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Muslims in North Caucasus concerned about ‘extremism'
April 23rd, 2013
09:47 AM ET

Muslims in North Caucasus concerned about ‘extremism'

By Dan Merica, CNN
[twitter-follow screen_name='DanMericaCNN']

Washington (CNN) – A majority of Muslims (57%) in Russia’s North Caucasus – including Chechnya, Dagestan and five other Russian jurisdictions – are either “very concerned” or “somewhat concerned” about religious extremist groups in their country, according to a Pew Research Center survey.

That number is higher than Russia as a whole, where more than four-in-10 Muslims in the country express the same level of concern.

This region of the world, particularly Chechnya and Dagestan, has been in the news recently because the suspects in last week’s Boston Marathon bombing – Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the younger brother who is still alive, and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the older brother who died in a shootout last week – had familial ties to the region.

The two brothers were born in Kyrgyzstan, where 62% of Muslims told Pew they were very or somewhat concerned about extremism in the central Asian country.

Monday night, Dzhokhar told investigators that his older brother, Tamerlan, was the mastermind behind the Boston Marathon bombing that killed three and injured more than 260 people. Tamerlan appears to have become increasingly religious in the years leading up to the bombing, and interviews with family in Russia indicate that the older brother was radicalized while in America.

While there is so far no evidence that the brothers were associated to international jihadist groups, in August 2012, soon after returning from a long visit to Russia, Tamerlan created a YouTube channel with links to a number of videos including sermons or interviews with radical preachers.

Though extremist groups from Chechnya have carried out terrorist acts since the early 2000s, most of those attacks have been focused on Russia. An example: the Beslan school hostage crises in September 2004, where more than 300 people were killed.

Though experts say the Caucasus are quieter now, Thomas de Waal, an expert on the region, says there is a constant a low-level Islamist insurgency there.

The Pew data released Tuesday is part of a larger report on the state of Islam conducted from October 2011 to February 2012, with research collected before the Boston bombings.

The survey also found that Muslims in Russia’s North Caucasus – the dominant religion in the region – are more concerned about Islamic extremist groups than Christian groups. Thirty-six percent of Muslims said they were primarily worried about Islamic extremists, while only 2% indicated they were worried about Christian groups.

Russia, as a whole, is primarily Christian, with 73% of its population identifying with the faith, according to Pew’s 2012 Global Religious Landscape report. About 10% of the country’s population is Muslim – most of which live in the Russian Caucasus.

Likewise, in the brothers' birthplace of Kyrgyzstan, 32% of Muslims were concerned about Islamic extremist groups, while 5% were concerned with Christian extremism. According to Pew’s numbers on world religions, Muslims make up 88% of the country’s population, while 11% of Kyrgyz people are Christian.

In light of the bombing, Muslim leaders in Boston and around the United States condemned the attacks. “I don't care who or what these criminals claim to be, but I can never recognize these criminals as part of my city or my faith community," said Yusufi Vali, executive director for the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center, the largest mosque in the Boston area.

Imam Talal Eid, the imam at the Boston Islamic Institute, told CNN that he would refuse to give Tamerlan last rites. "A person who is devoted does not kill innocent people," Eid said.

- CNN’s Eric Marrapodi and Jake Tapper contributed to this report.

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Islam • Polls • Russia • Terrorism

soundoff (902 Responses)
  1. OhShutUp

    Hey Sly, how many Hindu terrorists have you seen? How about Amish terrorists. Jehova's terrorists. Its not religion, its THIS RELIGION!!!!! Islam is prevalent in the most violent controlling countries ( Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq,......). The Shiites and Sunnis can't even co-exist together. Got Narrowmindedness?
    Maybe this religion could do us a favor and leave the dark ages and join the rest of reality here on Earth in 2012. Live any way you see fit, whether you are a Roman Catholic, Hasidic Jew or Muslim but please STOP judging everything and everyone you don't agree with. If I'm an Infidel, then I'm an infidel so " lighten up Francis! ". All religions teach you to treat others better than yourselves. Muslims start leading by example. The world will soon become fed up with it, and you.

    April 23, 2013 at 2:49 pm |
    • brian

      Stereotyping a religion of a billion + people by the actions of a couple thousand does not make you seem smart.

