November 20th, 2013
12:11 PM ET
Editor's note: This story is part of CNN's American Journey series to show how old buildings around the United States have found new purposes and helped to build communities. Are there repurposed buildings in your community? Share the stories with CNN iReport and they could be featured in a CNN story.
Sandy Springs, Georgia (CNN) - The old Chevrolet paint and body shop was vacant - 24,000 square feet of metal and concrete surrounded by a sea of asphalt.
But when some members of Congregation Or Hadash saw it, they saw a home.
Since it was founded in 2003, the conservative Jewish congregation had bounced from location to location outside Atlanta - a Methodist church, a windowless space in a school, any place they could rent or borrow as they grew.
"Sometimes, from week to week, we didn't know exactly where we were going to be," said Fred Wachter, president of the congregation and a member since its early years.
"All the while ... we probably walked every piece of available property and real estate in Sandy Springs, trying to find something, anything, that would look like it."FULL STORY
October 15th, 2013
09:42 AM ET
(CNN) - A Malaysian court ruled Monday that a Christian newspaper could not use "Allah" to refer to God. Ram Ramgopal reports
October 2nd, 2013
03:43 PM ET
(CNN) - It was only a year and a half ago that a phenomenon swept the globe and made basketball fans a little, well, "Linsane."
Remember that? Back then, Jeremy Lin led a historic New York Knicks winning streak, dubbed "Linsanity." Crowds fell for the feel-good story of an overlooked bench-warmer who slept on friends' sofas to take a shot in the NBA.
A new documentary takes a look at the life of Jeremy Lin before the madness.
"Linsanity," out in select theaters October 4, offers a glimpse of Lin's road to stardom: He was a standout basketball player in summer leagues, competed in a tightly contested high school state championship and faced racial epithets as an Ivy League athlete before landing, undrafted, in the professional league.
From the documentary, it's clear the 25-year-old Lin was used to being an underdog, and overcame his share of challenges with a deep faith and persistent spirit.
"I'm always trying to have a good time, joking around, goofy," he said. "I think I try not to take anything really too seriously."FULL STORY
July 12th, 2013
08:12 AM ET
(CNN) – For 1.6 billion people, the holiest month of the year began this week.
The exact starting date depended on the locale, but most Muslims across the globe will be fasting, praying and abstaining from sex and smoking during daylight hours. Many call it a time of spiritual purity and rededication to God.
Here's everything you need to know about the observance.
What is Ramadan?
Ramadan is the name of the ninth month in the Hijri, or Islamic calendar. The word derives from the Arabic ramida or ar-ramad meaning a fierce, burning heat.
July 9th, 2013
11:40 AM ET
Opinion by John S. Dickerson, special to CNN
Prescott, Arizona (CNN) – If you stood next to one in a grocery store line, you could smell the smoke on his fire pants.
They were known as the Granite Mountain Hotshots, but to us they were sturdy, sweaty, smoke-stained neighbors, fathers, friends, husbands, sons and uncles.
They were the strong shoulders and backs who ran into danger to protect us. Just two weeks ago they ran toward the 200-footl flames of the Doce Fire northwest of Prescott, diverting it away from my neighborhood.
On June 30, while battling a fierce wildfire in Yarnell, 19 of these elite Prescott firefighters died. It was the deadliest day for firefighters since September 11, 2001, and it had a devastating effect on our small community.
February 13th, 2013
05:26 AM ET
By Laura Smith-Spark, CNN
Huge crowds in the Vatican cheered Pope Benedict XVI Wednesday as he made his first public appearance since announcing his resignation at the end of the month.
He thanked the Roman Catholic faithful in several languages and said it was not appropriate for him to continue as pope.
He appeared tired but not visibly unwell as he sat and read his remarks off several sheets of paper.
Benedict will also celebrate an Ash Wednesday mass marking the beginning of Lent at St. Peter's Basilica in the afternoon.FULL STORY
January 12th, 2013
06:00 AM ET
By Jordan Hultine, CNN
CNN–It’s about to get crowded in your hotel room nightstand. The newest addition could soon be a sacred Hindu text called the Bhagavad-Gita.
The Bhagavad-Gita is literally translated as “song of God” and is a discussion between Lord Krishna and his student, Arjuna, on revealing one’s spiritual identity and a relationship with God, says Vaisesika Dasa, founder and president of the Motel Gita project, the group behind the effort.
Motel Gita, with the help of a Hindu nonprofit, has distributed approximately 150,000 copies of the Bhagavad-Gita to 1,100 hotels and motels. Dasa said their goal is to place at least 1 million books to, “provide solace to traveling souls by giving them spiritual knowledge.”
January 9th, 2013
10:52 AM ET
Editor's Note: Cathleen Falsani is an award-winning religion journalist and author of four books including her latest, BELIEBER: Fame, Faith and the Heart of Justin Bieber. Find Cathleen on Twitter @godgrrl or on Facebook.
By Cathleen Falsani, Special to CNN
Chickity check yo self before you wreck yo self ~ Ice Cube
Please consider this a well-being check from someone who genuinely cares about you: Me.
Let me begin by saying that I am for you. I have studied you and your career since you stepped into the public spotlight as an adolescent. You are a gift to the world – to your family, your friends and your tens of millions of devoted fans.
Sweetheart, here’s the thing (and this is an “and,” not a “but”): I’m worried about you. It’s not that you smoke pot (or anything else). It’s what that choice and behavior means.
December 14th, 2012
06:17 PM ET
By Dan Gilgoff and Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editors
(CNN) – As he waited with parents who feared that their kids were among the 20 children killed at a Connecticut elementary school on Friday, Rabbi Shaul Praver said the main thing he could do for parents was to merely be present.
“It’s a terrible thing, families waiting to find out if their children made it out alive,” said Praver, who leads a synagogue in Newtown, Connecticut, and was among nine clergy gathered with parents at a firehouse near Sandy Hook Elementary School, where the shooting occurred.
“They’re going to need a lot of help,” Praver said of those who are close to the dead.
From the first moments after Friday’s massacre, which also left six adults and the shooter dead, religious leaders were among the first people to whom worried and grieving families turned for help.
Over the weekend, countless more Americans will look to clergy as they struggle to process a tragedy in which so many of the victims were children.
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.