January 2nd, 2012
04:25 AM ET

Belief Blog's Morning Speed Read for Monday, January 2

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: 15 faith-based predictions for 2012
To ring in the New Year, CNN's Belief Blog asked experts in religion, faith leaders, and a secular humanist about how the forces of faith and faithlessness will shape the world in 2012.

CNN: Ultra-Orthodox Jews invoke Holocaust in demonstrations over gender roles
Ongoing religious tensions in Israel reached new heights Saturday when a group of ultra-Orthodox Jews used clothing and symbols identified with the Holocaust at a Jerusalem rally.

CNN: Fox apologizes to Jews for polls on who murdered Jesus
Fox Latin America has pulled and apologized for an online poll that asked who was responsible for Jesus’ death and included Jews as a possible response.

Tweet of the Day:

From @CNNBelief: Gorgeous images of new Catholic church built of ice and snow in Germany. Commemorates similar church from 100 years ago. bit.ly/vgzBLG

Enlightening Reads:

New York Times: Catholic Church Unveils New Home for Ex-Episcopalians
Opening its doors more widely to disaffected Episcopalians, the Roman Catholic Church has established the equivalent of a nationwide diocese in the United States that former Episcopal priests and congregations can enter together as intact groups, the Vatican announced Sunday.

The Guardian: Church of England claims metal thefts reach record high
Last year was the worst on record for metal thefts from churches, according to insurance figures. More than 2,500 claims were made to the main Church of England insurer, passing the previous record of more than 2,400 in 2008.

Wood TV: Missing money: Warrant out for pastor
Kent County Prosecutors authorized a warrant for the pastor of Pilgrim Rest Missionary Baptist Church in Grand Rapids, accusing him of embezzling between $50,000 and $100,000 from the church.

ABC News: Newt Gingrich Says He Prays Before Every Major Decision
Newt Gingrich spoke about his Catholic religion and belief in God today on two different campaign stops, recognizing the Christian Evangelical support is a necessary factor for caucus success. Gingrich is still working for last minute Christian votes before Tuesday. He held a telephone meeting with Iowa pastors Friday.

Quote of the Day:

We had 57 members present, with 16 Hispanic, for a total of 73.

A fantastic story by the Los Angeles Times shows how the number of Hispanic members of a local Alabama church has drastically fell in light of the states tough immigration laws. According to the article, the numbers have fallen from as high as 60.

From CNN iReport:

Posted by ahmadc22: Muslim Americans Celebrate New Years in Times Square

Today’s Opinion:

Religion Dispatches: How Iowa Became a Stronghold of the Religious Right
“I prefer to think of Iowa as I saw it through the eyes of a ten-year-old boy,” Herbert Hoover, the only Iowan ever elected president of the United States, wrote at the beginning of his memoir. “Those were eyes filled with the wonders of Iowa’s streams and woods, of the mystery of growing crops.”

Join the conversation…

CNN: Why do Iowa’s evangelicals wield so much political clout?
Inside Mitt Romney’s Iowa headquarters – a former Blockbuster store on a commercial strip outside downtown – Romney and his wife, Ann, are introduced by former presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty and his wife, Mary. Experts on religion and politics say the message to one particular subculture – evangelical Iowans – is clear: Mitt Romney may be Mormon, but he shares evangelical Christian values, including a rock-solid commitment to family, and counts high-profile evangelicals like the Pawlentys as friends and supporters.

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Uncategorized

soundoff (12 Responses)


    January 3, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
    • HellBent

      Please do the rest of us a favor and take your own advice.

      January 3, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
    • A Little Help

      What kind of device are you using?

      January 3, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
  2. Michael

    I sure hope you are not planning on keeping Soledad O'brian on in the am's, She is so one sided and if she stays i am gone.

    January 3, 2012 at 8:28 am |
  3. Sue

    No prayer has ever been answered by a divine being. God does not exist. If you think otherwise, present your evidence.

    It's 2012 and high time for people to move away from religion and other supersti-tions.

    January 2, 2012 at 7:26 pm |
  4. david


    January 2, 2012 at 10:10 am |
  5. RadishLaw

    Someday we will be free. That will be a great day for all mankind. Too bad it is so far away in the future. That's about it, really.

    January 2, 2012 at 9:22 am |
  6. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things
    Prayer is communication with God
    Prayer is the joy and fulfillment of life
    Pray without ceasing in 2012

    January 2, 2012 at 8:37 am |
    • Prayer is imaginary

      Replace "pray" with "acting stupid" and you'd be much closer to the truth.

      January 2, 2012 at 9:02 am |
    • An inconvenient truth

      Prayer is effective and has altered the course of human history from the dawn of time.

      January 2, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
    • Sue

      No prayer has ever been answered by a divine being. God does not exist. If you think otherwise, present your evidence.

      It's 2012 and high time for people to move away from religion and other foolish supersti-tions.

      January 2, 2012 at 7:26 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Sue, this is about the 4th or 5th time an inconvenient idiot has claimed prayer is effective. He has no evidence and has shown that he does not understand what evidence is.

      January 3, 2012 at 6:31 pm |
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.