Death toll rises from Nigeria church bombings
December 26th, 2011
11:03 AM ET

Death toll rises from Nigeria church bombings

By the CNN Wire Staff

Jos, Nigeria (CNN) - The death toll from the worst of several church bombings Christmas Day in Nigeria has reached 32, an emergency official told CNN Monday.

Another of the bombings killed at least three people, officials said.

Blasts were reported at churches in five cities Sunday. A day later, details from some areas were still not fully clear.

The extremist Boko Haram sect claimed responsibility, two government officials said.

The group has targeted Christians in the past, as well as those Muslims who the group's members consider insufficiently Islamic.

The blasts mark the second holiday season that bombs have hit Christian houses of worship in the west African nation.

Olusegun Okebiorun, controller-general of Nigeria's fire service, told CNN Boko Haram claimed responsibility in a message sent to media in Nigeria.

He vowed the government is doing all it can to ensure that such attacks don't occur again.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Africa • Belief • Christianity • Church • Nigeria • Violence

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soundoff (58 Responses)
  1. Trianod Kondosv

    It is the best time to make some plans for the future and it is time to be happy. I have read this post and if I may just I wish to counsel you some attention-grabbing issues or tips. Perhaps you can write next articles regarding this article. I desire to read even more issues about it!

    July 28, 2012 at 6:54 am |
  2. Dirty Sancheez

    These stories are very sad, but they don't compare to the problems Christians have here in the United States. You know having Nativity Scenes and Ten Commandment displays taken down. Oh yeah and People saying "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas". It's a wonder they survive here.

    December 28, 2011 at 11:24 pm |
    • desi

      thats why i said the white people is the weakest link ( no racism intended)

      January 2, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
  3. samuelsaid3

    Sincerely Please, will you help me understand the logic of why "athiests" (who don't believe) are on a "belief" blog.
    Is to be an atheist a "belief" or a knowing? If it is a knowing, then is it a knowing that there is nothing more lovely and good than humanity and that all those who adhere to faith (those seen, known, unseen and not known) are responsible for wrong thinking, lies and telling lies, thus, all that has been problematic in the world?

    It appears that atheists need a scape goat to justify their oppostion.
    Do you consider that logical?

    December 28, 2011 at 2:13 am |
  4. Rainer Braendlein

    I don't know exactly, why the Boko Haram fighters celebrate Christmas with explosive belts. However, to a large extent they may justify their evil deeds by the Koran.

    Indeed the Koran is anti-Christian and anti-Jewish, in that sense that Islam is not only a competi-tor of Christianity of Judaism, but the Islam wants to exterminate the Christian Church and the Jews.

    We need an international council of theologians and historians, which figures out the true essence of Islam according to history, the Koran and current Islamic society. The result would be devastating for the Islam. As a conclusion the Islam had to be abolished and condemned as corrosive heresy.

    As long as our politicans and media don't dare to condemn the Islamic doctrine, the radical Muslims like Boko Haram will committ their evil deeds, which they can justify by the Islamic doctrine.

    However, let us love our Muslim neighbours here in the West according to Christ's command, despite their false belief. Let us invite them for dinner, walk, football, etc..

    No harm towards the (ordinary, naive) Muslims, but the love of Jesus. Ordinary Muslims should be regarded as poor people, which have been seduced by the false prophet and his lousy Imams.

    Concerning the Boko Haram fighters: They are, of course, a case for the authority and should feel the "sword", which God has given to the authority.

    December 27, 2011 at 9:52 am |
    • Abubakar Safiyyah

      islam is a religion of peace. we re tot nothing but peace and love in the Qur'an. pls take note

      December 28, 2011 at 8:34 am |
  5. ElreyJones

    Remember that the bolsheviks were also atheist but came out of Jewish and gentile backgrounds. And look at the slaughter they did to the tune of 77 million people killed. The atheists on this blog need to be monitored. They could be bolshevik.

    December 26, 2011 at 6:50 pm |
    • evolvedDNA

      So, Elrey, its only your god keeping you from being a murderer then..you should be monitored in case you find out the truth about Thor.

      December 26, 2011 at 9:33 pm |
    • Methusalem

      I agree with you, people are waking up, atheists and islamist are the cruelest of creatures, they must watched very closely!

