By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor
Falls Church, Virginia (CNN)– Worshippers hurried by a host of cameras and reporters on their way to Friday prayers at the Dar Al Hijrah Islamic Center. Many of those who stopped to ask about the gaggle of media found out for the first time American Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, who once stood in their pulpit, had been killed Friday by a CIA drone strike in Yemen.
“I think he should have gotten a proper burial as a Muslim, but as a human being I don’t think he was right for his mentality and his morality,” said Jouwad Syed, who recently started attending the Dar Al Hijrah Islamic Center.
“In a way, we’re not glad that he’s dead. At the same token, it’s helpful. We’re trying to clear our name. There’s crazy people everywhere you go in different religions. He’s just one of the few and he definitely doesn’t represent what Islam is all about,” Syed said.
By Dan Merica, CNN
Washington (CNN)– Christian Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani will be put to death for several charges of rape and extortion, charges that differ greatly from his original sentence of apostasy, the semi official Fars News agency reported Friday.
In a translated Iranian Supreme Court brief from 2010 the charge of apostasy, however, is the only charge leveled against Nadarkhani.
"Mr. Youcef Nadarkhani, son of Byrom, 32 years old, married, born in Rasht in the state of Gilan is convicted of turning his back on Islam, the greatest religion the prophesy of Mohammad at the age of 19," reads the brief.
The brief was obtained by CNN from the American Center for Law and Justice and was translated from its original Farsi by the Confederation of Iranian Students in Washington.
By Rick Martin, CNN
(CNN) - Former NFL quarterback and college football great Danny Wuerffel faced epic battles on the football field, but now he is facing the toughest in his life, and he is relying on his faith to get him through.
Wuerffel recently announced he was hospitalized and diagnosed with Guillain-Barre Syndrome, a rare disorder in which the body’s immune system attacks part of the nervous system, according to the National Institute’s of Health website.
GBS, as it’s more commonly called, can be life-threatening. In some cases it can interfere with breathing and is considered a medical emergency, according to the NIH website.
There is no known cure for Guillain-Barre syndrome.
By Charley Keyes, CNN Senior National Security Producer
Washington (CNN) - Ten days after the military dumped its "don't ask, don't tell" policy on gays and lesbians, the Pentagon has issued new rules allowing military chaplains to perform same-sex marriages, but only if allowed by law and the chaplain's beliefs.
"A military chaplain may participate in or officiate any private ceremony, whether on or off a military installation, provided that the ceremony is not prohibited by applicable state and local law," a memo released Friday says.
Washington (CNN) - Standing over the letter, one would never know its unique story. Worth millions at auction, reading it unveils that it stands as a testament to religious freedom in America. But as it stares up, idly sitting there, the stories of “erotic” behavior, twisted ownership and historic encounters are lost on those lucky enough to see it.
The primary spirit of the letter is clear – the United States government will assure religious freedom, giving “to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance.”
George Washington wrote those words in a 1790 letter to the the congregation of a synagogue in Newport, Rhode Island. He was hoping to reassure the congregation that the budding government of the United States would allow free expression to all religions. Since then, Jews in America have flourished.
The letter is addressed “To the Hebrew Congregation in Newport, Rhode Island,” but it is kept from public view, which hurts and angers those who think private ownership defies the letter’s original sentiment.
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.