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October 29th, 2012
06:34 AM ET

Belief Blog's Morning Speed Read for Monday, October 29

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: The making of Mitt Romney: A look at his faith journey
Romney hopes the nation is ready to embrace a president who happens to be Mormon. But he has faced questions about his faith since first getting into politics in 1994, when he ran for U.S. Senate in Massachusetts against Democratic stalwart Ted Kennedy. When Kennedy’s nephew, Joe, attacked Romney’s Mormonism, the insult drew a strong public response from Romney’s father – a former governor of Michigan who’d himself run for president – and failed to gain traction.

CNN: In Obama’s first term, an evolving Christian faith and a more evangelical style
Welcome to the intense, out-of-the-box and widely misunderstood religious life of President Barack Obama. Though he famously left his controversial pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, the year he was elected to the presidency, a handful of spiritual advisers close to Obama say that his time in office has significantly deepened his faith. Stephen Mansfield, a former Christian pastor who wrote the book “The Faith of Barack Obama,” goes so far to say that Obama has experienced a spiritual transformation.

FULL POST

- A. Hawkins

Filed under: Uncategorized

Suicide bomber kills 7 in Nigerian church
Soldiers stand guard after a suicide attacker drove a car bomb into a church in Kaduna, Nigeria.
October 29th, 2012
05:37 AM ET

Suicide bomber kills 7 in Nigerian church

By the CNN Wire Staff

Lagos, Nigeria (CNN) - A suicide bombing killed seven people and wounded more than 100 others Sunday at a Catholic church in Nigeria, an emergency management official said.

The bomber crashed an explosives-filled jeep into the St. Rita Church in the central Nigerian town of Kaduna, killing himself and seven others at the scene, said Musa Ilallah, a regional coordinator for the national emergency management agency.

The injured were in critical condition and were taken to four hospitals in the region, Ilallah said.

FULL STORY
- A. Hawkins

Filed under: Nigeria • Terrorism

The making of Mitt Romney: A look at his faith journey
After an invocation by a Latter-day Saint at the Republican National Convention, Mitt Romney accepted the nomination.
October 27th, 2012
10:00 PM ET

The making of Mitt Romney: A look at his faith journey

By Jessica Ravitz, CNN

Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this story ran last year, as part of a series about the faith lives of the leading Republican presidential candidates. With the exception of an August interview done by CNN Chief Political Analyst Gloria Borger for her documentary “Romney Revealed: Family, Faith and the Road to Power,”  which airs  Sunday, October 28, and Saturday, November 3, at 8 p.m. ET on CNN, all other interviews were conducted in the fall of 2011. CNN has also profiled President Obama’s faith life during his time in the White House.

 (CNN) – A cop arrived at the roadside wreckage of a June 1968 head-on collision in southern France, took one quick look at the Citroën’s unresponsive driver and scrawled into the young man’s American passport, “Il est mort” - “He is dead.”

The man at the Citroën’s wheel was Mitt Romney, who may have appeared dead but was very much alive – as is his hope to become the next president of the United States.

Romney was serving as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or the LDS Church, when tragedy struck. It was a time of turmoil both in France and in the United States. Protests against the Vietnam War raged on, as did French disdain for Americans. Robert Kennedy had recently been assassinated, as had Martin Luther King Jr. a couple months earlier. France was still reeling from a May marked by riots, student demonstrations and crippling worker strikes. FULL POST


In Obama’s first term, an evolving Christian faith and a more evangelical style
President Obama speaking from the pulpit of a Washington church in 2010.
October 27th, 2012
10:00 PM ET

In Obama’s first term, an evolving Christian faith and a more evangelical style

Editor's note: This is the last in a series about the faith lives of the presidential candidates, which includes a profile of Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney.

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

Washington (CNN) – President Obama’s prayers for a strong first debate may not have been answered, but that doesn’t mean the prayers weren’t happening.

Before he stepped onto a Colorado stage earlier this month to face off with Mitt Romney for the first time, Obama joined a conference call with a small circle of Christian ministers.

“The focus of that prayer was, ‘Oh, Lord, you know precisely what the president needs to say,'” says Kirbyjon Caldwell, a Methodist megachurch pastor from Texas who helped lead the call. “'You know what this country needs during the next four years.’”

“'And so I would pray that your primary will and words that you want the president to say will fall from his lips,'” Caldwell goes on, recalling his prayer.

Obama, for his part, was mostly silent.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Barack Obama • Christianity • Politics

On holiday of sacrifice, many Syrians cannot celebrate
For Syrians mired in civil war, now is not a time for celebration.
October 26th, 2012
10:02 AM ET

On holiday of sacrifice, many Syrians cannot celebrate

By Salma Abdelaziz, CNN

(CNN) –
Artillery shelling, water outages and food shortages, rather than presents and sweets, greeted many Syrians on the most important Muslim holiday of the year.