      December 27, 2011 at 9:42 am |
  6. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    December 26, 2011 at 3:43 pm |
    • Christians are deluded

      Prayer does change things: The 9/11 hijackers prayed before they slammed the jets into buildings.

      Can't think of anything prayer has changed for the better, but there sure is a lot of things it changed for the worse.

      December 26, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Christians are deluded

      Jesus speaking:

      "If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer." –Matthew 21:22 (NIV)

      "I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you." –Matthew 17:20 (NIV)

      "Ask and it will be given to you.... For everyone who asks receives." –Luke 11:9-10 (NIV)

      "Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven." –Matthew 18:19 (NIV)

      James 5:15 – And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven.

      Let's be honest. Don't be afraid to use critical thinking. Jesus said the above, about prayer. Is it true? Can you post back to me and claim what Jesus said is true?

      Why has there never been a doc_umented case of an amputated limb being restored? Do you think an amputee never prayed or had faith?

      Double blind experiments, have all shown that prayer has no effect on illness.

      Because people have believed the promises of the bible, they have withheld medical care for their children. They prayed instead. Evidently, god was not moved by their faith. Their children died. Modern medicine could have saved them. OOoopsie!

      Why aren't Jesus' words true? Can you think of any possibilities? If Jesus' words aren't true about prayer, then how can we depend on anything else Jesus said? Maybe if we could "test" the afterlife claims, they would be no more real than the claims about prayer.

      A fundie once told me, that god always answers prayers in one of three ways:
      1) God says, "yes". You get what you asked for immediately.
      2) God says, "to wait". You will get what you asked for at some future date.
      3) God says, "no". You will not get what you asked for.

      Hmmm.... But I can get the same success from the carton of milk I have sitting on the breakfast table.

      1) If I pray to my magic carton, some things will come true immediately, just by chance and coincidence.
      2) Some things will come true at some future date, for the same reasons.
      3) If I don't get what I want, then my magic carton said, "no".

      I think there is a problem, when there is no difference between praying to a god and praying to a milk carton.

      Having a prayer answered, appears to require only 3 things:
      1. Belief
      2. Faith
      3. And to be totally sure, you need others who agree with what you are asking for, to pray with you.


      Remember the Gulf oil spill?
      Remember how a ton of people prayed for god to stop the gushing?
      I was spellbound! I watched the real time video of the oil spill. I expected to see it stop. It did not. Human technology eventually capped the well.

      Remember when Rick issued a proclamation, that for 72 hours, the citizens of Texas would all pray for rain. I thought, surely god would hear their prayers and open the windows of Heaven!
      The "days of prayer" ended Sunday, April 24, 2011.
      As of Dec 7, 2011 ... Most of Central Texas and the Colorado River basin remain in the grips of an extreme drought.
      Studies have shown prayer does not work. Any miracles or answered prayers are the result of random chance, coincidence, selective observation or fraud. Believers tend to remember the perceived positive outcome of prayers and forget the failed. Because believers rely on faith, they are easily deceived by unscrupulous people.

      Christians MUST contest this. They must rent their clothes and Shout: "Do not put the lord your god to the test!" LOL!

      God, either does not care or does not exist. Personally, I'm checking the second box. LOL.


      December 26, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
    • Getting hold of God

      @ DJ - Keep in mind this principle of Scriptural interpretation: text without context is pretext.
      The first two quotes from Matthew both involve the exhortation to faith.

      The quote from Luke occurs in the same passage where the disciples are asking how to pray, and Jesus answers with the words of the Lord's Prayer.  The focus is on how to pray:  simply, with humility.  Jesus doesn't offer a guarantee of specific results, only of the Father's loving concern.  

      In Matthew 18, the "you" is specifically the 12 apostles, not just anyone who happens to be reading.

      James 5:15 promises that "the prayer of faith will save the sick person." It isn't a medical result being promised.  A person can be saved in more senses than one.

      Aquinas advanced the commonsensical proposition that, if a particular interpretation of Scripture appears to contradict the understanding of the world provided by science, then the interpretation is false. I think that's the problem with your interpretation.

