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How religion has been used to promote slavery
Moses led the Israelites out of slavery, but he and other religious giants accepted slavery for others, scholars say.
March 29th, 2012
09:19 AM ET

How religion has been used to promote slavery

By John Blake, CNN

Editor’s note: The CNN documentary 'Slavery's Last Stronghold' airs on CNN International TV March 29, 30, 31 and April 22. Check local listings for times.

(CNN) - Which revered religious figure - Moses, Jesus, or the Prophet Mohammad - spoke out boldly and unambiguously against slavery?

Answer: None of them.

One of these men owned slaves, another created laws to regulate - but not ban – slavery. The third’s chief spokesman even ordered slaves to obey their masters, religious scholars say.

Most modern people of faith see slavery as a great evil. Though the three great Western religions – Judaism, Christianity and Islam – disagree on many matters, most of their contemporary followers condemn slavery.

Yet there was a time when Jews, Christians and Muslims routinely cited the words and deeds of their founders to justify human bondage, scholars say.

At times, religion was deployed more to promote the spread of slavery than to prevent it.

Read about present-day slavery in Mauritania

“The lesson in all this is we need historical humility,” says Daniel C. Peterson, author of “Muhammad, Prophet of God.” “It’s stunning for us to look back now and say, how can people face themselves in the mirror after doing what they did, but they did.”

But what did the founders of the three great Western religions do? Did they have slaves and did they condemn the practice? Or were they, at least on this issue, squarely men of their times?

The answers to these questions are as murky and contradictory as history itself.

What’s a slave?

Part of the problem is historical context. Most contemporary people think of slaves as people condemned to a lifetime of bondage, working on plantations and being whipped like oxen.

That kind of slavery did exist during the lives of Moses, Jesus and the Prophet Mohammad. Many slaves were prisoners of war; concubines, gladiators, laborers in salt mines. They could be killed, raped and discarded at any moment.

Yet there were layers of slavery in the ancient world. Many slaves would be seen today as indentured servants, or people trying to pay off debts; royal bodyguards and entrepreneurs, historians say.

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Sometimes the slaves became masters. In medieval Egypt, Muslim rulers trained and educated slaves to be their bodyguards. One group of slaves grew so powerful that they overthrew the rulers of Egypt and established their own dynasty, says Ali Asani, a professor of Indo-Muslim and Islamic Languages and Culture at Harvard University.

“Slavery meant different things in different cultures,” Asani says. “There wasn’t always this sense of powerlessness and oppression. In certain forms, it became an access to power.”

In other forms, it became access to freedom, says John Dominic Crossan, one of world’s leading scholars on the life and times of Jesus.

That was the case in the world of Jesus. The Roman Empire was the dominant power of Jesus’ day, and it survived on the backs of millions of slaves. Yet there was only one mass slave revolt against Rome, which was led by Spartacus, a gladiatorial slave, Crossan says.

The reason there were so few massive slave rebellions against Rome was because some of its slaves had avenues for advancement, dim though they may seem to modern sensibilities.

Slaves could buy their freedom. They ran businesses for their masters or tutored their children. Greek slaves, in particular, were often valued because of their education and culture, he says.

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Roman slavery was cruel and capricious, but not all Romans saw slaves as subhuman.

“One of the most extraordinary aspects of Roman slavery,” says Crossan, author of “The Power of Parable: How Fiction by Jesus became Fiction about Jesus,” was that the Romans ended up with a huge number of slaves who were smarter than their masters.”

The uncomfortable historical record

It’s been said that great religious figures transcend history. They rise above the peculiar customs of their day to show a new path forward.

It’s a matter of debate if Moses, Jesus and the Prophet Mohammad did that with slavery. All three seemed to either ignore or tolerate some forms of slavery, some scholars say.

The parables of Jesus, for example, were full of references to slaves. Terms like “servants” or “stewards” are what we would call slaves today. Yet Jesus doesn’t seem to make any moral judgments about slavery in his parables, Crossan says.

The subject may have been irrelevant to him or his audience, says Crossan, the Jesus scholar. Jesus didn’t own any slaves. Neither did his disciples or the crowds Jesus addressed. They were all too poor and lived under desperate economic circumstances.

“It may well be that the people he talked to were small farmers who would not have the luxury of slaves,” Crossan says. “He [Jesus] doesn’t say anything for or against it.”

