February 11th, 2013
01:18 PM ET
By Eric Marrapodi and Catherine E. Shoichet, CNN
(CNN) – Hours after Pope Benedict XVI's resignation announcement Monday, speculation was surging over who might be his successor and what part of the world the new pontiff could be from.
The 118 cardinals who will pick the next pope are also in the running for the job. Those cardinals are from around the globe, but more than half of them hail from European nations, according to Vatican statistics.
Worldwide, the demographic trends among the Roman Catholic Church's nearly 1.2 billion members show a different breakdown, with the church seeing only a trickle of new members in Europe, while membership has grown significantly in Africa.
February 7th, 2013
09:51 AM ET
Editor's note: Dagfinn Høybråten is a vice president of the Norwegian Parliament and chairman of the GAVI Alliance Board. GAVI is a public-private partnership that works with governments, vaccine producers, faith-based organizations and others to expand access to vaccines and immunization. Since its launch in 2000, GAVI has helped immunize 370 million children in the poorest countries.
By Dagfinn Høybråten, Special to CNN
Despite their political, religious and ethnic differences, leaders from around the world are coming together for today's National Prayer Breakfast in Washington. As they do, it is worth noting that faith and science are also coming together around the world to promote healing and equality in the form of access to vaccines.
Vaccines are a triumph of science due to their incredible capacity to save lives and protect health. Yet vaccines reach only four out of five children who need them. To reach the fifth child, science has found an important partner in the faith community, which helps bring vaccines to the most remote areas and the children who need them most. FULL POST
February 5th, 2013
05:53 AM ET
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
January 7th, 2013
04:00 PM ET
By Shahira Amin, Special to CNN
Growing concerns about the rights of Egypt's Copts, who make up an estimated 12% of the population, have dampened the mood of Christians, overshadowing this year's celebrations.
"Many of my friends and relatives have left the country," said 27-year-old Beshoy Ragheb. "I would leave, too, if I had a place to go."
Threats by Muslim extremists against Coptic Christians in the past year have forced scores of Christian families to flee their homes in Dahshur and the Egyptian border town of Rafah. Meanwhile, extremist attacks on Christian churches and brutal attacks by security and military forces on Christian protesters demanding the protection of their churches in October 2011 remain vivid in the memories of many of Egypt's Christians.
January 2nd, 2013
12:34 PM ET
By Ben Brumfield, CNN
(CNN) - Islamist militants in Nigeria's restive north have taken the lives of 34 people since Christmas, including 27 Christians attending church services.
On Tuesday, the country's military took the fight to Boko Haram's stronghold, killing 13 suspected combatants.
Joint Task Force Operation Restore Order lost one soldier during the afternoon gunfight in the isolated town of Maiduguri in Nigeria's far northwest corner, said spokesman Sagir Musa.
The task force condemned alleged Boko Haram attacks going back to July 2012 in a statement, calling them "incessant callous, brutal, barbaric and impious killings." These included attacks on mosques, churches and businesses.FULL STORY
December 26th, 2012
01:10 AM ET
By CNN Staff
(CNN) - At least 12 people died in northern Nigeria when attackers raided two churches during Christmas Eve services, police said.
One assault occurred at the Church of Christ in Nations in Postikum, in Yobe province. Gunmen attacked worshipers during prayer, killing six people, including the pastor, and setting the building on fire
Worshipers also were attacked at the First Baptist Church in Maiduguri, in Borno state. A deacon and five church members were killed.FULL STORY
November 29th, 2012
04:38 AM ET
By Mohamed Fadel Fahmy, for CNN
Cairo (CNN) - Seven Coptic Egyptians living abroad were sentenced to death Wednesday by a court in Cairo for their connection to an inflammatory anti-Islam film, the prosecutor's office said.
The suspects are accused of being involved with the production of the film in California, said Adel Al Saeed, official spokesman for the prosecutor's office.
Since the Egyptian citizens were tried in absentia, the sentence would be applied only if they returned to Egypt.FULL STORY
November 12th, 2012
05:53 AM ET
By Ben Wedeman,CNN
(CNN) - Thousands of supporters of various Egyptian Salafi groups gathered in Cairo's Tahrir Square on Friday calling for the immediate implementation of Islamic law.
Before midday prayers, speakers called on the government of President Mohamed Morsy to move quickly to implement Sharia. Morsy won the office as the candidate for the Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated Freedom and Justice Party.
About 10,000 demonstrators advocating for Sharia filled the square, chanting in unison, "The people want God's law applied."FULL STORY
October 29th, 2012
05:37 AM ET
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
September 21st, 2012
05:03 AM ET
By Catriona Davies, CNN
Fine Arabic calligraphy and street art may seem worlds apart, but for artist eL Seed, they're one and the same thing.
eL Seed, a 31-year-old French Tunisian artist, has just used his distinctive style of Arabic street art, which he calls "calligraffiti," to decorate the tallest minaret in Tunisia with a verse from the Quran that tackles intolerance.
The mural, on the Jara Mosque in eL Seed's hometown of Gabes is 47 meters tall, 10 meters wide and covers two sides of the minaret, his biggest artwork to date.
eL Seed said he was reacting to clashes between hardline Islamist Salafists and artists at an art fair in Tunis in June that showed works the Salafists believed was insulting to Islam.FULL STORY
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 and frequent posts from religion scholar and author Stephen Prothero.