      But even so, plenty of miracles happen. We tend to explain them away, because they don't fit in with our preconceived views about the world. That they don't occur with the predictability of gravity is not proof that they don't occur. It's proof that they are unlike gravity. But if your worldview requires all real things to occur with the regularity of physical phenomena, then you will not believe in miracles. That's a perfectly legitimate position, by the way. I think you're wrong, but I don't think that makes you a fool. Peace.

      December 26, 2011 at 9:07 pm |
    • evolvedDNA

      getting hold of god.. "plenty of miracles happen"... can you tell us some them... and how you absolutely know it is a miracle....was it some thing like a leg being grown back ?

      December 27, 2011 at 6:16 pm |
  7. David Johnson

    An Easier Answer:

    The Christians should convert. Problem solved. Praying to one non-existent god, is the same as another. Jesus certainly isn't worth getting your car blown up. Hope the owner had insurance.


    December 26, 2011 at 1:13 pm |
    • The Central Scrutinizer

      Nicely thought out David, but I have a better solution. Patience. Maybe, just mayby Yellowstone will explode.

      December 26, 2011 at 1:27 pm |
    • fred

      Hopefully you received some history books that confirm a preacher named Jesus did exist and was executed by Pilate.
      As to car insruance even non believers should get some.

      December 26, 2011 at 1:31 pm |
    • The Central Scrutinizer

      Hey Fred,
      Yes that Pilate story is a good one. These types of stories are know as "Melodramas".

      December 26, 2011 at 1:43 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      The Central Scrutinizer, the only "Melodramas" I read on this blog is from the non-believers.


      December 26, 2011 at 2:01 pm |
    • The Central Scrutinizer

      Thank you HeavenSent. I value your opinions so very much.

      December 26, 2011 at 2:20 pm |
    • David Johnson


      You said: "Hopefully you received some history books that confirm a preacher named Jesus did exist and was executed by Pilate."

      Most all "historians" who claim to have examined the evidence and proclaimed Jesus is real, have religious affiliations. They all have something to lose, if Jesus isn't real. Their prestige and livelihood depend on Jesus being a living being.

      There were no eyewitness accounts of Jesus. The Gospels were written by god knows who in the third person. The Gospels were written with an agenda i.e., Jesus was the Messiah and Son of God.

      There are no known secular writings about Jesus, that aren't forgeries, later insertions, or hearsay. NONE!

      Hearsay evidence, if allowed, could be used to "prove" the Greek gods and demigods were real. Just as we have a brief mention of Jesus by Joesphus in his Antiquities, Joesphus also mentions Hercules (more times than Jesus), in the very same work (see: 1.15; 8.5.3; 10.11.1). Josephus wasn't born until 37 C.E. Is Hercules real, just because his tales were told?

      Your demigod, was, is and always will be, a myth.


      December 26, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
    • Getting hold of God

      @ DJ - Jesus is mentioned by name in the writings of Tacitus, Suetonius, and Pliny the Younger, among other pagan writers. There are some good sources out there, if you want to review them. I think it was Mark Twain who said, "It isn't so astonishing the things that I can remember, as the number of things I can remember that aren't so." Peace.

      December 26, 2011 at 9:17 pm |
  8. Reality

    An easy answer:

    from the studies of Armstrong, Rushdie, Hirsi Ali, Richardson and Bayhaqi)

    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 self-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..

    December 26, 2011 at 12:47 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      What's the matter Reality, Santa wasn't good to you this year?


      December 26, 2011 at 2:02 pm |
    • The Central Scrutinizer

      Yet another snappy comeback HeavenSent, Zing!

      December 26, 2011 at 2:24 pm |
    • .........

      hit report abuse on all reality garbage

      December 26, 2011 at 2:29 pm |
    • Reality

      The Santa Syndrome i.e. part of the Christmas/Winter Holiday Con;

      To wit:

      Short version:
      The holyday of Christmas is historically a non-event. Ditto for the Feast of the Magi, Holy Innocents Day and the solemnity of Mary aka New Years day.

      Long version:

      Christmas, the embellished story of the birth of a simple, preacher man named Jesus.
      As per most contemporary NT exegetes, his parents were Mary and Joseph although some say Jesus was a mamzer, the result of a pre-marital relationship between Mary and a Roman soldier.


