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April 8th, 2012
05:22 PM ET

Tebow talks faith during Easter event in Texas

By the CNN Wire Staff

(CNN) - After being all football in his last press conference following his trade to the New York Jets, Tim Tebow on Sunday was all about his faith, which he discussed at length with a Texas pastor during an Easter event.

The New York Jets quarterback was greeted by shrieks and cheers as he took the stage on the sprawling Celebration Church campus in Georgetown, about 25 miles north of the state capital of Austin.

After some playful banter with senior pastor Joe Champion - who asked the former Florida Gator to don a football helmet from his alma mater, Louisiana State University - Tebow began answering questions about his faith and how his openness about it has become a frequently dissected topic in sports and society at large.

The Heisman Trophy winner and outspoken evangelical Christian said that he wasn't sure why he has become such a focal point for his faith. Nor did he have an easy explanation as to why Tebowing, the act of getting down on one knee and praying, went viral - with people doing it on mountaintops, under the sea and most anywhere in between.

CNN's Belief Blog – the faith angles behind the biggest stories

"I really don't think that I was the first athlete to get down on one knee and pray," said Tebow, who is known to do so on the football field. "I've actually had the same routine the last several years and, just this year, they started calling it Tebowing. ... I have no idea why."

The quarterback recalled how, during one game last season, a Detroit Lions defensive player stood over him and began Tebowing after tackling him. He said he wasn't sure if the act was meant to mock him, but still called it "flattering" because the opposing player, whether he realized it or not, was praying - something that Tebow believes is a good thing, wherever it's done.

Beyond his exploits at the University of Florida and more recently in the NFL with the Denver Broncos, nowadays Tebow is known as much for his outward expression of faith as for his football.

It began in Gainesville, where he led the Gators to two national championships while etching Bible verses into the eyeblack he wore on game days. In Denver, his jersey was one of the league's hottest sellers, even before he started regularly for the team, in large part due to his immense popularity among Christians.

"I'm just so blessed to have a platform so when cameras are rolling, they can't just turn it off," he told Champion. "They have to hear me say, 'I have to thank my lord and savior, Jesus Christ.'"

But it's also made Tebow a lightning rod of sorts, with some questioning whether he should be talking more about football and less about his faith, as well as a fixture in popular culture. In one "Saturday Night Live" skit, a character portraying Jesus goes into the Broncos' locker room saying he doesn't want to have to "bail out" the team every week and praising their upcoming foe, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, as a "miracle worker."

Tebow said Sunday that he takes the attention in stride, saying that anything that gets people thinking about faith is a positive.

"When it's being talked about, that means it's being contemplated by people," he said. "And that's a good thing."

And believing personally that his fate is in God's hands gives Tebow comfort and joy, he said, and helps him remain optimistic and energized while tackling most any challenge.

As important as football is to him, Tebow said he feels wholeheartedly that following God's path is more so.

"Whatever happens in life - good or bad, whether you're the hero or the goat, whether you like it or not - you know that someone has a plan for your life, and it's a special plan," Tebow said. "When you trust that and you have hope in that, then you have peace in all decisions and everything you do. And it brings a lot of joy to your life."

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Christianity

soundoff (355 Responses)
  1. Trancend

    Accept Jesus christ as your lord and saviour. You never know how soon is too late. Trancend the worldly illusion of enslavement.
    The world denounces truth....

    Accepting Jesus Christ will result in something like seeng a new colour. You will see it .....but will not be able to clearly explain it to anyone else..... Its meant to be that way to transend any selfism within you.

    Currently.... your constructing your own path that suits your sin lifestyle.

    Look closely at the economy ponzi, look at how society idolizes Lust , greed , envy, sloth, pride of life, desire for knowledge, desire for power, desire for revencge,gluttony with food etc .

    Trancend the temporal world.

