Islamic center near ground zero touts first big event as center’s grand opening
The site of the proposed Islamic center near ground zero in Lower Manhattan.
September 19th, 2011
10:28 AM ET

Islamic center near ground zero touts first big event as center’s grand opening

By Heather M. Higgins,CNN

New York (CNN) - Earlier this month, signs of life returned to what was once a gaping pit, frozen in sadness and rife with emotion, as part of the memorial at the World Trade Center opened on the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

This week, another grand opening – this one steeped in controversy – is scheduled for just a few blocks away from the site where the Twin Towers once stood.

The first part of Park51, the planned Lower Manhattan Islamic community center that sparked an international controversy last year, is set to open Wednesday with an art exhibit that features photographs of children.

“It is a huge step forward,” said Katerina Lucas, Park51’s chief of staff. “I hope it shows we are about inclusion, not exclusion.”

The photography exhibit, Park51’s first big public event, comprises portraits of children from 169 countries who now live in New York City. The opening coincides with the United Nations’ International Day of Peace.

When plans to construct the high-rise Islamic institution were unveiled last year, a heated debate erupted over whether it was insensitive to build it so close to the site attacked by Islamic extremists.

Though the interfaith center’s leaders said the project was rooted in a spirit of cooperation and coexistence, it provoked vocal opposition from some families of 9/11 victims, politicians and others.

The driving force behind much of this opposition was Pamela Geller, editor and publisher of a blog called Atlas Shrugs.

Geller organized a protest of Park51 on the tenth anniversary of Sept. 11 and says she is appalled at the organization’s decision to highlight the photographs of children.

“It is an obvious and cynical attempt to manipulate public opinion and divert attention away from the Islamic supremacist ties, shady financial dealings, and contradictory statements of the mosque organizers,” Geller said in an e-mail.

But Park 51’s photography exhibit is a reminder that the project is quietly moving forward, despite rumors that it had been put on hold.

With $70,000 raised in under two months via KickStarter.com, a funding platform for creative projects, the remodeled space at 51 Park Place will serve as a temporary community center until groundbreaking for the rest of the building.

The project’s developers, led by Park51 Chairman Sharif El-Gamal, have hired a staff of six and continue to hold Muslim prayers at the space, just north of ground zero. But they are not speculating about a timeline for construction.

In June, El-Gamal parted ways with Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, the cleric who had been the public face of Park51, over a difference in vision.

At a recent interfaith event honoring 9/11 families, Rauf said his vision to build an American-Muslim identity and enhance multi-faith dialogue hasn’t changed in 20 years.

Even though Rauf isn’t associated with Park51 any longer, he continues to focus his energy on establishing a Muslim center in Chautauqua, New York, with the hope it can be replicated in the United States and around the world.

Park51’s planners say they are committed to their original Lower Manhattan location. They are now seeking to raise $7 to $10 million in financing.

“We have broken some ground, but there are still many hurdles,” Lucas said, pointing to fundraising as the biggest one.

Lucas, who graduated from Harvard Divinity School in 2009, said the upcoming photography exhibition is about showcasing the diversity of New York City, which includes Muslims.

“Islam is not about extremism,” she said. “We can have a meaningful dialogue across religions.”

It’s a message shared by Danny Goldfield, the Brooklyn artist behind the exhibit. He got the idea for his children-focused series while driving from Los Angeles to New York in 2003, right after the war in Iraq started.

“I met Danny Goldfield when Park51 was still a new idea. Danny told me about NYChildren and I said his photographs should be the first event at Park51," El-Gamal said in a statement. "I am proud to say the idea has been realized. Opening this incarnation of the community center is a fantastic accomplishment."

Goldfield photographed children living in New York City’s five boroughs from countries as different as Japan and Zimbabwe and as far apart as Afghanistan and Argentina.

While his pictures have been on display before, this is the first time he has shown them all at once.

The exhibit will be open for approximately three months. Over 700 people have been invited to the opening and Lucas said that others are welcome, too.