      Jesus was not born in Bethlehem at least the one we are familiar with and there were no pretty wingie thingies singing from on high, no slaughter of the innocents by Herod, no visiting wise men and no escape to Egypt.

      "John P. Meier – Professor at Notre Dame

      "Meier suggests that the belief that Jesus was "son of David" may have been held by Jesus' followers prior to his death, with his resurrection then being understood as a form of enthronement. However, he notes that such messianic views, whatever their provenance, cannot prove Jesus was "literally, biologically of Davidic stock."


      "Kwanzaa, which will be celebrated for the 44th time in 2009, was established by Dr. Maulana Karenga. The seven-day festival (December 26 – January 1) is secular, not religious, and aims to strengthen African cultural ident-ity and community values while providing a spiritual alternative to the commercialism of Christmas."

      Chanukah (Hanukkah)

      "Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights, is one of the most joyous times of the Jewish year. The reason for the celebration is twofold (both dating back to c. 165 BCE): the miraculous military victory of the small, ill-equipped Jewish army over the ruling Greek Syrians, who had banned the Jewish religion and desecrated the Temple; and the miracle of the small cruse of consecrated oil, which burned for eight days in the Temple's menorah instead of just one."

      "Originally a minor holiday, it has become more lavishly celebrated as a result of its proximity to Christmas."

      Some candles burn for weeks so the menorah "miracle" is hardly miraculous.

      Rabbi Wolpe can probably give us his take on the historical validity of Hanukkah.

      So after thorough analyses of the NT Christmas passages, what are a few of the conclusions of some of the top contemporary NT scholars?

      Matt 1:18-25: From Professor Gerd Ludemann in his book, Jesus After 2000 Years, pp. 123-124, "The fathering of Jesus from the Holy Spirit and his birth from the virgin Mary are unhistorical". Ludemann gives a very detailed analysis to support his conclusions. One part being the lack of attestations to these events and the late time strata of said story.

      "Lüdemann [Jesus], (pp. 261-63) discounts Luke's account as a legend deriving from Jewish Hellenistic circles that were concerned to hold together the procreation of the Spirit, the authentic sonship of the Messiah and the virginal conception. "

      Then there are these additional conclusions:

      Bruce Chilton

      "In [Rabbi Jesus: An Intimate Biography] (2000), Chilton develops the idea of Jesus as a mamzer; someone whose irregular birth circu-mstances result in their exclusion from full participation in the life of the community. He argues for the natural pa-ternity of Joseph and finds no need for a miraculous conception. In his subsequent reconstruction of Jesus' life, Chilton suggests that this sustained personal experience of exclusion played a major role in Jesus' self-ident-ity, his concept of God and his spiritual quest.

      John Dominic Crossan

      "In [Historical Jesus] (p. 371) Crossan treats this cluster, like 007 Of Davids Lineage, as an example of the interplay of prophecy and history in the development of the Jesus traditions.

      "In [Birth of Christianity] (pp. 26-29) Crossan uses Luke's account of Jesus' conception and birth to explore ethical issues concerning the public interpretation of the past. He notes the tendency of Christian scholars to disregard "pagan" birth legends while investing great effort in the defence of biblical birth narratives. He concludes:

      I do not accept the divine conception of either Jesus or Augustus as factual history, but I believe that God is incarnate in the Jewish peasant poverty of Jesus and not in the Roman imperial power of Augustus. "

      "The following ancient parallels to Jesus' miraculous conception should be noted:

      Birth of Moses (Exod 2:1-10)
      Birth of Plato (Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Eminent Philosophers, 3.45) [see Acts of Jesus, p. 507]
      Birth of Alexander the Great (Plutarch, Parallel Lives, 2.1-3.5) [see Acts of Jesus, p. 502f]
      Birth of Apollonius (Philostratus, Life of Apollonius, I.4) [see Acts of Jesus, p. 505]"

      And some final words from Thomas Jefferson, not a contemporary NT scholar, but indeed a very learned man:

      "And the day will come,
      when the mystical generation of Jesus,
      by the Supreme Being as His Father,
      in the womb of a virgin,
      will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva
      in the brain of Jupiter.

      - Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)
      Letter to John Adams, from Monticello, April 11, 1823.

      December 26, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
    • Getting hold of God

      @ reality - Our belief systems certainly influence our willingness to accept evidence as true or reliable. Your beliefs require that you discount the veracity of evidence contradicting them. That's okay, no one's perfect, present company included. But it doesn't make your beliefs more reliable than the beliefs of an educated, studious person of faith. I have more to say, but I don't like to clutter up a public blog with long soliloquys. I have no qualms, however, about putting them on my own blog, if you're up for an intellectual challenge. http://www.gettingholdofgod.wordpress.com

      December 26, 2011 at 9:27 pm |
    • Reality

      And some final words from Thomas Jefferson, not a contemporary NT scholar, but indeed a very learned man:

      "And the day will come,
      when the mystical generation of Jesus,
      by the Supreme Being as His Father,
      in the womb of a virgin,
      will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva
      in the brain of Jupiter.

      – Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)
      Letter to John Adams, from Monticello, April 11, 1823

      December 27, 2011 at 12:25 am |
    • Getting hold of God

      Not sure why you think Jefferson has all the answers. He kept a slave harem and counted on a series of government bailouts to save his estate. Not my spiritual leader. I do my own thinking. Peace.

      December 27, 2011 at 2:32 am |
    • Reality

      Some more facts to think about:

      They are called the Infamous Angelic Cons:

      Joe Smith had his Moroni.

      Jehovah Witnesses have their Jesus /Michael the archangel, the first angelic being created by God;

      Mohammed had his Gabriel (this "tin-kerbell" got around).

      Jesus and his family had Michael, Gabriel, and Satan, the latter being a modern day dem-on of the de-mented.

      The Abraham-Moses myths had their Angel of Death and other "no-namers" to do their dirty work or other assorted duties.

      Contemporary biblical and religious scholars have relegated these "pretty wingie thingies" to the myth pile. We should do the same to include deleting all references to them in our religious operating manuals. Doing this will eliminate the prophet/profit/prophecy status of these founders and put them where they belong as simple humans just like the rest of us.

      Some added references to "tink-erbells".

      "Latter-day Saints also believe that Michael the Archangel was Adam (the first man) when he was mortal, and Gabriel lived on the earth as Noah."

      Apparently hallu-cinations did not stop with Joe Smith.


      "The belief in guardian angels can be traced throughout all antiquity; pagans, like Menander and Plutarch (cf. Euseb., "Praep. Evang.", xii), and Neo-Platonists, like Plotinus, held it. It was also the belief of the Babylonians and As-syrians, as their monuments testify, for a figure of a guardian angel now in the British Museum once decorated an As-syrian palace, and might well serve for a modern representation; while Nabopolassar, father of Nebuchadnezzar the Great, says: "He (Marduk) sent a tutelary deity (cherub) of grace to go at my side; in everything that I did, he made my work to succeed."
      Catholic monks and Dark Age theologians also did their share of hallu-cinating:

      "TUBUAS-A member of the group of angels who were removed from the ranks of officially recognized celestial hierarchy in 745 by a council in Rome under Pope Zachary. He was joined by Uriel, Adimus, Sabaoth, Simiel, and Raguel."

      And tin-ker- bells go way, way back:

      "In Zoroastrianism there are different angel like creatures. For example each person has a guardian angel called Fravashi. They patronize human being and other creatures and also manifest god’s energy. Also, the Amesha Spentas have often been regarded as angels, but they don't convey messages, but are rather emanations of Ahura Mazda ("Wise Lord", God); they appear in an abstract fashion in the religious thought of Zarathustra and then later (during the Achaemenid period of Zoroastrianism) became personalized, associated with an aspect of the divine creation (fire, plants, water...)."

      "The beginnings of the biblical belief in angels must be sought in very early folklore. The gods of the Hitti-tes and Canaanites had their supernatural messengers, and parallels to the Old Testament stories of angels are found in Near Eastern literature. "

      "The 'Magic Papyri' contain many spells to secure just such help and protection of angels. From magic traditions arose the concept of the guardian angel. "

      December 27, 2011 at 8:17 am |
    • Getting hold of God

      Sorry, but you just don't sound rational. Is there anyone else there with you I can talk to?

