July 1st, 2010
01:49 PM ET

Gospels don't say Jesus was crucified, scholar claims

Update July 2 8:04 a.m. After this article posted Gunnar Samuelsson got in touch to stress that his research focuses specifically on the narratives of Jesus's execution in the four Gospels, not on the entire New Testament, so "Gospels" has been substituted for "Bible" in the headline.

There have been plenty of attacks on Christianity over the years, but few claims have been more surprising than one advanced by an obscure Swedish scholar this spring.

The Gospels do not say Jesus was crucified, Gunnar Samuelsson says.

In fact, he argues, in the original Greek, the ancient texts reveal only that Jesus carried "some kind of torture or execution device" to a hill where "he was suspended" and died, says Samuelsson, who is an evangelical pastor as well as a New Testament scholar.


- Newsdesk editor, The CNN Wire

Filed under: Belief • Bible • Christianity • Jesus

July 1st, 2010
01:21 PM ET

Cheat sheet: Obama's evangelical cabinet on immigration reform

The White House invited four of the country’s top evangelical pastors to attend President Obama’s speech this morning calling for immigration reform. The move is a testament both to the importance the issue has come to assume in the evangelical world–including among leaders who have battled Democrats on social issues like abortion and gay marriage–and to the White House’s eagerness to enlist evangelicals to help to counter conservative opposition to the idea of a path to citizenship for illegal immigrations already in the U.S.

Here’s a cheat sheet on evangelical bigwigs the White House was expecting at this morning’s event:

1. The Rev. Leith Anderson, President, National Association of Evangelicals. The NAE is the nation’s largest evangelical group and has long sought to be a moderate evangelical alternative to the Christian Right. After sitting out the 2007 fight over immigration reform, the group passed a unanimous resolution last year supporting comprehensive reform.


- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Barack Obama • Politics

July 1st, 2010
01:06 PM ET

'Son of Hamas' gets political asylum

Mosab Hassan Yousef, the son of a co-founder of Hamas, has won his bid for political asylum in the United States, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.

Yousef, a Christian convert, is the son of Sheikh Hassan Yousef, one of the most prominent Hamas figures in the West Bank. Yousef says he was an Israeli spy for a decade in a recently released autobiography, “Son of Hamas.”


- CNN Writer

Filed under: Christianity • Church • Courts • Islam • Middle East • Religious liberty

July 1st, 2010
11:39 AM ET

Somali radio station defies Islamist music ban

Islamist militants in Somalia recently imposed a ban on playing music in the capital, Mogadishu. The move is based on their strict interpretation of Islamic teachings, although many analysts say the militants are misconstruing Islam to assert control in the lawless country. Many Somalis have rejected the militants, with one radio station defiying the music ban:

Read the full story

- CNN.com Senior Producer

Filed under: Belief • Islam • Music

July 1st, 2010
08:44 AM ET

My Take: New York's schools should observe Muslim holidays

Editor's note: Imam Khalid Latif is a chaplain for New York University and Executive Director of the school's Islamic Center.

By Khalid Latif, Special to CNN

I was recently eating dinner at a restaurant with a friend near Times Square when it became time for me to pray. Muslims pray five times a day and this particular prayer, called Maghrib, is performed at sunset.

Having lived in New York City for decades, I’ve become comfortable praying pretty much anywhere. It also doesn’t hurt that there are stranger things happening on the streets here than a young guy bowing and kneeling for a few minutes.

After I started to pray, a tour bus parked in front of me and a large group of people proceeded to spill out.


- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Education • Islam • Muslim • Opinion

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.