Watergate figure Chuck Colson reportedly near death
Chuck Colson, 80, underwent surgery this month to remove a pool of clotted blood on the surface of his brain.
April 18th, 2012
12:25 PM ET

Watergate figure Chuck Colson reportedly near death

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

Washington (CNN) - Chuck Colson, the convicted Watergate figure turned evangelist, is near death after suffering a brain hemorrhage earlier this month, his media representatives said Wednesday.

“It is with a heavy, but hopeful heart that I share with you that it appears our friend, brother and founder will soon be home with the Lord,” Jim Liske, CEO of Prison Fellowship Ministries, which Colson founded, said in a statement.

“Chuck's condition took a decided turn yesterday, and the doctors advised Patty and the family to gather by his bedside,” Liske said, referring to Colson’s wife.

Colson, 80, underwent surgery this month to remove a pool of clotted blood on the surface of his brain.

Colson was special counsel to President Richard Nixon and the first member of the Nixon administration to serve prison time for charges stemming from the 1972 Watergate scandal.

“He admits he was guilty of political ‘dirty tricks’’ and willing to do almost anything for the cause of his president and his party,” according to Colson’s official biography.

In 1974, Colson served seven months of a one- to three-year sentence. Not long after his release, he founded Prison Fellowship, which calls itself “the world's largest outreach to prisoners, ex-prisoners and their families,” with a presence in 113 countries.

Colson also hosts a daily radio commentary called BreakPoint that airs on stations nationwide.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Christianity • Leaders

soundoff (369 Responses)
  1. marty45

    all i can say to you that doubt mr. colson's faith, what gives you the right to do so? has he directly affected you? i would guess not. most of you were running around in diapers when watergate happened. the perpetrators were punished and that settles it. if someone, no matter who it is, claims to be a Christian, who are you to doubt it? God alone knows the human heart and only He has the right to judge. i would give my right arm to witness you that doubt trying to explain to Jesus why you have such hate in your heart for someone you never knew. you categorize Christians as people who believe in God as fools. i categorize you as ignorant people who refuse to read the Bible or to actually give Christ a chance because you are too happy hating and thinking nobody holds it against you. i freely admit i have come short of God's grace, but i also freely admit i love Jesus and believe He exists. the biggest problem this would faces isn't leaders who do not know how to lead, but people who do not know and refuse to learn anything pertaining to Christ. He set the example while here and now so many want nothing to do with Him, even though He died a horrible death for you. you use some actions of others to justify your feelings.

    April 19, 2012 at 6:06 pm |
  2. just sayin

    Is this faux Christian dead already??? God Bless!

    April 19, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
    • just sayin

      Chuck Colson has done more for people in need around the world, than any 100 of his detractors. God bless Mr Colson.

      April 19, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
    • marty45

      if you had half a brain, you'd be dangerous. thank God you have no brain. when someone says they are a Christian, you take them at their word. judging them is wrong. it shows how pathetic you are.

      April 19, 2012 at 5:48 pm |
  3. marjoryotoole

    I've met Chuck Colson and he is a good man. For the last several decades, his life's work has been dedicated to helping others and most recently he has brought a good deal of positive attention to the challenges facing families impacted by Aspergers.

    The majority of comments posted here are shameful. You sound like spoiled teenagers with nothing better to do.

    I hope CNN does a better job filtering who and what gets through. Because as it is now – this site is not worth re-visiting.

    April 19, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
    • just sayin

      Deal with it Skippy

      April 19, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
    • just sayin

      The ministry of Chuck Colson is an inspiration to thinking people everywhere. I thank God to have been able to share time on this earth with Mr. Colson. God bless you sir.

      April 19, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
  4. Mark

    Chaplain said: "All I would say about Prison Fellowship is that this organization's intent to "reach prisoners" simply turns (public) prisons into "mission fields" where preachers try to convert everyone to their own brand of Christianity."

    And what specific, "brand of Christianity" would that be? The "brand" that believes that Christ physically rose from the dead and ascended into heaven, and whose death provides the opportunity for new life and eternal salvation for the worst of offenders? The "brand" that says the Bible is God's written word?

