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January 24th, 2012
04:50 PM ET

Romney tax returns shine light on Mormon tithing

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

(CNN) - Although many Americans may have wondered just how much money Mitt Romney makes and how much he pays in taxes in the lead-up to the release Tuesday of his tax documents, there was little suspense around how much he gives to his church.

That's because all Mormons in good standing with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are required to give 10% of their salaries as a tithe.

"Mormon children are expected to begin tithing from their very first allowance," says Terryl Givens, an expert on Mormonism at the University of Richmond. "And there's never any variation on the 10%, whether you're on welfare or you're a millionaire."

Mitt Romney and his wife, Ann, gave even more to their church last year. Tax documents released Tuesday show they gave $2.6 million, more than 12% of the roughly $21 million they earned. The Romneys also gave $1.4 million last year in cash and stock to their family foundation, which heavily supports the LDS Church.

In 2010, the other year for which the Romneys released a federal tax return, they gave $1.5 million to the LDS church, 7% of their earnings, plus $900,000 to their family foundation, called the Tyler Foundation.

The Tyler Foundation gave $145,000 to the LDS church in 2010, so the Romneys' church donations average out to 10% over the last two years.

Unlike in most Christian traditions, in which the decision about whether to tithe is made individually by each church member, giving to the LDS Church is enforced. Participation in important ceremonies at Mormon temples is contingent on being paid up.

"For Mormons, tithing is an article of faith, not an economic principal," said Givens, who is Mormon. "Some critics see it as tying worthiness to an economic contribution."

He calls it "an important differentiator between devout Mormons and nominal Mormons."

A survey of American Mormons released earlier this month by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life found that eight in 10 say they tithe to the church.

Tithing dates back to the earliest Mormons, with the LDS Church's 19th century founder, Joseph Smith, drawing on the Bible's Old Testament as precedent for 10% church support. Smith also wrote about tithing in the Doctrine and Covenants, a Mormon holy book comprising Smith's revelations from God.

For early Mormons, tithing was as much practical as theological. As the early Mormon community journeyed from state to state across America, often on the run from persecution, tithing was an important way for the community to sustain itself.

"Early Mormons were outcasts from society and suffered extreme deprivation and they needed to take care of themselves and take care of the church on a day-to-day basis," Givens said. "To this day, Mormons are known for taking care of their own."

Today, tithing finances the administration of the Salt Lake City, Utah-based LDS Church, the construction of Mormon temples - which are rapidly proliferating as Mormonism grows worldwide - and the church-owned Brigham Young University.

Mormons are also encouraged to give separately to their local congregations and to a church humanitarian fund that goes to international relief projects. The church urges Mormons to fast on the first Sunday of each month and to donate the cost of the food they would typically eat to the humanitarian fund.

An informal 2011 survey by the National Association of Evangelicals found that most evangelical leaders on its 100-person board of directors don't believe the Bible requires tithing. Just 42% of the board members said that is true.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Mitt Romney • Money & Faith • Mormonism • Politics

soundoff (1,579 Responses)
  1. Shark839

    Whether you are talking about religion, or race bigotry is still unacceptable. It was not long ago in the country that they said a catholic would never be president.

    January 24, 2012 at 6:35 pm |
    • John Brown

      If you need someone to teach and tell you how you should live then you should give 100% of your money away.

      January 24, 2012 at 6:54 pm |
    • Shark839

      Religion is really not my cup of tea. However I won't criticize those that choose to live that way as long as it does not effect me or my family.

      January 24, 2012 at 7:01 pm |
  2. BFin

    @jerry It's Crazy people like you putting those things on google

    January 24, 2012 at 6:34 pm |
  3. Pablo

    Lets hear all the Obama Kool Aid drinkers tell us why Romney donating $3Million to charity was such a terrible thing...Also it sounds like you all are experts in Mormon philosophy, so please, tell us more about why this mans religious preference is such a terrible thing and before I know it, I will be required to join the "cult". Please, do us all a favor and stay home in November...Go Romney!!!!!

    January 24, 2012 at 6:33 pm |
    • Pat

      A church with business investments is NOT a charity. Get your facts straight.

      January 24, 2012 at 6:35 pm |
    • Shark839

      If that were true NO Church would qualify.

