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April 12th, 2013
03:47 PM ET

Franklin Graham calls for prayer on North Korea

By Dan Merica, CNN

Washington (CNN) – In light of threatening statements from North Korea, famed evangelist Franklin Graham says prayer is a viable option for cooling tensions between the communist country and the rest of the world.

“First of all, I think we need to pray,” Graham, the CEO of Samaritan’s Purse, a Christian humanitarian organization, said in an interview on CNN’s “Starting Point.” “We need to pray for our president, we need to pray that God will give him wisdom as he makes decision at this point. This is a very critical time, right now, for our country and we need to come behind our president and support him with prayer.”

Through Samaritan’s Purse, an organization founded in 1970, Graham has visited North Korea four times over the last 13 years. The group’s slogan is “Helping in Jesus Name” and it describes itself as a “Christian organization providing spiritual and physical aid to hurting people around the world.”

Tensions with North Korea began to rise last month, as the rogue state began issuing increasingly threatening statement towards its Asian neighbors and the United States. Most recently it was uncovered that North Korea may be able to deliver a nuclear weapon via missile with low reliability, according to the Pentagon.

FULL POST

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • North Korea • Politics • Prayer

January 23rd, 2013
05:27 AM ET

Cubans pray for a Chavez recovery

Reliant on Venezuelan oil, Cubans worry how Hugo Chavez's health will affect the country. Patrick Oppmann reports.

- A. Hawkins

Filed under: Cuba • Prayer

Take a listen: God is all over inauguration
President Barack Obama's go-to Bible when he takes the oath is the same one used by former President Abraham Lincoln.
January 18th, 2013
02:31 PM ET

Take a listen: God is all over inauguration

(CNN) – With President Barack Obama's second inauguration just days away, CNN Radio explores the one figure who has been omnipresent at these ceremonies: God.

From the oaths of office and speeches to invocations and Bibles used, religion has been woven into this day since President George Washington made his first address to a fledgling nation.

Join CNN's Lisa Desjardins on a journey into God's place in U.S. inaugural history.

Listen to the full story on CNN Radio's Soundwaves blog

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: History • Obama • Politics • Prayer • United States

'American Taliban' wins right to group prayer in prison
January 14th, 2013
07:06 AM ET

'American Taliban' wins right to group prayer in prison

By Mariano Castillo

The man known as the "American Taliban" won a legal fight that will allow him and fellow Muslim inmates to gather for daily prayers.

A federal judge ruled Friday that the warden at the federal prison in Terre Haute, Indiana, was violating John Walker Lindh's rights by not allowing the religious activities.

Lindh argued that before 2007 Muslim prisoners were allowed to pray together for at least three of Islam's five daily prayers. Since then, with the exception of the holy month of Ramadan, the Muslim prisoners are allowed to gather only once a week.

FULL STORY
- A. Hawkins

Filed under: Islam • Prayer

December 17th, 2012
03:02 PM ET

My Take: Praying for questions about Newtown that go beyond ‘Why, God?’

Editor’s note: Margaret Feinberg is a popular speaker and author of numerous books, including “Wonderstruck: Awaken to the Nearness of God,” which releases on Christmas Day. Follow her on Twitter @mafeinberg.

By Margaret Feinberg, Special to CNN

Why, God, why? Why do you allow the horror of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School?

Why do you allow the loss, pain, terror, heartache and death? Why do you allow evil to triumph and innocence to be stripped away? Is this kind of evil stoppable? And do we have some role to play?

In the wake of so many unanswered questions, what kinds of questions do we really need to be asking? Are you cajoling us to ask how we can prevent this from happening again? Is the answer found in gun regulations, better security or deeper changes in our own hearts and lives?

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Opinion • Prayer • Violence

Your Take: Comments and responses on National Day of Prayer
Stephen Prothero argues that the National Day of Prayer isn't just for Christians.
May 4th, 2012
01:03 PM ET

Your Take: Comments and responses on National Day of Prayer

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

My public letter to God on how we should pray on America’s National Day of Prayer drew over 4000 comments on Thursday. Many were the online equivalent of the courtship displays the wild turkeys are doing in my yard this week — gobbling on behalf of Christianity or atheism. But some were less driven by impulse and instinct.