“I bring photos together on a wall the same way a space brings people together,” Goldfield said.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Art • Islam • New York

soundoff (1,287 Responses)
  1. Yousukc

    I support it .......and haters shut da fuk up

    September 21, 2011 at 10:16 am |
  2. Jv

    Geoffrey f. Obviously you never been up close to a muslim who yell allah akbah before they blow themselves up

    September 21, 2011 at 10:14 am |
    • KM

      I think GeoffreyF must be a Muslim who does not know his history about Islam. Throughout history when Muslims take over a country they destroy all building, churches etc. from other religions. It is the death penalty for anyone who converts to another religion from islam. They are the most intolerant religion in human history. All you have to do is read the Quran its all in there. Convert, pay the tax or die.

      September 21, 2011 at 11:39 am |
  3. Samira

    I'd like to thank president Obama, Isis, JF, and Geoffrey for giving me hope that there still exists people who have sense in them. As a Muslim American, I agree 100% with you guys and couldn't have said it better. Thank you for taking the time out of your day to stand up against ignorance.

    I loved the KKK reference by the way, great analogy!

    September 21, 2011 at 10:03 am |
  4. JohnJ

    We are at war with Islam! No victory Mosque!

    September 21, 2011 at 7:12 am |
    • GeoffreyF

      You may be "at war with Islam" but there are two billion of them, they are not at war with me or with the US. There is no such thing as a "Victory Mosque" except in far right wing propaganda. You are living in bigotry and delusion. There is far more to fear from right wing nut jobs who don't know what they are talking about.

      September 21, 2011 at 9:32 am |
    • Jose M. Pulido

      Islamists, especially the ones who claim to be descendants of Abraham Ishmael and Esau are losers since the time they lived; to make life worst for them and for many other countriesd, child molester Mohammed concocted that horrible ideology called Islam.
      The only way for Islamists to break God's curse against Esau and be forgiven by Him is for them to admit the fact that Jesus of Nazareth is the Son of God and not just a self-styled stand-up prophet like Muhammed. All mankind, including Islamists/Muslims need to accept Jesus as their savior in order to have everlasting life after we die. But Islamists should know that no one will behead them if they reject Jesus as Islamists do to all those who reject Islam and its pedophile guru Mohammed.

      October 2, 2011 at 7:27 pm |
  5. haroon

    9/11 is like when americans attacked vietnam.... innocent civilians were killed

    September 21, 2011 at 6:03 am |
    • Jv

      You should,be ashamed of yourself for that comment againat the armed forces

      September 21, 2011 at 9:33 am |
    • Jv

      How bout yoy take your behind back to your islamic country

      September 21, 2011 at 9:36 am |
  6. haroon

    I think the place where the twin towers were should be replaced by a huge multi-storey Islamic centre to teach Americans how to behave like humans

    September 21, 2011 at 6:00 am |
    • david

      You are not an American.
      you need to go back to your country you flip.
      Sounds to me you are a terrorist.
      you need to be put on the DO NOT FLY LIST.

      September 21, 2011 at 8:59 am |
    • Jv

      What about teaching others to live lke humans. They blew up our towers, they blow themselves up, they blow up their own people but Americans are uncivilized

      September 21, 2011 at 10:08 am |
  7. Chris Kaliber

    John 14:6
    Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life.

    September 21, 2011 at 4:18 am |
  8. Advice to Muslims

    Read the Bible. Jesus is your Divine Savior, not just the Prophet. You won't have peace or give anyone peace unless you trust in Jesus alone.

    September 21, 2011 at 3:51 am |
    • Alokdhara

      I thought Jesus was a myth as like as Adam and Eve, Zeus, Krishna, Moses or Abraham.

      September 21, 2011 at 11:20 am |
  9. Jose M. Pulido

    It is not true that democrat liberals favor Islamic terrorists. I am a liberal Democrat and read what I have written against the infestation of Islam in the USA. Do not assume that just because we are Democrats, we are automatically in favor of Islam. You have been listening to that fat man Rush Limbaugh who thinks he is a one-man Congress, former construction worker with no college degree Sean "Insanity" Hannity of FAUX SNOOZE and pedant wimp Bill O'Reilly.

    September 21, 2011 at 2:57 am |
  10. Zaid

    I don't understand why these muzzlimes keep pushing their agenda even though most Americans don't want the Ground Zero Victory Mosque. We all know they want to shove their backward ideology down our throats, but nobody will swallow it. So why don't they just f@#k off and go back to the mud huts they came from. Nobody wants them here.

