June 25th, 2010
11:24 AM ET

Vatican expresses shock over police raids following sex abuse claims

The Vatican is expressing "shock" over the manner in which raids were carried out Thursday in Belgium following accusations of child sex abuse involving church figures.

The Vatican in a statement Friday registered "strong shock for the manner in which some of the raids were carried out yesterday by the judicial Belgian authorities" and expressed indignation that two cardinals' tombs were violated.


- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Catholic Church • Sex abuse

June 25th, 2010
09:08 AM ET

Photo spotlight: 'Mud people festival'

Catholic devotees in Aliaga, Philippines listen to Mass while covered in mud and leaves during the Taong Putik Festival or "Mud People Festival," on Friday, June 24. They cover themselves in mud, banana leaves, twigs and vines to emulate John the Baptist's disguised appearance when he baptized Jesus Christ, according to the Bible.

- CNN.com Senior Producer

Filed under: Catholic Church • Culture & Science • Traditions

June 25th, 2010
08:37 AM ET

Dealing with the anniversary of a loved one's death

In Judaism, the Yahrzeit is the commemoration of the day of someone's death, according to the Hebrew calendar. Mourners recite the Kaddish prayer three times that day, go to synagogue and light a candle that burns for 24 hours. Outside the Jewish faith, the concept of an annual ritual to remember a loved one's death can be as simple as reading a book or having a family meal. Full Story

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Faith • Traditions

June 24th, 2010
12:32 PM ET

Most U.S. evangelical leaders don't drink, survey finds

Sixty percent of evangelical Christian leaders say they don't drink alcohol socially, citing reasons as diverse as the words of St. Paul, the desire to be a good leader and a history of alcoholism in the family, according to a survey by the National Association of Evangelicals released Thursday.

There is no prohibition on drinking alcohol in the Bible, but "as an example to family and those I serve, I like Paul's words, 'It is better not to,'" said Gary Benedict, president of the Christian and Missionary Alliance, citing Romans 14:21.

- Newsdesk editor, The CNN Wire

Filed under: Food

June 24th, 2010
09:27 AM ET

Woman sues church over gay marriage

Years before the nation's capital legalized same-sex marriage in March, one church in Washington, D.C., opened its doors to gay couples as part of its mission to establish an "inclusive body of Biblical believers."

Pastors Christine and Dennis Wiley performed a 2007 commitment ceremony at their altar.  That action split the historically black church, prompting half of the congregation to leave.

Yvonne Moore not only left Covenant Baptist, where she had worshipped for nearly 40 years: she filed a lawsuit for her weekly tithes because, as she said, "They didn't respect the members enough to listen to us."


- CNN.com Senior Producer

Filed under: Baptist • Belief • Gay marriage

June 24th, 2010
09:02 AM ET

Reconciling homosexuality and Christianity

Gary Spino, left, and Tony Brown, right


Editor's Note: Tony Brown and his partner Gary Spino are featured in the upcoming CNN In America documentary "Gary and Tony Have a Baby," airing on CNN 8 p.m. ET Thursday.  Tony Brown submitted this blog post on the importance of his Christian faith:     

By Tony Brown, Special to CNN 

As a child I was taught to believe in myself, in family and in God.  To a confused adolescent struggling with his sexuality, that was easier said than done. 

Being the victim of constant and severe bullying due to my perceived sexuality, I developed a strong aversion to organized religion. After all, every religious voice I heard in my youth - whether it was from the pulpit or in the news - told me that I was evil and that there was something wrong with me. 

My heart said otherwise. As I later learned, so did God. 


- CNN.com Senior Producer

Filed under: Christianity • Gay marriage

June 23rd, 2010
05:25 PM ET

Former Live frontman feels reborn with new solo album

Former Live frontman Ed Kowalczyk, shown here singing with the band in 2006, releases a solo album on July 6

Ed Kowalczyk has had quite the spiritual journey in his life. Baptized as a Catholic, he went to Mass and received the sacraments as he grew up in Pennsylvania. But when he reached his late teens, the burgeoning musician needed to explore other paths of faith that included Zen Buddhism.

"I went through a whole seeker's life," Kowalczyk said recently by phone from his home in California.

Now 39, he's come full circle, and calls himself a Christian again. The past few years have also been a period of transition for him as a musician. After being in the band Live since middle school, he is now a solo act with new backing group and a new album.


- Producer/Writer

Filed under: Buddhism • Christianity • Culture & Science • Music

June 23rd, 2010
03:14 PM ET

Photo spotlight: Jewish settlers in the West Bank

Jewish settlers gathered on Wednesday, June 23, outside the Abraham Mosque or Tomb of the Patriarchs, a holy site for both Muslims and Jews in the West Bank town of Hebron. The settlers are watching a group of visiting left-wing Israeli lawmakers who support Palestinian calls to dismantle two Jewish settlements in Hebron.

- CNN.com Senior Producer

Filed under: Islam • Israel • Judaism • Politics

June 23rd, 2010
10:49 AM ET

Billboard campaign rebuts 'one nation under God'

Religious billboards adorn the highways across the South. But a new billboard campaign in North Carolina deliberately snubs the Almighty.

A coalition of atheists and secular humanists has placed a billboard on Billy Graham Parkway in Charlotte that displays an American flag with a few key words from the Pledge of Allegiance: “One Nation Indivisible.”

Notice anything missing? The phrase “under God,” which appears between "One nation" and "indivisible" in the Pledge, is absent on the billboard.


- CNN Writer

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Church • Courts • Culture wars • Politics

June 23rd, 2010
10:09 AM ET

Doubting the apostle images

Writes one reader about yesterday's announcement that archeologists have found the oldest known image of the apostles Andrew and John in Rome:

absolute and utter nonsense. the article is irresponsible in not making clear to the reader that these images were created hundreds of years after the fact by enemies of Christ (Romans) who subsequently saw it as political beneficial to gain political control of the otherwise uncontrollable christian cult for the purpose of expanding the roman empire.


- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Art • Christianity

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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.