      December 27, 2011 at 3:12 pm |
    • Reality

      For some added thoughts:

      Putting the final kibosh on religion to include Mormonism and therefore this blog.

      -There was probably no Abraham i.e. the foundations of Judaism, Christianity and Islam are non-existent.

      • There was probably no Moses i.e the pillars of Judaism, Christianity and Islam have no strength of purpose.

      • There was no Gabriel i.e. Islam fails as a religion. Christianity partially fails.

      • There was no Easter i.e. Christianity completely fails as a religion.

      • There was no Moroni i.e. Mormonism is nothing more than a business cult.

      • Sacred/revered cows, monkey gods, castes, reincarnations and therefore Hinduism fails as a religion.

      • Fat Buddhas here, skinny Buddhas there, reincarnated Buddhas everywhere makes for a no on Buddhism.

      A quick Google, Bing or Yahoo search will put the kibosh on any other groups calling themselves a religion.

      e.g. Taoism

      "The origins of Taoism are unclear. Traditionally, Lao-tzu who lived in the sixth century is regarded as its founder. Its early philosophic foundations and its later beliefs and rituals are two completely different ways of life. Today (1982) Taoism claims 31,286,000 followers.

      Legend says that Lao-tzu was immaculately conceived by a shooting star; carried in his mother's womb for eighty-two years; and born a full grown wise old man. "

      December 27, 2011 at 3:28 pm |
    • Actually

      Reality you do realize you're wasting your time right? You really can't be this stupid, no one reads what you post, it's one sided without any of your personal thoughts in it. We could all play the expert copy and paste game but only an idiot keeps it up over and over again. Get a life and an OPINION!

      December 27, 2011 at 3:30 pm |
    • Reality

      Orthodox Catholics/Christians have been thu-mping the mostly fictional story of Jesus of Nazareth for about 2000 years. The thu-mping has been getting quieter for the last 200 years when we "pew sitters" started our own reviews of said life and found significant flaws in the scriptural accounts. Hopefully the truth through repet-ition of said flaws will take no more than another 50 years to finally "deflaw" the current orthodoxy.

      December 27, 2011 at 6:16 pm |
    • evolvedDNA

      Getting hold of god..if there were evidence out there you would have presented it proudly and loudly.. You can study the bible all you like, as i could study Harry Potter but any amount of study does not make it real. The real evidence so far does not favour the bibical events,,nor does the bible have any information in it that the human race did not have before it was written

      December 27, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
  9. EvolvedDNA

    Another appalling example of religion at its very worse. Problem is that all religions are dragging the human race into the same abyss they wallow in. While is is probably to late for most adults, one can hope that educating our children will allow them to actually think rather than follow blind,meaningless slogans dictated to them by parents and self serving clergy.

    December 26, 2011 at 11:54 am |
    • Robert

      The religion of atheism has been responsible for far, far more deaths than all other religions in the world combined for all of recorded history–and that in just the past 100 years. Pol Pol, Mao, Stalin, Lenin, and a dozen lesser known atheist leaders have been responsible for the deaths of over 250 million people in the past 100 years. No other religion can come close to touching that.

      December 26, 2011 at 1:03 pm |
    • The Central Scrutinizer

      One does does not fight and kill "for athism". It not a religiion or a political party. Some of what you say is true, but the "bad guy" fills in for God (often being worshipped as such), it is the same principle and killing for religion. Delusion is delustion and your arguments don't hold water. Not the less, I recommend you read the following. Educational if nothing else:

      History is full of uncounted massacres by armies carrying a religious banner, though most such episodes were in ancient times with much less efficient killing technology and microscopically smaller populations. The number of religious exterminations of entire villages throughout history is innumerable, though most had body counts only in the hundreds or thousands. Alexander the Great is estimated to have executed a million. 11th century Crusades killed half a million Jews and Muslims. Genghis Khan's massacres of entire populations of cities probably totaled a million. The Aztecs once slaughtered 100,000 prisoners over four days. An unknown number, probably in the millions, died in the Devil's Wind action in Colonial India. Up to four million Hindus, Sikhs, and Muslims died in post-Colonial India. The Ottoman Empire massacred two million Armenians over the years. Franco's Spanish Civil War killed a hundred thousand. A million have died in Rwanda, half a million in Darfur. And Christian vs. Muslim violence has obviously dominated our headlines for a decade, totaling somewhere in seven figures.