    That is historic, orthodox Christianity. To my knowledge, Prison Fellowship has avoided denominational entaglements, and has focused on the core elements of the faith in bringing hope to prisoners.

    April 19, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
    • jalek

      Orthodox is something different, and much older. What you're describing is American Evangelical Christianity.
      The majority of the Christian world doesn't tie itself to a compilation of scrolls being literally interpreted. This way they don't rely on ignoring inconsistencies or making excuses such as "we are only human and incapable of understanding", they are just insignificant in the larger faith.

      April 19, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
  5. Bootyfunk

    i hear the sound of a turd being flushed...

    April 19, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
    • just sayin

      Wait but Jesus can be seen in the turd!

      April 19, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
    • just sayin

      Atheist name thieves degenerate and expose themselves on a regular basis. The judgement you use is the standard by which you will be judged. God bless

      April 19, 2012 at 4:59 pm |
    • marty45

      you must of stuck your head into a toilet.

      April 19, 2012 at 5:49 pm |
  6. Rob

    I guess that if you can believe there is an invisible man in the sky who invented everything and is your personal friend, then it's no surprise that you can believe that a guy like Charles Colson is a saint worthy of your admiration.


    April 19, 2012 at 12:09 pm |
    • marty45

      enjoy Hell.(not that you will)

      April 19, 2012 at 5:50 pm |
    • momoya

      Hell to me is a heaven that enjoys sport of those in hell as bible god clearly does by building, maintaining, and enjoying the smoke of the da.mned as it rises before his throne.. That's a heaven for Charlie Manson, not me.

      April 19, 2012 at 11:11 pm |
  7. Religion is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer is delusional but education changes things.

    April 19, 2012 at 11:58 am |
    • marty45

      the only delusion is people thinking there is no God. did you enjoy your day set aside for you people, april 1?

      April 19, 2012 at 5:51 pm |
  8. frankiethemc

    Mr. Coulson made the transition for a mean, cruel, unscrupulous polical hack to a mean, cruel, bigoted "relgious" leader in the First Church of Christ Meal Ticket. He could have followed Christ; he just continued to follow the right wing.

    April 19, 2012 at 9:55 am |
    • Steve-o

      You are obviously not familiar with his work and the thousands of people he has positively impacted. And he was always striving to be more humble, a characteristic which we see very little of in today's world.

      April 19, 2012 at 11:06 am |
    • steve

      What qualifies as cruel and bigoted? Loving and caring for prisoners? Making sure their children have Christmas presents? Helping them transition back into society? If that is your definition of cruel and bigoted, we could use more of it.

      April 19, 2012 at 11:08 am |
    • Karen

      Chuck Colson was a man of God. Listen to his excerpts.

      April 19, 2012 at 11:38 am |
    • Take Off Those Blinders, Girl!

      If Colson was a man of God, then God is a soulless slimy maneuvering greedball conman scumbag grifter. And like God, Colson has a lot of morons who believe his scam.

      April 19, 2012 at 11:48 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You apologetics for Chucky, let me ask you this: If he hadn't been caught, charged, convicted, and sentenced, do you think he'd have done anything good for anyone?

      Really, dears, if you only do good because you were caught doing evil, how 'good' are you in reality?

      April 19, 2012 at 10:40 pm |
  9. Susan

    My prayers go out to Mr. Colson's family. Mr. Colson is now resting in Jesus awaiting for Jesus' return. May God be with you in your time of need. To all of you who had nothing nice to say about Mr. Colson and gloating over his death, remember this, where he was, you are now, where he is, you will be one day too. In defense of Mr. Colson, not that he needs to be defended, his words speak for themselves and there are others that will carry his torch, the light of Christ since he is resting now, Mr. Colson was not a gay hating Christian. Mr. Colson gave the word of God. Scripture tells us it is an abomination unto God for a man to lay with another man as he would with a womankind. If you feel he was judging you, he wasn't. That was God's word judging you, convicting you. I, like Mr. Colson, am not into political correctness nor am I concerned about who I offend by giving the true word of God. I am not ashamed of my Lord. I am not here to please man but to please God even in the face of persecution, pain and death, I will always stand up for Jesus and on the side of Jesus. Whether you believe in God or not, there is a God above and you will one day be held accountable for every word that comes out of your mouth. May God have mercy on your souls.

