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Atheist photographer shoots houses of worship
December 7th, 2013
09:16 AM ET

An atheist photographer focuses on faith

Opinion by Mark Schacter, special to CNN

(CNN) – I don’t believe in a divine presence, nor do I subscribe to any organized religion.

And that, perhaps oddly, is why I am drawn to the mystery of faith.

With the wonderment of an outsider, I try to understand the seemingly incomprehensible (to me, at least) pull that faith exerts over so many people's lives.

As a photographer approaching this mystery, I am confronted by what might seem like a contradiction: Photographs capture what can be seen, and yet faith is often invisible.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Atheism • Belief • Buddhism • Catholic Church • Christianity • Church • Faith Now • Houses of worship • Islam • Judaism • Mosque • Opinion • Sikh • United States

Dyes, candles and mountains of food: Your Diwali shots from around the world
A rangoli artwork, as created and captured by iReporter Kshitij Sharma, adorns a sidewalk in Pune, India. "I think this festival reminds us to stay away from bad things and to promote communal harmony," he says.
November 14th, 2012
05:43 AM ET

Dyes, candles and mountains of food: Your Diwali shots from around the world

By Stina Backer and Eoghan Macguire, for CNN

Diwali is one of the most important events in the Hindu spiritual calendar. It is known as the "Festival of Lights" and takes place between mid October and mid November each year.

This year we asked iReporters from around the world to submit their best images of the celebration.

View the other Diwali photos and read the full story
- A. Hawkins

Filed under: Hinduism • Jainism • Sikh

Diwali: One festival, many customs
Diwali is not only celebrated by Hindus, it is also an occasion for celebration by Jains and Sikhs (pictured). The Sikhs celebrate Diwali to mark the return of the Sixth Guru, Guru Hargobind Ji, who was freed from imprisonment and also managed to release 52 political prisoners at the same time from Gwalior fort by Mughal Emperor Jahangir in 1619.
November 6th, 2012
05:21 AM ET

Diwali: One festival, many customs

By Naomi Canton, for CNN

(CNN) - Diwali is one of the most important Hindu festivals in India - but the colorful customs and meanings associated with it can vary dramatically depending on whether you reside in the countryside or the city.

On the streets of densely populated conurbations like Mumbai, Diwali - popularly known as the Festival of Lights - is often a raucous affair, marked by a cacophony of firecrackers on the streets and a flourish of ceremonial gambling in the home. The wealthier urban dwellers splurge on gold, jewelry, clothes and expensive gifts such as electronics, which they buy for themselves and their loved ones.

FULL STORY
- A. Hawkins

Filed under: Hinduism • India • Sikh

Photo of woman with facial hair leads to conversation, understanding
Balpreet Kaur responded to the reddit conversation about her facial hair.
September 27th, 2012
02:53 PM ET

Photo of woman with facial hair leads to conversation, understanding

By Stephanie Gallman, CNN

(CNN) – A picture of a woman with facial hair wearing a turban posted to the social media site Reddit has garnered a firestorm of Internet reaction and has taught at least two Ohio college students lessons in graciousness, humanities and religious studies.

The picture was posted five days ago with the caption, "I'm not sure what to conclude from this."

A 20-year old college student, who asked to remain anonymous, says one of his friends took the photo at a library at The Ohio State University.

He's "not really sure why," but after he and his friends shared the picture amongst themselves, he posted it to Reddit.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: gender issues • Sikh

Senate hate crimes hearing centers on Sikh temple massacre
Mourners at the Wisconsin temple where six Sikhs were killed last month.
September 20th, 2012
04:42 PM ET

Senate hate crimes hearing centers on Sikh temple massacre

By Stacey Samuel, CNN

Washington (CNN) - Forty-five days after a deadly shooting at Wisconsin Sikh temple, hundreds of Sikhs and their supporters lined the halls of Congress on Wednesday for a Capitol Hill hearing on hate crimes and the growing threat of domestic terrorism.

“The recent shooting at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, was a tragic hate crime that played out on TV around the country,” said Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, who chaired the hearing for a Senate Judiciary subcommittee.

“It was not the first tragedy based on hate, and, sadly, it won’t be the last,” Durbin said of the shooting, which left six dead and four wounded in addition to the gunman, who took his own life. “But it should cause all of us to redouble our efforts to combat the threat of domestic terrorism.”

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Faith Now • Sikh

August 29th, 2012
11:09 AM ET

My Faith: My Sikh prayer for the Republican National Convention

Editor's note: Ishwar Singh is the president of the Sikh Society of Central Florida and owns a small business called Industrial Scan, Inc.

