Church welcomes Westboro protests, even though they deeply disagree
Westboro Baptist Church leader Fred Phelps says God is punishing the United States for "the sin of homosexuality."
June 17th, 2011
05:58 PM ET

Church welcomes Westboro protests, even though they deeply disagree

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

(CNN)–When Westboro Baptist Church protesters roll into any given town, most places don't exactly put out the welcome mat, until this Sunday.

"This False Prophet and His Blind Lemmings Welcome You to Our Whore House for God's Grace and Free Donuts," Pastor Mark Driscoll of Mars Hill Church in Seattle announced on his blog this week after learning that Westboro plans to picket one of his churches on Father's Day.

Driscoll is a popular pastor in the Pacific Northwest. He heads a group of multisite churches that regularly draw 10,000 parishioners a week across 10 locations. He preaches live at one location, and his sermons are sent out by video to the other locations the following week, when the services are held with live music and another onsite pastor.

Driscoll, a popular author and speaker, is "Christian-famous," which appears to have led to the protest.

Driscoll found out about it when someone posted a link on his Facebook wall.


- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

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

K.J. Choi is a golf god who gives back
K.J. Choi at the U.S. Open on Thursday in Bethesda, Maryland.
June 17th, 2011
01:40 PM ET

K.J. Choi is a golf god who gives back

By Kim Segal, CNN

Golf is how K.J. Choi makes his money. Donations are how he likes to spend a lot of it.

"I believe in sharing," says Choi, a pro golfer from South Korea who gave away over $300,000 that he earned on this year's PGA Tour. "A lot of people make money but we all live in a society where we need to share."

He has pledged $200,000 of the $1.71 million that he won at last month's Players Championship in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida to victims of the deadly tornadoes that recently struck the American South.

"When I see people suffering, that hurts me a lot, too," Choi, who is playing in the U.S. Open this week, said in a telephone interview.


- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Leaders • Sports

June 17th, 2011
10:27 AM ET

U.S. Catholic bishops revise guidelines against sex abuse

Seattle, Washington (CNN) - To fight child abuse by priests, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops revised its 2002 charter Thursday, the group said.

Child pornography is a crime against church law and the abuse of someone who is mentally disabled is equivalent to child abuse, the conference said in a statement on its revised Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.

The charter was created to battle the sexual abuse of minors by clerics, the conference said.

Read the full story about the American bishops revising guidelines for dealing with abuse
- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Bishops • Catholic Church

June 17th, 2011
10:16 AM ET

Prayer and politics: How Friday became the Middle East's day of protest

By Mairi Mackay, CNN

(CNN) - Ever since he was a boy, Friday has been a day of prayer and rest for Murad Alazzany.

Following a rhythm as old as Islam itself, Fridays meant lunchtime prayers at the mosque and relaxing with friends and family for the rest of the day.

But that was before protests and revolutions across the Middle East smashed decades-old regimes and caused unprecedented civil unrest.

Yemen's uprising started in January this year, spurred on by the Tunisian and Egyptian revolutions, and since then, Fridays have had a very different flavor for Alazzany and tens of thousands of Yemenis like him.

Alazzany, who is an assistant professor at Sanaa University, still goes to Friday prayers, known as Jumu'ah, but not in a mosque. Instead, he prays in the street alongside fellow activists and anti-government demonstrators.

Read the full story on how Friday prayers are feeding the Middle East protests
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Middle East • Prayer • Syria

June 17th, 2011
09:20 AM ET

As ‘Book of Mormon’ takes New York, city gets Mormon church ad campaign

By Julia Talanova, CNN

New York (CNN) - First came the popular Broadway musical “The Book of Mormon,” which won nine Tony Awards on Sunday.

Now, the actual Mormon church is hitting the Great White Way, with a big electronic billboard just around the corner from where "The Book of Mormon" is playing.

The new billboard is part of a broader “I’m a Mormon” ad campaign the church launched Thursday in New York, which also includes signs on taxicab tops and subway ads.


- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Mormonism • New York

June 17th, 2011
05:00 AM ET

Missionaries tapping portable satellite technology in remote outposts

By John Couwels, CNN

Orlando, Florida (CNN) - Christian missionaries have been traveling to remote regions around the world for centuries to spread, as they would describe it, the good news of Jesus Christ.

But now a tiny plastic and metal device packed with cutting-edge technology attached to a computer could accelerate the pace of spreading that news - like an answer to prayer.

The answer has come in the form of a satellite terminal that is smaller than a laptop computer. The device, a BGAN satellite terminal, brings the Internet to some of the most remote parts of the world.

Corporations, governments and television networks have used BGAN devices for years to communicate by e-mail, phones or to broadcast live video signals from remote locations.

Wycliffe Bible Translators has only just begun distributing these devices to translators and linguists working to translate the Bible into every spoken language.


- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Florida • Missionaries • Technology • 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.