      January 24, 2012 at 6:37 pm |
    • VonDoom

      Donating money to the LDS church isn't charity, it stays in the church. You should be proud for the "kool-aid" remark, nothing racist about that.

      January 24, 2012 at 6:45 pm |
  4. Staring Horse with Tongue Sticking Out

    There is no scientific evidence indicating that God exists. We all know that. For example:

    • God has never left any physical evidence of his existence on earth.
    • None of Jesus' "miracles" left any physical evidence either.
    • God has never spoken to modern man, for example by taking over all the television stations and broadcasting a rational message to everyone.
    • The resurrected Jesus has never been proved to have appeared to anyone.
    • The Bible we have is provably incorrect and is obviously the work of primitive men rather than God.
    • When we analyze prayer with statistics, we find no evidence that God is "answering prayers.
    • Huge, amazing atrocities like the Holocaust and AIDS occur without any response from God.
    • And so on…

    If you think about it as a rational person, this lack of evidence is startling. There is not one bit of empirical evidence indicating that today's "God", nor any other contemporary god, nor any god of the past, exists. In addition we know that:

    1. If we had scientific proof of God's existence, we would talk about the "science of God" rather than "faith in God".

    2. If we had scientific proof of God's existence, the study of God would be a scientific endeavor rather than a theological one.

    3. If we had scientific proof of God's existence, all religious people would be aligning on the God that had been scientifically proven to exist. Instead there are thousands of gods and religions.

    The reason for this lack of evidence is easy for any unbiased observer to see. The reason why there is no empirical evidence for God is because God is imaginary.

    January 24, 2012 at 6:32 pm |
    • jujitsu

      sorry we dont all know that there is no empirical truth of God. Its just hard to believe there was a big ban and something as complex as our lives began. Prove that one.

      January 24, 2012 at 6:36 pm |
    • TAK

      Jujitsu, if you paid any attention is science class past the fourth grade, you'd have your proof.

      January 24, 2012 at 6:44 pm |
    • Mike

      God wants us to have faith. If he just appeared on tv and we all knew he was real, it would not require faith, which is important for us to have and experience in this life.

      January 24, 2012 at 6:45 pm |
    • Staring Horse with Tongue Sticking Out

      Yes, we do. We all know there is no empirical evidence for God. I am not sure what you are asking me to prove. That there was a Big Bang, or that something as complex as our lives began. You don't communicate very well. You do understand that the Universe is over 13 billion years old right? A lot can happen in 13 billion years.

      January 24, 2012 at 6:46 pm |
    • Staring Horse with Tongue Sticking Out

      Mike, if that were true why was he constantly talking to people and killing people in the OT and then in the NT, Jesus was walking around "appearing" after his death? Why the faith thing? What does that do for us? If God were real, he would chat with us a bit I think and tell us what he wants. You are silly. You say he is all powerful but he is unable to materialize. Weak argument.

      January 24, 2012 at 6:49 pm |
    • not really no

      Since all I experience is related to me through my own five senses, any of which could be flawed, it seems logical that I am the only creature in existence and that all of you and everything else is not just an extension of my mind. Can you prove to me that you exist? OH, and since we all like to say empirically, prove it empirically.

      January 24, 2012 at 7:03 pm |
    • Staring Horse with Tongue Sticking Out

      @not really no

      Naturally I can't prove anything to you if you are a Solipsist. Nothing outside your mind can be rationally confirmed. But you knew that you rascal.

      January 24, 2012 at 7:26 pm |
    • Therese

      ...Horse>>> Your argument is flawed. We do not use empirical proof to measure art, or love, or beauty -we do not weigh inspiration by the kilo or measure patriotism by the yard. The scientific method is approprate for material things – not spiritual ones.

      Yet love, patriotism, inspiration and beauty are very real indeed – our proof that they exist is their effect on our lives.

      God may be known the same way, perhaos.
      Just suggesting...

      January 26, 2012 at 10:08 pm |
    • copo

      I think it's funny that every time somebody wants to disprove the existence of god the talk about science and the big bang theory. I have studied science and I still believe in god. In fact, the more I learn about science the more I believe in God. Einstein was one of the greatest scientists in history and he believed in god. So I ask all you people who think that science disproves the existence of god, "What came before the Big Bang?" And when you figure that out, " What came before that?" And I will keep asking you that question until you have no further answer to give. And I will say, "God came before that."

