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June 3rd, 2014
01:02 PM ET

Inside Manhattan's most hipster-y megachurch

(CNN) - While some churches are struggling to attract younger members,  20 and 30-something-year-olds are waiting in long lines to get into Hillsong's services.

Pastor Carl Lentz is the main attraction. He spoke to CNN's Poppy Harlow about the church's success and where he stands on several major issues.

- CNN Belief Blog Editor

Filed under: Celebrity • Christianity • Church • evangelicals • Leaders • Protestant • Sacred Spaces • Trends • TV-Anderson Cooper 360

April 2nd, 2013
10:34 AM ET

Pope embraces disabled boy on Easter

(CNN)–A mother who was with her husband and five children in St. Peter's Square for the holiday helped lift her young son with cerebral palsy, Dominic, into the arms of Pope Francis for a blessing after Easter Mass. Christiana Gondreau describes the touching moment to CNN's Wolf Blitzer.

"There was not a dry eye around us. It was really, really moving," she says. "Not in a million years, really, did I expect to end the Easter Sunday Mass with a kiss from the pope. It was very beautiful."

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Catholic Church • Content Partner • Pope Francis • TV-Anderson Cooper 360

January 29th, 2013
04:49 AM ET

Woman escapes with kids from Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

CNN's Gary Tuchman tells story of Ruby Jessop, who escaped with her children from Warren Jeffs polygamist Church.


January 15th, 2013
04:48 AM ET

Reverend: Newtown chose compassion, love

Two religious leaders in Newtown discuss the community healing process one month after the Sandy Hook shooting.

- A. Hawkins

Filed under: TV-Anderson Cooper 360

August 21st, 2012
05:31 PM ET

A look into Romney's religion

(CNN)–For many voters, getting to know Mitt Romney as a candidate also means sorting out facts from fiction about Mormonism.  CNN's Gary Tuchman reports.


July 18th, 2012
11:09 AM ET

Pastor handles deadly snakes

(CNN)–CNN's Gary Tuchman takes you inside a snake-handling church in Tennessee.

The death of a Mack Wolford, one of the best known snake handling pastors, put the obscure tradition back in the spotlight in late May.

Death of snake handling preacher shines light on lethal Appalachian tradition

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Content Partner • TV-Anderson Cooper 360

July 11th, 2012
03:00 AM ET

Ex-Scientologist: Cruise was top church recruit

Montreal, Quebec (CNN) – For the secretive Church of Scientology, "there was no bigger recruit than Tom Cruise."

The top Hollywood actor's membership in the Church beginning in 1986 "was huge," says Karen Pressley - a former Commanding Officer of the Church's Celebrity Centre in Hollywood from 1987 to 1989.

"My job was to ensure that celebrities were recruited, that celebrities were well serviced within our organization, and also to open up new celebrity centers around the world," she told CNN.

The high-profile marriage split between Cruise and actress Katie Holmes, who was raised Catholic, has re-ignited media interest in Scientology's influence in Hollywood.

Related story: What is Scientology? 

A joint statement released Monday to announce their divorce settlement said, "We want to keep matters affecting our family private and express our respect for each other's commitment to each of our respective beliefs and support each other's roles as parents." It's not known if Holmes joined the Church of Scientology.

Cruise is just one of many celebrity members of the church, including John Travolta, Jenna Elfman and Kirstie Alley.

See photos of other Scientology celebs

But Cruise was among Scientology's biggest fish, says Pressley. "Is there a bigger name than Tom? We called him TC."

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Celebrity • Scientology • TV-Anderson Cooper 360

May 8th, 2012
02:02 PM ET

Pastor who sparked outrage over hitting gay children speaks out

By David Mattingly and Eric Marrapodi, CNN

Fayetteville, North Carolina (CNN)– A pastor who advocated hitting boys who display effeminate qualities is expressing regret for the sermon he delivered in the midst of a controversial marriage amendment battle.

"Dads, the second you see your son dropping the limp wrist, you walk over there and crack that wrist," Sean Harris, the pastor of Berean Baptist Church in Fayetteville, North Carolina, told his congregants in his sermon on April 28. He continued, "Man up, give them a good punch, OK. 'You're not going to act like that. You were made by God to be a male and you're going to be a male.'"

This week Harris said, "I was telling them in strong words that were not careful. What did I learn this week? Be more careful with your words."

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Baptist • Belief • Billy Graham • Christianity • Church and state • TV-Anderson Cooper 360

March 7th, 2012
11:42 AM ET

Jesus on a tortilla?

(CNN)– A New Mexico man's dinner was downright divine after he discovered an image of Jesus on his tortilla.  CNN's Anderson Cooper reports.

We are adding the tortilla guy to our running list of people have claimed to see the image of Jesus Christ in all sorts of unconventional places, from telephone poles, to store receipts to a cheesy snack.

Last year a plucky entrepreneur even came up with a do-it-yourself version of divine food visions with the Jesus toaster.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Food • TV-Anderson Cooper 360

October 26th, 2011
01:32 PM ET

Punishing kids in the name of religion

Gary Tuchman investigates adults who say they're following the word of God when beating children, sometimes to death.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: TV-Anderson Cooper 360 • Violence

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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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