May 22nd, 2013
05:05 PM ET
By Laura Smith-Spark, CNN
London (CNN) – A man thought to be a serving British soldier was killed by two armed men in a frenzied attack on a London street Wednesday, in what the government is treating as a suspected act of terrorism.
Witnesses told of a gruesome scene in which the man was hit by a car, then hacked with cleavers and his body dumped in the middle of the road in Woolwich, southeast London.
The two suspects in the killing were injured in a confrontation with police and have been taken to two hospitals, where they are being treated.
CNN affiliate ITN aired a video showing a man with bloody hands and holding a meat cleaver, who says, "We swear by almighty Allah we will never stop fighting you."
The man, who seems to have a London accent, carries on: "The only reasons we killed this man this is because Muslims are dying daily. This British soldier is an eye for an eye a tooth for tooth.FULL STORY
March 3rd, 2013
02:08 PM ET
By Josh Levs, CNN
(CNN) – A cardinal at the center of an international scandal over alleged sexual abuse reversed course Sunday, acknowledging wrongdoing.
"I wish to take this opportunity to admit that there have been times that my sexual conduct has fallen below the standards expected of me as a priest, archbishop and cardinal," Cardinal Keith O'Brien said in a statement.
Until days ago, O'Brien was the archbishop of Scotland.
O'Brien has been dogged by allegations he abused four men studying to be priests in the 1980s.
"In recent days certain allegations which have been made against me have become public. Initially, their anonymous and non-specific nature led me to contest them," O'Brien said.FULL STORY
February 25th, 2013
09:34 AM ET
By John L. Allen Jr., CNN Senior Vatican Analyst
Rome (CNN) - Scotland's Roman Catholic archbishop, Cardinal Keith O'Brien, has resigned amid allegations that he abused four men studying to be priests in the 1980s.
It is the second potential scandal to emerge amid preparations for the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI this week and the concave to select a successor.
In addition to O'Brien's resignation, Italian media has been abuzz in recent days with allegations that gay clergy may have made themselves vulnerable to blackmail by male prostitutes. That has set off speculation - denied by the Vatican - that a brewing scandal may have triggered Benedict's resignation.
O'Brien said he submitted his resignation to the pope months ago, citing his upcoming 75th birthday and his health, according to a statement released by the Scottish Catholic Media Office. Benedict accepted his resignation last week, the Vatican said Monday.
The resignation follows a Sunday report by the British newspaper The Observer that three priests and one former priest leveled allegations against O'Brien that date back 30 years.FULL STORY
January 15th, 2013
05:39 AM ET
By Laura Smith-Spark and Richard Allen Greene, CNN
London (CNN) - A British Christian woman suffered religious discrimination when British Airways told her not to wear a visible cross over her uniform, a top European court ruled Tuesday.
However, three other British Christians lost related religious discrimination claims at the European Court of Human Rights.
British Airways violated the article of the European Convention on Human Rights that guarantees freedom of religion when it stopped employee Nadie Eweida wearing her cross openly, the court said.
Eweida said she experienced discrimination from 2006 to 2007, when she started wearing the cross visibly and was transferred to another job. The airline has since changed its policy on uniforms to allow employees to wear religious or charity symbols.FULL STORY
January 5th, 2013
09:34 AM ET
By Ben Brumfield, CNN
(CNN) - Men in a civil union will now be allowed to become bishops in the Church of England, but they are not allowed to have sex.
Intercourse between two men - or two women - remains a sin.
"Homosexual genital acts fall short of the Christian ideal and are to be met with a call to repentance and the exercise of compassion," according to Anglican doctrine.
Men and women in same-sex unions were already allowed to serve as priests in the Church of England, but there was a moratorium on advancement to the episcopate - becoming a bishop - while the church considered the issue.
The church announced Friday that if men in celibate civil unions may be priests, then there is no reason for them not to be bishops, as long as they are "living in accordance with the teaching of the Church on human sexuality."
November 9th, 2012
08:41 AM ET
By Laura Smith-Spark, CNN
London CNN) - It's not a career path followed by many. On Friday, the Right Reverend Justin Welby, a former oil executive, was confirmed as the next archbishop of Canterbury, and as such will become head of the 77 million-member worldwide Anglican Communion.
Although Welby has been a bishop for just less than a year, his experience beyond the pulpit may be what has given him the edge over his rivals for the top job.
He will take over from Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, who has headed the church for more than a decade, in March.
Welby faces the challenge of holding together an increasingly fractured Communion as it wrestles with the issues of homosexuality and women bishops, as well as tensions between the shrinking Western provinces of the Anglican Communion, including the United States and United Kingdom, and the exploding growth of the provinces in the Global South, many of them in Africa and Asia.
August 14th, 2012
12:19 PM ET
By Richard Allen Greene, CNN
Mohammed reclaimed its place as the most popular name for baby boys born in England and Wales in 2011 - convincingly ahead of Harry, in second place, according to data released by the government this week.
The government declared that Harry was the most popular boy's name, but if you add up the five most popular different spellings of Mohammed, that name comes top.
Mohammed is also the most popular boy's name of the past five years for England and Wales, ahead of Oliver and Jack. It came first or second every year since 2007, the only name to do so.
And it could become even more popular in 2012, given the adulation around long-distance runner Mo Farah, who won two gold medals for Britain at the Olympics.
June 30th, 2012
10:00 PM ET
This is the first in a series exploring the concept of American exceptionalism. On Monday, we examine areas in which other countries lead the way.
By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor
(CNN) – It’s safe to say the first European arrivals to New England wouldn’t recognize today’s debate over whether America is exceptional.
Though the United States wouldn’t be born for another century and a half, the Puritans arriving in the early 1600s on the shores of what would become Massachusetts firmly believed they were on a mission from God.
In other words, they had the exceptional part down pat.
Fleeing what they saw as the earthly and corrupt Church of England, the Puritans fancied themselves the world’s last, best hope for purifying Christianity - and for saving the world.
The Puritans never used the word “exceptionalism.” But they came to see Boston as the new Jerusalem, a divinely ordained “city upon a hill,” a phrase Massachusetts Bay Colony founder John Winthrop used in a sermon at sea en route from England in 1630.
March 16th, 2012
08:10 AM ET
London (CNN) – Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, head of the 85 million-member worldwide Anglican Communion, announced Friday he will step down from his post at the end of the year.
Williams has been archbishop of Canterbury, the top role in the Church of England, for 10 years.
He has accepted the position of master of Magdalene College at Cambridge University, starting in January, a statement on his website said.Read the full story on the Archbishop of Canterbury's resignation
November 21st, 2011
07:59 AM ET
By Richard Allen Greene, CNN
British Muslims are more proud to be British than the population as a whole, and they are significantly more optimistic about the country's future, a new study released Monday reveals.
Religious people in general are more proud to be British than those who call themselves atheists or non-believers, the survey by the think tanks Demos said.
Nearly nine out of 10 Anglicans and Jews, and more than eight out of 10 Muslims said they were "proud to be a British citizen."
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.