    September 21, 2011 at 2:55 am |
    • GeoffreyF

      I see bigots and hateful people pushing their agenda much more. The Islamic Center is like countless other buildings in the NYC area which provide community services to all and religious services to those who want them. It is an innocent and positive project. You seem opinionated without cause or reason and you disgrace me as an American.

      September 21, 2011 at 9:35 am |
  11. Jose M. Pulido

    M in Oz,
    The airplanes used on 9/11 were American-made; so, in that sense it was a murderous attack from within. But "from within" also means the Islamist infiltration of the U.S. Congress and the construction of so many Islamic-terrorist sleeper cell mosques and perverting people onto Islam.
    We already have two rag heads in Congress. When Islamists acquire a majority in the USA and in Congress, this country will fall from within because they will change the laws to favor Islam.
    I just did not believe you could be so stupid as to not to understand this concept of “falling from within.” I hope you have enough cognitive brain power to understand what “from within means." If all Islamists think so narrowly like you, it is no wonder you guys are so far behind in human rights and common sense, especially so far behind in human rights for women.

    September 21, 2011 at 2:49 am |
    • GeoffreyF

      The two Muslims in Congress are outstanding people who I would vote for if I were in their district. Muslims are no more taking over than Jews or Catholics, they are becoming part of our political dialog and that is what America is all about. America is not about thoughtless, mindless, opinionated freaks such as yourself who see two Muslims in Congress, fairly elected by their districts as "Taking Over". You are far more frightening to me than Muslim Americans. It is you who disgust me.

      September 21, 2011 at 9:37 am |
    • Yousukc

      So u scared? Pu$-y

      September 21, 2011 at 10:02 am |
  12. Jose M. Pulido

    Frank Garrett: Well said my friend. Keep up the good work of telling our people the fact that the construction of the Islamic-terrorist sleeper cell mosque on Park 51 “/is an insult to our armed forces, veterans and all Americans!!!!”
    I will also assist you in relaying the same message. And do not be intimidated by these ignoramus Islamist thugs who reply to your comment in their usually-stupid manner.
    In countries oppressed by Islam, it is a common practice to behead all those who oppose and speak out about how harmful, worthless and useless Islam is to humankind. As of today, they cannot behead American people who oppose Islam, but as soon as they acquire a population majority, they will do it without hesitation.
    If Islamists were wise, they would detach themselves from such a horrible and deadly ideology. Nevertheless, they act as if it were a great honor to convert and turn people onto potential Islamic terrorists.

    September 21, 2011 at 2:33 am |
    • GeoffreyF

      Your ignorance, bias and freakish alarmist rant shames me as an American. I doubt that you have traveled anywhere, including NYC. Nothing that you have said is supported by real fact nor do you demonstrate a capacity to comprehend any kind of nuance or shades between extremes that do not exist.

      September 21, 2011 at 9:40 am |
  13. gay boy

    Ohio, they murder my people, gay people, and u are evil if u support the murder of gays, THEY KILL US YOU FREAK

    September 21, 2011 at 2:33 am |
    • kyle

      Put all the gays and Muslims in that building and send one of Islams planes to it.

      September 21, 2011 at 9:16 am |
  14. gay boy


    September 21, 2011 at 2:29 am |
    • Robert

      gay boy is right.

      September 21, 2011 at 3:06 am |
    • GeoffreyF

      Your foolish rant with atrocious spelling and all caps "Screaming" demonstrates the quality of your mind. You know nothing about the subject you apparently are ranting about nor do you know the basics of critical reasoning or thinking.

      September 21, 2011 at 9:41 am |
  15. gay boy


    September 21, 2011 at 2:15 am |
    • Ohio

      You seem hate-filled as well. Most gay people I know feel more strongly for tolerance.

      September 21, 2011 at 2:18 am |
    • GeoffreyF

      Islam is an authentic religion for 1500 years. It has 2 billion faithful. The Hate Filled cult is this ludicrous, foolish and ill extremist cult that knows nothing and freakishly targets Islam. You shame me as an American and I pray for the day that you return to reason and sanity.

      September 21, 2011 at 9:43 am |
    • Yousukc

      Noone wants ur gay ass here NASTY mofo

      September 21, 2011 at 10:19 am |
  16. D

    Go hold hands in the desert. Islam causes us death and wars. Shove our nose in it by building that "center" next to ground zero. We don't like it. How hard is that to understand?

