Amish leader gets 15 years for beard attacks
February 8th, 2013
04:24 PM ET

Amish leader gets 15 years for beard attacks

A leader of a breakaway Amish community in rural eastern Ohio was sentenced to 15 years in prison Friday for forcibly cutting the beards and hair of community members, Court Clerk Robert Pitts said.

Sam Mullet Sr. and 15 followers were found guilty last year of conspiracy to violate federal hate-crime law in connection with what authorities said were the religiously motivated attacks on several fellow Amish people.

Prosecutors said the 15 followers, at Mullet's instruction, shaved the beards and cut the hair of Amish people who had left his group over various religious disagreements. Five attacks happened in four eastern Ohio counties between September and November 2011.

- gcarter

Filed under: Amish • Belief • Crime • Ohio

Americans reveal their 3 favorite sins
Eve couldn't stay away from the apple, but a new survey reveals that most Americans struggle with three other temptations.
February 8th, 2013
10:25 AM ET

Americans reveal their 3 favorite sins

By John Blake, CNN

 “Lead me not into temptation. I can find it all by myself.”

That line, taken from the country music song “Lead Me Not,” evokes smiles because it underscores a truth: The struggle against temptation is universal.

A new survey, however, gets specific about the type of temptations most Americans battle against, and shows that men and women seem to wrestle with different vices.

“Temptations and America’s Favorite Sins,” a survey conducted by the Barna Group, a Christian research firm, concludes that the moral struggles that vex most Americans aren’t the salacious acts that drive the plotlines of reality television shows. Most Americans are too worn down or distracted to get snared by those vices, the survey concludes.

The top three sins seducing most Americans: procrastination, overeating and spending too much time on media.


- CNN Writer

Filed under: Belief • Books • Christianity • Church • Faith • Internet • Media • News media • Sex • Trends

February 8th, 2013
05:36 AM ET

Belief Blog's Morning Speed Read for Friday, February 08, 2013

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: Catholic Bishops not satisfied with Obama’s contraception compromise
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops does not support the Obama administration’s revised proposal for providing insurance coverage for contraception, saying it falls short of addressing concerns about religious freedom.

President Barack Obama at the National Prayer Breakfast Thursday, February 07, 2013.

CNN: Picking up a bagel instead of a partisan fight
Translation headsets squawked in four languages at the early morning breakfast in Washington, mixing in with the sounds of stirred coffee and clinking china in the immense ballroom at the Washington Hilton. For the 61st time, the president came to pray with the U.S. Senate and House prayer groups at the National Prayer Breakfast. It is an event that is equal parts prayer and politics, where members of both parties laud one another about a temporary political truce, lay down their partisan ammunition, and pause to pray together.


- A. Hawkins

Filed under: Uncategorized

Mecca redevelopment sparks heritage concerns
Mecca has changed dramatically over the past decades. This is how it appears in 2012. The Grand Mosque, in the foreground, is dwarfed by the Abraj Al Bait Towers complex, including the Royal Mecca Clock Tower.
February 8th, 2013
03:48 AM ET

Mecca redevelopment sparks heritage concerns

By Tim Hume and Samya Ayish, CNN

(CNN) - An Ottoman-era portico in Mecca's Grand Mosque has become the latest battleground in a conflict between those who want to preserve the city's architectural heritage and Saudi authorities pushing for redevelopment.

The 17th century portico - one of the oldest parts of the Grand Mosque, Islam's holiest - is being removed by Mecca authorities as part of an expansion project to create more space for soaring numbers of pilgrims.

- A. Hawkins

Filed under: Islam • Mosque • Saudi Arabia

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.

February 2013