      So who has been the worst throughout history: atheist regimes or religious regimes? Obviously the big numbers come from the 20th century superpowers (China, Russia, Germany) so the answer depends on how you classify those. And this is where the meat of these debates is usually found, splitting hairs on which regime is atheist, which is merely secular, which is non-Christian and thus fair game to be called atheist. Hitchens points out that Stalin's government had all the trappings of religion, including Orwell's totalitarian theocracy, and thus it's merely a play on words to say that it was not religious. Pol Pot was raised a Buddhist monk who grew up to execute Buddhist monks, along with anyone else he could lay his hands on. Whole books have been written on the occult underpinnings of Nazi Germany, the symbology of the Norse gods, to say nothing of the claims that Hitler was a Christian, Hitler was a Jew, and his own writings expressing the kinship he felt with the Muslims. A favorite counterpoint raised by Christian debaters is that these despots practiced Social Darwinism and were thus atheists by definition. In summary, the winner of these debates is the one who can convince the other that the big 20th century genocidal maniacs were motivated either by religion or by a desire to destroy religion. The entire debate is the logical fallacy of the excluded middle.

      Here's the thing. If you write a book called God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything, you sell a lot of books. If you write a book called What's So Great About Christianity on the evils of atheism, you also sell a lot of books. If you say that neither extremist viewpoint makes any sense, you end up doing a podcast and working as a greeter at Wal-Mart directing customers to the section where they sell Hitchens and D'Souza books. The truth is less incisive, it's less inflammatory, it raises no ire, and it draws no audience.


      December 26, 2011 at 1:24 pm |
    • JohnR

      Great post, Central Scrutinizer! Beliefs per se don't kill people. There has been a lot of violence done in the name of religion, but also a lot done in the name of communism, fascism, "manifest destiny", empire, etc, etc. Atheists who claim that religion is the root of all evil are either willfully, even tendentiously, ignorant or lying. This utterly bogus claim distracts from the strong arguments against granting anyone one religion or religion in general too much political power. It's a shame and a disgrace.

      December 26, 2011 at 1:50 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Evolved, educated? You non-believers who have done absolutely nothing in your lives except whine and complain about nonsense believe that you are educated. GMAB. If you were educated you'd comprehend Jesus' spiritual teachings. But you don't. You're still stuck on thinking He's an imaginary sky fairy. Putz.


      December 26, 2011 at 2:06 pm |
    • The Central Scrutinizer

      HeavenSent, thank you so much. Your input into these intellectual conversations is so vital.

      December 26, 2011 at 2:31 pm |
    • tallulah13

      HS has really embraced the biblical concept that knowledge is evil.

      December 26, 2011 at 2:38 pm |
    • The Central Scrutinizer


      December 26, 2011 at 2:42 pm |
    • Mirosal

      And THAT very concept is what held back humanity for over 1000 years. If the 'church' didin't educate someone, they weren't regarded as educated. Apparently, HS still thinks like a 7th century monk. HS, we have electricity now, and communications .. we even learned to conquer the air!!

      December 26, 2011 at 2:42 pm |
    • EvolvedDNA

      Heavensent. You were about to tells us what jesus truth is....?.

      December 26, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
    • Getting hold of God

      The manners in this place are terrible, but some of the content is interesting. The train of analysis, as I understand it, is:

      Person 1 blames wars on religion.
      Person 2 refutes the argument by pointing out that atheists also commit mayhem.
      Person 1 responds that the atheists who commit mayhem are really pursuing a kind of religion, or are influenced by their religious roots.
      The excluded middle is that people keep fighting wars and will justify them by any expedient means.

      This makes sense, but let's take it a step further.
      I would call this a particular case of the Problem of Evil generally. We all recognize the reality of evil. But it seems to me that it's a problem only from a religious point of view. And since evil is obviously a problem, rather than just a phenomenon, the religious point of view better accounts for it. http://www.gettingholdofgod.wordpress.com

      December 26, 2011 at 9:55 pm |
  10. Rainer Braendlein

    I don't know exactly, why the Boko Haram fighters celebrate Christmas with explosive belts. However, to a large extent they may justify their evil deeds by the Koran.