    September 21, 2011 at 1:50 am |
    • Yousukc

      let's see wut u can do about it?? Pu$$_y

      September 21, 2011 at 10:07 am |
  17. brad majors

    Im sure fundraising is a real big hurdle for these clowns.

    September 21, 2011 at 12:37 am |
    • GeoffreyF

      It is you who are the clown sir. Fund raising is not a hurdle. They are supported by preachers, ministers, rabbis and priests and a majority of the NYC population. They are having no problem with fundraising not just from Muslims but from New Yorkers. Instead of insulting and ignorant comments, I suggest you work to understand why what I have said is a fact. The Islamic Center will be built. It is a ten minute walk (at least) from the WTC site but I would not care if it was right there. The Fire marshall for NYC who guided the cleanup is a Muslim. 24 innocent Muslims were in the towers doing their jobs and murdered on that day. You have no clue, you shame me as an American.

      September 21, 2011 at 9:53 am |
  18. Reality

    From p. 16:

    For posting outside the "center of hate's" door:

    Saving 1.5 billion Muslims is quite easy!!!

    The Five Steps To Deprogram 1400 Years of Islamic Myths:
    ( –The Steps take less than two minutes to finish- simply amazing, two minutes to bring peace and rationality to over one billion lost souls- Priceless!!!)

    Are you ready?

    Using "The 77 Branches of Islamic "faith" a collection compiled by Imam Bayhaqi as a starting point. In it, he explains the essential virtues that reflect true "faith" (iman) through related Qur’anic verses and Prophetic sayings." i.e. a nice summary of the Koran and Islamic beliefs.

    The First Five of the 77 Branches:

    "1. Belief in Allah"

    aka as God, Yahweh, Zeus, Jehovah, Mother Nature, etc. should be added to your cleansing neurons.

    "2. To believe that everything other than Allah was non-existent. Thereafter, Allah Most High created these things and subsequently they came into existence."

    Evolution and the Big Bang or the "Gi-b G-nab" (when the universe starts to recycle) are more plausible and the "akas" for Allah should be included if you continue to be a "crea-tionist".

    "3. To believe in the existence of angels."

    A major item for neuron cleansing. Angels/de-vils are the mythical creations of ancient civilizations, e.g. Hitt-ites, to explain/define natural events, contacts with their gods, big birds, sudden winds, protectors during the dark nights, etc. No "pretty/ug-ly wingy thingies" ever visited or talked to Mohammed, Jesus, Mary or Joseph or Joe Smith. Today we would classify angels as f–airies and "tin–ker be-lls". Modern de-vils are classified as the de-mons of the de-mented.

    "4. To believe that all the heavenly books that were sent to the different prophets are true. However, apart from the Quran, all other books are not valid anymore."

    Another major item to delete. There are no books written in the spirit state of Heaven (if there is one) just as there are no angels to write/publish/distribute them. The Koran, OT, NT etc. are simply books written by humans for humans.

    Prophets were invented by ancient scribes typically to keep the un-educated masses in line. Today we call them for-tune tellers.

    Prophecies are also invali-dated by the natural/God/Allah gifts of Free Will and Future.

    "5. To believe that all the prophets are true. However, we are commanded to follow the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him)
    Mohammed spent thirty days "fasting" (the Ramadan legend) in a hot cave before his first contact with Allah aka God etc. via a "pretty wingy thingy". Common sense demands a neuron deletion of #5. #5 is also the major source of Islamic vi-olence i.e. turning Mohammed's "fast, hunger-driven" hallu-cinations into horrible reality for unbelievers.

    Walk these Five Steps and we guarantee a complete recovery from your Islamic ways!!!!

    Unfortunately, there are not many Muslim commentators/readers on this blog so the "two-minute" cure is not getting to those who need it. If you have a Muslim friend, send him a copy and help save the world.

    Analogous steps are available at your request for deprogramming the myths of Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism and Paganism..

    September 20, 2011 at 11:36 pm |
    • .........

      repeat spam alert do not read hit report abuse on all reality posts

      September 21, 2011 at 4:52 am |
    • GeoffreyF

      You are the one who is filled with hate and not the law abiding and hard working Muslims building this community center.

