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Documentary seeks to explain why Albanians saved Jews in Holocaust
Norman Gershman and Stu Huck discuss a portrait in a documentary about Albanians who rescued Jews during the Holocaust.
August 3rd, 2012
10:00 PM ET

Documentary seeks to explain why Albanians saved Jews in Holocaust

By Laura Koran, CNN

(CNN) – How many people would lay down their lives for a stranger?

It’s the question at the center of the new documentary “Besa: The Promise,” which premiered last weekend at the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival.

The filmmakers’ answer: “Albanians would.”

During one of humanity’s darkest chapters, when millions of Jews, gays, communists and racial minorities were rounded up across Europe, many Albanians put up a fight to save complete strangers.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Culture & Science • Holocaust • Islam • Judaism • Movies

Survey: Small minority of Americans use Facebook, Twitter for religious reasons
August 3rd, 2012
02:36 PM ET

Survey: Small minority of Americans use Facebook, Twitter for religious reasons

By Dan Merica, CNN

Washington (CNN) – Despite the attention that major religious leaders have received for their use of Facebook and Twitter – including pastors like Rick Warren and Joel Osteen - a new survey finds that only a small minority of Americans use social media for religious reasons.

Six percent of Americans say they are part of a spiritual group on Facebook, and 5% report that they follow a spiritual leader on Twitter, according to a survey released this week by the Public Religion Research Institute. The numbers come as nearly half of Americans report using Facebook at least a few times a week.

“We were a little bit surprised,” said Robert P. Jones, CEO of the Public Religion Research Institute. “We thought there would be a higher usage given all the press that has surrounded pastors on Twitter and people posting prayers online.”

FULL POST

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Church • Technology

Your take: Snoop, Rastas and weed
August 3rd, 2012
01:39 PM ET

Your take: Snoop, Rastas and weed

By Anna-Lysa Gayle, CNN

(CNN)–Snoop Lion, as Snoop Dogg now calls himself, has thrown his fans a curveball. The popular West Coast rapper has taken himself from ‘thug’ life to ‘Rasta’ life.

His new image isn’t the only thing that has changed. His latest song "La La La," produced by Major Lazer, has garnered plenty of attention for its reggae sound.

Curiosity drew a lot of fans and others to our post “Snoop Dog is a Rasta now, so what’s Rastafari?

Here's a look at some of comments and conversation around the piece.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Uncategorized

August 3rd, 2012
11:54 AM ET

Chicken, with a side of politics

By Emanuella Grinberg, CNN

Atlanta (CNN) - Call it a crisis of faith.

A co-worker and I walked into the office break room Wednesday, national Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day, to find a dozen or so foil-wrapped sandwiches beckoning us from the counter. This being Atlanta, home of Chick-fil-A, we recognized them immediately, and a closer look at the puck-sized packages bearing the iconic scribbled red logo confirmed our suspicions - and deepened our paranoia.

"Is this a trick?" my co-worker asked as he stood frozen in front of the counter. "Will someone judge me if they see me eating one?"

We had no idea where they had come from and still don't, but our break room is often the dumping ground of leftovers from business meetings where food is served. I also froze in silence because I knew that the answer was yes, some would judge him, at least for the time being, while the company's stance on same-sex marriage is in the spotlight, sparking impassioned op-eds and fiery debate on cable news networks and Facebook Walls across the country.

Ever since Truett Cathy opened the first Chick-fil-A Restaurant at a mall in suburban Atlanta in 1967, the company has made no secret of its dedication to Christian values. Its corporate purpose is to "glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to us" and "to have a positive influence on all who come in contact with Chick-fil-A." All of its locations are closed on Sunday.

FULL STORY
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief

Chick-fil-A controversy shines light on company’s charitable giving
Chick-fil-A’s charitable giving has come under scrutiny in the controversy over its president's opposition to same-sex marriage.
August 3rd, 2012
08:41 AM ET

Chick-fil-A controversy shines light on company’s charitable giving

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

(CNN) – The website for the WinShape Foundation, a group started by Chick-fil-A founder Truett Cathy that’s financed almost entirely by Chick-fil-A profits, doesn’t look like a battlefield in the culture war.

The site features warm and fuzzy snapshots of winding country roads and rustic cabins along with links to a cornucopia of social welfare programs the foundation funds from foster homes to kids’ camps to college scholarships that would seem to be the furthest thing from controversial.

The foundation's “simple but profound goal” is also hard to take issue with: “Help ‘shape winners.’ ”

But gay rights groups are incensed about the chain’s financial support for what they say are anti-gay groups. WinShape-backed groups deny that accusation, while WinShape stresses its activities are almost entirely aimed at youth and families, as opposed to conservative advocacy.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Christianity • Food • Gay marriage • Gay rights

August 3rd, 2012
04:37 AM ET

Belief Blog's Morning Speed Read for Friday, August 3

By Laura Koran, CNN

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: 'Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day' sets record, restaurant chain says
Chick-fil-A says it set a sales record on Wednesday, the day that supporters rallied around the fast-food chain amid a debate over its president's opposition to same-sex marriage. The chain said it won't release sales numbers, but "we can confirm reports that it was a record-setting day," said Steve Robinson, Chick-fil-A's executive vice president of marketing.

CNN: Snoop Dogg is a Rasta now, so what's Rastafari?
Rapper Snoop Dogg announced Monday that he's burying his name and old career, all because of a religious experience with Rastafari, an Afrocentric religion with origins in Jamaica. Snoop Dogg wants to be called Snoop Lion and instead of rapping on his latest album now he'll be singing reggae. "I want to bury Snoop Dogg and become Snoop Lion," he said at a Monday press conference. "I didn't know that until I went to the temple, where the high priest asked me what my name was, and I said, 'Snoop Dogg.' And he looked me in my eyes and said, 'No more. You are the light; you are the lion.'

FULL POST

- CNN's Laura Koran

Filed under: Uncategorized

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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 with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.

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