    Just think if you can find a truth you can take with you in any of these things. When you die your riches go to someone who will spend away your life. You will be forgotten.... history will repeat iteslf, the greatest minds knowledge fate or are eventually plagerzed, your good deeds are forgotten and only give you a fleeting temporary reward . your learned teachings are forgotten or mutated, your gold is transfered back to the rullers that rule you through deception. Your grave will grow over .
    Trancend your egoism and free yourself from this dominion of satan. Relise your a sinner and part of the collective problem of this worldly matrix... Repent....

    Evidence follows faith. Faith does not follow evidence..... Faith above reason in Jesus Christ.

    Read Ecclesiastes. Read corinthians.

    You cant trancend your own egoism by adapting a world philosophy to suit your needs. Seek the truth.

    Sell your cleverness and purchase bewilderment. You don't get what you want you get what you are in christ.

    I promise this has been the truth for me. In Jesus christ .

    Think of what you really have to lose. ...your ego?

    Down is up. Break the Matrix of illusion that holds your senses captive.

    once you do . you too will have the wisdom of God that comes only through the Holy Spirit. Saved By grace through Faith. Just like seeing a new colour.... can't explain it to a transient caught in the matrix of worldly deception.

    Your all smart people . I tell the truth. Its hard to think out of the box when earthly thinking is the box.

    April 18, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
  2. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things..

    April 11, 2012 at 7:58 am |
    • Jesus

      Prayer doesn’t not change anything; you are so full of crap and lies. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs! ~,~

      April 11, 2012 at 10:44 am |
  3. erotig

    Hello there, I discovered your blog via Google while looking for a related topic, your website got here up, it appears great. I've bookmarked to favourites|added to bookmarks.

    April 11, 2012 at 12:30 am |
  4. Prayer changes things

    Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things*

    April 10, 2012 at 1:28 pm |
    • Jesus

      Prayer doesn’t not; you are so full of crap and lies. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs! ~,~ ;-P`

      April 10, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
  5. johnfrichardson

    This guy is dumber than a brick and throws about as well as he speaks, ie terribly.

    April 10, 2012 at 10:56 am |
  6. Richard Greg Crews

    Passage John 15:19:

    If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.

    April 10, 2012 at 9:56 am |
  7. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer really changes things

    April 10, 2012 at 7:07 am |
    • YOU ARE A FOOL!

      How many times are you going to post your dumb BS?
      Prayer is for the weak, you are a lost fool.

      Prayer is pathetic!

      April 10, 2012 at 8:30 am |
    • EPAB

      No a particularly deep thinker are you?

      April 10, 2012 at 8:45 am |
    • Prayer changes things

      God is and rewards those who diligently seek Him
      A good man prays
      A great man acts on prayer
      Prayer changes things

      April 10, 2012 at 9:14 am |
    • Prayer is for the mentally challenged

      Having imaginary friends is normal for a 6-year-old. Having imaginary friends as an adult is a mental disease.

      April 10, 2012 at 9:53 am |
    • Jesus

      `Prayer doesn’t not; you are so full of crap and lies. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs! ~,~

      April 10, 2012 at 10:29 am |
    • wrussia

      for the man that says prayer is for the weak Harvard medical school researchers show prayer absolutely changes brain waves, much like running. YOU NEED TO FOLLOW RESEARCH INSTEAD OF THINKING THINGS IN YOUR VERY SMALL BRAIN

      April 10, 2012 at 11:50 am |
    • Don

      In that case, I pray that you stop posting this.

      April 10, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
    • Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

      Prayer changes things. .

      April 10, 2012 at 7:29 pm |
  8. Betty Kiel

    Tim Tebow, this is for you: http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-773205?ref=feeds%2Fpeople%2Fconnect%2FSevenfold747

    "7"

    April 10, 2012 at 5:36 am |
  9. Jim

    Tebowing: A public display of religious hypocrisy.

    Matt: 6:5-6 "Whenever you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, because they love to pray while standing in synagogues and on street corners so that people can see them. Truly I say to you, they have their reward. But whenever you pray, go into your room, close the door, and pray to your Father in secret. And your Father, who sees in secret, will reward you."

    ...and in football stadiums.