      September 21, 2011 at 9:54 am |
    • Reality

      And the koranic/mosque ("cultural centers") driven acts of terror and horror continue:

      The Muslim Conquest of India – 11th to 18th century

      ■"The likely death toll is somewhere between 2 million and 80 million. The geometric mean of those two limits is 12.7 million. "

      and the 19 million killed in the Mideast Slave Trade 7C-19C by Muslims.

      and more recently

      1a) 179 killed in Mumbai/Bombay, 290 injured

      1b) Assassination of Benazir Bhutto and Theo Van Gogh

      2) 9/11, 3000 mostly US citizens, 1000’s injured

      3) The 24/7 Sunni-Shiite centuries-old blood feud currently being carried out in Iraq, US troops killed in action, 3,480 and 928 in non combat roles. 102,522 – 112,049 Iraqi civilians killed as of 9/16/2011/, mostly due to suicide bombers, land mines and bombs of various types, http://www.iraqbodycount.org/ and http://www.defenselink.mil/news/casualty.pdf

      4) Kenya- In Nairobi, about 212 people were killed and an estimated 4000 injured; in Dar es Salaam, the attack killed at least 11 and wounded 85.[2]

      5) Bali-in 2002-killing 202 people, 164 of whom were foreign nationals, and 38 Indonesian citizens. A further 209 people were injured.

      6) Bali in 2005- Twenty people were killed, and 129 people were injured by three bombers who killed themselves in the attacks.

      7) Spain in 2004- killing 191 people and wounding 2,050.

      8. UK in 2005- The bombings killed 52 commuters and the four radical Islamic suicide bombers, injured 700.

      9) The execution of an eloping couple in Afghanistan on 04/15/2009 by the Taliban.

      10) – Afghanistan: US troops 1,385 killed in action, 273 killed in non-combat situations as of 09/15/2011. Over 40,000 Afghan civilians killed due to the dark-age, koranic-driven Taliban acts of horror

      11) The killing of 13 citizen soldiers at Ft. Hood by a follower of the koran.

      12) 38 Russian citizens killed on March 29, 2010 by Muslim women suicide bombers.

      13) The May 28, 2010 attack on a Islamic religious minority in Pakistan, which have left 98 dead,

      14) Lockerbie is known internationally as the site where, on 21 December 1988, the wreckage of Pan Am Flight 103 crashed as a result of a terrorist bomb. In the United Kingdom the event is referred to as the Lockerbie disaster, the Lockerbie bombing, or simply Lockerbie. Eleven townspeople were killed in Sherwood Crescent, where the plane's wings and fuel tanks plummeted in a fiery explosion, destroying several houses and leaving a huge crater, with debris causing damage to a number of buildings nearby. The 270 fatalities (259 on the plane, 11 in Lockerbie) were citizens of 21 nations.

      15 The daily suicide and/or roadside and/or mosque bombings in the terror world of Islam.

      16) Bombs sent from Yemen by followers of the koran which fortunately were discovered before the bombs were detonated.

      17) The killing of 58 Christians in a Catholic church in one of the latest acts of horror and terror in Iraq.

      18) Moscow airport suicide bombing: 35 dead, 130 injured. January 25, 2011.

      19) A Pakistani minister, who had said he was getting death threats because of his stance against the country's controversial blasphemy law, was shot and killed Wednesday, 3/2/2011

      20) two American troops killed in Germany by a recently radicalized Muslim, 3/3/2011

      21) the kidnapping and apparent killing of a follower of Zoraster in the dark world of Islamic Pakistan.

      22) Shariatpur, Bangladesh (CNN 3/30/2011) - Hena Akhter's last words to her mother proclaimed her innocence. But it was too late to save the 14-year-old girl. Her fellow villagers in Bangladesh's Shariatpur district had already passed harsh judgment on her. Guilty, they said, of having an affair with a married man. The imam from the local mosque ordered the fatwa, or religious ruling, and the punishment: 101 lashes delivered swiftly, deliberately in public. Hena dropped after 70 and died a week later.

      September 21, 2011 at 12:16 pm |
  19. isis

    @ f... "Muslims do not SERVE in the US military, they infiltrate the US military".