      April 23, 2013 at 2:55 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Oh really?

      Dude, the Hindu's have some of the WORST on the planet

      Bands of roaming murderers, drugged out wackos waging war for kicks

      Read a bit of British History. or maybe read some Kipling

      April 23, 2013 at 2:56 pm |
    • William Demuth

      How about JEWISH?

      They had a president implicated in blowing up a hotel!

      Every cult has it's killers

      April 23, 2013 at 2:57 pm |
    • sam

      U mad, bro?

      April 23, 2013 at 2:57 pm |
    • Strelok

      Please keep in mind these countries where incidents of terrorism are commonplace also have several other factors to consider. These are areas where poverty is rampant, they are engaged in overt and covert warfare with neighboring nations, and the rule of law is undermined at every turn by militias and ad hoc governing bodies.

      April 23, 2013 at 2:58 pm |
    • Kevin Lawton

      "Maybe this religion could do us a favor and leave the dark ages and join the rest of reality here on Earth in 2012." You are aware it is 2013 right?

      April 23, 2013 at 3:00 pm |
    • STFU

      @William Demuth, you mean American history and bands of roaming murderers, drugged out wackos waging war for kicks Indians !!! STFU stupid.

      April 23, 2013 at 3:02 pm |
    • William Demuth

      STFU

      Are you for real? That is possibly the record ofr ignorance.

      Indians as in INDIA, you know that country with a BILLION Hindu's in it?

      They were called Thuggies (Our term thug comes from them)

      Religious mass murderers.

      April 23, 2013 at 3:19 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      Humanitarianism should be one's humbling trait of recognizable discernibility upon Life's tirades within mangling gestations of ill wills. Without God one says they are godless. With God many say they are saved. As death dare beckons Life, the livid are lucidly against death's coming yet death knocks upon all Life's doors. Keep one's peace as your life pieces together the life processes upon self-proclaiming agendas once lain dormant. God and the kingdom domains of God lays dormant and upon and within the insides of all things living and even inside all that is not alive. The differentiation of the celestial and the atomic domains are rooted in simplistic chasms of fractal cosmologies.

      April 23, 2013 at 3:39 pm |
  2. Korgis

    In the news. By the end of this month, the following countries are likely to be added to the list of those that have already legalized same-sex marriage:

    France
    Uruguay
    New Zealand

    (France and Uruguay are only awaiting expected Presidential signatures.)

    April 23, 2013 at 2:48 pm |
    • oOo

      Oh Douglas – oh Douglas- where are you? Where are you? Are you hiding in a closet somewhere???

      April 23, 2013 at 2:55 pm |
    • ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

      Expect nothing better from followers of hindu fabrication Evolution, they claim to be children of hindu Languors, stupid secular s by nature, what is next? a hindu secular, ignorant woman will sleep with a hindu languor, ignorant secular by nature, and will be announced Mrs, Languor officially with full benefits for her husband languor.

      April 23, 2013 at 2:56 pm |
    • oOo

      LOL – Islam troll has some funny ones today.

      April 23, 2013 at 2:58 pm |
    • sam

      No one understands a damn thing you say, Mohammed.

      April 23, 2013 at 2:58 pm |
    • STFU

      Mohammad A. Dar was dropped on his head, all his mother's fault.

      April 23, 2013 at 3:03 pm |
  3. Jack 7

    We should just have a world wide religious MMA death match.

    April 23, 2013 at 2:47 pm |
  4. Cup Noodle

    Damn you Raman.

    April 23, 2013 at 2:47 pm |
  5. Max

    @John – no problem with that, as long the distinction is made between belief and fact. Personally I was raised as a Christian but I'm not about put my foot down and say everyone else is wrong. Faith by definition is the strong belief in something in the absence of proof after all.

    April 23, 2013 at 2:46 pm |
    • John

      M, think about this, the apostles KNEW God had healed people through Jesus. The apostles KNEW the Holy Spirit was active. The apostles KNEW Jesus was there with them.

      The apostles then told people to believe and have faith... even the ones right there with them at the time.

      Why?

      April 23, 2013 at 2:57 pm |
    • sam stone

      john: because they were delusional?

      April 23, 2013 at 3:09 pm |
    • John

      If you were going to make up a story, would you tell the people to believe first, before God acted?