Still, Crossan says that he believes that Jesus would have opposed slavery, given the nature of his teachings. Scholars aren’t so certain about Jesus’ most influential disciple, the Apostle Paul.

The man whose writings make up most of the New Testament had to deal with slavery. As Christianity spread through the Roman Empire, many slaves joined the church.

At various parts of the New Testament, Paul seems to accept slavery. He tells slaves to obey their masters. At other times, Paul seems to challenge the morality of slavery. In one New Testament letter, Paul intercedes on behalf of a runaway slave and chides the master for calling himself a Christian and holding a slave.

Crossan, along with some other biblical scholars, says there are actually two versions of Paul in the New Testament: the authentic, “radical” Paul who opposed slavery and a “Pseudo-Paul” inserted into the texts by early church leaders who were afraid of antagonizing Rome.

“It’s one thing to say that Jesus is Lord,” Crossan says. “Now if you’re saying a Christian can’t have slaves, then something must be wrong with slaves. So now you’re attacking the Roman system, which is a slave economy.”

Jesus’ apparent silence on slavery and Paul’s ambiguous statements on the issue had dreadful historical consequences. It helped ensure that slavery would survive well into the 19th century in the U.S., some scholars say.

American Christians who owned slaves had a simple but powerful defense in the run-up to the Civil War. The Old and New Testament sanctioned slavery and, since the Bible is infallible, slavery is part of God’s order, says Mark Noll, author “The Civil War as a Theological Crisis.”

“The defenders of slavery said Jesus condemned quite a few things that were standard in the Old Testament,” Noll says. “He condemned polygamy, violence, easy divorce, but he never condemned slavery.”

Let my people go, but keep the others

Neither did Moses, the founder of Judaism, say other scholars.

There’s no record of Moses owning slaves, but the Mosaic laws permitted and regulated slavery, says Peterson, the author of “Muhammad, Prophet of God” and a religious scholar at Brigham Young University in Utah.

Still, under Mosaic law, a master was encouraged to free slaves and forgive debts after a certain period of time that was called the year of jubilee, Peterson says.

“They were not trying to create a permanent underclass of slaves that went from parents to child and child and grandchildren,” Peterson says of the ancient Israelites.

But how could ancient Israelites sanction any form of slavery given their exodus from Egyptian captivity? Didn’t their God explicitly condemn slavery when he ordered Moses to tell Pharaoh to “let my people go?”

The text is not clear on that question, says Brannon Wheeler, a religious scholar.

He says the Exodus stories suggest that the God of Israel was angry at Pharaoh not for enslaving a group of people, but for unjustly enslaving the “Chosen People” - the people God had promised to give their own homeland.

“In order to make that promise stick, He [God] has to get them out of Egypt,” says Wheeler, director of the Center for Middle East and Islamic Studies at the United States Naval Academy in Maryland.

“It’s not like He [God] says slavery is bad and I want to abolish it.”

The Prophet Mohammad never explicitly condemned slavery, and actually owned slaves, some scholars say.

Yet he recognized the humanity of slaves, teaching followers that freeing slaves was an act of piety. He allowed slaves to buy their freedom and demanded that they should be treated with love and respect, says Asani, author of  “Celebrating Muhammad: Images of the Prophet in Popular Muslim Poetry.”

“He himself did own slaves but he treated them as family,” Asani says. “One called Zayd he treated like an adopted son and one of his wives was a Coptic Christian slave.”

The followers of men like the Prophet Mohammad, though, would take a harsher attitude toward slaves.

By the time of the crusades, Christians and Muslims were enslaving one another by the thousands. They cited their faith as justification, says Robert C. Davis, author of “Holy War and Human Bondage.”

“Religion was the defining principle of slavery—this person is another faith and can be enslaved,” Davis says.

Some church leaders preached that enslaving others was an act of evangelism, Davis says.

“One pope said that the justification for slavery was that it was important for spreading the faith,” Davis says. “Once they were enslaved, they would more readily take to Christianity.”

Those kinds of actions may now seem barbaric, but the texts and stories that were used to justify slavery still exist in the sacred texts of Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

Few, though, would quote those scriptures today, and many don’t even know they exist.

“We shouldn’t be surprised,” says Jonathan Brockopp, a religion professor at Pennsylvania State University. “Religions redefine themselves and people draw on different stories and underplay other stories. This happens constantly.”

It happened with slavery, and, who knows, perhaps it’s happening again in our time. There may be a religious practice accepted today that future generations will look upon and ask the same question we ask about people who enslaved others in the name of God:

How could they?