    April 10, 2012 at 2:11 am |
  10. b4bigbang

    I had a great Easter and i am having an excellent day today as well. The weather is warm and sunny, and i just want to thank the Intelligent Designer who is the Father of all the physical laws, gravity, etc, etc.!
    Yep. He set up the universe and we study it with our science and it gives me a sense of awe.

    April 9, 2012 at 8:36 pm |
    • Use your brain

      I think that's a defensible position. If a god exists, one could certainly argue that he/she/it is responsible for the physical laws. Not sure there's a way to prove or disprove it and if the idea works for you then cool.

      April 9, 2012 at 11:13 pm |
  11. Jim P.

    "Nor did he have an easy explanation as to why Tebowing, the act of getting down on one knee and praying, " Wow and no one has ever done this before in the history of praying? He gets it named after him? Well, as the bible says "....he has his reward for his showy public prayers.

    All for show. Your bible says you are to go someplace private to pray and that doing it noisily in public is its own reward.

    Beleivers never really do what the book they claim to beleive in tells them to do.

    So, how does this Jesus guy decide which team to help when they both are praying all over the place and each side claims god is on it?

    April 9, 2012 at 6:24 pm |
  12. jbro

    It truly baffles me that so many people have such vitriole for someone who does nothing more than live out his beliefs on a daily basis. He's not any different in public than he is in private–usually that is seen as a good quality compared to a hyprocrite or someone who is two-faced.. Should he be ashamed of his beliefs, or try to hide them, simply because he is a public figure? If you don't agree with him, fine. But why attack him for sharing his faith? Things are seriously mixed up in our country if Tebow is seen as someone who should be scorned, when so many other pro athletes abuse drugs, abuse their wives, abuse animals, and commit crimes on a regular basis yet the public seems to be just fine with overlooking that behavior.

    For those of you who question his commitment or his motivations, I suggest that you take a look at how his walk matches up with his talk. He gives of his time and his money to try to help others. (http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news?slug=ycn-10587089. He has publicly committed to abstinence until he gets married (and as someone who has two teenage sons who have made the same commitment, I find the gay comments to be pretty reprehensible–just because a guy isn't sleeping around doesn't mean he's not attracted to women. It just means he has more respect for women than to use them for physical gratification when he isn't committed to them).

    I don't idolize Tim Tebow. I'm just grateful that he is someone I can point to as an example for my sons so that they can see that they are not alone in taking a stand for what they believe in, even in the face of hatred and criticism.

    April 9, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
    • Religion

      He lives out his beliefs on the field (on Sunday no less). What a hypocrite. Typical Christian Taliban type.

      April 9, 2012 at 6:03 pm |
    • Jim

      "someone who does nothing more than live out his beliefs on a daily basis"
      What a load of CRAP!!!! You repeatedly point out on of the things he does *in public* to show others his faith. This is in direct violation of Matthew 6 and other places. This should actually be no surpirse and most Christians have no clue about what is in the bible. To make it easier to understand let's look at a logical syllogism:

      P1: A Christian follows the teachings and commandments in the bible
      P2: Tebow claims to be a Christian
      P3: The bible tells you explicitely NOT to pray in public
      P4: Tebow prays in public
      P5: A hipocrite is somone who says one thing and does another.
      P6: Tebow claims to be a Christian but does NOT following the teachings and commandments in the bible by praying in public
      C: Tebow is a hipocrite.

      Now was that so hard to understand?

      April 10, 2012 at 2:19 am |
  13. Reality

    Dear Timmy T,

    Welcome to the 21st century with a bit of realism:

    ONLY FOR THE NEWCOMERS:

    The Apostles' Creed 2011: (updated by yours truly and based on the studies of historians and theologians of the past 200 years)

    Should I believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
    and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
    human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven??

    I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
    preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
    named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
    girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)

    Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
    the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

    He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
    a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of
    Jerusalem.

    Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
    many semi-fiction writers. A descent into Hell, a bodily resurrection
    and ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
    Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
    grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
    and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
    called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.

    Amen
    (references used are available upon request)

    April 9, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
    • Jim

      Well done!

