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April 22nd, 2011
05:34 PM ET

Christians mark Good Friday in Jerusalem

Pilgrims gather in Jerusalem on Good Friday to mark the death of Jesus Christ. CNN's Phil Black reports.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Easter • Jerusalem

Inside an ancient monastery
CBS correspondent Bob Simon interviews Father Matthew, one of the monks on Mount Athos.
April 22nd, 2011
04:42 PM ET

Inside an ancient monastery

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

(CNN) - It was two years in the making for a television crew to get access inside one of the holiest sites of the Greek Orthodox world, the monasteries on Mount Athos in Greece. The cluster of 20 monasteries has remained perched on the cliffs high above the Aegean Sea for centuries.

In the monasteries, also known collectively as the Holy Mountain or The Garden of the Mother of God, the monks spend most of their time in prayer and are purposefully isolated from the outside world.

"A woman hasn't been allowed on the mountain for over a thousand years," said Bob Simon, correspondent for CBS News' "60 Minutes."

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Christianity • Church • Europe • Greek Orthodox Church • TV

Praying for rain in Texas
Crews battle a wildfire threatning a home in Strawn, Texas, earlier this week.
April 22nd, 2011
04:39 PM ET

Praying for rain in Texas

By Emily Smith and Josh Rubin, CNN

Austin, Texas (CNN) - Texas’ water problems seem to have reached almost biblical proportions with a record drought, statewide wildfires and shrinking aquifers plaguing the Lone Star State.

On Monday, Texas Gov. Rick Perry asked for federal aid in containing the raging fires that have already claimed two lives. On Thursday, Perry turned to an even higher power by declaring the upcoming holiday weekend “Days of Prayer for Rain.”

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Environment • Politics • Prayer • Texas

April 22nd, 2011
09:36 AM ET

iReport: Catholics walk miles as Holy Week sacrifice

iReporter MjCantilero shot video of an annual pilgrimage of Catholics walking miles to Antipolo City, Philippines, last night. 'Thousands of devotees thread the hills of this city as a sacrifice for the Holy Week. Some walk from nearby cities and provinces, and there are barely vehicles passing the highway leading to the city. It's an amazing view. They stay overnight and sleep on the pavements or outside the church doors with only newspapers,' she said.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Catholic Church • Easter • Holidays • iReport • Philippines

April 22nd, 2011
07:59 AM ET

The royal wedding and religion

The wedding between William and Kate is as much about spirituality as it is marriage.  The Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams will preform the ceremony.  He's speaking out now about the importance of the royal wedding.

CNN's Max Foster reports.
FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Anglican • Christianity • Europe • United Kingdom

Jesus on trial: What would a modern jury do?
April 22nd, 2011
07:18 AM ET

Jesus on trial: What would a modern jury do?

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Richmond, Virginia (CNN) - If Jesus were tried in Richmond, Virginia, today, would he have been sentenced to death? Or would he have faced life behind bars with no chance for parole?

That’s the choice given to jurors here recently.

During Lent, the Church of the Holy Comforter used Virginia law to retry the sentencing phase of the blasphemy case against Jesus of Nazareth. Church members and guests played the role of the jury.

The trial was the brainchild of Mark Osler, a former U.S. Attorney in Detroit who teaches at the University of St. Thomas Law School in Minneapolis and is friends with a member of the Richmond church.

Osler wanted to hold the trial in part to call attention to the state’s use of capital punishment. Virginia is second only to Texas in the number of executions per state since the mid-1970s, when the U.S. Supreme Court reinstituted the death penalty, according to federal statistics. He held a similar event in Texas a few years ago.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Christianity • Church • Episcopal • United States

My Take: Are Earth Day and Good Friday an unholy alliance?
April 22nd, 2011
12:01 AM ET

My Take: Are Earth Day and Good Friday an unholy alliance?

Editor's Note: Craig Goodwin is pastor at Millwood Presbyterian Church in Spokane, Washington. His book "Year of Plenty" chronicles the year he and his family consumed only things that were homemade, home grown, used or local.

By Craig Goodwin, Special to CNN

Holy Week this year has a surprising twist. The international observance of Earth Day and the Christian church’s celebration of Good Friday converge on April 22.

To many in the church this will come as an unwelcome intrusion. I’ve learned in my years as a pastor not to schedule anything that would compete with the rhythms of Holy Week. I’m still reminded occasionally by the keepers of the church calendar about the year I agreed to do a wedding on the Saturday before Easter. I won’t do that again.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Church • United States • Washington

'Holy dirt' in the hills of New Mexico
April 22nd, 2011
12:01 AM ET

'Holy dirt' in the hills of New Mexico

By William Walker, CNN

Chimayo, New Mexico (CNN) - El Santuario de Chimayo, the Roman Catholic adobe mission church set in these hills of northern New Mexico, dates from 1816.

Here, on Good Friday night around 1810, a Chimayo friar reportedly found a miraculous crucifix glowing on the ground near the Santa Cruz River. The church is built on the site of the reported discovery.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Catholic Church • Christianity • Church • Easter • Holidays • Miracles • New Mexico

Historic Ebenezer Baptist Church renovations
April 22nd, 2011
12:01 AM ET

Restoring Martin Luther King Jr.'s church

The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was a civil rights leader, activist and pastor before his death in 1968 at age 39. The church he grew up in, Ebenezer Baptist in Atlanta, has become a historic structure and national treasure.

With the aid of contributors like Save America’s Treasures, the National Park Service renovated the church’s sanctuary to resemble the years that King spent there as a pastor. Click through the gallery above to see some of the changes, along with images of the sanctuary’s reopening, King’s birthplace and crypt.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Baptist • Church • Georgia • Houses of worship • Leaders

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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.

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