By Eric Marrapodi and Dan Gilgoff, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editors
(CNN) – We're gonna gloat.
Over the weekend, CNN's Belief Blog won a stack of awards from the Religion Newswriters Association at the group's annual conference. It's a huge honor for us and we want to thank our readers, who help shape our coverage every day via comments, guest pieces, tweets and Facebook posts.
Here's a rundown of the awards, with links to the stuff that took top honors:
The Belief Blog won the Schachern Award for Online Religion Section of the Year. We also won the Gerald A. Renner Enterprise Religion Report of the Year for our series examining the the faith narratives of the Republican presidential candidates, including Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, Rick Perry and Herman Cain.
CNN, meanwhile, won RNA awards for television pieces, including National Network/Cable News Report of the year for our piece on preparing clergy for war, which aired on "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer."
CNN also won first place as RNA Television Magazine Report of the Year for our story on evangelicals battling budget cuts for AIDS funding that aired on "Stories: Reporter" with Tom Foreman, an occasional newsmagazine special.
CNN won second place in the same category for our story on a Philadelphia imam who opened up a boxing gym above his mosque, which also aired on "Stories: Reporter" with Tom Foreman.
Here's a list of all the winners from the RNA Awards.
By Dan Merica, CNN
In a sermon that likely broke the law, Indiana pastor Ron Johnson told his 400 congregants Sunday that for those who believe in the Bible, the decision to vote against President Barack Obama “is a no-brainer.”
“For Christian people who believe the Bible is the inspired world of God, it is not rocket science,” Johnson told CNN after his sermon.
Johnson’s anti-Obama sermonizing likely violated the so-called Johnson Amendment, an Internal Revenue Service rule that forbids churches that receive tax-exempt status from the federal government to intervene in “any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office.”
But Johnson appears comfortable with defying the IRS. His sermon was part of a national campaign by the Alliance Defending Freedom, a conservative Christian legal organization that has organized Pulpit Freedom Sunday since 2008, encouraging pastors to flout the Johnson Amendment with political endorsements from the pulpit.
(CNN)-Horses, dogs, and rabbits around the world headed to Mass on Sunday for the annual blessing of animals.
Catholic churches around the world hold the annual blessings of pets on the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals.
Check out more of CNN's best photography.
By the CNN Wire Staff
(CNN) - The Philippines has reached a preliminary agreement with Muslim rebels after 15 years of talks, the president announced Sunday, marking a major milestone after decades of militant insurgency in the nation's troubled south.
The Moro Islamic Liberation Front has fought for decades for an independent Islamic state in southern Philippines. It has been blamed for rampant attacks in the region.
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: Faith groups launch campaign to counter controversial 'Defeat Jihad' ad
Jewish and Christian groups have unveiled three separate ad campaigns to counter what they claim is hateful speech toward Muslims contained within an advertisement posted at some New York City subway stations. The new ads tout religious tolerance and offer support to the Muslim community.
CNN: Pope's ex-butler gets 18 months in prison for leaking confidential papers
The pope's former butler, Paolo Gabriele, was convicted Saturday of aggravated theft for leaking confidential papal documents and sentenced to 18 months in prison. The case is the biggest to go before the Vatican court in decades. It has been the subject of intense interest because a book based on the leaked papers revealed claims of corruption within the Roman Catholic Church hierarchy.
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.