      April 10, 2012 at 2:20 am |
  14. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    April 9, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
    • Jesus

      `Prayer doesn’t not; you are so full of crap and lies. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs!,. ,

      April 9, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
    • Marley

      YouTube for "Jesus Camp"

      "Jesus Camp" is not healthy for children and other living things!

      April 9, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
    • Jim P.

      Must have this macroes, you post it so foten.

      Yep, prayer *does* change things. Just have to pick the right god. Apparently the Muslim one is in the ascendant currently as a few men's prayers to him to bring down the Towers outweighed the prayers of millions for it not to happen. I'd call that definitive and am surprised more people aren't converting to Islam with such a dramatic demo of prayer actually working.

      Looks to me like "faith in action". Just like in the bible, bet on the god who actually performs when requested to.

      April 9, 2012 at 6:31 pm |
    • Alfred E Neuman

      Fraud alert avoid fake Jesus posts

      April 9, 2012 at 6:49 pm |
    • Jesus

      "Fraud alert avoid fake Jesus posts"

      Thanks for continuing to prove Christians like you are liars and my post is correct because of your desperation.

      April 9, 2012 at 6:53 pm |
  15. Kris

    I'm not a Christian; however, I have a lot of respect for Tim Tebow standing for something controversial and taking the abuse that comes along with it. While I highly doubt that God plays a role in determining which teams win which games, I don't have a problem with Tebow praying in public during games simply because, from what we can tell so far, he walks the talk. When he starts philandering, getting arrested for drug possession and driving under the influence, and talking bad about other people, then we'll have something to complain about.

    April 9, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
  16. Marley

    People who glorify "God" are only glorifying THEMSELVES.

    These people suffer from a MESSIAH COMPLEX. They are nothing but MEGALOMANIACS!

    They believe they are special and a miracle. They believe they were choosen by some "God" to accomplish some divine plan.

    People like Tebow know exactly what they are doing to manipulate people for fortune and fame.

    BTW: "Jesus" favors Peyton Manning over Tim Tebow! LOL

    April 9, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
    • Tebow Fan boy

      Evil Tebow/Christian hater. Tebow is a humble man who is only trying to practice his faith. It's not his fault if he also happens to be popular. People who are megalomaniacs do things like take our air time during the super bowl to wave their beliefs in the air or publish an autobiography before they hit their mid-twenties.

      Oh wait...

      April 9, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
    • ok

      ok well first of all whats manipulating? And if you dont believe, then what happens no it all? An all were doing is spreading the good news. Because you are blind to the fact why judge? Moreover, who are you to judge anyone. How about this... just follow the book for a month, nothing bad comes out of doing so but positives

      April 10, 2012 at 4:22 am |
  17. boocat

    ABC News reported that after Tebow made his speech and left the majority if his audience left too....

    April 9, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
    • intheknow

      That's NOT true. The majority of the audience did NOT leave. I was there. So much ignorance in these comments.

      April 10, 2012 at 8:35 am |
  18. GodsPeople

    Being a Gator fan I had the pleasure of watching and following Tebow in college. The man is a heck of an athlete, and I believe has the "it" factor that gets people to follow his lead. I mean let's look at facts.. he took a Denver team that had no chance with Orton and took them to the 2nd round of the playoffs. That's no mean feat. The media makes more out of him than there needs to be for one reason: He walks his faith. Because he's never in trouble, he doesn't break laws, he ministers to the poor, they are trying to find SOME way to castigate him. They can't, so they throw the bone to the unholy to do so.

    April 9, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      What is your view on Tebow being gay?
      Amen

      April 9, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
    • boocat

      Let's see how well behaved he is when he gets to NYC...

      April 9, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
    • Tebow Fan boy

      You realize the most of the members of the media that criticism him are Christian themselves, right? And that their arguments rest on his talents?

      The Bronco's defense, offensive scheming, and some fantastic luck (Barber running out of bounds anyone?) put them in the playoffs. Tebow may be a heck of an athlete and people don't often question his work ethic, but he's a below-average quaterback at best.