      April 23, 2013 at 3:17 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @John

      I think you need to learn how logic works.

      April 23, 2013 at 3:19 pm |
    • John

      The New Testament is filled with miracles being discussed and the big requirement is "have faith, or nothing happens". If the account is a lie, why say that? Why not say, "and Jesus gave the command to destroy a legion of Roman soldiers, and walked away from Pilate and the high priests".

      That one requirement tells the story. It tells you it's the truth.

      April 23, 2013 at 3:24 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @John

      Thank you for the perfect example of you needing to learn how logic works. Your question makes no sense, and is completely irrelevant.
      "It says to believe because it says so, therefore that makes it truth".
      That's pretty sad.

      April 23, 2013 at 3:35 pm |
    • John

      In grade school they told me math was important, so I believed them and learned it. I was not disappointed then either.

      April 23, 2013 at 3:51 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @John

      Are you just trying to make as little sense as possible to avoid addressing your circular reasoning?

      April 23, 2013 at 4:32 pm |
    • John

      H, what is circular is you telling everyone you talk with, to prove God to you, because you believe them, rather than God. Your eternal life has become based on many different people's understanding of what God said, rather than your own understanding, or his.

      You are going round and round in circles... for nothing... a 'nothing god' given to you by science... that does nothing. It won't save you.

      April 23, 2013 at 4:43 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @John

      1) Building a Straw Man of my position does not get rid off your circular argument.
      2) You're again merely asserting that your god exists.
      3) You're assuming I need saving from anything.

      If you're really unable to address your own fallacies, at least be honest and say so.

      April 23, 2013 at 4:49 pm |
  6. STFU

    basically, the survey is saying there are still 43% muslims out there in Russia who believe in 72 virgins.

    April 23, 2013 at 2:45 pm |
  7. Stosh

    57% isn't a very high percentage. I would have hoped that it was up more around 90% or higher. That means 43% aren't concerned, or are in favor of extremism. That's scary high.

    April 23, 2013 at 2:45 pm |
    • ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

      Who cares, what a hindu denier of truth absolute seeks in his hindu secular ism criminal self center ism to please his hindu soul, filthy desire, it is a matter of truth absolute, not hindu soul, filthy desire of a hindu secular, criminal self centered.

      April 23, 2013 at 2:49 pm |
  8. Jack Monsoon

    Muslims may be 'concerned' about extremism but they don't do a whole lot to stop it. How about starting with all the ayatollahs and imams publicly announce, on al-Jazeera that THERE IS NO JIHAD AGAINST THE US... It won't happen...

    April 23, 2013 at 2:45 pm |
  9. Apple Bush

    It is a shame the Rastafarians don't recruit more.

    April 23, 2013 at 2:41 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Tell that to Bob Marley!

      Best ad EVER!

      April 23, 2013 at 2:42 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      I'm a Pastafarian - all hail the great Flying Spaghetti Monster!

      Ramen!

      April 23, 2013 at 2:43 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      May you be touched by his noodly appendage.

      R'amen.

      April 23, 2013 at 2:46 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      I can dig it man.

      April 23, 2013 at 2:46 pm |
    • Stosh

      Snoop Lion (aka Snoop Dog) recently converted. That's a good sign. I think...

      April 23, 2013 at 2:46 pm |
  10. Jack 7

    Are we really still debating religion on this planet. It so retarded... All religion is based on human accounts of things that cannot be explained and then further distorted through time & greed. People need to get passed religion already.

    April 23, 2013 at 2:39 pm |
    • Atheist, me?

      Jack
      Religion, religiosity and spirituality are integral parts of humanity. If you learn them well they make you more human!

      April 23, 2013 at 2:47 pm |
    • Jack 7

      There is nothing to learn. No religious person is better off then I am. We are all on equal footing. Dr. Death does not distinguish between religious and atheist, good or bad person, young or old... When Dr. Death is coming for you all the praying in the world will not help. The whole thing is a farce, waste of time... Spend your lives doing more productive things like taking vacations, hobbies, art... Do not waste it on the stupidity and greed of religion.