    April 19, 2012 at 9:52 am |
    • Prolixian

      Your god is just a big bunch of crap. Instead of holding people accountable in this life, people like you think it's okay to ignore the most horrific crimes just as long as someone pretends to be "repentant" afterwards.
      You are lazy and arrogant. You think your god sees and feels everything the way you do.
      You think he'll follow your prayers, judge people exactly like you do, feel about things exactly like you do.

      It is clear that YOU are your own god. If anyone's going to hell it would be people like you, not atheists, according to your religion.
      Your god is filth. You spread your filth every day. It is disgusting. You are disgusting. You think your sh.t doesn't stink.

      Well, have I got some news for you....

      April 19, 2012 at 10:06 am |
    • Phil

      Susan is clearly insane. This is where brainwashing takes you. Into the realms of severe brain-damage. Very typical.

      April 19, 2012 at 10:34 am |
    • Clues To The Clueless

      A. Colson isn't dead yet.

      B. "Resting in Jesus awaiting for Jesus' return" – that's not only totally nonsensical, it's freaking weird.

      April 19, 2012 at 11:53 am |
  10. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    April 19, 2012 at 8:02 am |
    • Jesus

      Prayer doesn’t not; you are such a LIAR. 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 19, 2012 at 10:43 am |
  11. Greg

    Mr. Colson is in all of our prayers. He made mistakes years ago as we all do in this imperfect world. Through the Lord's grace we are all healed and made perfect through Him. Amen.

    April 19, 2012 at 5:40 am |
    • Prolixian


      April 19, 2012 at 6:16 am |
    • just sayin

      Amen and Amen God bless

      April 19, 2012 at 8:01 am |


    April 19, 2012 at 5:37 am |
    • Prolixian

      The Nazi party was a Catholic-run organization. They went after the "Christ-killers" and killed over 6 million of them. The Germans were very religious and thought Jesus favored them thanks to the RCC and the Lutheran Brotherhood.
      The Nazi party still exists. Many of its members are still alive and still protected by sympathizers.
      WW2 happened while America was still very racist. We took in many Nazis and helped them. Many back-room deals were done to protect a number of Nazi war criminals. Many of them were hidden and protected by their fellow Catholics in Catholic-dominated countries like Argentina where they could go to ground.
      And the Catholic Church knows where almost all of them went. Exactly. And yet they did not and do not tell those who hunt for these war criminals. The Vatican does not reveal where they hid the Nazis to Israel's Mossad.
      If I was Israel, I'd be going after the Vatican. I'd want those names and locations. And I'd be showing the world how much of the Nazi movement was Catholic and how much was Lutheran. Maybe they did a deal with the Vatican.
      The case is not closed. Crimes are still being committed by and for Nazi war criminals. WW2 is not completely over with, even after all these years. But criminals, if they are powerful, escape justice all too easily.

      April 19, 2012 at 6:06 am |
    • just sayin

      Hitler was an atheist. The ultimate atheist he was hos own god and the savior and god of Nazi Germany. The Nazis were more of an advanced stormtrooper organization that used whatever tactics and language that was deemed necessary to gain and hold power including whatever religion was available. In majority catholic Germany they would say what they felt appealed to Catholics. The Truth is shown in how honest Christians were viewed and treated by the Nazis. Being a Christian in Nazi Germany resulted in reeducation and often death. Himmler was enamored with the ancient false Nordic gods and as mentioned Hitler followed no God but himself. Using the words of national socialism to substantiate your Nazi Christian theory is the height of insanity. A lie cannot confirm Truth. God bless

      April 19, 2012 at 8:00 am |
    • Prolixian

      Hitler was NOT an atheist. We have tons of proof.

