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
September 19th, 2012
04:21 AM ET
By CNN's Ed Payne and Saad Abedine
Egyptian authorities have charged seven Coptic Christians living in the United States and a Florida pastor with insulting Islam and inciting sectarian strife for their alleged links to an online video that has enraged much of the Muslim world.
Egypt's public prosecutor announced the charges Tuesday, the latest development in the deadly backlash against the low-budget, amateurish 14-minute movie trailer produced privately in the United States and posted on YouTube.FULL STORY
September 13th, 2012
11:23 AM ET
Editor's Note: Stephen Prothero, a Boston University religion scholar and author of "The American Bible: How Our Words Unite, Divide, and Define a Nation," is a regular CNN Belief Blog contributor.
By Stephen Prothero, Special to CNN
What should we make of the attacks on the U.S. consulates in Egypt, Libya and Yemen, and the deaths of four Americans, including U.S. ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens?
It depends on who you mean by “we.”
From the perspective of those who stormed the embassies, taking down the American flag in Egypt and replacing it with a black flag reading, “There is no God but Allah and Mohammed is his messenger,” theirs was an act of justice on behalf of the One True Faith.
July 10th, 2012
04:53 PM ET
By the CNN Wire Staff
(CNN)– Members of two Islamist militant groups destroyed tombs at a shrine to Muslim saints Tuesday, according to the mayor of Timbuktu, Mali, and other residents.
"The Islamists ordered the people to leave the area before they started smashing the tombs," Mayor Ousmane Halle said. "I saw both members of Ansar Dine and MUJAO, another Islamic faction in charge of the city. They were heavily armed and people had no choice but to leave when they started destroying the shrines."
It was the second time in the past two weeks that Ansar Dine, a militant group that seeks to impose strict Sharia law, has attacked the site's 16 mausoleums, built from mud and wood in the 15th century.
One of the town's residents said the militants surrounded the ancient Djingareyber mosque area at 7:30 a.m.FULL STORY
June 11th, 2012
10:37 AM ET
From Hassan John, For CNN
Jos, Nigeria (CNN) – Three people died in clashes Sunday with police in Jos, Nigeria, hours after a car bomb killed five people during services at a church nearby.
Angry crowds wielding makeshift clubs fought with police after chasing away security forces from the destroyed church. A man dragged part of a charred corpse through the street.
The clashes broke out after witnesses said a suicide car bomber drove toward several churches in the area before plowing into the Christ Chosen Church of God. The attack injured at least 48 people, hospital officials said.
Bruised and bloodied parishioners emerged from the rubble after the blast, which left splintered wood beams and twisted metal where the church once stood. There appeared to be a large number of casualties, including children.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.