December 20th, 2011
04:59 AM ET

Belief Blog's Morning Speed Read for Tuesday, December 20

By Dan Merica, CNN

Here's the Belief Blog’s morning rundown of the top faith-angle stories from around the United States and around the world. Click the headlines for the full stories.

From the Blog:

CNN: Two Muslim religious leaders sue airlines for discrimination
Two Islamic religious leaders from Tennessee filed a lawsuit against two airlines Monday, claiming they were discriminated against and not allowed to fly on a plane in May because of the way they looked.

The United States has the largest Christian population in the world, of more than 247 million, followed by Brazil and Mexico.

CNN: Christianity goes global as world’s largest religion
Christians are by far the largest religious group on the planet, and the religion has gone truly global over the past century, according to a new report out Monday, which finds some of the world's biggest Christian communities in surprising places.

Tweet of the Day:

From @rzollAP (Rachel Zoll): #Obama’s top Jewish fundraisers sticking with him @jdforward reports bit.ly/ugB34x #2012

Enlightening Reads:

Christian Post: Actor Writes Book to Evangelize Hollywood
Steve Cha has willingly sacrificed his career as a Hollywood actor to start a mission to convert the entertainment industry.

USA Today: Native American is proclaimed Catholic saint
The Vatican on Monday announced a 17th-century Mohawk-Algonquin woman will be canonized as a Catholic saint, the first Native American from North America so proclaimed.

The sudden death of Kim Jong Il is the biggest shock you could have thrown into Asia, an expert on North Korea told CNN late Sunday night.

Huffington Post: North Korea's Persecution Of Christians Expected To Continue After Kim Jong Il's Death
A day after authorities announced the death of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, several Christian organizations are calling for prayers for the nation's persecuted Christians, one of many so-called dissident groups that have suffered under the North Korean regime.

The Florida Independent: Lowe’s protest draws more than 100, including Michigan representative
A Saturday demonstration outside of a Lowe’s home improvement store in a Detroit suburb brought out more than 150 local residents and religious leaders and even one state representative — all of whom were protesting the chain’s decision to pull its ads from the TLC reality show All-American Muslim after receiving numerous calls to do so by the Florida Family Association.

Quote of the Day:

We have a lot of gay couples, we have a lot of straight couples, we have a lot of couples that in other communities would stand out - but in our congregation it's hard to stand out as different.

Rev. Jennifer Kottler, the Park Avenue Christian Church associate pastor, estimates that about 25 percent of the 175-person congregation identifies at LGBTQ. That population, says Rev. Kottler, struggles to find safe places to worship around the holiday season.

Today’s Opinion:

The Nation: Regarding Christopher
So many people have praised Christopher so effusively, I want to complicate the picture even at the risk of seeming churlish. His drinking was not something to admire, and it was not a charming foible. Maybe sometimes it made him warm and expansive, but I never saw that side of it. What I saw was that drinking made him angry and combative and bullying, often toward people who were way out of his league—elderly guests on the Nation cruise, interns (especially female interns).

Join the conversation…

CNN: My Take: An evangelical remembers his friend Hitchens
More than bad food, however, he disliked unintelligent conversation. “What do you think about gay marriage?” He didn’t wait for a response. “I don’t get it. I really don’t. It’s like wanting the worst of both worlds.” He drank deeply of his whiskey. “I mean, if I was gay, I would console myself by saying, ‘Well, I’m gay, but at least I don’t have to get married.’” That was classic Hitch. Witty. Provocative. Unpredictable.

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Uncategorized

soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. Jason

    Will the AMA bother to pay attention to the correlation of Hitchen's and Ann Richards drinking, to the fact they both died of Esophagus cancer?!

    December 21, 2011 at 4:07 pm |
  2. Hitman Raiders

    I dont' know what story is more intriguing: the death of Kim II Jong...or the Christian actor trying to convert Brad Pitt, David Fincher, and other mega stars to Christianity, and losing his career because of it. I wonder what other evangelism stories he has contained in his Hollywood Mission Possible book, or what the celebrities will think about it if they hear about it.

    December 20, 2011 at 9:28 pm |
  3. JimmyD

    Wow for article on Steve Cha and evangelizing Hollywood celebrities! Hollywood Mission Possible will sure be a great read, and hopefully a great book gift to others.

    December 20, 2011 at 7:42 pm |
  4. Mark

    I hope the thinking public boycotts Lowes a while. They should be ashamed for kowtowing to the christian fundamentalists. however,,they aren't very smart to advertise on that show in the first place. All religion is just so pitiful and stupid. HAPPY HOLIDAYS I know I'll have some, as an atheist.

    December 20, 2011 at 3:00 pm |
    • hippypoet

      i disagree, by doing what they did, as much as they won't get shoppers they will ... its a way of saying hey that all it really does is get attention... in the larg scale, all that matters is that people remember there is a Lowes and they have what you need, but suck at advertising... in the end, no one will care except where the paint and plumbing supplies are!

      December 20, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
  5. Hollywood Mission:Possible

    Go get 'em Steve!

    December 20, 2011 at 9:56 am |
  6. hippypoet

    muhahahahaha, it was me!

    December 20, 2011 at 9:01 am |
  7. Lucifer's Evil Twin

    http://paid.outbrain.com/network/redir?key=13857489fc3311841e1789d9236c7db4&rdid=260976727&type=RPM_d/t2_la&in-site=false&pc_id=5195905&req_id=85cf763562305ccaf0c764a23c5c51bb&agent=blog_JS_rec&recMode=4&reqType=1&wid=100&imgType=0&adsCats=1512,-1,-1&refPub=185&prs=false&scp=false&fcapElementId=2940&version=48467&hr=1&idx=7 How come this article isn't on the "Faith" blog?

    December 20, 2011 at 8:08 am |
  8. Lucifer's Evil Twin

    "The sudden death of Kim Jong Il is the biggest shock you could have thrown into Asia, an expert on North Korea told CNN late Sunday night"

    How is this a shock? The DB has been 'il' for quite a while.

    December 20, 2011 at 8:07 am |
  9. Lucifer's Evil Twin

    Wow. First!

    December 20, 2011 at 8:05 am |
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.