      April 23, 2013 at 2:51 pm |
  11. Ron

    He becomes "increasingly religious," so he decides the thing to do is to blow the limbs off women and children with a bomb and assassinate a cop dedicated to the protection of citizens. Bizarre!

    April 23, 2013 at 2:37 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      not bizarre. normal for religion. aside from Jainism, ALL religions command people to hurt and kill others not like them. just look at the bible. tons of commands to kill and murder.

      April 23, 2013 at 2:42 pm |
    • Atheist, me?

      Booty
      Guess if that is the normal for Christians then we can all say that Atheism is the best religion! However you obviously are anti-Christian not an atheist!

      April 23, 2013 at 2:51 pm |
  12. Magooser

    The comments and hateful vitriol on the CNN comment boards for numerous news articles should also concern the Muslims.

    April 23, 2013 at 2:36 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Nah, the towel heads don't really care.

      They think we are weak.

      I am afraid they are right.

      April 23, 2013 at 2:39 pm |
    • Pliny

      William,

      I disagress about being 'weak'.

      Make no mistake. We (in the west) are in a culture war with islam. And it's only the 2nd inning.

      And it's going to get worse. MUCH worse.

      What the muslims don't realize is that they cannot sit silently by, while their children turn into radical hate-mongering, mass-murdering cowards. It is up to THEM to do something about this.

      Because, we in the west do appear 'weak' to them. Our cultures mistakenly believe that human life is precious. It is not. Any two imbeciles can produce human offspring.

      And because they, the muslims, do not lift a finger to stop their children from becoming terrorists....but at the same time....the muslims will riot in all 4 corners of the earth because someone draws a picture of mohammed....and they remain silent when 3000 Americans are murdered in the name of islam. Their silence signals support for the terrorists.

      And what the muslims do not comprehend is that our patience is limited. Either the muslims are going to do something to stop this.....or we will.

      And if that is the case...if we are forced to take action...it will not end well for the muslims.

      Personally....I would like us to develope alternative energy sources and move away from using oil. Without oil, the arab and persian muslims would have less-then-zero relevance to the world today.

      April 23, 2013 at 2:55 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Pliny

      Two, or perhaps three nuclear weapons detonated in the right place and human society could well collapse completley

      This is well within their reach

      Be real cautious about asking for a confrontation, because while I agree THEY will lose, we shall lose as well

      April 23, 2013 at 3:00 pm |
  13. John

    My advice the strongest voice against radical Islam needs to be from the Muslim community itself. Not many ever speak out against radical Islam they excuse it, justify it or refuse to acknowledge it. I do not want to see innocent people come under attack no matter what their religion or believe but the Muslim community can do a lot more to help themselves by being the most vocal against radical Islam.

    April 23, 2013 at 2:33 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Good position, alas this is about as likely as we Americans speaking out against Christian or Jewish extremists.

      This is winner take all, and this world is not big enough for two imaginary saviors.

      May the best fabricated deity win.

      The winner gets the world, and the loser gets a cameo in an upcoming Avengers movie as an aging supper villan
      !

      April 23, 2013 at 2:36 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      actually, lots of muslim groups come out against extremism. especially because of how it makes non-extremist groups look.

      April 23, 2013 at 2:38 pm |
    • John

      I would disagree I do think those communities can stand up against the extremes within their own faith, others have done so in the past. The hardship of the extremist in Islam is the Muslim people themselves and if anyone outside of the Muslim community confronts it then it becomes this so called anti Muslim BS. If they truly want to make an impact within their faith then only they can stand up to the radical within it.

      April 23, 2013 at 2:41 pm |
    • IAM

      My thoughts exactly John. I would hope that the Muslim community in the USA would be vigilant about any member that they see has extremists tendencies, to contact authorities before another tragedy like the one in Boston could happen again. But, I'm afraid they might have a 'loyalist culture' and not notify anyone of the danger. I hope I am wrong.

      April 23, 2013 at 2:41 pm |
    • Alias

      @William
      A new Avengers movie!!!!
      Don't tease-

      April 23, 2013 at 2:41 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Alias

      Nuff Said!

      Actually, if you think about it The Marvell Universe is where spent Gods get retired to.

      Dozens of former Gods that we humans murdered for are now just cartoon charachters.

      Someday, todays Gods will suffer the same fate, and my money says Spidey can take Muhammed and Jesus at once!

