I started running for Congress it actually took me by surprise that so many people were fascinated with me being the first Muslim in Congress,” said Ellison, a Democrat now serving his third term in the House.
“But someone said to me, ‘Look Keith, think of a person of Japanese origin running for Congress six years after Pearl Harbor–this might be a news story.’”
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.