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Arkansas to allow concealed guns in churches
February 5th, 2013
02:00 PM ET

Arkansas to allow concealed guns in churches

By Dan Merica, CNN

(CNN) - The Arkansas House of Representatives has overwhelmingly passed a measure that would allow concealed guns to be carried in churches and houses of worship, and the governor’s office says it plans to sign the bill.

The measure, which passed 85-8 on Monday, gives houses of worship the option of allowing concealed weapons.

FULL POST

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Arkansas • Houses of worship • Violence • Virginia • Weapons

February 5th, 2013
11:56 AM ET

The Bible Belt brouhaha over beer

By Tommy Andres, CNN

Montgomery, Alabama (CNN) – Despite the fact that it has been federally legal since 1979, there are still two U.S. states that don't allow residents to make beer in their own homes: Alabama and Mississippi.

The issue is expected to be one of the first to surface in Alabama's state legislature as lawmakers there head back to session this week, and a colorful standoff is likely.

Homebrew laws have failed to materialize for the past five years, with religion and morality arguments narrowly beating out the estimated 5,000 underground homebrewers in the state who say their civil liberties are on the line.

Listen to the full story in our player above or on CNN Radio Soundwaves

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Alabama • Faith Now • Mississippi

February 5th, 2013
11:50 AM ET

Can religion prevent violence?

By Jim Roope, CNN

(CNN) – When tragedies happen like the shooting at Newtown, Connecticut, the question of faith often comes up. How can horrible events like that be allowed to happen?

Rabbi Marvin Heir with the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles, said he’s not surprised that people question religion, and, God in tragedies.

Hear his and others' perspectives on the role of religion in our world from religious thought leaders in the player above or on CNN Radio Soundwaves

FULL STORY
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Faith Now • Interfaith issues • Leaders • Violence

Nigeria's Igbo Jews: 'Lost tribe' of Israel?
February 5th, 2013
05:53 AM ET

Nigeria's Igbo Jews: 'Lost tribe' of Israel?

By Chika Oduah, for CNN

Abuja, Nigeria (CNN) – A Shabbat service is underway at the Ghihon Hebrew Research synagogue in the Jikwoyi suburb of Nigeria's federal capital territory.

Fourteen year-old Kadmiel Izungu Abor heads there with his family. They walk alongside stray goats on a road covered in red dust and potholes, lined with open sewage. They are nearly 20 kilometers away from the modern multi-story office buildings and sprawling mansions in Nigeria's capital city of Abuja.

About 50 people gather in the synagogue. They pray from the Siddur, they read from the Torah and as they chant, Abor's mellow alto begins to rise.

In a country of 162 million people tensions often lead to violent uprisings between Christians and Muslims and being part of the religious minority can be an issue. But Abor wears his kippah and his identity with pride.

"I am a Jewish Igbo," he says.

FULL STORY
- A. Hawkins

Filed under: Judaism • Nigeria

February 5th, 2013
05:45 AM ET

Belief Blog's Morning Speed Read for Tuesday, February 05, 2013

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: Lawyers seek to limit New York police surveillance of Muslims
Civil rights lawyers filed papers in federal court Monday seeking to prohibit the New York Police Department's surveillance of Muslim communities when there is no evidence that they are linked to terrorism or other illegal activities. The department's demographics unit – or zone assessment unit – was put together with the CIA's help after the September 11, 2001, attacks. The unit has acknowledged that it engaged in monitoring that included Muslim-owned business and mosques across the New York region.

CNN: Saudi Islamist preacher on trial in daughter's slaying
Outrage is mounting in Saudi Arabia about the case of a 5-year-old girl who died after allegedly being beaten and tortured by her father, who activists say is an Islamist preacher. Activists say the girl's father, Fayhan Al-Ghamdi is an Islamist evangelist popular in Saudi Arabia for his televised appearances and for speaking on air about the rewards of repenting to God. But they also say he only fancies himself as a cleric and is not recognized by the clerical establishment.

FULL POST

- A. Hawkins

Filed under: Morning Read

Lawyers seek to limit New York police surveillance of Muslims
New York University students attend a town hall last February to discuss police surveillance of Muslim communities.
February 5th, 2013
02:04 AM ET

Lawyers seek to limit New York police surveillance of Muslims

By David Ariosto and Olivia Smith

New York (CNN) – Civil rights lawyers filed papers in federal court Monday seeking to prohibit the New York Police Department's surveillance of Muslim communities when there is no evidence that they are linked to terrorism or other illegal activities.

The department's demographics unit - or zone assessment unit - was put together with the CIA's help after the September 11, 2001, attacks. The unit has acknowledged that it engaged in monitoring that included Muslim-owned business and mosques across the New York region.

FULL STORY
- A. Hawkins

Filed under: Muslim • New York

February 5th, 2013
02:02 AM ET

Catholic hospital says it was 'morally wrong' to argue fetus is not a person

By CNN Staff

(CNN) - A Catholic hospital in hot water for claiming in a Colorado court that a fetus is not a person backtracked on Monday, saying it was "morally wrong" to make the argument while defending itself in a wrongful death lawsuit.

The flip-flop concerns the case of Lori Stodghill. She was 28 weeks pregnant with twins when she went to the emergency room of St. Thomas More Hospital in Canon City, Colorado, vomiting and short of breath.

She went into cardiac arrest in the lobby and died. That was New Year's Day 2006.

FULL STORY
- A. Hawkins

Filed under: Catholic Church • Faith & Health

February 5th, 2013
02:00 AM ET

Saudi Islamist preacher on trial in daughter's slaying

By Mohammed Jamjoom and Saad Abedine, CNN

Outrage is mounting in Saudi Arabia about the case of a 5-year-old girl who died after allegedly being beaten and tortured by her father, who activists say is an Islamist preacher.

Lama Al-Ghamdi was admitted to King Saud Hospital in Riyadh last March after suffering extensive injuries, including broken ribs, a crushed skull, bruising and burns. Family, activists and officials say she died of her wounds in late October.

Activists say the girl's father, Fayhan Al-Ghamdi is an Islamist evangelist popular in Saudi Arabia for his televised appearances and for speaking on air about the rewards of repenting to God. But they also say he only fancies himself as a cleric and is not recognized by the clerical establishment.

FULL STORY
- A. Hawkins

Filed under: Islam • Saudi Arabia

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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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