August 1st, 2010
03:22 PM ET

Opinion: Black church, place of empowerment

Editor's note: The Rev. DeForest "Buster" Soaries, Jr. is the senior pastor of First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens in Somerset, New Jersey. He is featured in CNN's "In America" documentary "Churched," which premieres October 14. This is the first of a weekly series of "Pulpit" pieces that will explore faith and the black community.

By the Rev. DeForest Soaries, Jr., Special to CNN

It cannot be denied that African-Americans have made tremendous progress - and one of the most significant factors that contributed to black success and survival has been our faith in God.

The manifestation of that faith is the religious community, which consists mostly of Christian churches that have produced positive spiritual, social, economic and political results for black America.

The question is whether black churches can continue to be the instruments of empowerment that they historically have been.

Read the full story

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Christianity • Church • Opinion

August 1st, 2010
06:30 AM ET

My Take: How the Anti-Defamation League lost the moral high ground

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

You would think that most Jewish leaders in America would have a special sensitivity to the vitriol pouring out against Muslims concerning the proposed Islamic community center and mosque near ground zero.

You would think they would hear eerie echoes of 1930s Germany in the shouting down and silencing of an eleven-year-old girl at one of the hearings of the commission charged with determining whether the building in question deserved landmark status.  You would think they would rush to the defense of a minority religion attacked for, among other things, conspiring to take over their country through the imposition of religious law.

If so, you would be wrong.


- CNN Belief Blog contributor

Filed under: 'Ground zero mosque' • Culture wars • Islam • Mosque • New York • Opinion • Politics • United States

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.