      January 28, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
  5. TAK

    So he paid just about as much to the church as he did to Uncle Sam. Where are his loyalties? That alone should disqualify anyone from being president.

    January 24, 2012 at 6:32 pm |
    • To rob

      That's the most stupidest thing I have ever heard

      January 24, 2012 at 6:38 pm |
    • American

      Now that sounds like a big brother fan.... Give your moneys to the government, not church and charity.... Government knows how to spend your dollars..... Leftist thinking will wear one out.

      January 24, 2012 at 6:40 pm |
    • J

      So you want him to pay "extra" taxes above what he is legally required so he can be more generous to charity? That makes A LOT of sense.

      January 24, 2012 at 8:36 pm |
  6. Copernicus Son

    Hahaha, love how the article blasts the Mormons for "never any variation on the 10%, whether you're on welfare," which completely ignores the fact that these "welfare" recipients are taken care of by their own.

    US presidents and politicians all the way down to guys like Ted Kennedy have lauded the Mormon welfare system as a model that should be commended. I'm close with my Mormon neighbor, and while he is on hard times right now, the Mormon church pays his rent and utility, provides him food for his family, and runs its own career center and jobs training program – thus the Mormons do not put this welfare strain on the rest of the society. Another 'crazy' thing about this is that the welfare storage facilities not only empty out into the broad local community when there is an emergency, but through their donations, this system is one of the largest contributors among churches to impoverished nations, no religious affiliation needed - hence all the national awards and recognition for the Mormon welfare system. The Mormons I know have always been happy to pay this money because they see it going to good use, rather than into their Pastor's new Escalade rims.

    January 24, 2012 at 6:32 pm |
    • American

      It is true, they do believe that all should have some skin in the fight.... no free lunches; what a concept.

      January 24, 2012 at 6:44 pm |
    • Todd Morgan

      I can tell you that this is true. In my life my local church has paid for rent, utilities, a car payment, medical bills, insurance, and have provided food, clothing, and christmas presents.

      My sister was Mormon growing up and now she is in another church, she even commented to me the other day that she wishes that they could have the support that our family has had in times of trials and illness.

      A person can choose to do whatever bashing and spread hate, but I can definately tell you that Mormon church is very charitable when it comes to helping their own members through financial difficulty.

      The mormon church even pays for the college education for many of its members especially those in 2nd and 3rd world countries

      January 24, 2012 at 6:50 pm |
    • Therese

      I am not a member of LDS but I must agree that they take care of their own and I have never known one who is not honest and fair. They are charitable too. In our neighborhood, when I was a new mother far from any family, they were the only ones that reached out to offer practical help and they did not demand that I join them or do anything except treat me with kindness. So I respect them.

      January 26, 2012 at 10:12 pm |
  7. Mormon Think

    It's true, with the Mormons, there is an admission fee to their so called highest degree of heaven. You can most perfect human being ever, but if you don't fork over 10% of your gross income to LDS Inc., you won't get in. So God cares about your money, just like Joey Smith did we he founded this ridiculous religion. Golden Plates, seer stone, "I'm a Prophet of God and God has commanded me to be sealed to your wife"... What a sham!!

    January 24, 2012 at 6:31 pm |
    • To rob

      Thats not true....

      January 24, 2012 at 6:32 pm |
    • will

      Actually that is completely true.

      January 24, 2012 at 6:40 pm |
    • American

      Look at the laughable experts on the Mormon religion.... Freedom of speech is awesome, even when it makes them look the fool. Sure is a lot of fear coming from the obama supporters.

      January 24, 2012 at 6:43 pm |
    • Da'witchdoctor

      you were once a Mormon huh

      January 24, 2012 at 6:46 pm |
    • American

      Just an American who doesn't believe in judging another's religion, nor using it as a litmus test. Masa el-kheir

      January 24, 2012 at 6:56 pm |
  8. Weston

    Mormons believe Jesus came to the America's after he was resurrected. They also believe that native americans were direct descendents of Hebrews, which has been proved wrong by modern science.

    January 24, 2012 at 6:30 pm |
    • TAK

      Didn't Mel Brooks play an Indian Chief in Blazing Saddles?
      Anyway, did you expect a religion to defer to scientific facts?

