November 4th, 2011
05:00 PM ET

Drug-runner turned preacher saves lives and souls in Sudan

By Richard Allen Greene and Nima Elbagir, CNN

London (CNN) - Sam Childers still looks like the drug-running biker he used to be, rolling a toothpick around his mouth under a big gray handlebar mustache while sporting jeans and a leather Harley jacket. But now when he grabs a gun it's to save children caught up in one of Africa's most brutal wars.

While the transition from tough biker to tough freedom fighter might not be that great a stretch, Childers has made another leap that is in some ways much greater. He has become a Christian preacher.

"I am a preacher. I believe in the right to carry a firearm," he says with a laugh.


- Newsdesk editor, The CNN Wire

Filed under: Africa • Christianity • Movies

November 4th, 2011
03:43 PM ET

Big changes to Catholic Mass spur confusion in the pews

By Gabe LaMonica, CNN

Washington (CNN) - The Roman Catholic Mass is undergoing a major overhaul.  In an effort to unify how the global church prays, the English translation of the church's worship service is being modified in order to more accurately reflect the Latin from which the Roman Missal is translated.

The Catholic Church is known by some as a bastion of permanence that has not often yielded to the forces of change in the modern era. In many ways the changes harken back to the Mass spoken in Latin, as it was in the United States prior to the 1960s.

“There is an Italian proverb,” said the Rev. Msgr. Kevin W. Irwin, a professor of liturgical studies at the Catholic University of America, “that ‘every translator is a traitor.' "

“Every translation is less than the original,” he said.


- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Bible • Catholic Church • Church • Mass • Pope Benedict XVI • Pope John Paul II • United States • Vatican

Will this year's Hajj have an ‘Arab Spring’ effect?
Tens of thousands of pilgrims perform the evening prayer at Mecca's Grand Mosque on Wednesday.
November 4th, 2011
07:57 AM ET

Will this year's Hajj have an ‘Arab Spring’ effect?

By Dan Gilgoff and Dan Merica, CNN

(CNN) - The annual pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, is the world's largest gathering of Muslims - the biggest annual gathering of humanity, period.

So it's no surprise that Middle East experts expect this year's pilgrimage, the first to happen since the Arab Spring began last year, to be different.

The pilgrimage, called the Hajj, happens in the same global neighborhood as countries that have been roiled by protests, revolutions and war over the last 11 months.

But there's uncertainty about exactly how this Hajj, which officially begins Friday, will be different.


- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Islam

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.