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September 25th, 2012
04:40 AM ET

Ahmadinejad denounces reactions to film

In an interview with CNN's Piers Morgan, Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad condemns the anti-Islam film "Innocence of Muslims" and the extremist reactions to it.

- A. Hawkins

Filed under: Iran • Islam

September 25th, 2012
04:35 AM ET

Ahmadinejad on race and religion

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad talks to CNN's Piers Morgan about people of different ethnic backgrounds and religion.

- A. Hawkins

Filed under: Iran

Police: Pakistani teen innocent of blasphemy, but case continues
Rimsha Masih in a helicopter after her release from jail in Rawalpindi on September 8.
September 25th, 2012
04:27 AM ET

Police: Pakistani teen innocent of blasphemy, but case continues

By Ashley Fantz, CNN

(CNN) - A 14-year-old Pakistani girl who had faced life in prison for allegedly burning the Quran will have her case heard in juvenile court, the girl's lawyer told CNN.

A local court ordered the transfer on Monday, Tahir Naveed Choudhry said.

Pakistani police told CNN their investigation concluded Rimsha Masih is innocent and was framed by an imam.

"There was no legal evidence against Rimsha," officer Munir Jafri told CNN.

FULL STORY
- A. Hawkins

Filed under: Islam • Pakistan • Quran

Mormon blogger says he faces church slap-down, possible excommunication
The Mormon temple in Salt Lake City, where the church is headquartered.
September 24th, 2012
04:03 PM ET

Mormon blogger says he faces church slap-down, possible excommunication

By Jessica Ravitz, CNN

(CNN) - A Mormon blogger in Florida typed his way into national headlines when he recently went public about facing possible disciplinary action from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

David Twede, who says he’s a fifth-generation Mormon, is the managing editor of MormonThink.com, an online publication that invites debate and open discussion about the LDS Church.

Late last week, The Daily Beast reported that after writing articles critical of GOP Presidential candidate Mitt Romney, Twede, 47, said he was called into church offices in Orlando, Florida, where he was “interrogated” and given “cease and desist” orders.

FULL POST

- CNN Writer/Producer

Filed under: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints • Mitt Romney • Mormonism • Politics

September 24th, 2012
05:15 AM ET

Belief Blog's Morning Speed Read for Monday, September 24

By Arielle Hawkins, 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: Sunni Islam leader calls for peace, urges Muslims to have 'patience and wisdom'
A leading figure in the Sunni Islam world called for fellow believers to respond to recent controversial portrayals of Mohammed - which he said "spread hatred" - just like the prophet himself would, "through patience and wisdom."

Tweet of the Day:

FULL POST

- A. Hawkins

Filed under: Uncategorized

September 24th, 2012
02:09 AM ET

Sunni Islam leader calls for peace, urges Muslims to have 'patience and wisdom'

From Ian Lee and Mohamed Fadel Fahmy, CNN

A leading figure in the Sunni Islam world called for fellow believers to respond to recent controversial portrayals of Mohammed - which he said "spread hatred" - just like the prophet himself would, "through patience and wisdom."

The Grand Mufti of Egypt Ali Gomaa spoke to CNN as Muslims staged yet more passionate protests Saturday in yet more locales, from Germany to Lebanon to Bangladesh, as they have since September 11. Demonstrators railed against an obscure, 14-minute trailer for a film that mocks Mohammed as a womanizer, child molester and killer - as well as the country in which it was privately produced, the United States - and more recently a French satirical magazine's cartoons of a figure representing Mohammed.

FULL STORY
- A. Hawkins

Filed under: Islam

September 22nd, 2012
10:00 PM ET

Different Takes: Should we abandon idea of hell?

Editor’s note: The new documentary "Hellbound?" explores Americans' ideas about hell. We asked two prominent Christians who featured in the film to give us their very different takes on hell.

My Faith: The dangerous effects of believing in hell

Editor’s note: Frank Schaeffer is a New York Times bestselling author. His latest book is "Crazy For God."

By Frank Schaeffer, Special to CNN

Is it any coincidence that the latest war of religion that started on September 11, 2001, is being fought primarily between the United States and the Islamic world? It just so happens that no subgroups of humanity are more ingrained with the doctrine of hell than conservative Muslims and conservative Christians.

And nowhere on earth have conservative Christians been closer to controlling foreign policy than here in the United States. And nowhere on earth have conservative Muslims been more dominant than in the countries from which the 9/11 extremists originated – Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Devil • Opinion

My Take: I don't know if Jesus was married (and I don't care)
September 21st, 2012
09:28 AM ET

My Take: I don't know if Jesus was married (and I don't care)

Editor's Note: Stephen Prothero, a Boston University religion scholar and author of "The American Bible: How Our Words Unite, Divide, and Define a Nation," is a regular CNN Belief Blog contributor.

By Stephen Prothero, Special to CNN

A few years ago I wrote a book about Jesus in the American imagination. What I learned along the way is that the American Jesus is a Gumby-like figure who can twist and turn in almost any direction.

Our Jesus has been black and white, gay and straight, a socialist and a capitalist, a pacifist and a warrior, a civil rights activist and a Ku Klux Klansman. Over the American centuries, he has stood not on some unchanging rock of ages but on the shifting sands of economic circumstances, political calculations and cultural trends.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog contributor

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Coptic • Jesus • Sexuality • United States

September 21st, 2012
05:39 AM ET

Belief Blog's Morning Speed Read for Friday, September 21

By Arielle Hawkins, 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: For Christians in Syria, fear of future reigns
As the 18-month-long Syrian conflict festers, the government and the opposition welcome and need Christian support. But some Christians fear radical Islamists have been swelling rebel ranks. CNN's Nic Robertson recently spoke with Syrian Christians in the Damascus countryside town of Maaloula. Christians make up 10% of the population. Syria is ruled by a government dominated by Alawites, whose faith is an offshoot of Shiism. The regime is opposed by an opposition with a large Sunni presence.


Mourners hug as community members pay respect to the six people killed at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin.

CNN: Senate hate crimes hearing centers on Sikh temple massacre
Forty-five days after a deadly shooting at Wisconsin Sikh temple, hundreds of Sikhs and their supporters lined the halls of Congress on Wednesday for a Capitol Hill hearing on hate crimes and the growing threat of domestic terrorism. “The recent shooting at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, was a tragic hate crime that played out on TV around the country,” said Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, who chaired the hearing for a Senate Judiciary subcommittee.

FULL POST

- A. Hawkins

Filed under: Uncategorized

Tunisian artist graffitis minaret, fights intolerance
September 21st, 2012
05:03 AM ET

Tunisian artist graffitis minaret, fights intolerance

By Catriona Davies, CNN

Fine Arabic calligraphy and street art may seem worlds apart, but for artist eL Seed, they're one and the same thing.

eL Seed, a 31-year-old French Tunisian artist, has just used his distinctive style of Arabic street art, which he calls "calligraffiti," to decorate the tallest minaret in Tunisia with a verse from the Quran that tackles intolerance.

The mural, on the Jara Mosque in eL Seed's hometown of Gabes is 47 meters tall, 10 meters wide and covers two sides of the minaret, his biggest artwork to date.

eL Seed said he was reacting to clashes between hardline Islamist Salafists and artists at an art fair in Tunis in June that showed works the Salafists believed was insulting to Islam.

FULL STORY
- A. Hawkins

Filed under: Islam • Tunisia

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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.

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