"There is no Eid here. What are you even talking about? How can you have Eid amid shelling? May God watch over us. We have rockets falling over us. The situation is horrific. Eid has no meaning for us," Abu Fouz, a 48-year-old resident of Aleppo, told CNN.

Eid al-Adha, literally meaning The Feast of Sacrifice, is one of two major holidays in Islam. It commemorates millions completing the holy pilgrimage called the Hajj to Saudi Arabia. It marks the Prophet Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son for God. FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Islam • Syria

October 26th, 2012
06:56 AM ET

Suicide bomber targets worshipers outside Afghan mosque, kills 40

By Masoud Popalzai, CNN

(CNN) - A suicide bomber blew himself up outside a mosque following morning prayers in Afghanistan's northern Faryab province, killing at least 40 people, according to Lal Mohammad Ahmadzai, a spokesman for the northern Afghanistan police chief.

More than 50 people were wounded in the blast that occurred as worshipers finished prayers to mark the start of the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha, said Ministry of Interior spokesman Sediq Seddiqi.

FULL STORY
- A. Hawkins

Filed under: Afghanistan • Terrorism

October 26th, 2012
05:54 AM ET

Belief Blog's Morning Speed Read for Friday, October 26

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: Man who leaked pope's papers heads to jail
If Paolo Gabriele ever does get the pope's pardon, it won't be before he serves some jail time. Gabriele, a former butler to Pope Benedict XVI, will start his 18-month sentence in a Vatican cell Thursday for taking secret papers from the pope's personal apartment and leaking them to an author who included them in a best-selling book, the Vatican said.

CNN: 5 things to know about the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha
Five things to know about Eid al-Adha: 1. Considered one of Islam's revered observances, the four-day religious holiday corresponds with the height of the Hajj - the pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia that annually draws 2 million Muslims…

FULL POST

- A. Hawkins

Filed under: Uncategorized

October 26th, 2012
02:56 AM ET

5 things to know about the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha

By the CNN Wire Staff

(CNN) - Five things to know about Eid al-Adha:

1. Considered one of Islam's revered observances, the four-day religious holiday corresponds with the height of the Hajj - the pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia that annually draws 2 million Muslims.

2. Eid al-Adha commemorates when God appeared to Abraham - known as Ibrahim to Muslims - in a dream and asked him to sacrifice his son as an act of obedience. As Abraham was about to sacrifice his son, God stopped him and gave him a sheep to kill in place of his son. A version of the story also appears in the Torah and in the Bible's Old Testament.

FULL STORY
- A. Hawkins

Filed under: Holidays • Islam

My Take: Muslims must engage politically, look outside themselves
Muslim Americans must exercise their right to vote and be part of the process, says Khalid Latif.
October 25th, 2012
01:00 PM ET

My Take: Muslims must engage politically, look outside themselves

Editor's Note: Imam Khalid Latif is a chaplain for New York University and executive director of the school's Islamic Center.

By Khalid Latif, Special to CNN

My wife and I were on our way into Bed, Bath and Beyond in late August when I decided to check my office voicemail from my cell phone. I told her I'd meet her inside. When I did, she asked whether I had any messages.

"Just one,” I told her. “I was asked to deliver an invocation at this year's Republican National Convention." She responded with a smile on her face, "Of course you were," and then showed me the pillows she’d selected.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: 2012 Election • Islam • Muslim • Politics

Man who leaked pope's papers heads to jail
ope Benedict's former butler Paolo Gabriele (C) leaves after the verdict in his trial at the Vatican on October 6, 2012.
October 25th, 2012
12:47 PM ET

Man who leaked pope's papers heads to jail

From Hada Messia, CNN

Rome (CNN)–If Paolo Gabriele ever does get the pope's pardon, it won't be before he serves some jail time.

Gabriele, a former butler to Pope Benedict XVI, will start his 18-month sentence in a Vatican cell Thursday for taking secret papers from the pope's personal apartment and leaking them to an author who included them in a best-selling book, the Vatican said.

Gabriele, one of the pope's closest personal assistants, was convicted in Vatican City court October 6 of aggravated theft. He was arrested in May, following a Vatican investigation into how the pope's private documents appeared in the book "Sua Santita" ("His Holiness") by Italian journalist Gianluigi Nuzzi. The book, based on the papers, revealed claims of corruption in the church's hierarchy claims that could affect who becomes the next pope.

FULL STORY
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Catholic Church • Pope Benedict XVI • Vatican

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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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