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November 19th, 2014
02:47 PM ET

Jerusalem terror attack 'strikes at soul' of Jews worldwide

By Daniel Burke, CNN Belief Blog Editor

(CNN) - Books, filled with prayers for peace, splattered with blood. Sacred vestments shredded by bullets and knives. Lifeless bodies in the sanctuary.

The rabbis had gathered to ask God to bestow blessings upon their troubled land. Their prayers were interrupted by two men wielding butcher knives and a gun.

An Israeli police officer and four rabbis were killed, including an American whose family is considered "rabbinic royalty."

Combined with the site of the slaughter - a synagogue in West Jerusalem - the targeting of rabbis struck at the soul of Jews around the world, several Jewish leaders said Tuesday.

FULL STORY
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Israel • Jerusalem • Middle East • Palestinians • Terrorism

November 11th, 2014
02:35 PM ET

Church: Mormon founder Joseph Smith wed 40 wives

By Daniel Burke, CNN Belief Blog Editor

(CNN) - The founder of the Mormon church, Joseph Smith, wed as many as 40 wives, including some who were already married and one as young as 14 years old, the church acknowledged in a surprising new essay.

Smith's marital history had been the subject of frequent historical debate, but until recently Mormon leaders had taken pains to present its founding prophet as happily married to one woman. Now, the church says, "careful estimates put the number between 30 and 40."

The church, officially called the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, disavowed plural marriage in 1890 under pressure from the U.S. government, which had imprisoned polygamists and seized their assets.

FULL STORY

November 7th, 2014
01:48 PM ET

How Brittany Maynard forced us to look at death

By Daniel Burke, CNN Belief Blog Editor

(CNN) - This country is changing rapidly, and at the very time modern medicine puts life-or-death decisions in our hands, organized religion has faded from the lives of many Americans.

As the surgeon and writer Atul Gawande noted in The New York Times recently, our medical system, powerful as it may be, is ill-equipped to step into the breach and answer crucial questions such as, "What is a good death?"

Perhaps that's why Brittany Maynard's death on November 1 stirred such remarkably personal debates. All at once, it seemed, we were confronting the question together: Given a choice, how would we wish to die?

FULL STORY
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Death

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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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