By Dan Merica, CNN
(CNN) – Citing “practical and safety issues,” the dean of St. Paul’s Cathedral in London announced Friday that the historic cathedral will be closed “until further notice” because of the growing number of Occupy London protesters camping in the shadows of its dome.
Though the Right Rev. Graeme Knowles said he was delighted that the London protests have been peaceful, he indicated in a news release that closing the church was his only “lawful” option.
“The Health, Safety and Fire officers have pointed out that access to and from the Cathedral is seriously limited,” he said. “With so many stoves and fires and lots of different types of fuel around, there is a clear fire hazard.”
By Sarah Hoye, CNN
Philadelphia (CNN) - The sound of high heels clicking against the marble floor and the din of ice cubes in cocktail glasses fills the main lobby of the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts on a recent Friday night.
Theresa Shank Grentz barely steps through the glass doors when the crowd, dressed in ball gowns and tuxedos, erupts in cheers.
Standing nearly 6 feet tall, Grentz, one of the winningest coaches in women's Division 1 basketball, is given a hero’s welcome.
By Dan Merica and Alex Zuckerman, CNN
Washington (CNN)– Moammar Gadhafi may have held onto power in Libya for more than 40 years, but the role Islam played in Gadhafi's personal life and leadership remains shrouded in mystery and debated by scholars. After his death, scholars are distancing Gadhafi from Islam and characterizing his religious views as “renegade” and “dictatorial” more than Islamic.
“It should also be made quite clear that Gadhafi was no more of a Muslim leader than Slobodan Milosevic or Robert Mugabe should be considered to be Christian leaders,” said Arsalan Iftikhar, an international human rights lawyer and author of "Islamic Pacifism: Global Muslims in the Post-Osama Era."
“My sense is Gadhafi’s religion was Gadhafisim,” said Kelly Pemberton, assistant professor of religion and women’s studies at George Washington University. “It was clear to many Libyans that his brand of Islam was purely political; it served his political purposes.”
By John Blake, CNN
(CNN) – Lillian Wells said she had been laid off from her job, gone into real estate, and was looking for extra income when she went to church one Sunday and heard about a “sure thing.”
Two years later, Wells said her house is weeks away from foreclosure, she can barely pay for medication and she’s lost at least $122,000 in retirement savings.
“I’ve been hurt,” Wells said. “I’m looking for resolution and restitution at this point, and I haven’t gotten that.”
Wells’ story is at the center of a lawsuit that pits her against Bishop Eddie Long, one of the nation’s most well-known televangelists, and a charismatic investor who Long reportedly compared to Moses.
By Jessica Ravitz, CNN
(CNN) – In case you are reading this, might we suggest you read really fast?
The world may end any minute now, if the latest doomsday prediction is on target.
We realize October 21 didn’t get the shout-out that May 21 did, so our apologies if this comes as a surprise. But if you had heard the complete message the first time, you would have known.
“The warning is out,” Dennis Morrell, 44, of Jacksonville, Florida, reminded us a couple of days ago. “There’s nothing else you can do.”
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.