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May 14th, 2014
08:25 AM ET

The secret confessions of Jackie Kennedy

Washington (CNN) - She wrote of being in love, falling out of love, fearing a marriage to a skirt-chaser and then loving that marriage, and believing in God to hold on to the hope of reuniting with her assassinated husband.

Letters that a young Jacqueline Bouvier, and later a married Jackie Kennedy, wrote to a Catholic priest in Ireland offer a rare and revealing glimpse of the private thoughts of one of America's most admired first ladies.

An icon of style and elegance, she came to symbolize an administration nicknamed Camelot that ended with the violent death of President John F. Kennedy in November 1963.

Over a period from when she first met the Rev. Joseph Leonard on a trip to Ireland in 1950 until he died in 1964, she wrote him more than two dozen letters.

She only met him in person once more, in 1955, but the letters being sold at auction in Ireland provide insight into the personal dreams, wishes and fears of a young woman who became one of the world's most popular figures.

FULL STORY
- CNN Belief Blog Editor

Filed under: Uncategorized

Dwindling witnesses of the Holocaust
April 28th, 2014
09:57 AM ET

Dwindling witnesses of the Holocaust

(CNN) - The old man exited a car and immediately ran through the forest to what he remembered was a mass gravesite. “The Germans were here,” he said. "The people were in a row, and they just shot them in the back, one by one.”

Mikhail K, a man well into his 80s, said he was just a boy when he witnessed Nazi German soldiers massacre villagers in southern Russia in the 1940s. In 2012,photographer Markel Redondo accompanied him to a site near the village of Ladozhskaya in the region of Krasnodar to document his memories surrounding the atrocity.

Mikhail stood silently for a moment, “remembering and looking at the place,” Redondo recalled. "You could see there was something going on in his head.”

Redondo met Mikhail and other witnesses as part of an initiative by the Paris-based group Yahad – In Unum. The project aims to locate and document World War II sites where Jews and other victims were executed by Nazis and their allies throughout Eastern Europe. Yahad – In Unum has chosen not to reveal the witnesses’ full names.

Redondo spoke with CNN ahead of Days of Remembrance, when Holocaust victims are honored during the week of April 27-May 4.

FULL STORY
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Uncategorized

April 23rd, 2014
08:13 PM ET

Does 9/11 museum slander Muslims?

(CNN) – Interfaith leaders object to a film slated to be part of an exhibit in the National September 11 Memorial Museum.

"The Rise of Al Qaeda," narrated by NBC's Brian Williams, is supposed to provide a brief history of the terrorist group.

The opening lines:

“This program describes the emergence of the terrorist organization that carried out the 9/11 attacks. It concentrates on a period of roughly 15 years, beginning with al-Qaeda’s founding during the Soviet-Afghan War and concluding with its rationale and planning for the attacks of 2001. The program tracks al-Qaeda’s embrace of violence and the decision of its leadership to commit mass murder, at the dawn of the 21st century.”

But faith leaders say the film does not draw a sharp enough distinction between al Qaeda and Muslims in general.

FULL STORY

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Uncategorized

April 14th, 2014
08:30 AM ET

Police arrest 'raging anti-Semite' in Kansas Jewish center shootings

(CNN) - A Missouri man, with a long virulent history of anti-Semitism, is suspected of killing a boy and his grandfather outside a Jewish community center in Kansas City and a woman at a Jewish assisted living facility nearby.

While police in Overland Park, Kansas, stopped short of labeling the Sunday attacks a hate crime until they were further along in their investigation, the suspect - Frazier Glenn Miller – is the founder and former leader of the Carolina Knights of the Ku Klux Klan and the White Patriot Party.

Both operated as paramilitary organizations in the 1980s, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors hate groups.

The 73-year-old Miller, who also goes by Frazier Glenn Cross, faces charges of premeditated first-degree murder. He is expected to appear in court Monday.

FULL STORY

- CNN Belief Blog Editor

Filed under: Uncategorized

Westboro Church founder Fred Phelps dies
Fred Phelps, the founder of Westboro Baptist Church, died Wednesday, according to a spokesman.
March 20th, 2014
05:06 PM ET

Westboro Church founder Fred Phelps dies

(CNN) - Fred Phelps - the founding pastor of a Kansas church known for its virulently anti-gay protests at public events, including military funerals - has died, the church said Thursday.

The 84-year-old died of natural causes at 11:15 p.m. Wednesday, according to church spokesman Steve Drain.

Phelps founded Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kansas, in 1955 and molded it in his fire-and-brimstone image. Many members of the small congregation are related to Phelps through blood or marriage.

In a statement Thursday, the church chided the "world-wide media" for "gleefully anticipating the death."

FULL STORY
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Uncategorized

February 26th, 2014
03:12 PM ET

February 4th, 2014
10:05 PM ET

Creation debate recap: Science, religion and terrible jokes

By Daniel Burke, Belief Blog Co-editor

(CNN) - Did you miss the debate between creationist Ken Ham and Bill "The Science Guy" Nye?

Don't worry, we've got you covered.

The debate was moderated by CNN's Tom Foreman, and, if there's one thing both sides can agree on, it's that he did a swell job.

Here's almost everything else you need to know, from Genesis to um, Revelation.

- CNN Belief Blog Editor

Filed under: Belief • Bible • Creationism • Evolution • Science • Uncategorized

From auto shop to sacred space
Congregation Or Hadash, a conservative Jewish synagogue built from a former auto body repair shop.
November 20th, 2013
12:11 PM ET

From auto shop to sacred space

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
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Uncategorized

October 15th, 2013
09:42 AM ET

Malaysian court says Christian paper can't use 'Allah'

(CNN) - A Malaysian court ruled Monday that a Christian newspaper could not use "Allah" to refer to God. Ram Ramgopal reports

MORE ON CNN: Do Christians, Muslims and Jews worship the same God?

- CNN Belief Blog Editor

Filed under: Uncategorized

Jeremy Lin off the court
October 2nd, 2013
03:43 PM ET

5 questions for NBA star Jeremy Lin

(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
- CNN Belief Blog Editor

Filed under: Uncategorized

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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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