August 9th, 2011
08:58 PM ET

Whole Foods denies canceling Ramadan promotion

By Alan Duke, CNN

(CNN) - Whole Foods and a company that produces traditional Muslim foods disputed online reports Tuesday that the grocery chain has bowed to right-wing pressure and canceled its Ramadan promotion.

"Whole Foods Market is not cancelling our current halal promotion, which is centered around the time frame of Ramadan," company spokeswoman Libba Letton told CNN Tuesday.

The controversy centered around "halal-certified products" produced by Saffron Roads.

"It's more of a tempest in a teapot," Saffron Roads CEO Adnan Durrani said Tuesday.


- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Food • Ramadan

August 9th, 2011
05:14 PM ET

Air Force's use of Christian messages extends to ROTC

By Jennifer Rizzo, CNN

Washington (CNN) - The Air Force’s use of Christian religious messages goes beyond those used in briefings for missile launch officers, as reported by CNN last week, and extends to training for ROTC cadets.

In a lesson designed to teach the Air Force’s core values to ROTC cadets, Christian beliefs such as the Ten Commandments, the Sermon on the Mount, and the Golden Rule are used as examples of ethical values, CNN has learned.

Slides go on to explain what each of them are, for example listing 7 of the Ten Commandments.


- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Church and state • Military

August 9th, 2011
04:44 PM ET

Evangelical leaders debate values voters tour

Family Research Council president Tony Perkins and rising evangelical influencer Jonathan Merritt debate the propriety of a new conservative Christian bus tour of Iowa that will feature a handful of Republican presidential candidates.

Perkins says that deeply held values should help shape politics and policy. Merritt says Christians are being co-opted by politicians. Where do you stand?

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Iowa • Politics • Uncategorized

August 9th, 2011
02:09 PM ET

Report: Religious freedom declining for nearly 2.2 billion people

By Moni Basu, CNN

Nearly a third of the world's people live in nations where practicing religion freely is becoming increasingly difficult, according to a new study released Tuesday.

The Pew Research Center's Forum on Religion and Public Life said government restrictions and religiously motivated hostility rose significantly between mid-2006 and mid-2009, when the research was conducted.

Only 1% of the world's population lives in countries where the trend was the opposite.


- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Religious liberty

August 9th, 2011
10:33 AM ET

Polygamist leader Warren Jeffs sentenced to life in prison

By the CNN Wire Staff

Tune in to HLN's "Nancy Grace" at 9 p.m. ET Tuesday for more on Warren Jeffs' sentencing.

San Angelo, Texas (CNN) - Polygamist leader Warren Jeffs was sentenced Tuesday to life in prison plus 20 years for sexually assaulting two girls he claimed were his "spiritual wives."

Jeffs, 55, will have to spend at least 45 years in prison before being eligible for release, according to Jerry Strickland, spokesman for the Texas Attorney General's office.

The jury sentenced Jeffs to life in prison for aggravated sexual assault of a 12-year-old girl and 20 years in prison for the sexual assault of a 15-year-old girl. He must serve at least 35 years of the life sentence and half of the other sentence, Strickland said. The judge in the case ordered that the sentences be served consecutively.


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.