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3 Amish men accused of cutting hair, beards of others
Four alleged attacks have taken place in an Ohio Amish community since September 6, the local sheriff says.
October 10th, 2011
08:32 PM ET

3 Amish men accused of cutting hair, beards of others

(CNN) - Three Ohio Amish men remained in police custody Monday after allegedly assaulting other members of their local community in part by forcibly cutting off hair and beards - a particularly egregious offense in Amish society.

Lester Mullet, 26, Johnny Mullet, 38, and Levi Miller, 53, were arrested last Friday, according to Jefferson County Sheriff Fred Abdalla.

Additional arrests are expected, Abdalla said.

Four alleged attacks have taken place since September 6, Abdalla said. The three men are accused of breaking into multiple homes and inflicting a series of cuts and bruises while forcibly cutting facial and other hair from men, women, and children.

The attacks, according to Abdalla, were instigated by an extreme Amish splinter group led by Lester and Johnny Mullet's father - Bishop Sam Mullet.

"The leader of this group ... - I call it a cult - was shunned from his faith some years ago," Abdalla said in regard to Bishop Mullet. "He basically thumbed his nose" at others.

FULL STORY
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Faith Now

October 10th, 2011
04:32 PM ET

Straddling the line between church and politics in 2012 GOP race

By Candy Crowley, host of CNN's "State of the Union"

Washington (CNN) - Thomas Jefferson famously wrote about the wall of separation between church and state. He didn't mention separating church and politics, but everybody knows it's a sticky wicket.

On Friday, Robert Jeffress, a Southern Baptist minister, introduced Texas Gov. Rick Perry at at a gathering of social conservatives, calling Perry a genuine follower of Jesus Christ, as opposed to another candidate Jeffress could and did mention in a later interview.

"I think Mitt Romney is a good, moral man, but I think those of us who are born-again followers of Christ should always prefer a competent Christian to a competent non-Christian like Mitt Romney," Jeffress told CNN's Jim Acosta.

Romney is a Mormon and he has passed this way before: Four years ago, the first time he ran for president, he made a speech to address concerns, rumors, and political analysis of his religion in a speech.

"I believe in my Mormon faith and I endeavor to live by it. Some believe that such a confession of my faith will sink my candidacy. If they're right, so be it."

Read the full story here.
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Church and state • Content Partner • Faith Now • TV-State of the Union

October 10th, 2011
03:49 PM ET

First openly gay pastor ordained in the PCUSA speaks

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

(CNN) - It was nearly three decades in the making, but the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has ordained its first openly gay pastor. The Rev. Scott Anderson was ordained Saturday at Covenant Presbyterian Church, in Madison, Wisconsin.

"It's an exciting time for me personally to be the first openly gay person ordained in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), and it's a big moment for our church that has has excluded gays and lesbians for so many decades, so it's a new day for us," Anderson told CNN's Suzanne Malveaux.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Church • Content Partner • Faith Now • Homosexuality • TV-CNN Newsroom

Lawyer: Iranian Supreme Leader to weigh in on pastor’s execution
October 10th, 2011
11:35 AM ET

Lawyer: Iranian Supreme Leader to weigh in on pastor’s execution

By Dan Merica, CNN

Washington (CNN) –-  The possible hanging of an Iranian pastor, who may face execution for refusing to recant his Christian beliefs, reached the highest levels of the Iranian government over the weekend with Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei being asked for his opinion on the possible death sentence.

Mohammad Dadkhah, attorney for Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, told CNN that Nadarkhani was still alive and that the court has asked the highest religious leader in Iran for his input. Though Khamenei has the ultimate authority in Iranian affairs, the move is unusual for a case that was supposed to be decided Monday.

Nadarkhani, the leader of a network of house churches in Iran, was first convicted of apostasy in November 2010, a charge he subsequently appealed all the way to the Iranian Supreme Court. In an appeals trial last month at a lower court in Gilan province, Nadarkhani refused to recant his beliefs.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Faith Now • Interfaith issues • Iran

Archbishop wants to meet with Mugabe over Anglican persecution allegations
Archbishop Rowan Williams greets congregants gathered at the City Sports Centre in Harare on October 9.
October 10th, 2011
10:05 AM ET

Archbishop wants to meet with Mugabe over Anglican persecution allegations

From Nkepile Mabuse, CNN

(CNN) - A breakaway sect of the Anglican church allied to Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe protested Sunday against a visit by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Nolbert Kunonga, the excommunicated former bishop of Harare, led the protest.

Archbishop Rowan Williams has accused Kunonga of using state resources to intimidate the loyal Anglican congregation, often with violence. Williams has requested a meeting with Mugabe on Monday to discuss the issue. He delivered a sermon in the capital Sunday.

Describing Zimbabwe as "troubled," Williams did not mince his words in his sermon, asking Mugabe's government to ensure there is "peace and justice" in the country.

"God has given so many gifts to this land. It has the capacity to feed its people and more," he said. "Its minerals wealth is great. But we have seen years when land is not used to feed people and lies idle."

Read the full story here.
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Africa • Anglican • Church • Faith Now • Zimbabwe

Death toll rises in Egypt Christian clashes as tension continues
Egyptian Coptic Christians clash with soldiers and anti-riot police during a protest in Cairo on 9 October.
October 10th, 2011
10:01 AM ET

Death toll rises in Egypt Christian clashes as tension continues

From Mohamed Fadel Fahmy, For CNN

Cairo (CNN) - The number of dead in clashes between the army and pro-Coptic Christian protesters in Egypt over the weekend rose to at least 25, with at least 272 wounded, a Healthy Ministry official told CNN Monday.

But conflicting reports from the two sides indicated the death toll could be as high as 29 in violence that an army spokesman speculated may have been guided by a "hidden hand" associated with neither side.

Many of the dead and injured were crushed by speeding military vehicles, said Dr. Adel al-Dawi of the ministry.

The violence - the deadliest in Egypt since President Hosni Mubarak was toppled by a popular revolution in February - has brought the country back to the tense, violent period before the uprising, Prime Minister Essam Sharaf said Monday.

"Instead of going forward, we found ourselves scrambling for security," Sharaf said on state television in an early morning speech, noting that the incident had produced "martyrs, both civilian and from the military."

Hundreds of Coptic Christians rallied outside a hospital Monday, chanting "The army has its tanks but we have our prayers," CNN saw.

Read the full story here.
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Africa • Belief • Christianity • Coptic • Egypt • Religious violence

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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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