      January 24, 2012 at 6:37 pm |
    • will

      Thats just scratching the surface. go to "what mormons believe' and you can see a short list of beliefs. If Americans really knew what Romney believes, there would not be a chance in hell he would get elected. I personally will vote for him because he is competent and would do a better job than the other yahoo's running. I like Paul some as well.

      January 24, 2012 at 6:44 pm |
    • Calvin

      Good grief. So wrong. We believe SOME folks that lived in the americas hundreds of years ago came from the old world. Probably a relatively small number that mingled with others that were here. There's no way for science (DNA) to debunk that.

      Folks, there is a ton of garbage spewed about the LDS church that is just false, false, false. I always love hearing about the secret doctrines that even LDS people don't know about until some good-minded "Christian" tries to educate us. I love hearing about how were discouraged from learning about our own doctrines and history. Nonsense. I teach adult sunday school, and everything I teach, just like every LDS sunday school teacher around the globe, can be easily found online at LDS.org. All of our scripture is there. ALL of our doctrine. There are no secret stash somewhere where we keep the real stuff. Anyone wanting to know the truth can easily find it. Of course, you have to want to know the truth rather than want to spread falsehoods.

      I speak to my non-LDS Christian brothers and sisters, many of whom think they are doing the Lord's work by trying to "expose" the "truth" about the LDS church. Many of you are honestly trying to do the right think by ripping the LDS church. However, be aware that you've been fed a pack of lies and distortions, perhaps from a well-meaning pastor. I'd like to think most anti-mormons are well-meaning, but it gets more difficult to believe when such dishonest tactics are used. Peace.

      January 24, 2012 at 6:47 pm |
  9. Pablo for Mitt!!!

    Wow...the bigotry continues. All this because you people say he prays to the wrong God or perhaps he believes some of the details of this God differ from you. Really? I hope that he wins just so all the vile you spew from your high horses is remembered. Instead of acknowledging that he has been extremely generous to many individuals, you cut him down because he donated to charitable organizations you don't agree with. This is what is wrong with America. Instead of common goals, you focus on insignificant differences. Go Mitt!!!

    January 24, 2012 at 6:28 pm |
    • vlm98

      well said

      January 24, 2012 at 6:30 pm |
    • Pat

      What are you, one of the converts or a missionary?

      January 24, 2012 at 6:37 pm |
    • The Phist

      Kinda like what you're focusing on.

      January 24, 2012 at 6:38 pm |
    • TAK

      Pablo, you could say all that, verbatim, about President Obama. The question to ask yourself is, would you?

      January 24, 2012 at 6:41 pm |
  10. Shark839

    I could care less what religion he is. As long as no one shows up at my door and tells me I have to go to Church it has no impact on my life. Until that happens, its none of my business.

    January 24, 2012 at 6:25 pm |
    • John Brown

      Mormons are no different than anyone community. You have good people, bad people, smart people, dumb people, leaders, and sheep. As an ex-mormon I can say the Church is very aggressive about collecting that 10% every week. If you don't pay you are frowned upon. My guess is that less than half of Mormons actually pay the 10%. I know plenty of Mormons that lie so they can enter the temple.

      January 24, 2012 at 6:39 pm |
  11. Emperor Vadik, CA

    Do they mention that even after you give money your whole life to the Mormon Church, if you don't pay them once they will not let you in any more???!!!!

    ....after all God has his price in a Mormon Church...

    ...even Scientology is cheaper....

    January 24, 2012 at 6:23 pm |
    • American

      Emperor Vadik.... What is that? are you a member of the jedi religion?

      January 24, 2012 at 6:26 pm |
    • Greg

      Yeah, that isnt true. You just have to pay consistently for a few months to be able to get into the temple. Anybody can go to church.

      January 24, 2012 at 6:31 pm |
    • Lord Obeahman

      Bigoted people should not talk about stuff they do not know. Allah be praise

      January 24, 2012 at 6:34 pm |
    • Gloria WIlson

      Excuse me! I do believe that you need to research your comment a little better. The Mormon Church does not kick you out because you did not pay your 10% on time.

