April 30th, 2010
05:49 PM ET

New York City's St. Vincent's shuts doors

After 161 years of treating survivors of major catastrophes, from the sinking of the Titanic to the attacks of September 11, and leading early HIV treatments, New York's St. Vincent's Hospital closed Friday.

There were a few community rallies to keep the private nonprofit hospital open, but the efforts did not succeed. Saddled by financial woes, the Saint Vincent Catholic Medical Centers board of directors voted to close the hospital this month. By Friday, no patients were left, and about 3,500 employees were laid off.

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See more at iReport.

- Associate Producer

Filed under: Catholic Church • Culture & Science • Science

April 30th, 2010
10:57 AM ET

When faith and function collide

If you could lay your hands on this suffering world and heal it, would you? If you could give information to comfort and guide the lost, wouldn't you? If you could save jobs by preparing your company for the future, would you?

I received a letter from a reader that began, "I struggle with my desire to have a 'glimpse' into what might happen in my life with my Christianity that teaches me psychics and looking into your future is against God's will."

Read the full story from Oprah.com

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Culture & Science • Faith

April 30th, 2010
10:54 AM ET

Anne Frank's tree, now dying, still inspires hope and new life

This is a story about a girl and her tree - a tree that helped keep hope alive, even as the world closed in on her.

Three times in Anne Frank's widely read diary, the young Holocaust victim wrote about a tree. She could see it from the attic window of the secret annex where her family hid for two years before being betrayed.

The tree that reminded Frank of the promise of life still looms high above the courtyard behind the Anne Frank House, now a museum in Amsterdam. But at about 170 years of age, Anne Frank's tree is dying.

Frank died of typhus in Bergen-Belsen just weeks before the Nazi concentration camp was liberated in 1945. But her name, story and message live on through her diary and, also, through her ailing tree.

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- CNN Writer/Producer

Filed under: Culture & Science • Judaism

April 30th, 2010
09:48 AM ET

Rabbi to pope: Defuse abuse crisis with family dinners

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach pitched his family dinners initiative to the pope.

A rabbi walks into St. Peter's Square, meets the pope, and tells the Holy Father that one way to defuse the sex abuse scandal plaguing the church is for the Vatican to begin promoting a secular version of Shabbat dinner, the traditional Jewish Friday meal.

It's no joke.

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- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Catholic Church • Judaism • Leaders

April 30th, 2010
09:41 AM ET

April 29th, 2010
04:13 PM ET

Belgium moves closer to ban on burqas

Lawmakers in Belgium on Thursday approved a ban on the wearing of burqas and other Islamic garb that covers a woman's face but the bill must still be approved by the upper house of parliament before it becomes law.

If the Senate approves it, Belgium would become the first country in Europe to ban the burqa.

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- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Islam • Politics

April 29th, 2010
10:05 AM ET

Religious persecution is widespread, report warns

The numbers are shocking: 12,000 people killed in a cycle of violence between Christians and Muslims stretching back more than a decade.

The location: Nigeria, the most populous nation in Africa, lying on the continent's fault line between the largely Muslim north and predominantly Christian south.

The number of people convicted and sentenced for the killings: Zero.

That's just one of many stark assessments about the level of religious persecution around the world today in a huge new report from the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom.

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- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Politics

April 28th, 2010
01:23 PM ET

Lebanon youth have hope, but can it cause drastic change?

Thousands of Lebanese youth took to the streets demanding a secular country.

“What’s your religion?” big signs asked and thousands of Lebanese shouted, “None of your business” in a daring, bold and ambitious effort to demand a secular country.

A group of young activists and intellectuals have prepared for the event for months mainly through social media. They created a Facebook page, produced several promotional videos which they distributed through YouTube and they engaged the media and the street in a subtle way until Sunday, April 25, the day of the march.

Read the full post at CNN's news blog, This Just In

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Islam • Politics

April 28th, 2010
11:00 AM ET

April 28th, 2010
10:56 AM ET

Court: Cross doesn't violate separation of church and state

The cross was ordered covered until the Supreme Court ruling.

The Supreme Court narrowly ruled Wednesday that a white cross, erected as a war memorial and sitting on national parkland in the Mojave Desert, does not violate the constitutional separation of church and state.

The 5-4 conservative majority said Congress acted properly when it tried to transfer land around the Mojave Memorial Cross to veterans groups, an effort to eliminate any Establishment Clause violation. The land then would have been declared a national memorial. A federal appeals panel had blocked that land swap.

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- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Politics

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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.