      I mean, I can almost hear your eyes switching back and forth in desperation.
      That's how desperate you clearly are to pretend that Nazi Germany wasn't Christian.
      Show me just ONE proclamation by the Pope during WW2 that spo.ke against Hitler or the Nazi war machine. You can't.
      But I can show you pictures of Catholic bishops and cardinals having fun at Nazi victory parties.

      If you are going to argue, you should do some research first. I would have though you'd be proud to be a Nazi the way you go around saying things.

      April 19, 2012 at 8:48 am |
    • momoya

      @Just sayin'

      I'll buy your argument if you can explain to me the method by which we can tell if someone is a true christian or just professing to be a true christian..

      April 19, 2012 at 10:08 am |
    • C'mon Bro

      Your looking at the worlds biggest liar and opportunist and are going to take his words at face value? Please learn how to think beyond the most basic delusions.

      April 19, 2012 at 10:19 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Hitler’s Third Reich was no friend to atheists and encouraged religion in Germany. Having been exposed to religious methods of persuasion in school at a Benedictine cloister, Hitler recognized religion’s power to keep the people compliant.
      Instead of purging faith like the Communist regimes, he purged atheism:
      "We were convinced that the people need and require this faith. We have therefore undertaken the fight against the atheistic movement, and that not merely with a few theoretical declarations: we have stamped it out".
      The Speeches of Adolf Hitler, April 1922-August 1939, Vol. 1 of 2, Oxford University Press, 1942
      Hitler publically professed his Christianity until his dying day and used Christian arguments to whip his people into a frenzy. This is why Nazi uniform belt buckles were emblazoned with the slogan “Gott mit uns” (God is with us).

      April 19, 2012 at 10:39 am |
    • momoya

      @C'mon bro

      Same question I asked "Just sayin'.". You're in a room with ten people.. They all claim to be christian, but you know that five of them are not christian, but are lying.. By what method can a believer (or whomever) determine which five are the true christians and which five are lying?


      April 19, 2012 at 11:06 am |
    • steve

      “Christianity is the worst of the regressions that mankind can ever have undergone, and it’s the Jew who, thanks to this diabolic invention, has thrown him back fifteen centuries.” – Adolph Hitler.

      Hitler was no Christian. He despised all things to do with the church. He only manipulated the church for his own evil purposes.

      April 19, 2012 at 11:30 am |
    • momoya


      Steve, by what method can we tell if somebody is a "real christian" or just faking to be a christian?. What questions or experiment could we have done with Hitler to discover whether or not his belief was genuine?

      April 19, 2012 at 11:37 am |
    • just sayin

      The wheat and the chaff will grow together until the harvest. At harvest the wheat is gathered into the barn and the chaff will be burned. God bless

      April 19, 2012 at 12:09 pm |
    • just sayin

      The turd and the bu tt ocks will stay together until the final drop. At the droping the turd is collected in the bowl and the bu ttocks will be seperated fromt he seat and wiped. God bless

      April 19, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
    • just sayin

      It is not what enters a man that defiles him it is what comes from his heart. The heart is incredibly wicked who can understand it. God bless

      April 19, 2012 at 5:04 pm |
    • steve

      @momoya – I think it is pretty safe to assume that a guy who repeatedly mocked and ridiculed Christianity is NOT a Christian. Hitler called Christianity a religion for the weak. He manipulated churches to help him win the election and then sought to destroy them or recast them as propaganda machines for the Nazi party after he became Furor. Anyone who would claim that Hitler was a Christian is crazy.

      April 19, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
    • momoya

      That's hardly the point, Steve.. No TRUE Scottsman puts sugar in his porridge, as we all know.

      The issue is this: If you can't tell who is and isn't a christian, then you can't say that a person wasn't one if they claimed it themselves.. Hitler claimed to be a christian; christians have no method to verify a person's profession of faith as true or false; ergo, Hitler must be considered a christian because he claimed to be one.