By Ishwar Singh, Special to CNN

I am honored to be the first Sikh American in U.S. history to deliver the invocation at a national convention. On Wednesday, I will offer a prayer at the Republican National Convention from my Sikh faith.

The prayer calls upon the American public to join with us in recognition that we are one family. As an immigrant, a small-business owner and a father, I am humbled by the opportunity to address the nation. When I came to this country over 40 years ago, never in my wildest dreams did I imagine the honor of offering a prayer for the nation. My story is possible only in America.

My prayer will be an opportunity to share the spirit of the Sikh faith with the American people. The tenets of Sikhism humility, equality, and justice lie at the heart of the American ethic.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: 2012 Election • My Faith • Sikh

First lady meets with victims, families of Sikh temple shooting
Michelle Obama greets Sikh community representative Dr. Kulwant Singh Dhaliwal on Thursday in Oak Creek, Wisconsin.
August 24th, 2012
11:00 AM ET

First lady meets with victims, families of Sikh temple shooting

By the CNN Wire Staff

(CNN) - Michelle Obama met privately Thursday with victims and surviving family members of the mass shooting at a Wisconsin Sikh temple earlier this month.

The shooting - which left six people dead and four others wounded - occurred August 5 at a gurdwara, or Sikh house of worship, in Oak Creek. The gunman, identified by police as 40-year-old Army veteran Wade Michael Page, later killed himself.

On Thursday, the first lady first met with the gurdwara secretary, Kulwant Singh Dhaliwal, and Mayor Stephen Scaffidi in the hallway of Oak Creek High School.

"It's my honor to be here with you," Obama told them, according to a pool report. "I'm sorry it's under these circumstances, but I am anxious to meet with the families and lend whatever support I can."

FULL STORY
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Faith Now • Sikh

First lady to visit families of Sikh temple shooting victims
August 19th, 2012
11:31 AM ET

First lady to visit families of Sikh temple shooting victims

By Athena Jones, CNN

Washington (CNN) - First lady Michelle Obama will travel to Wisconsin Thursday to meet with family members of those killed and injured in a Sikh temple shooting earlier this month, White House officials confirmed Sunday.

The shooting - which left six people dead and four others injured - occurred August 5 in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. The shooter, identified by police as 40-year-old Army veteran Wade Michael Page, was shot to death by police responding to the Sunday morning attack.

At a memorial service for the shooting victims, Attorney General Eric Holder labeled the attack on the temple "an act of terrorism, an act of hatred, a hate crime" - the strongest denunciation of the rampage by a federal law enforcement official.

FULL STORY
- Dan Merica

Filed under: Obama • Sikh

Sikh iReports speak to long-held fears in their community
Harpreet Kaur poses in front of her Jewett, Texas, home with a homemade sign.
August 10th, 2012
04:16 PM ET

Sikh iReports speak to long-held fears in their community

By Jareen Imam, CNN

(CNN) – After Sunday’s Sikh temple shooting in Wisconsin, Sikhs across America started sharing their stories. Stories of shedding their turbans and cutting their hair to avoid ridicule. Stories of facing discrimination for the way they looked. Stories of being labeled Muslims or terrorists.

Those stories were among the iReports submitted by Sikhs in the last week.

Harpreet Kaur says her life changed drastically after the 9/11 attacks. Some classmates shunned her and she was taunted as a "rag head" and "bomber."

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: iReport • Sikh

August 10th, 2012
10:32 AM ET

Sikhs repair, reclaim temple after rampage

From Ted Rowlands, CNN

Oak Creek, Wisconsin (CNN) - Members of the Sikh temple where six people died in a weekend rampage swept, scrubbed and painted over damage to their building Thursday after investigators allowed them back inside.

A lone bullet hole remained in a metal door frame, which members say won't be repaired. The doorway leads to the main prayer area, where the only female victim - 41-year-old Paramjit Kaur - was killed.

But elsewhere, the congregation was busy polishing the tile floors, touching up patched drywall and replacing carpet, using donated supplies; and reopening the dining hall, where the SIkhs run an open kitchen for the community. Several members wept as they walked in, while others embraced.

"It takes a toll on you, thinking about the lives that were lost, when you realize our temple will never be the same again," said Kanwardeep Singh Kaleka, whose uncle Satwant Singh Kaleka was among those dead.

FULL STORY
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Crime • Faith Now • Sikh

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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 and Eric Marrapodi with daily contributions from CNN's worldwide newsgathering team.

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