July 28th, 2010
01:30 PM ET

CNN Exclusive: South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu talks retirement

[cnn-video url= http://www.cnn.com/video/?/video/international/2010/07/27/cotd.tutu.cnn%5D

A week after announcing plans to retire from public life, South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu–who chaired his country's Truth and Reconciliation Commission after the fall of apartheid–talks exclusively to CNN International's Connect the World.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Africa • Leaders • Race • South Africa

July 27th, 2010
01:19 PM ET

My Take: Tennessee, Islam, and Our Disposable Constitution

Editor's Note: Stephen Prothero, a Boston University religion scholar and author of "God is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions that Run the World," is a regular CNN Belief Blog contributor.

By Stephen Prothero, Special to CNN

How’s this for a new argument against your local Islamic community center?

According to Ron Ramsey, Tennessee’s Lieutenant Governor and a candidate for the Republican gubernatorial primary, Islam, the world’s second largest religion, may not be a religion after all.


- CNN Belief Blog contributor

Filed under: Islam • Mosque • Politics • Tennessee

July 27th, 2010
12:48 PM ET

Utah court overturns conviction of polygamist 'prophet'

The Utah Supreme Court has reversed Warren Steed Jeffs' two convictions on charges of rape as an accomplice and ordered a new trial, saying instructions given to jurors were erroneous.

Jeffs, the so-called "prophet" of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or FLDS, was sentenced to two consecutive terms of five years to life after he was convicted in September 2007.

Read the full story

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Christianity • Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints • Fundamentalism • Utah

July 27th, 2010
07:00 AM ET

My Take: Can yoga solve India’s caste problem?

Editor's Note: Ravi S. Kudesia is founder of The Leadership Yoga and is an initiated student of Kriya Yoga.

By Ravi S. Kudesia , Special to CNN

Just over a week ago, regular Belief Blog contributor and religion scholar Stephen Prothero posted on the ills of the Indian caste system. In it, he places the burden squarely on Hinduism’s shoulders. By doing so, he stepped into a centuries-old debate about the origins and future of the oppressive social institution.

The responses were impassioned, but hardly innovative. Most detractors argued that today’s caste system has little actual basis in Hindu scripture. The hymn Prothero cited, the Purusha Sukta, comes from the Vedas–books so ancient that they're widely considered the oldest extant Indo-European texts.


- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: India • Opinion

July 26th, 2010
01:25 PM ET

Lady Gaga's new label mates: Cloistered nuns from an ancient order

Chart-topper Lady Gaga has some surprising new label-mates: a group of cloistered nuns.

After a worldwide search of 70 convents to find the best female singers  of Gregorian chant, Decca Records, Universal's classical music label, signed a group of French Benedictine nuns on Saturday.

The new chart hopefuls from the Abbaye de Notre-Dame de l'Annonciation–located near Avignon, France–are ordinarily cut off from the outside world.


- Newsdesk editor, The CNN Wire

Filed under: Art • Catholic Church • France • Music

July 26th, 2010
12:59 PM ET

Hillsong Live, long popular in church, tours the U.S.

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If you told your friends you were going to a Hillsong Live concert, worship leader Ben Fielding would have a good-natured correction for you.

“We’d probably err to call it a performance,” he said during the band’s second U.S. concert stop in Johns Creek, Georgia over the weekend. “We see these nights as being about people coming out to worship. We don’t just want to play our songs to people; we want people to take hold and to encounter God. That first night ... we saw a lot of people give their lives to Christ.”

With more than 11 million records sold, Hillsong is one of the most popular worship groups in the world.


- Producer/Writer

Filed under: Christianity • Faith • Jesus • Music

July 25th, 2010
05:51 PM ET

Status report: Ted Haggard's new church

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Fallen evangelical leader Ted Haggard says the church he founded last month is quickly gaining new worshippers. KUSA reports.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Leaders • Scandal

July 25th, 2010
10:44 AM ET

Malaysian TV talent show: competing to become an imam

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"The approach is: how are we going to make it interesting for the young? For any religion, how to attract the young is a huge challenge."

–Izelan Basar, Channel Manager Astro TV

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Asia • Islam • Malaysia • Muslim

July 23rd, 2010
03:34 PM ET

NY Catholic Church rejects mosque sale plan

An Islamic group would have used the convent for a mosque.

CNN's Monika Plocienniczak sent this report from New York:

A Staten Island Roman Catholic Church's board whose members include Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan backed out of a plan to sell a vacant convent to a Muslim organization on Thursday.

The Rev. Keith Fennessy, pastor of St. Margaret Mary Parish on Staten Island, New York, had changed his position on selling the parish convent and in mid-May asked Dolan in a letter not to proceed with the sale.

The church declined to comment, but Fennessy, in a statement released by the Archdiocese of New York, said that "the contemplated sale would not serve the needs of the parish."


- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Catholic Church • Houses of worship • Interfaith issues • Mosque • New York

July 23rd, 2010
12:45 PM ET

Do you pray before meals?

Your faith may or may not dictate what's on your plate, but how about what comes before? Take a poll on our sister blog, Eatocracy, and let us know!

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Culture & Science

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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.