October 15th, 2010
09:12 PM ET

Hip Hop Church

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Church • Houses of worship • Music • New York • United States

October 15th, 2010
09:03 PM ET

Texas Billboard: Christians are 'jerks'

More from Gabe Lyons here.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Church

October 15th, 2010
07:41 PM ET

White House pushes back against faith office criticisms

CNN's Dan Gilgoff filed this report:

The White House pushed back Friday against allegations that President Barack Obama's faith office is abusing its power for political gain.

Responding to charges from former George W. Bush administration officials that a conference call Obama hosted with religious leaders on the new healthcare law crossed the line into political outreach, the White House said Friday that "there could hardly be a more appropriate audience," for such a call.

"When congregants fall ill, faith communities come together to support their brothers and sisters in need," White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships Executive Director Joshua DuBois wrote on the White House blog.


- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Barack Obama • Church and state • Politics

October 15th, 2010
04:07 PM ET

Martin Luther King, Jr.'s prayer life revealed

The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was dozing off in his bedroom around midnight when the phone rang.

“Listen, n**&**r, we’ve taken all we want from you,” a caller hissed. “Before next week, you’ll be sorry.”

King hung up and walked to his kitchen to heat a pot of coffee. He had been receiving death-threats for weeks - ever since he had accepted a request to lead African-Americans during a bus boycott in Montgomery, Alabama.

But King was starting to doubt his decision.

As the threats poured in, his fears increased for his wife, Coretta, and their infant daughter, Yolanda. He now wondered how he could relinquish his role as the boycott leader without appearing a coward.

Then something happened that King would talk about for years afterward. He bowed over his untouched cup of coffee, and prayed aloud in desperation. King said he heard an “inner voice” that addressed him by name, and encouraged him to stand up for justice.

King’s kitchen table prayer is part of what inspired Lewis V. Baldwin to write, “Never to Leave Us Alone: The Prayer Life of Martin Luther King Jr.”

Baldwin, a religious studies professor at Vanderbilt University in Tennessee, says most people know King as the great public orator, but few know about his rich prayer life.


- CNN Writer

Filed under: Baptist • Books • Christianity • Faith • Pastors • Prayer

October 15th, 2010
03:03 PM ET

Carla Bruni banned from the Vatican

It's not often a former model and pop singer gets scratched from a guest list. But earlier this month French first lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy was warned to stay away from the Vatican – by the Pope himself.

Ahead of President Sarkozy's 30-minute audience with the Pontiff earlier this month, Vatican officials sent the French ambassador a message saying: "Carla Sarkozy is not welcome in the Vatican."

The message, which led her to stay in Paris, is said to be over the Pope's fears that more racy photographs of her days as a catwalk model would emerge.

Read the full storn on TIME.com

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Catholic Church • Europe • France • Leaders • Pope Benedict XVI

Eddie Long's megachurch subject of sexual harassment suit
October 15th, 2010
02:59 PM ET

Eddie Long's megachurch subject of sexual harassment suit

A former employee of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church (above) has filed a lawsuit against the Atlanta megachurch, alleging its employees retaliated against her after she complained of sexual harassment.

The civil lawsuit, filed Wednesday on behalf of Tama Colson in the U.S. District Court of North Georgia, asks for unspecified damages.

Colson contends a male employee showed her a photo of a penis on a cell phone and that he and others later retaliated against her for complaining.

Read the full story

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Church • Georgia • Pastors • United States

October 15th, 2010
11:30 AM ET

Imam is top weapon of Jordanian forces in Afghanistan

CNN Pentagon Correspondent Barbara Starr filed this report from Logar Province, Afghanistan:

As the call to prayer is heard over loudspeakers in eastern Afghanistan, devout Muslim men hang their weapons up on the wall and kneel to pray.

But these men are not who you might expect. On the NATO's Forward Operating Base Shank, a highly trained Jordanian Ranger Battalion has established its own mosque for both its own soldiers and for Afghan troops so that, amid war, they can stop and answer the five-times-a-day call to prayer.


- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Afghanistan • Islam • Quran

October 15th, 2010
06:35 AM ET

Church expert: African-Americans’ place of worship changing

By Steve Almasy, CNN

CNN's Soledad O'Brien looks at how some are fighting debt from the pulpit in "Almighty Debt: A Black in America Special," premiering at 9 p.m. ET on October 21.

African-Americans go to religious services and pray daily more often than the general American population, studies show. And while those rates seem to be holding steady, the places of worship and the size of the groups are changing, says one expert.

Many people continue to attend mega churches, but the small communal gathering is rebounding in popularity, Teresa L. Fry Brown said.

“There is an increase now in house churches,” said Fry Brown, the director of black church studies at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. “They kind of faded for about 20 years. But now more people are having small gatherings. And they may not even call it church - like Bible studies in homes.” FULL POST

- CNN.com

Filed under: Church • Houses of worship

October 15th, 2010
01:03 AM ET

Ohio ruling casts light on abortion as midterm issue

CNN's Dan Gilgoff filed this report:

A Democratic congressman from Ohio got a boost from his state's elections commission on Thursday in his campaign to prevent an anti-abortion group from running billboards attacking him for supporting the healthcare bill.

The decision by a three-member panel of the Ohio Elections Commission allows U.S. Rep. Steve Driehaus to move forward with a complaint alleging that the Susan B. Anthony List, an anti-abortion group, is deliberately lying about his record when it says he supports government-funded abortion because of his March vote for healthcare reform.

The battle between Driehaus and a group of progressive Catholic supporters on the one hand and religious conservatives on the other is a reminder that abortion has become a key issue in the midterm elections in parts of the country, even as the economy and jobs remain voters' top concern.


- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Abortion • Politics

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.