    So, I take it the Christians RUN the military and this country? There have been American Muslims, Buddhists, and Jews that their great-grandparents have come to this country decades and a century or two ago that have fought and died in our miltary to defend our rights. How dare you disparage our Military who is fighting for freedom of religion and the freedom of speech that you have just used to fuel hatred. And you call yourself and American??!! That is truly shameful. Have YOU served???!!!! I suppose that you want everyone who believes anything other than what you want them to, to go back to where they came from. Where are your ancestors from?! If they aren't Native American, then please do this country a favor and enlist, or go back to where you came from. I'm not afraid of Muslim terrorists, I'm afraid of the extremeists in this country like yourself who promote hate and fear and disregard the fundamental ideals that this country was founded on.

    September 20, 2011 at 10:57 pm |
  20. Jose M. Pulido

    That's right. We would not have any objections if a church or a synagoge were to be built instead of an Arab-Muslim-Islamic terrorist sleeper-cell mosque on Park 51 because Jews and Christians did not destroy the WTC in the name of Allah or any other deity. Also, Christians and Jews do not wish to destroy the USA from within like Islamists do.

    September 20, 2011 at 9:53 pm |
    • president Obama

      Dear Jose,

      The only association the terrorists who attacked us on 911 have with muslims is that they both worshiped the same god, Allah.

      Much like the association between, say, the KKK has with you. You are both Christian.

      That dosent mean you believe in the same racial hatred the KKK does, it simply means that somehow, the KKK has developed a twisted interpretation of the bible.

      Judging an entire group of people by the beliefs and actions of the few is always wrong.

      September 20, 2011 at 10:06 pm |
    • M in Oz

      The people who flew planes into buildings were not from "within" the USA.

      September 21, 2011 at 12:41 am |
    • Jose M. Pulido

      M in Oz:
      The airplanes used on 9/11 were American-made; so, in that sense it was a murderous attack from within. But "from within" also means the Islamist infiltration of the U.S. Congress and the construction of so many Islamic-terrorist sleeper cell mosques and perverting people onto Islam.
      We already have two rag heads in Congress. When Islamists acquire a majority in the USA and in Congress, this country will fall from within because they will change the laws to favor Islam.
      I just did not believe you could be so stupid as to not to understand this concept of “falling from within.” I hope you have enough cognitive brain power to understand what “from within means." If all Islamists think so narrowly like you, it is no wonder you guys are so far behind in human rights and common sense, especially so far behind in human rights for women.

      September 21, 2011 at 2:48 am |
    • Susan

      president Obama, Allah is no god. He doesn't exist. The koran which is supposedly god's word (unlike Christianity) is full of mistakes. For example, it claims mountains were built to prevent earthquakes. This shows mohammed was a fraud who never spoke to god as god would never make such an obvious mistake. This shows how stupid islam and muslims are. They don't even question their own cult. Uhhhm, I forgot to mention that the koran says one shouldn't ask too many questions regarding islam. I guess ole mo knew why he wrote that. What a fraud. Islam is a joke.

      September 21, 2011 at 3:04 am |
    • JF

      The koran which is supposedly god's word (unlike Christianity) is full of mistakes.

      What do you mean by (unlike Christianity)? Are you saying that the Bible is not full of mistakes? If so, then you've never read it.

      September 21, 2011 at 3:55 am |
    • MarkinFL

      Now we're down to the "my religion is better than your religion" argument?

      This Is America. Remember? Religious tolerance?

      If we are going to get picky about which religions are allowed I'm putting in my vote against Christianity, Islam, and pretty much any religion that does not advocate peaceful coexistence. And I do not mean technically, I mean really.

      They allow Christian clubs in our schools and that is a far bigger threat than a stupid Mosque in NY. If we can deal with the evangelists then we can deal with Muslims. No big deal really.

      September 21, 2011 at 9:45 am |
    • GeoffreyF

      The Islamic Center is none of the things you so freakishly suggest that it is. Jews and Christians who speak Arabic as their first language use the word "Allah" to describe God as we all understand that word in English. I am far more frightened by people such as yourself who are inspired to such hideous hatred based on no knowledge or thinking at all. You shame me as an American, your conduct is not what our country is about.

      September 21, 2011 at 9:48 am |
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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.