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:
An injured Buddhist man lies on a bed at the hospital in Sittwe, capital of Myanmar's western Rakhine state, on Tuesday.
CNN: Fresh violence in Myanmar leaves mosque, monastery burned
Fresh sectarian clashes in Myanmar's western state of Rakhine killed three people and left more than 400 houses, a monastery and a mosque burned to the ground, authorities said Tuesday. The clashes began Sunday night and spread to four townships, said state Attorney General Hla Thein. Rakhine is home to the Rohingya, an ethnic Muslim minority who say they have been persecuted by the Myanmar military during its decades of authoritarian rule.
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The Jerusalem Post: Vatican denies deal with Israel on security barrier
Local church leaders on Tuesday denied reports that the Vatican has allowed the IDF to build the security fence on its land in the Cremisan Valley, so that the property could remain on the Israeli side of the barrier. The valley is situated between the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Gilo and the West Bank settlement of Har Gilo in the Gush Etzion region.
Catholic News Service: Trip of papal delegation to Syria postponed
The visit of a papal delegation to the capital of war-torn Syria, previously announced for late October, has been postponed indefinitely, and the delegation's membership, which was to have included Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York, will be changed. Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Vatican secretary of state, made the announcement Oct. 23 at the morning session of the world Synod of Bishops.
The Guardian: Mali: no rhythm or reason as militants declare war on music
When a rabble of different Islamist groups took control of northern Mali in April there were fears that its rich culture would suffer. But no one imagined that music would almost cease to exist – not in Mali, a country that has become internationally renowned for its sound. And yet that is the bland reality dawning on this once joy-filled land. An official decree banning all western music was issued on 22 August by a heavily bearded Islamist spokesman in the city of Gao. "We don't want the music of Satan. Qur'anic verses must take its place. Sharia demands it," the decree says.
Religion News Service: The biggest slice of Obama’s religious coalition? The unaffiliated
The largest slice of President Barack Obama’s religious coalition - at 23 percent - is not very religious. They’re the “nones,” also known as unaffiliated voters, according to a new American Values Survey by the Public Religion Research Institute. Gov. Mitt Romney’s biggest bloc of religious voters are white evangelical Protestants, at 37 percent, followed by white mainline Protestants and white Catholics, each at 19 percent. Comparing the candidates' supporters, the more diverse religious and nonreligious coalition that's favoring Obama tends to be younger and growing, which could make it easier for Democrats to win elections in the future.
Catholic News Service: US leaders urged to put respect for human dignity at center of issues
The Secular Franciscan Order urged U.S. business leaders and government officials, including the next U.S. president, to approach economic and political issues with the "foundational premise" that "all of creation, especially human life, has dignity and value." The order's national body - representing 13,400 secular Franciscans across the country - unanimously endorsed the statement and pledged prayer and action over the next year.
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CNN: The Gospel according to Obama
President Barack Obama was sharing a pulpit one day with a conservative Christian leader when a revealing exchange took place. Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback, a conservative Christian, had joined Obama for an AIDS summit. They were speaking before a conservative megachurch filled with white evangelicals. When Brownback rose to speak, he joked that he had joined Obama earlier at an NAACP meeting where Obama was treated like Elvis and he was virtually ignored. Turning to Obama, a smiling Brownback said, “Welcome to my house!” The audience exploded with laughter and applause. Obama rose, walked before the congregation and then declared: “There is one thing I have to say, Sam. This is my house, too. This is God’s house.”