- CNN Writer

Filed under: Africa • Belief • Bible • Books • Christianity • Church and state • Egypt • History • Islam • Islamic law • Islamic law • Israel • Jesus • Moses • Muslim • Uncategorized

soundoff (3,207 Responses)
  1. Lorraine

    Primewonk, Did you notice how in Exodus 21v1, the rewriters of the book of remembrance, the so called OT, put the word Hebrew in there when its talking about slavery, but when the words are expressing accomplishment of good deeds, then the description of the chosen people turns into the word jew, how vain is that? The ones the jewish roman writers were then, and now, so full of themselves, cunning, and they claim all the spoils, with earnest knowing they stole it from the persecuted slaves. Daniel 11v14, note: not all jews are complicit to this robbery. The Strong One of the Hebrew Israelites is YHWH (not Lord,lord, God, yahweh, nor god is His name), as written in Exodus 3v18, He is YHWH. The King of righteousness, and peace for (all). As for the smiting of a slave, yes this law in Exodus 21v20-21, is brutal, and so is slavery, but many times in those days slaves were treated as close familiy for the most part. As in the helpers who also received pay of good food, housing, land, clothing, etc., for their work. But as time went on slavery became more, and more abusive, and yes I agree that slavery is wrong all together of any human being, it should have never existed, but many also in those days did not follow the law of righteousness the right way, just as we all do today. And one have to remember as taught by YHWH through His prophet in Micah 7, one must discern the guide, this book, for many things were changed, or transliterated by the jew roman rewriters who began rewriting in 200bce, of the book of remembrance, the OT, and the complete changes in the book of the NT.

    April 3, 2012 at 1:07 pm |
    • Primewonk

      Not my fault that your omnipotent and omniscient god wasn't smart enough or strong enough tell your little tribe of itinerant bronze-age shepherds not to own other folks. You'd think that this would be a no-brainer for an omnibenevolent deity.

      April 3, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
    • md2205

      It would take too long to go through the answer to the article and this poster and therefore, anyone who wants to understand the idea of servitude in the Torah could refer to this article:

      http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/305549/jewish/Torah-Slavery-and-the-Jews

      April 22, 2012 at 2:36 am |
  2. Cq

    For Christians who see themselves as slaves to God remember the famous line in Spartacus.

    "You might even be intelligent. That's dangerous for slaves."

    April 3, 2012 at 12:40 pm |
  3. Heal the world

    April 3, 2012 at 9:58 am |
  4. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things
    A good man prays
    A great man acts on prayer

    April 3, 2012 at 6:31 am |
    • Jesus

      No it doesn't you are so full of crap and lies. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs.!

      April 3, 2012 at 10:46 am |
  5. Bobs Friend

    Oh, here is the "Controversial passage"
    5Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ. 6Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but like slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart. 7Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men, 8because you know that the Lord will reward everyone for whatever good he does, whether he is slave or free.

    9And masters, treat your slaves in the same way. Do not threaten them, since you know that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no favoritism with him.

    No quite as scandalous in context, is it?

    April 3, 2012 at 12:18 am |
    • Primewonk

      How do you spin this one?

      When a man strikes his male or female slave with a rod so hard that the slave dies under his hand, he shall be punished.  If, however, the slave survives for a day or two, he is not to be punished, since the slave is his own property.  Exodus 21:20-21

      Seriously? How hard would it have been for your god to say "Thou shalt not own another human"?

      April 3, 2012 at 8:40 am |
  6. Bobs Friend

    This article is more proof that these people have zero Spiritual discernment.

    The Apostles Pauls policy on Slavery was simply this: If you are a Christian, and a slave, be the best slave that you can to demonstrate the Glory of God and Christ to your master. As Jesus also said "Love your enemies, and Bless those who persecute you, then you will be like your Father in Heaven.
    Peter said this: 1Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, 2when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. "

    Paul said " 21Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ."

    And Finally Christ Himself Said "8“But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have only one Master and you are all brothers. 9And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. 10Nor are you to be called ‘teacher,’ for you have one Teacher, the Christ.b 11The greatest among you will be your servant. 12For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted."
    The default role of the true Christian is to be a servant, "Love your neighbor as you love yourself" is a call to serving your neighbor.
    Serving people is a means to evangelism for Christians.. it is to demonstrate the love of Christ, regardless of the relationships between people, but especially to those who need it most.. that is, people who are enslaving other people.

