August 6th, 2012
06:32 AM ET
By the CNN Wire Staff
(CNN)–Immediately after the September 11, 2001, terrorist acts, Sikhs came under attack.
Mistaken for Muslims for their beards and turbans, they became ripe targets for zealots seeking revenge.
The first person murdered in retaliation for the 9/11 attacks was a Sikh – a gas station owner in Mesa, Arizona, named Balbir Singh Sodhi who was shot five times by aircraft mechanic Frank Roque.
In the intervening years, the Sikh Coalition, a New York-based advocacy group, reported more than 700 attacks or bias-related incidents.
Some Sikhs had their houses vandalized; others were spat upon. In some extreme cases, Sikhs were set upon by groups of people and beaten.FULL STORY
August 5th, 2012
06:20 PM ET
By Steve Almasy, CNN
(CNN)– Sikhism, the world's fifth most popular religion, is a monotheistic faith that believes in equality and service to others, Sikh officials say.
"Everyone is the same," says Raghunandan Johar, president of the Guru Nanak Mission of Atlanta. "There is no distinction, no caste system."
Navdeep Singh, a policy adviser to the Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund, says Sikhs believe in freedom of religion, community service and inclusiveness.
May 30th, 2012
04:21 AM ET
By Lateef Mungin and Moni Basu, CNN
(CNN) – The long-running battle between a Tennessee Muslim community and its critics over a new mosque took a dramatic turn with a county judge's ruling that could bring construction to a halt.
"Everyone is really shocked, many people are crying about this," Imam Osama Bahloul, leader of the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro, said early Wednesday.
"We did exactly what other churches in the county did," he said. "We followed the same process that other churches did. Why did this happen? Some people feel like it is discrimination."
The judge, Chancellor Robert Corlew, ruled Tuesday that plans for the new mosque that had previously been approved by a local planning commission were now "void and of no effect."
He said the planning commission violated state law by not providing proper public notice. The ruling throws the date of the mosque's completion, scheduled for July, up in the air.
Rutherford County Attorney Jim Cope said Corlew did not address the issue of whether work on the mosque has to stop right away. He said county planners will discuss options and determine an appropriate course of action.
April 9th, 2012
05:07 PM ET
(CNN)–Grace Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina had its Easter service in a local Jewish temple because of an earthquake centered in Virginia. CNN affiliate WCSC reports that the earthquake last August weakened the mortar between the bricks in the church that dates back to 1886.
The Easter service was held at Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim Synagogue two blocks from the church.
March 4th, 2012
09:31 AM ET
By Eric Marrapodi and Athena Jones, CNN
Henryville, Indiana (CNN)– Church members held hands as they prayed among the pews at Henryville Community Church on Sunday morning.
"One week ago, we prayed, 'God use us in some way,' " pastor Rich Cheek said as he led the congregation in prayer.
"This morning, so many of you have lost everything," Cheek said, his voice cracking with emotion. "We asked God to use us, and he did."
Outside, a forklift off-loaded pallets of dry goods and bottles of water from a tractor-trailer. The church recreation center and basement have become a clearinghouse for supplies brought in from nearby Louisville, Kentucky, and trucked in by tractor-trailers from Convoys of Hope, a relief agency from Springfield, Missouri.
February 27th, 2012
12:52 PM ET
Editor’s Note: Rev. DeForest "Buster" Soaries is the senior pastor at First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens in Somerset, New Jersey. He is a former Secretary of State of New Jersey.
By Rev. DeForest B. Soaries Jr., Special to CNN
(CNN) – When I was a child, if a crime were committed, my grandmother would say, “I hope he wasn’t colored.” Her concern was that all African-Americans suffered whenever one of us was caught doing something wrong. In those days black people raised their children to abstain from behavior that would give credence to the stereotypes that society had used to characterize us and justify the injustices heaped upon us. And most of us embraced that ethic.Read the full op-ed at CNN's In America Blog
February 18th, 2012
05:38 PM ET
Editor's Note: Stephen Prothero, a Boston University religion scholar and author of "God is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions that Run the World," is a regular CNN Belief Blog contributor.
By Stephen Prothero, Special to CNN
Whitney Houston gave a lot of gifts to the world. She gave us the best rendition ever of "The Star-Spangled Banner." She gave us “I Will Always Love You.”
But Saturday at New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, New Jersey, where as a girl she sang in the choir, she gave us a church service — a chance for people of all races to see what church looks like inside the community that gave Houston (and us) her voice.
“There are more stars here than the Grammys,” said Houston’s music director, Rickey Minor, and the service did feature pop star Stevie Wonder and music mogul Clive Davis, among others. But so much of popular music started in the black church, and today the black church talked back.
In other words, this was an unapologetically Christian service, replete with references to salvation and “amazing grace,” where even the pop stars were transformed into gospel singers. People crossed themselves. They raised their hands to heaven. And the congregation kept shouting back: “Yes!” and “That’s it!” and “Praise the Lord!”
December 12th, 2011
03:10 AM ET
By Dan Merica, CNN
Washington (CNN) – On a cold, brisk day in Washington, DC, the president and his family walked across Lafayette Park to attended services at St. John’s Episcopal Church.
According to a pool report, Reverend Luis Leon’s sermon was about John the Baptist heralding Jesus as the real god. Leon went on to discuss how John the Baptist’s heralding did not first go as expected but that it was a good thing because it taught people to accept reality.
Rev. Leon also mentioned the president in his sermon. Playing off John the Baptist, the reverend discussed the expectations people had of Obama at first. Many people, he said, unfairly expected a messiah to cure all America’s problems, but that now it is becoming apparent it’s not that easy.
October 4th, 2011
01:22 PM ET
By Mohamed Fadel Fahmy, CNN
(CNN) - Libyan Jew David Gerbi on Sunday hammered down the brick wall blocking the entrance to the rundown Dar Bishi Synagogue in Tripoli on what he called a “historic day.”
Flanked by journalists and curious residents from the neighborhood, Gerbi, dressed in an “I love Libya” T-shirt, collapsed as he yelled, “This is for all those who suffered under Gadhafi."
With a U.S. security contractor accompanying him, Gerbi continued to strike the wall until it was destroyed.Read the full story at CNN's news blog, This Just In
September 7th, 2011
03:52 PM ET
By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor
Washington (CNN)– A 500-ton crane collapsed at Washington's National Cathedral Wednesday morning, crushing several cars in a nearby parking lot and sending one person to the hospital, officials said.
The crane was working on the south side of the cathedral to stabilize debris on the central tower, the Cathedral administration said in a statement. Heavy rain was coming down when the crane fell around 10:55 a.m. in a parking lot adjacent to the cathedral, smashing cars and damaging another building on the grounds.
One person was transported to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries as a result of the crane crash, authorities said.
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.