      April 19, 2012 at 11:48 pm |
  13. Rock Hard Johnson

    It's a bleeding shame this guy didn't slip into a wood chipper a few decades ago.

    April 19, 2012 at 5:21 am |
  14. Bootyfunk

    what a turd.

    April 19, 2012 at 4:37 am |
  15. Dale

    A gay hating christian dies.

    Champaign for everyone!

    April 19, 2012 at 4:11 am |
    • Marky desod

      Sham pain? I prefer real pain! May I have some propane?

      April 19, 2012 at 4:13 am |
    • Rock Hard Johnson


      April 19, 2012 at 5:31 am |
    • marty45

      we don't hate gays moron. God loves the sinner but hates the sin.

      April 19, 2012 at 5:53 pm |
  16. Cbarriel

    He died. Good and faithful servant of the Lord.

    April 19, 2012 at 1:35 am |
    • christians are garbage

      good riddance

      April 19, 2012 at 2:28 am |
    • He was a sleazeball

      I know he was nothing of the sort. Anyone truly wishing and intending to help others would not support the status quo.
      He was a criminal politician who pretended to be "reformed" yet did nothing to oppose the oppressors, who he once hobnobbed with openly, and preached the slave mentality to his previous victims.
      In effect, doing his best to make his victims "like" what was done to them, to "forgive" the constant and ongoing oppressive violations of their rights without doing a single thing to stop any of the reasons or violations that caused these problems in the first place.
      Raape the poor, put poison in their food, force them to do horrible things to survive, beat them, spray poison in their eyes when they protest, stomp them down however you like, make all the illegal laws you like to drain them of any pennies they might try to save for emergencies, make it impossible for them to do anything but grovel for any kind of help or work or peace, and don't forget to preach to them that they should love what's being done to them by "upstanding" people who are always rich, always able to do anything they want, and if they torture people in secret that must be God's will, too.

      He's no "servant" of anyone but his own ego and bank accounts. He shovels submission mentality using hype and coercion.
      If a "conversion" gets you out of prison two years early, you'll convert and be all smiley and clean and polite.
      The guards will give you fewer beatings, fewer "hassles" or "trouble" to you if you can convince them that you will be a properly submissive slave. You might get more priveleges and such.
      It would be no different if they burned it into your face using hot pokers and you fearfully "took it to heart" and now you're "born again" in the "Lord" who nonetheless continues to poison your family back home, torture and beat to death innocent people inside and outside of prison, restricts your every breath and is free to visit upon you every humiliation, degradation, abuse, form of torture, violence including murder known to man.
      But "Jesus loves you", yet even all the priests and pastors refuse to do anything to stop the horrific abuse. On the contrary they welcome and enjoy it. They want to literally terrorize all poor people so badly that they will make sure as many are arrested as possible. Toxic waste, poisons, malnutrition, poverty, every kind of oppression that can be subtly encouraged through bribery and greed, to limit the development of poor children, destroy their lives by making it nearly impossible for their parents in every way, and pretty soon you have a whole generation that is suffering from childhood trauma, malnutrition, toxins in the air, food, and water, poor education (they hate educating slaves – it gives em ideas), poor job prospects and then make everything including the kitchen sink illegal so you can arrest all these people at any time.

      Confiscate whatever you want. Take all their money, probe their body cavities, rummage through their underwear drawers, inspect their bathroom wastebaskets, don't let them talk back without "consequences", don't let them get uppity or rude, don't let them have anything but what you, in your gracious oppressor mercy, choose to let them have...for now.

      Take all these people arrested for doing nothing wrong, or for doing what they had little other choice to do, and put them in prison where they will pray for hell or for death.
      Then, after you have destroyed their lives, taken everything they owned, taken away all the rights you only pretended to let them have in the first place, and put them under your thumb, you can collect billions of dollars from the government you own, that you control through bribery and terror, where you are protected because you bribe the thugs in uniforms, where the legislators make laws that only favor you and your group, where you have control of every part of government and can vote yourself more money whenever you like, to be given to you through no-bid contracts or limited in some other handy way.
      Lots of money in that old multi-billion dollar prison industry. And all you have to do is make more things illegal for the poor people to get arrested for.
      Nobody arrests rich people, and if they do, the rich get off quite easily. The son of a judge is more likely to be a big drug dealer than some guy living in an alley, yet the alley dealer will get twenty years and the son of the judge is never even arrested even though all the cops know about it. They are free to be thugs. Poor people are not.