    GET A CLUE PEOPLE!!

    All they are doing is purposely smearing, which makes sense, because it is what all hatemongers do.

    April 2, 2012 at 11:58 pm |
  7. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things..

    April 2, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
    • Jesus

      More lies. No it doesn't. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs.!

      April 2, 2012 at 5:34 pm |
    • Saint Albert Einstein

      That article failed to encompass a simple truth

      Questioning slavery in Paul's era (still roman era) would be like questioning the aspect of capitalism involving a boss-employee relationship (or specifically owner of the company versus workers)

      In specific, corporations like apple pay a symbolic 1$ to the inventors of new device, in exchange for ownership of the patent. The argument is that the person is an employee, so the corporation deserve the patent. But what if it generate billion $ wouldn t that money be best used by the inventor himself to create a corporation out of it and innovate even more ...

      Shouldn t the rewards go to the potential Albert Einstein. Isn t the idea to allow humanity to move forrward in an equalitarian and enlightened way ...

      You see, as humanity evolved, relationship evolves

      ancient world: master & slave
      medieval: nobility & freemen & serfs
      modern: inverstors & boss & workers

      each time a little bit more equalitarian, but we are still far from utopia

      April 2, 2012 at 10:49 pm |
  8. Maher

    April 2, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
  9. cooper

    And thats the problem with religion a bunch of people follow it yet they have no idea of the history behind the religion....only what the preacher tells em!!! The bible on several occasion demands that slaves obey there masters it also says the at ethiopians were not smart so they needed to be enslaved...hmmm does that sound familiar???? why christians think theier religion is so squeaky clean is beyond me lol they must have not paid any attention in school or at least wasnt smart enought to put 2 and 2 together!

    April 2, 2012 at 11:41 am |
  10. AtheismIsCrap

    God is Great!

    April 2, 2012 at 11:33 am |
    • Jesus

      Liars go to hell and you have no proof of your god.

      April 2, 2012 at 1:34 pm |
  11. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    April 2, 2012 at 6:54 am |
    • Jesus

      Still spreading your lies. No it doesn't. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      Plus don't forget. The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs.!

      April 2, 2012 at 10:39 am |
    • just sayin

      yes it do

      April 2, 2012 at 10:44 am |
    • Proverb

      "When you pray move your feet."

      April 2, 2012 at 9:31 pm |
  12. L

    Its not stating facts, its a blog where I guess you can make huge assertions and generalisations and get away with them. It just seems to be a trend now-a-days to point fingers at religion and blame it for every little tragedy. When will human beings learn to blame their selves for their own problems? If one does not believe in a prophet, how could s/he hold that prophet responsible for not being clear enough to thick heads? It would be nice if John Blake had done some research on this, put things in context and seen what slavery was like pre-religion. The number of Islamic religious books and teachings and Qoranic verses on slavery make Blake's entry yet another failed attempt to blame religious figures for today's issues.

    April 2, 2012 at 6:08 am |
  13. eville11

    Well if adam and eve didn't mess up, none of this would be happening.

    April 2, 2012 at 3:23 am |
    • Hope

      That's right. It's all the woman's fault, right? Have you ever stopped to actually READ the bible and see that it was blatantly obviously written by MEN? Women are treated like garbage. In the bible, most are stupid or evil and must be subservient to men. Doesn't that just a bit smack of a man-dominated world in which men wanted to continue to be in control? In fact, there were several Christian groups that wouldn't even acknowledge that women possessed souls. They finally changed that sometime in the 1800s. THE 1800S!! Adam and Eve caused nothing. There's no proof they even existed. Oh, wait, the bible is proof, right? Wow, your proof is a book written by power-hungry men who wanted CONTROL! And guess, what? They got it!! You're sheep. Stop being sheep.

      April 8, 2012 at 12:40 pm |
  14. achilles

    Stop supporting Israeli aggression.

    Research israels crimes against humanity.

    Remember the white phosphorus.