      January 24, 2012 at 6:38 pm |
  12. American

    These bigoted posters aren't members of the GOP, they are campaigning for oBama......... The bigot card is fading away, been over played.

    January 24, 2012 at 6:22 pm |
    • The Phist

      obama is just as worthless as romney. They both believe in the imaginary sky princess.

      January 24, 2012 at 6:25 pm |
    • VonDoom

      Leave it to members of the GOP to act like victims if anyone tells them their poo don't smell like roses.

      January 24, 2012 at 6:41 pm |
    • American

      No victims here... just enjoying the leftist tactic of bigotry. We are sure the racism card will be played later. Gotta stay with those ozombie talking points.

      January 24, 2012 at 6:49 pm |
  13. sonotso

    I've got some golden tablets for sale for 2.6 million.

    January 24, 2012 at 6:22 pm |
    • American

      Not quite what you have contributed to the oBama campaign I am sure.

      January 24, 2012 at 6:25 pm |
    • Da'witchdoctor

      here is a idea for you, sit on the golden plate and spin and see if make you happy. use a pointed end.
      Wa alaykumus salaam my brother

      January 24, 2012 at 6:38 pm |
    • American

      shukrun, a very thoughtful response witch

      January 24, 2012 at 6:50 pm |
    • Doug

      Now you sound like Gingrich.

      January 24, 2012 at 6:58 pm |
  14. Tony Designer

    Mormons are not Christians and Romney is as slippery as they come. I wouldn't vote for a Mormon even if my life depended on it. #GoodRiddensRomney

    January 24, 2012 at 6:22 pm |
    • American

      That is laughable.... better go make your obama campaign calls.

      January 24, 2012 at 6:24 pm |
    • vlm98

      Go do your homework Tony http://mormon.org/ come back to the post when you have a valid point.

      January 24, 2012 at 6:32 pm |
    • A mormon

      Mormons believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and worship him as such. Who are you to say they are not Christian?

      January 24, 2012 at 6:38 pm |
    • Staring Horse with Tongue Sticking Out

      They are not Christian. They are even dumber than Christians. They are in a class by themselves.

      January 24, 2012 at 7:00 pm |
    • Doug

      I'd love to see you make that call.

      January 24, 2012 at 7:01 pm |
    • American

      Staring horse, the new lead ozombie... you will make your leader proud.

      January 24, 2012 at 7:12 pm |
  15. jerry

    Yeah the LDS are all about the money we already knew that... Most Christian churches have a collection plate where you can decide to put a $1 or $100, nobody but you knows but Mormons are like drug dealers where they count your money before you get the goods i.e. your own heaven in this case

    January 24, 2012 at 6:21 pm |
    • Spencer

      As far as giving to charity Utah is number one on the Forbes list of most charitable states...http://www.forbes.com/2005/11/23/most-charitable-states-cx_lh_1125home_ls.html

      January 24, 2012 at 6:28 pm |
    • Nope

      Tell that to those of us who have been helped by Mormon relief teams. hurricanes, tornadoes...LDS people are on the spot handing out food, tarps, and helping the community no matter what church the residents attend.

      January 24, 2012 at 6:30 pm |
    • WB

      It should be noted that they don't actually count your money and compare it to your gross and force you to pay up if it's not all there. The church never asks for pay stubs or tax statements. It's all about honesty and integrity. It's not about how much you can pay, but about obedience to the principle and honoring God's laws.

      January 24, 2012 at 6:49 pm |
    • Anton

      Unlike other Christians, Mormons don't have paid ministers. I'm pretty sure they all contribute and they all volunteer: an un-paid clergy. I'm in no way religious, but from my own Bible knowledge I don't believe Jesus or his disciples were paid either (oops!).

      On the other hand, pastors of most "legitimate" Christian churches are run by paid ministers that have to first go to "Bible School" and then live completely off their congregations, treating a "ministry" much like a job at the bank. As an outsider, I've got much more respect for the way Mormons do it.

      So go ahead, Jerry, and keep paying for your pastor's mortgage and car insurance. Let Mormons pay to support themselves as well as tens of thousands of non-Mormons all around the world through one of the most efficient humanitarian organizations I've ever seen.

      January 24, 2012 at 7:00 pm |
  16. Davinia

    I am happy to know that Mr. Romney is active in his church, and obeys its bi-laws. Now, who is he really besides a possible presidential candidate that may be able to beat Obama in the race toward the White House. Newt I know. Mit I don't know.

