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February 17th, 2014
06:41 PM ET

Satanists: Accused Craigslist killer not one of us

By Daniel Burke, Belief Blog Co-editor

(CNN) -  She's not one of us.

That's what Satanists are saying about accused "Craigslist killer" Miranda Barbour.

The 19-year-old told The Daily Item, a Pennsylvania newspaper, that she joined a satanic cult in Alaska when she was 13 and participated in several murders.

Barbour, who has been charged with one slaying in 2013, told the newspaper that she has been involved in  at least 22 killings.

But authorities haven't corroborated her claims, and top Satanists say they have no ties to Barbour or her husband, Elytte Barbour, who is also charged in the 2013 killing of 42-year-old Troy LaFerrara. Police say LaFerrara responded to a "companionship" ad placed by Miranda Barbour on Craigslist.

FULL POST

- CNN Religion Editor

Filed under: Crime • Cults • Satanism

February 17th, 2014
10:29 AM ET

A faithful death: Why a snake handler refused treatment

By Daniel Burke, Belief Blog Co-editor

(CNN) - In the close-knit town of Middlesboro, Kentucky, almost everyone knew what was happening inside the Full Gospel Tabernacle in Jesus Name Church - including Police Chief Jeff Sharpe.

Despite a Kentucky law that prohibits snake-handling at religious events, Sharpe said he "made a decision not to involve this police department in somebody's church service."

"I'm not going to tell you that I didn't know what was going on. This is a small town," Sharpe said. "But we're not going to bust into anybody's church on Sunday morning."

The trouble at Full Gospel Tabernacle began on Saturday night, when Pastor Jamie Coots, whose serpent-handling religious rituals made him a reality TV star, died after a rattlesnake sunk its fangs into his right hand.

Coots was a third-generation serpent handler and aspired to one day pass the practice, and his church, on to his adult son, Little Cody.

FULL POST

- CNN Religion Editor

Filed under: Belief • Bible • Christianity • Death • Prayer

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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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