    April 2, 2012 at 2:16 am |
  15. Thetruth

    John Blake, sir, when you go to the store and buy all your clothes and electronics for yourself, your wife and your children, from Made in china, Indonesia and Taiwan, Nobody on planet earth hear you speaking out against yourself. In fact your wardrobe along with the vast majority of these self righteous religious are full of Made in China. Yeah, you love to drink the blood of the enslave Chinese. Sir, when did you stop buying the made in China and start making them yourself? Even most cars are made in China. That Jesus or Moses never done that, nor sat on a horse nor donkeys made or owned by slaves. In fact their clothes nor their shoes nor their swords were made by the hands of any slave alive nor dead.
    Gee, who is the real religious here? I smell one. You who are wearing the made in china by slave kids with a 98 cents/ jeans for wage and boast there in them. I guess that does not bother you.
    You are so religious and zealous pharisees to find a mystical sin in the life of these men just to tarnish their names among the living. Yet no one comes to curse your great grand father name nor his grave.
    How far will your abomination go? You who love chinese slavery? Is there hope for you? But the Lord warned us about you folks: You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye. REPENT!!

    April 2, 2012 at 2:07 am |
  16. Lisa

    Muhammed actually was the only one who encouraged and spoke out against slavery. The history of his life and journey are full of events where he and his followers were actively promoting freeing of slaves. An action pro-freeing slavery which says a great deal about his philosophy about the notion of "owning people". Do people have to say things in a way that only you the author understand as denouncing in order for it to be so?? If actions are louder than words then freeing slaves and promoting a policy of not owning people means "They are not yours to own." There were, also, in none of Moses, Jesus, or Muhammad's times from what I have read the kind of slave auctions or slavery systems that the Europeans established in North America. Freeing a slave in the U.S. was akin to treason in some states and freeing of slaves was considered a strong stand against slavery. was it not?

    April 2, 2012 at 12:43 am |
  17. mmi16

    Religion is, has been and will always be about how to control a population.

    Before the development of secular forms of government – Religion was government.

    April 2, 2012 at 12:29 am |
    • JOE

      LET'S HEAR AN HONEST ON HOW GOVERNMENT PROMOMENTED SLAVERY IN THE USA

      April 2, 2012 at 8:55 am |
  18. Reality

    The "vomit-inducing" ped-ophilia and coverup will simply hasten the decline of all religions as they finally go extinct from their own absurdity.. It is time to replace all religions with a few rules like "Do No Harm" and convert all houses of "worthless worship" to recreation facilities and parks.

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>.

    April 2, 2012 at 12:01 am |
  19. t3chn0ph0b3

    Claiming that this article is anti-religious is like calling the Oxford dictionary anti-lingual. All this article is about is religion. In fact, it is about how religion has been misused in the past and how its interpretation has evolved toward more enlightened sensibilities. If anything it's pro-modern religion. You "Christians" need to stop being so myopic, knee-jerk reactionary, and paranoid.

    Everyone is out to get you "nowadays", right? Sheesh. You should have seen Christians fed to the lions in ancient Rome. That is when they were REALLY out to get you. You practically own the entire world now. What else do you want? Anything that can be construed in the slightest as insulting to Christian heritage should probably be banned by your standards, right? You know who does that currently? Monarchies and socialist (in actuallity facist) states. Is that the way you want to live? If so, try seeing what it's like in Saudi Arabia where religious law decides your fate.

    It's called freedom of speech. Get used to it. It's not going away anytime soon, thank God.

    April 1, 2012 at 11:00 pm |
  20. geelo

    Again.. I am very disappointed with CNN in regards to another anti religion article such as this. I think CNN should post a banner on it's home page saying "We are against religion"

    April 1, 2012 at 9:41 pm |
    • CJA

      This is not "anti religion". It is a description of who it has evolved over time.

      April 1, 2012 at 10:20 pm |
    • Lorraine

      geelo, The day that they CNN or all establishments ever dispell religion will be a day of rejoice, and salvation for religions are pagan, and Idolatry, and are not of our spiritual Creator YHWH, who made all mankind, and all things. Not religion, but the righteousness, and peace for all in the world to live as one, and no more of this in difference, greed, wars, poverty, and hate in this so called civilization that we have today all over the earth, of the haves, and the haves not. YHWH made this earth of plenty for (all) of us to have, and live as a righteous, and peaceful unity, not just for some which is wickedness, and not right. In Isaiah 45v1-12, He tells us of what we are to know of Him, and what He does for us in His book of remembrance, the so called OT, for us to remember Him, and His law of righteousness, for our own sakes, for our own health, and good to prolong our lives for a better living for all. For the NT was began, and written by jewish roman writers, changing the law of YHWH, in the OT, with the orders of Constantine who legalized (forced) christianity in 311bce, using the dividing for gain, of all of these changes to the law of righteousness of YHWHs that helps to keep us all as one with real peace.

      April 2, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
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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.