September 20th, 2010
03:54 PM ET

Imam behind NYC Islamic center avoiding New York, getting protection over security concerns

The imam behind the proposed Islamic center and mosque near ground zero is largely avoiding New York City because of security concerns and is receiving protection from the New York Police Department, according to those close to the imam.

Video: Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf explains why his organization has chosen to build an Islamic Center so close to ground zero.

"There's just a lot of crazies and that's why he has police protection from the NYPD," the Rev. James Parks Morton said Monday of his friend Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf.

"I know that he's being guarded, that he's not been staying in the usual places, that he's not working from his office and that he's concerned for his safety," said another friend of the imam's, Rabbi J. Rolando Matalon, in an interview Sunday night.


- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: 'Ground zero mosque' • Houses of worship • Islam • Mosque • New York • United States

September 20th, 2010
11:28 AM ET

September 20th, 2010
10:53 AM ET

Religous Right embracing Tea Party

Editor's Note: CNN Correspondent Jim Acosta and I spent some time this weekend at the Values Voter Summit in Washington, DC.  There were plenty of Tea Party rock stars who spoke at the event including Christine O'Donnell, who may have some explaining to do to social conservatives after comments about her dabbling in witchcraft surfaced over the weekend.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Christianity • Church and state • Politics • Satanism • United States

September 20th, 2010
10:38 AM ET

Out of the kitchen, into the priesthood

The CNN Belief Blog occasionally shares spiritual journeys of others and offers this one from a longtime executive chef in New Orleans, Louisiana.

As his city, state and region struggled this summer to make sense of what the Gulf Coast oil disaster would mean, Kenneth Smith, 50, prepared to hang up his apron and move from feeding people's bellies to feeding their souls.

He was getting ready to leave the kitchen and enter the seminary, when CNN sat down with him.

Read his story, in his own words.

- CNN Writer/Producer

Filed under: Catholic Church • Journeys

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.