      April 19, 2012 at 3:48 am |
    • Prince Prolix

      You took 15,392 words to say "Colson sucks."

      April 19, 2012 at 3:56 am |
    • He was a sleazeball

      But this is an explanation, just one of them, for just one of the ways in which he sucks. Feel free to add your own.

      April 19, 2012 at 3:58 am |
    • Eric

      Just another long-winded diatribe of wealth-envy. Bet you were out there with Occupy, holding a sign, smoking a blunt and trying to get laid. Too bad. Of course it was the girls' fault that you were undesirable. Take a bath, ya' effin' hippy..

      April 19, 2012 at 4:05 am |
    • Prince Prolix

      At least he made a long-winded point, instead of your concise ad hominem nothing.

      April 19, 2012 at 4:11 am |
    • Eric

      Fine, your highness. Why don't you go ahead and tell us all exactly what his point is, using fewer words than I did.

      Sometimes, just sometimes, a good ad hom sums up the point pretty damn well. Too bad if you missed it.

      April 19, 2012 at 4:15 am |
    • Prolixian

      He was a sleazeball. That's a more honest and accurate ad hominem and is clearly on topic as well. Eric fail.

      April 19, 2012 at 4:53 am |
    • Rock Hard Johnson

      Hey princess, the word count was 801, not 15,392. You're sitting here bitching about inflation, and here you are doing it yourself you bloody hypocrite. Grab yourself a Summer's Eve and go think about how stupid you are for a while.

      April 19, 2012 at 5:10 am |
    • Prolixian

      You counted them? You must be bored as hell.

      April 19, 2012 at 5:36 am |
    • Rock Hard Johnson

      No stupid, I copied and pasted the text into Microsoft Word for an instant word count. Five seconds of agonizing labor to figure out how much of an idiot you are. Have a fancy day nancy-boy.

      April 19, 2012 at 5:44 am |
    • Prolixian

      Gosh, I guess you told me!

      Whatever will I do now?

      April 19, 2012 at 6:08 am |
  17. Andrew Raines

    Worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.

    April 18, 2012 at 11:56 pm |
    • christians are garbage

      which of the few thousand gods should we all worship?

      April 19, 2012 at 2:29 am |
    • Jesus is Lord

      There is one God and 999's of false gods or idols. The admonition was to only worship the One True God.

      April 19, 2012 at 8:10 am |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      That's it Andrew...so basically stop thinking for yourself and worship an evil deity so you may or may not have eternal life...so easy-if you commit a crime against humanity, it means the devil got a hold of you and all you need to do to solve your guilt is speak to the air and apologize...makes so much sense-NOT!

      April 19, 2012 at 8:12 am |
  18. A Wise Man Once Said........

    A bird in the hand worth two in the bush. True story, so applicable to todays environment.

    April 18, 2012 at 11:52 pm |
    • Randy

      Is that why atheists keep a tight grip on their birds? Or just each others' birds?

      April 19, 2012 at 12:59 am |
    • christians are garbage

      no interest in birds here.

      shove a bible into your colon good and hard

      April 19, 2012 at 2:30 am |
  19. ANDERSON P00PER 360

    Anyone else got the runs? Me and my buddy Sanjay Po0pta just got them. Ill also be cancelling the Anderson P00per Morning Show as well. Catch me oni late nighit runs at Anderson P00per the Aftershow!!

    April 18, 2012 at 11:50 pm |
  20. Convexity inverse interest swaps

    All of the angry comments remind me of little children. They know nothing but think they have all the answers

    April 18, 2012 at 11:43 pm |
    • christians are garbage


      christians are always bitter

      April 19, 2012 at 2:31 am |
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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 with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.