      April 9, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
    • GodsPeople

      @HeavenSent: Very simple: He's not. He's doing things the way God wants. wait until marriage, wait for the Sacrament. God's blessing will be on his union just like it should be when it happens.

      @boocat: NYC isn't impressive. You want REAL sin, go to Las Vegas. I've been there, and I behaved.

      April 9, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
    • @youignantdotcom

      I guess Tebow played defense, special teams, and kicked game winning field goals too....guess Elvis Dumervil or Von Miller didn't do much last year...

      Lets really look at the facts.

      14 Games Played
      126/271 for 46.5% completions
      2300+ yards
      12 touchdowns 6 ints.
      7 fumbles.
      Worst QB rating in the league.

      THOSE ARE FACTS. Tebow is a garbage QB. Period.

      April 9, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
    • GodsPeople

      Actually, most members of the media are atheist. The higher ups (people in charge) claim to be Jews but are actually Zionists. Their job is to make certain any good, clean white person is villianized as much as possible, while promoting sick dog fighter vick and others like him as the "standard."

      April 9, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
    • GodsPeople

      @youignantdotcom: your name sure is apt! These same defensive players and kickers were playing when Kyle Orton was, and, oh yeah, the Broncos were LOSING every game. I guess that idea never entered your head, however. I'm not sure there's anything in there for it to enter, if your spelling abilities are any indication.

      April 9, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
    • @youignantdotcom

      ": your name sure is apt! These same defensive players and kickers were playing when Kyle Orton was, and, oh yeah, the Broncos were LOSING every game. I guess that idea never entered your head, however. I'm not sure there's anything in there for it to enter, if your spelling abilities are any indication."

      So what are you saying? that they started playing harder when Tebow was QB? pahahahahaha. ok buddy. keep telling yourself that. Most of those players on that team never thought Tebow was a starting QB in the league. Check out some of the interviews from his former teammates. It is laughable what they actually thought of him as a football players, good work ethic, definitely not a good QB.

      But I guess you are a part of the broncos organization and were in the locker room when Tebow was there.

      Fact is, ANYTHING could change the way people are playing, from personal things in life or things like coaches giving bounties, and I highly doubt a 3rd tier QB made the defense play better, or special teams play better or made those 50 yard game winners go through the up rights....you have no idea what you are talking about and it is quite evident.

      April 9, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
    • @youignantdotcom

      ....and those ARE his numbers from last year. GARBAGE. There is a reason why you weren't picked in 3rd grade gym class.

      April 9, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
  19. MCarter

    Christians will continue to speak out and share our faith. We will continue to love others, love Jesus, and honor Him with our behavior and words. Your mocking won't stop us. Your disbelief won't deter us. Your hatred will only inspire us to continue to love. Someday my voice and yours will be silenced, but God's word will go forward and will never be silenced. Check out comments by people all over the web who hate Christianity; their comments are some of the most hate filled and ugly that you will find. It doesn't matter at all to a Christian; it never will. Love never fails.

    April 9, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
    • boocat

      You assume we all hate Tebow. That is not the case. Personally, I suspect any guy that postures on the sidelines during a game and has to tell everyone what he is doing charity-wise. And I've also found that most "christians" don't even know what is in their bible...read Matthew 6 and get back to us.

      April 9, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
    • @youignantdotcom

      do everyone a favor and spend an hour surfing through comments on this board made by "christians". The majority are hate-filled, bigoted comments while others are ones of ignorance and stupidity.

      April 9, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  20. Joe

    He will probably quit football after a couple of years, buy up an unused arena in some southern state, marry some barbie bobble head wearing a cross, write a motivational book then squeeze money out his flock of sheeple... Probably a pretty good life...

    OH yeah, slap thomas kincade prints on every bare wall.

    April 9, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
    • Religion

      Replace "quit" with "fired from" and you are 1000% correct. The Christian Taliban will continue to love him though.

      April 9, 2012 at 6:06 pm |
    • joe86

      Joe you forgot the part about the adultery and him asking for god to help his family through his hard time and then him going to jail for some sort of fraud crime.

      April 12, 2012 at 2:31 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.