By Gabe LaMonica, CNN
(CNN) – Got ashes?
If not on this Ash Wednesday, groups of Methodists and Episcopalians took to the streets in cities across the country to make sure you got them, representing a growing ashes-on-the-run movement.
In Washington, Julie Bringman of the Foundry United Methodist Church led a group of four Methodists outside the Dupont Circle Metro station with manila folders emblazoned with the question “Got Ashes?” in black ink.
By Dan Merica, CNN
(CNN) – A week after news outlets reported on the conversion of Oliver Stone's son Sean to Islam, Sean denied he'd converted while also saying he has "accepted Mohammed."
“I happen to agree with what Mahatma Gandhi, he said 'I’m Hindu, a Jew, a Christian, a Muslim and a Buddhist,'” Stone said in an interview with CNN.
But Stone also referred to himself as a Muslim, calling Islam “an extension of the Judeo-Christian heritage. Mohammed is a prophet in that same line going back to Abraham.”
Iran's semi-official Fars News Agency reported last week that Sean had converted to Islam, and news outlets around the world picked up the the story.
But in the Wednesday CNN interview, Stone said he did not “feel like I have become a Muslim.”
By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor
(CNN) - Reacting to a report that well-known Holocaust victim Anne Frank had been baptized by proxy in a Mormon temple, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints says it is committed to disciplining members of its church who conducted such baptisms, which violate church policy.
Word of the Frank baptism came a week after the issue of Mormon posthumous proxy baptism of Jews attracted national attention. This controversy surfaced after it was reported that the dead parents of Jewish Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal had been baptized in a Mormon temple.
The church apologized for that baptism, blaming it on a technical glitch in its system for submitting names for posthumous proxy baptism.
Manila, Philippines (CNN iReport)– iReporter "armantaylo" shot these photos Wednesday of Catholics receiving the imposition of ashes at the famous Basilica of the Black Nazarene in Manila, Philippines. "The service went peacefully but the line to get anointed is never ending, as passerby also join the line," he said.
By the CNN Political Unit
(CNN) - The Rev. Franklin Graham clarified his thoughts on President Barack Obama's Christian faith Wednesday, one day after the evangelical leader took heat over making comments about the president's ties to Islam.
"I don't question the president's faith. I'm not questioning whether he's a Christian," Graham said on CNN's "Newsroom." "I disagree with his position on abortion."
On Tuesday, Graham stirred controversy when he expressed uncertainty over whether the president is sincere enough in his faith.
He said when he asked Obama about how he became a Christian, the president said he joined a church in Chicago after becoming a community organizer, leaving Graham to speculate whether he became a Christian for the right motives.
Got a question for famed director Oliver Stone’s son, who reportedly converted to Islam last week in Iran?
Sean Stone, 27 and also a filmmaker, will be on CNN Newsroom Wednesday during the 1 PM ET hour. Post a question in comments and we may ask it during the interview.
The son of Oscar-winning director converted to Islam last week in a ceremony in central Iran, a national news agency reported.
Here's the Belief Blog’s morning rundown of the top faith-angle stories from around the United States and around the world. Click the headlines for the full stories.
From the Blog:
CNN: Faith Online: Social media bridges the old and the new
The General Theological Seminary was founded in 1817, making it the oldest Episcopalian seminary in the country. Twitter, on the other hand, was introduced to the public in 2006, making it, by comparison, a newborn. Colin Chapman and Joseph Mathews, the relatively young founders of Digital Formation, hope to bring those two worlds together.
Jeremy Lin credits his faith with his success in the NBA.
CNN: Jeremy Lin emerges as emblem of burgeoning Asian-American Christianity
Lin, who had been baptized into an evangelical Chinese church near San Francisco in ninth grade and had come to value Christian fellowship through his youth group, was part of the Harvard-Radcliffe Asian American Christian Fellowship group, regularly attending Bible study.
By Kiran Khalid, CNN
New York (CNN) - New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Tuesday fired back at the president of Yale University and others who have suggested city police went too far in their surveillance of Muslims.
"We have to keep this country safe," the mayor told reporters, addressing questions about an Associated Press report that said the NYPD was closely monitoring Muslim student associations in schools across the Northeastern United States.
"If people put things on websites and make them available to everybody, of course the NYPD is going to look at anything that's publicly available in the public domain," Bloomberg said. "And given we've had a dozen people arrested or convicted of terrorist acts who've come from similar organizations, we have an obligation to do so."
Washington (CNN) – The General Theological Seminary was founded in 1817, making it the oldest Episcopalian seminary in the country. Twitter, on the other hand, was introduced to the public in 2006, making it, by comparison, a newborn.
Colin Chapman and Joseph Mathews, the relatively young founders of Digital Formation, hope to bring those two worlds together.
As a social media consulting endeavor, Digital Formation looks to help clergy and lay church leaders work their way through the ever-changing world of social media. When Chapman and Mathews proposed using webinars and classes as the means of teaching, the leadership of the seminary embraced the idea.
Though the organization is still in its early stages, the fact that Digital Formation was so quickly embraced shows how religious organizations not only desire more exposure to Twitter, but are willing to throw out what Chapman describes as a “behind the times” attitude to get that exposure.
By Stacey Samuel, CNN Producer
Washington (CNN) – Tuesday at the Washington National Cathedral, school children alongside clergy competed in a pancake tossing relay race. It was an exercise in religious fun, the day before Ash Wednesday.
"It is the last opportunity to feast, and be merry before we enter the Holy season of Lent, which is the time of abstinence and reflection," said Reverend Jan Naylor Cope, vicar at the National Cathedral, who took part in the races herself.
Fat Tuesday or Mardi Gras by a different name, Shrove Tuesday is the Anglican Church’s pre-Lenten celebration before kicking off the 40-day fast leading up to Easter Sunday. The origin of the word “shrove” is believed to be a derivation of “shriving” which means to ask for forgiveness.
But why a pancake race? Shrove Tuesday traditionally is the day that Christians emptied out their cupboards that would be filled with flour, sugar, eggs and other dessert ingredients which had to be used before observers began their Lenten sacrifice.
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.