January 19th, 2011
06:47 PM ET

Alabama's new governor apologizes for Christian comments, rabbi accepts

By Jessica Ravitz, CNN

What a difference a couple days can make.

On Tuesday, Rabbi Jonathan Miller of Temple Emanu-El in Birmingham, Alabama, fired off a letter to his state’s new governor. He, like many others, was still reeling from comments Gov. Robert Bentley made Monday.

The Bentley remarks that sparked controversy were delivered to a Montgomery Baptist church audience. In them, the just-sworn-in governor suggested that anyone who doesn’t share his Christian beliefs cannot be counted as a “brother or sister.”

So Miller responded, saying he felt "a duty to my conscience and my role as the rabbi of the largest synagogue in Alabama."


- CNN Writer/Producer

Filed under: Christianity • Church and state • Judaism • Politics

January 19th, 2011
01:45 PM ET

Self-immolation: The ultimate sacrifice

Night had fallen when the men heard the sounds on the mountain. First it was a chime, then a recitation of verses, followed by the crackle of wood burning. They scrambled to the summit to see what was happening.

There, seated with his palms together and facing west, was their friend. Flames leapt around the peaceful man, engulfing him. It was just as he'd intended.

The year was 527.

Read the full story about the history of self-immolation, from 4th century Chinese Buddhism to North Africa today

- CNN Writer/Producer

Filed under: Afghanistan • Africa • Buddhism • Culture & Science • Hinduism • Politics

January 19th, 2011
10:50 AM ET

Church letter warns against mandatory reporting of child sex abuse

A 1997 letter from the Vatican's representative to bishops in Ireland warns them to follow church law in investigating cases of suspected child sex abuse by priests and expresses "serious reservations" about requiring that such cases be reported to the police.

The Vatican has responded by calling the letter "deeply misunderstood."

And a spokesman for the Conference of Irish Bishops said they have since 1996 had a policy of reporting suspected abuse to the police.

The two-page letter, written by Apostolic Nuncio Luciano Storero, was sent to bishops in Ireland in response to a document they had sent to the Vatican that recommends mandatory reporting of cases of suspected child sex abuse by priests.

Read the full story about the letter here.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Bishops • Catholic Church • Christianity • Courts • Europe • Ireland • Pope Benedict XVI • Vatican

Seattle pastor returns to Haiti
Mark Driscoll prepares to speak at a Haitian worship service on the one-year anniversary of the quake
January 19th, 2011
08:33 AM ET

Seattle pastor returns to Haiti

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Seattle megachurch pastor Mark Driscoll is frustrated with the situation in Haiti. Last week, he returned from his second trip to the devastated country.

"It’s awful to see the lack of progress and awesome to see the spirit of the people there," he said.

On the morning of the one year anniversary of the earthquake, he joined with Haitian pastors at a memorial service in front of the National Palace, which is still in ruins.


- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Christianity • Leaders • Pastors • United States • Washington

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.