    Indeed the Koran is anti-Christian and anti-Jewish, in that sense that Islam is not only a competi-tor of Christianity of Judaism, but the Islam wants to exterminate the Christian Church and the Jews.

    We need an international council of theologians and historians, which figures out the true essence of Islam according to history, the Koran and current Islamic society. The result would be devastating for the Islam. As a conclusion the Islam had to be abolished and condemned as corrosive heresy.

    As long as our politicans and media don't dare to condemn the Islamic doctrine, the radical Muslims like Boko Haram will committ their evil deeds, which they can justify by the Islamic doctrine.

    However, let us love our Muslim neighbours here in the West according to Christ's command, despite their false belief. Let us invite them for dinner, walk, football, etc..

    No harm towards the Muslims, but the love of Jesus.

    December 26, 2011 at 11:25 am |
    • The Central Scrutinizer

      I don't know exactly, why the Christians and Jews celebrate Christmas with explosive belches from over-eating. However, to a large extent they may justify their evil deeds by the Bible.

      Indeed the Bible is anti-logic and anti-peace, in that sense that Christianity is not only a competi-tor of all religions, but the Evangelicals want to exterminate the all beliefs beyond their own (money and greed).

      We need an international council of theologians and historians, which figures out the true essence of Christianity according to history, the Bible and current Christian society. The result would be devastating for the GOP. As a conclusion the Christians had to be abolished and condemned as corrosive heresy.

      As long as the world politicians and media don't dare to condemn the Christian doctrine, the radical Morons, er…Christians like Pat Robertson, Newt, Murdoch, etc will commit their evil deeds, which they can justify by the saying it is ok.

      However, let us love our Christian neighbors here in the West according to Christ's command, despite our false belief. Let us invite them for dinner, walks, football, etc.

      No harm towards the Christians, but the love of other false Gods.

      December 26, 2011 at 1:12 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Central, was it Charlie Brown's Christmas or Halloween story that he got a rock? Either way, you're complaints are in the same category.


      December 26, 2011 at 2:08 pm |
    • The Central Scrutinizer

      HeavenSent, slow down, you are going to tucker yourself out and I stop laughing. Zing! Zow!

      December 26, 2011 at 2:33 pm |
    • Getting hold of God

      @ CS - I was still admiring your play on words when I stumbled on the comment that the Bible is "anti-logic and anti-peace". Good heavens! Sorry, bad choice of words. Anyway, you're obviously a person of intelligence. You can't really be satisfied with labels like that. And go easy on HS. His heart's probably in the right place, although I have no idea where his head is.

      I read a good comment once, that the Bible is really not a book but a library. It's important to know which section you're in, before you start drawing conclusions about what you're reading. Peace. And Happy Halloween.

      December 26, 2011 at 10:10 pm |
    • Why Islam

      Committing acts of aggression and killing innocent people is against the tenets of Islam. Those who do such things are not Muslim.

      December 27, 2011 at 12:05 am |
  11. M.F. Luder

    More proof that religions bring nothing but death. The Western Hemisphere isn't enough of an example?

    December 26, 2011 at 11:17 am |
    • The Central Scrutinizer

      Ya live, ya die. Ya die some more. Eh.

      December 26, 2011 at 1:28 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      And ... you non-believers truly want everyone to believe that you are sitting on the sidelines. LOL. I'd describe you more as carpetbaggers.


      December 26, 2011 at 2:10 pm |
    • The Central Scrutinizer

      Eh, you got some of the eh....carpets......ya get some eh.....some bags and ah....you make the bag with carpet and ah...you know, You get some eh....discrimiation and ah.......well I'll meet you in cotton country. Eh. Waddaya gonna do.

      December 26, 2011 at 2:39 pm |
    • evolvedDNA

      HS,, we are on the side lines watching the world and society being attacked .. and your religion is being attacked by other more intelligent religions that know the real truth and who's god is more real than yours..if you have the evidence that your god is more real.. better get tt out now or get your god to start using lasers or some thing...

      December 26, 2011 at 9:43 pm |
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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.