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October 1st, 2012
04:30 PM ET

Explainer: Pakistan's blasphemy laws

By Reza Sayah, CNN

Islamabad, Pakistan (CNN) – It has been more than a month since a teenage Christian girl was charged in Pakistan under the country's blasphemy laws . Her accusers say she burned pages from the Quran, Islam's holy book. Amid twists in her case, including changed statements by witnesses, she is facing life in prison.

On Monday, CNN reported that three witnesses whose testimony could absolve the 14-year-old Rimsha Masih have changed their statements, a potential setback for her. She has denied the charges.

The case has drawn the country's complex laws about blasphemy into the spotlight. Here is a primer on those laws.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Faith Now • Islam • Islamic law • Pakistan • Quran

Viral and profane pro-Obama ads channel tradition of Jewish humor
Sarah Silverman in her 2008 video "The Great Schlep."
October 1st, 2012
02:24 PM ET

Viral and profane pro-Obama ads channel tradition of Jewish humor

By Dan Merica, CNN

Washington (CNN) – When it comes to reaching voters, the co-founders of a Jewish super PAC aimed at re-electing President Barack Obama have this tip for you: Use humor, even if it isn’t kosher.

Two campaign videos produced by the Jewish Council for Education and Research – one featuring actor Samuel L. Jackson, the other comedian Sarah Silverman – have received a flood of attention over the past few weeks. A foul-mouthed Silverman pushes people to do whatever it takes to make it to the polls in spite of voter ID laws, while an uncensored Jackson orders disenchanted Obama supporters to “wake the f*** up” and get to work.

While Silverman warns viewers about being kept out of the polls, introducing herself as “your Jewish friend Sarah," Jackson, who voiced the recent bedtime story for parents “Go the F**k to Sleep,” rhymes his warning to voters, in a video that's been seen over a million times on YouTube.

FULL POST

- Dan Merica

Filed under: 2012 Election • Barack Obama • Florida • Judaism • Mitt Romney • Politics

Pakistani court postpones decision on teen accused of blasphemy
Rimsha Masih sits in a helicopter after her release from jail in Rawalpindi on September 8, 2012.
October 1st, 2012
04:52 AM ET

Pakistani court postpones decision on teen accused of blasphemy

From Reza Sayah and Nasir Habib, CNN

Islamabad, Pakistan (CNN) - A Christian girl accused of violating Pakistani blasphemy laws by allegedly burning pages containing texts from the Quran will have to wait at least another two weeks to learn her fate after a court ordered a stay of proceedings in her case Monday.

A juvenile court had been due Monday to hear the case of the girl, Rimsha Masih. But the Islamabad High Court said the hearing should wait until it has ruled on a petition by Rimsha's lawyers seeking a dismissal, one of the lawyers said.

FULL STORY
- A. Hawkins

Filed under: Islam • Pakistan • Quran

Bangladesh Muslims torch Buddhist shrines, police say
Rioters torched Buddhist temples and homes in Bangladesh over a Facebook photo deemed offensive to Islam.
October 1st, 2012
04:49 AM ET

Bangladesh Muslims torch Buddhist shrines, police say

By Farid Ahmed, CNN

(CNN) - Crowds of angry Muslims attacked Buddhist shrines and homes, torching some of them Sunday in Bangladesh to protest after a photo of a partially burned Quran was posted on Facebook, police said.

The protesters chanted anti-Buddhist slogans, blaming the burning of the Muslim holy book on a Buddhist boy, district police superintendent Saleem Jahangir said.

FULL STORY
- A. Hawkins

Filed under: Buddhism • Islam • Quran

October 1st, 2012
04:43 AM ET

Belief Blog's Morning Speed Read for Monday, October 01

By 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: Record number of justices attend Red Mass
Six of the nine Supreme Court justices attended the annual Red Mass at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle in Washington on Sunday. The event’s speakers spoke about using faith in decision-making but largely stayed away from the controversial issues the court will face in the coming months.

CNN: Vatican newspaper calls fragment referring to Jesus' wife 'a fake'
The Vatican on Friday appeared to push back on a recently publicized piece of papyrus that appears to show an early Christian referring to Jesus' wife, with its newspaper calling the fragment “a fake.” “Substantial reasons would lead us to conclude that the papyrus is actually a clumsy counterfeit,” the Vatican’s newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, said in a Friday editorial by the newspaper’s editor.

FULL POST

- A. Hawkins

Filed under: Morning Read

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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 and Eric Marrapodi with daily contributions from CNN's worldwide newsgathering team.

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