By Laura Koran and Arielle Hawkins, 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: Missouri mosque destroyed in second fire in a month
A mosque in Joplin, Missouri, was burned to the ground early Monday, just over a month after an attempted arson at the Islamic center, officials said. Authorities are investigating the cause of the latest fire. The mosque's security cameras were destroyed in the blaze, according to Sharon Rhine of the Jasper County Sheriff's Office.
CNN: Church that refused to marry black couple releases apology
After barring a black couple from marrying in its Mississippi facility in late July, the First Baptist Church of Crystal Springs released a statement Sunday apologizing for its actions. “We, the church, realize that the Hendersons and Wilsons should never have been asked to relocate their wedding. This wrong decision resulted in hurt and sadness for everyone. Both the pastor and those involved in the wedding location being changed have expressed their regrets and sorrow for their actions,” the church said.
CNN: Temple shooting dredges up memories of long history of bias crimes against Sikhs
Immediately after the September 11, 2001, terrorist acts, Sikhs came under attack. Mistaken for Muslims for their beards and turbans, they became ripe targets for zealots seeking revenge. The first person murdered in retaliation for the 9/11 attacks was a Sikh – a gas station owner in Mesa, Arizona, named Balbir Singh Sodhi who was shot five times by aircraft mechanic Frank Roque.
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The Christian Science Monitor: Wisconsin shooting: Why US Sikhs have feared attack for more than a decade
Sunday’s shooting rampage at a Sikh house of worship in Oak Creek, Wisc. brought unprecedented violence and attention to a group with only about 600,000 adherents in the United States. But it wasn’t the first time Sikhs have faced threats or feared the prospect of tragedy.
The Jewish Telegraphic Agency: London memorial remembers Israelis killed at Munich Olympics
British Prime Minister David Cameron at a memorial event said the world should "stop and remember" the 11 Israelis killed 40 years ago at the Munich Olympics. "It was a truly shocking act of evil. A crime against the Jewish people. A crime against humanity. A crime the world must never forget," Cameron said Monday in London. "We remember them today, with you, as fathers, husbands and athletes. As innocent men. As Olympians. And as members of the people of Israel, murdered doing nothing more and nothing less than representing their country in sport."
Reuters: French Catholic Church prayer against gay marriage, euthanasia
The French Catholic Church will revive a centuries-old custom next week with an updated national "prayer for France" opposing the same-sex marriage and euthanasia reforms planned by the new Socialist government. The prayer, to be read in all churches on Aug 15, echoes the defence of traditional marriage by Pope Benedict and Catholic leaders around the world as gay nuptials gain acceptance, especially in Europe and North America.
The Jewish Daily Forward: The Frozen Chosen
In 1939, Harold Ickes, President Franklin Roosevelt’s secretary of the interior, proposed that four Alaskan locales play refuge to thousands of Europe’s fleeing Jews. Ickes’s idea -— which would become the premise for Michael Chabon’s “The Yiddish Policemen’s Union” — was later bucked by Roosevelt and by several prominent American Jewish organizations. But over the years, Jews still made their way to the largest state in the union, forming a loose-knit community that today numbers at around 6,000 and call themselves the “frozen chosen.”
Opinion of the Day:
CNN: My Take: Sikh temple shooting is act of terrorism
Arsalan Iftikhar is an international human rights lawyer, founder of TheMuslimGuy.com and author of the book "Islamic Pacifism: Global Muslims in the Post-Osama Era." In this CNN Belief Blog contribution, Iftikhar argues that the shooter in Sunday’s attack on a Sikh temple in Wisconsin was an act of terrorism.
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CNN: My Faith: The danger of asking God ‘Why me?'
Timothy Keller is senior pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York and author of The New York Times best-selling book "The Reason for God." His book for church leaders, "Center Church," will be published in September. In this Belief Blog contribution, Keller considers a question often asked in difficult times: “Why me?”