Many commenters accused me of irreverence. “Bill” called my letter “a cheap literary trick” full of “sarcasm and disrespect.” “I wonder if you would address Him so flippantly if he were standing in front of you?” “Ron from Jersey” said I showed “no respect or understanding of the personal and loving god of Judeo-Christian belief.”

It seems to me, however, that those who are showing disrespect for God are those who claim to divine precisely what God believes about politics or prayer.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog contributor

Filed under: Christianity • Church and state • Culture wars • Opinion • Politics • Prayer • United States

My Take: Dear God: How to pray on National Day of Prayer?
President Barack Obama praying at a White House Easter event in April.
May 3rd, 2012
09:51 AM ET

My Take: Dear God: How to pray on National Day of Prayer?

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

Dear Deity,

In the Milky Way, on planet Earth, in the United States of America, Thursday is our National Day of Prayer, so I am writing to ask You how to pray.

Seventy eight percent or so of U.S. citizens are Christians, so should we pray today to the Christian God? This seems to be the conviction of the folks at the National Day of Prayer Task Force, which pops up first if you Google “National Day of Prayer.” (By the way, do You Google, God? And if so do you ever Google "God"?)

The NDP Task Force refers to itself as “Judeo-Christian,” but it sure looks evangelical to me. It has been chaired since 1991 by Shirley Dobson, the wife of Focus on the Family founder (and evangelical stalwart) James Dobson. Its site quotes liberally from the New Testament, and one of its goals is to “foster unity within the Christian Church.”

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog contributor

Filed under: Barack Obama • Catholic Church • Christianity • Politics • Prayer • Uncategorized • United States

Alaska Airlines ends prayer cards on flights
Alaska Airlines distributed prayer cards like these on flights for more than 30 years.
January 26th, 2012
04:21 PM ET

Alaska Airlines ends prayer cards on flights

By Aaron Cooper, CNN

(CNN) - Passengers on Alaska Airlines will no longer get a free Psalm with their meal.

On Wednesday, the airline announced it is ending its more than 30-year tradition of including printed cards with short Bible verses during meal service.

“I will be glad and rejoice in you; I will sing praise to your name O most high,” was written on one card, over an image of foggy blue mountains. Another card featured these words over a beach at sunset: "Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever.”

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Alaska • Prayer

'Tebowing' prayer stirs debate, but quarterback is OK with it
November 9th, 2011
01:16 PM ET

'Tebowing' prayer stirs debate, but quarterback is OK with it

By Steve Almasy, CNN

(CNN) - Tim Tebow is used to being a lightning rod. While he was the quarterback at the University of Florida, he drew a lot of attention. And we mean a lot.

He won the Heisman Trophy (the only sophomore to ever win the award), and his team won two NCAA football titles. Plus, he was very public about his Christian faith. He wore Bible verses on his eye black. He invoked God frequently at news conferences.

No one doubted that Tebow was a great college quarterback and a good kid. But all the media attention made some people weary of the name.  He's good, they said, but he's no messiah.

FULL POST

- Producer/Writer

Filed under: Celebrity • Colorado • Prayer • Sports

Pray for the President? Yes thou shalt.
A Christian group organizes prayer for public officials including the president. Image from their website www.presidentialprayerteam.com
October 14th, 2011
09:04 AM ET

Pray for the President? Yes thou shalt.

By Dave Schechter, CNN

(CNN) -
Republican presidential contender Rick Perry recently urged social conservatives to pray for President Barack Obama.

“As I campaign for president, I not only ask you for your vote and your support, I ask for your prayers. I ask you to pray for our country. I ask you to pray for our president to give him wisdom, to open his eyes,” the Texas Governor told an audience in Florida last month.

Doing just that is the stated mission of the Presidential Prayer Team.

Conceived in November 2000 in an adult Sunday school class in Scottsdale, Arizona, the PPT – or “The Prayer Team,” as it calls itself – takes its charge from the words of the Apostle Paul to his disciple Timothy: “First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. (1 Timothy 2:1-2)

“We believe prayer is the most important power in this entire world,” PPT president Jim Bolthouse tells CNN. The idea is simple: prayer moves God and God moves the leaders.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Barack Obama • Belief • Christianity • Church and state • Politics • Prayer

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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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