    January 24, 2012 at 6:19 pm |
    • Josh

      Thank you for your tolerant comment. I won't be voting for Newt, but I ask that you please talk to those in your circle of influence to try and help others see Mormons as Christians, and if they can't accept that, at the very least, decent people.

      January 24, 2012 at 6:27 pm |
  17. rob

    The Mormon cult is a repulsive, immoral, disgusting, bigoted organization that spreads hate against others. And Mormon beliefs are laughable. And if they can spend tens of millions of dollars on hate campaigns, why can't they pay taxes? Why are taxpayers subsidizing governments services to this pathetic, faux "religion?" The sooner this cult is brought down, the better off the country will be.

    January 24, 2012 at 6:19 pm |
    • Villi

      I think you are spreading hate with what you just wrote...

      January 24, 2012 at 6:28 pm |
    • Tyler

      How do you really feel?

      January 24, 2012 at 6:29 pm |
    • Ian

      What a positive, Christian comment you posted:) Glad to see you aren't full of hate and bigotry yourself. Did you also know Mormons sacrifice their firstborn on hallows-eve?

      January 24, 2012 at 6:31 pm |
    • TownC

      If Mormons pay taxes, down comes your so called wall of separation of church and state. If you pay taxes then you have the right to fully participate in partisan politics....be careful what you wish for.

      January 24, 2012 at 6:32 pm |
    • Benjamin

      Rob you are laughable with such a hate filled post. Calm down and get your ideas straight.

      January 24, 2012 at 6:38 pm |
    • Doug

      Wow, Rob. I'm glad we have upstanding citizens like yourself spreading positive messages. Extremest organizations are filled with people like you. Take some blood pressure meds, get a massage and go do something useful.

      January 24, 2012 at 7:04 pm |
    • Therese

      Stop being so negative and nasty, please. Do you even know any Mormons/LDS?

      January 26, 2012 at 10:15 pm |
  18. Emperor Vadik, CA

    If you are dumb enough to be a moromon (or christian) then you are dumb enough to give your money to perverts...

    January 24, 2012 at 6:18 pm |
    • Doug

      Are you really an Emperor? Like the one on Star Wars?

      January 24, 2012 at 7:05 pm |
  19. budgiegirl

    I love how Christans beat up on the Mormons for their cult-like religion – then get all in a tizzy when the Atheists beat up on the Christians for their cult-like religion.

    January 24, 2012 at 6:14 pm |
    • Amber

      Great observation.

      January 24, 2012 at 6:19 pm |
    • Todd Morgan

      finally a smart comment

      January 24, 2012 at 6:33 pm |
  20. Al

    Isn't it sad how Non-members "seem" to know more about the LDS church than members? First of all, they us the word "Mormon" like it is an official name, which it isn't, (It's the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints). Most ministers prefer this so they can further the lie that members aren't Christians. Then they quote someone, who quotes someone else that "they heard" etc etc. All of which would dissapate if they would only read it themselves or ask a member. I for one would like to see an honest man put in the White House. It would be an interesting test to see if he could survive Washington. Look what happened to a Catholic many years ago.... So vote for a politician and get what we have always gotten, or an honest man. But PLEASE Vote.

    Everyone is talking about how much taxes he pays. Look at how much he paid (not the percentage, look at the millions of dollars AND church donations to help this country. Can the others say the same? How much did THEY contribute? Who do we think will look out for us? A business man or a career politician? vote

    January 24, 2012 at 6:14 pm |
    • jerry

      It is said to see people that know nothing about there own religion when anybody with google can find more than enough crazy things about Mormons

      January 24, 2012 at 6:23 pm |
    • LeslieM1

      There already is an honest man in the White House. You just don't think anyone who disagrees with you politically is honest. That's not very honest, now is it?

      January 24, 2012 at 6:31 pm |
    • Iamamormon

      I agree with you Al. How can anyone also be considered an expert on Mormons when they haven't even been one. if you want to know the correct things about Mormons you should ask an actual Mormon. You can also go to mormon.org or lds.org for factusl info on the mormons.

      January 24, 2012 at 6:42 pm |
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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.