      April 23, 2013 at 2:45 pm |
    • ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

      Strongest condemnation by law abiding human should be rejection of hindu secular ism, criminal self center ism, source of hindism, lawlessness on earth, and do best to eliminate hindu secular ism criminal self center ism and its followers by faith, called hinduism, illegality.

      April 23, 2013 at 2:45 pm |
    • Pliny

      I'll say it again.

      Some podunk newspaper in Denmark publishes cartoons of mohammed...and muslims all over the planet use it as an excuse to riot.

      But when muslims murder 3000 Americans in the name of islam...you don't hear a peep. Yes, muslims in the west release press-statements condemning the terrorist actions of the fellow muslims. But that is a self-serving actoin.
      Where are the rest of them? They have no problem screaming at cameras and buring US embassies when it suits their needs. And they are strangely quiet when one of their own butchers a bunch of infidels.

      April 23, 2013 at 2:59 pm |
  14. Lycidas

    People of faith are often blamed for the actions of others.

    April 23, 2013 at 2:24 pm |
    • William Demuth

      People of faith are more often than not guilty as charged

      April 23, 2013 at 2:28 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Examples?

      April 23, 2013 at 2:29 pm |
    • mark

      "People of faith" have murdered millions of other humans over the centuries because of their beliefs...stop lying to yourself.

      "Religious" militants – muslim or christian – are simply terrorists hiding behind a religion. I am more afraid of the extremist christians in the US than of any other group in the world – they are PROVEN killers.

      mark

      April 23, 2013 at 2:38 pm |
    • sam stone

      people of faith also blame others for the actions of others

      April 23, 2013 at 3:11 pm |
  15. sam

    "A person who is devoted does not kill innocent people," Eid said.

    Sure. That's easy: infidels are not innocent in the minds of extremists. And that's how the bombing starts.

    April 23, 2013 at 2:23 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      And remember, Christians believe that no one is innocent at all. Kind of a scary thought.

      April 23, 2013 at 2:29 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      and according to the bible, all non-believers should be killed. so it doesn't sound like much difference between the bible and the qu'ran. the difference is christians, luckily, aren't very good christians these days. christians don't follow the bible very closely or they would have to kill all g.ays, non-virgin brides, disobedient children and anyone working the weekend. so get off your high horse. all look same.

      April 23, 2013 at 2:40 pm |
    • Jay Clark

      Jesus said we are all guilty of sin. Christians are merely repeating what He said.

      April 23, 2013 at 2:51 pm |
    • sam

      @bootyfunk – who had a high horse? It was a comment.

      @ISLAM – no one asked for your goddamn opinion, Mohammad. It's the same illiterate crap from you everyday. Get a job.

      April 23, 2013 at 2:56 pm |
    • sam stone

      jay: given that the bible is hearsay, how can you be certain what jesus said?

      April 23, 2013 at 3:13 pm |
  16. Keith B. Rosenberg

    There ought to be a high level of concern about Moslem extremists in the Moslem world. They either change themselves into something that the rest of thw world can live with, or the change will happen when the non-Moslem world uses force.

    April 23, 2013 at 2:21 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Then you will get Nuclear Suicide Bombers

      New Years Eve in Times Square, with the ballon going up when the ball comes down.

      April 23, 2013 at 2:27 pm |
    • ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

      As you planned in your hindu secular, criminal self centered hindu filthy soul, desire, Muslims have nothing to do with your hhindu Judaism, criminal self center ism.

      April 23, 2013 at 2:38 pm |
  17. William Demuth

    Survey: Christian's in North Carolina concerned about ‘extremism’ within their faith

    April 23, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
  18. RandyF

    There isn't anything more extreme than a religion that sentences you to death for leaving it.

    April 23, 2013 at 2:15 pm |
    • William Demuth

      How about one that gasses 12 million for being Jewish?

      How about one that burns little old ladies at the stake for being witches?

      How about one that looks the other way while its preachers bugger 40,000 little boys?

      April 23, 2013 at 2:21 pm |
  19. sly

    Christians, Muslims, Jews etc... Identical. Same levels of peacefullness, same levels of violence. People are people, whether they are religious or not.

    Human nature is to kill to benefit ourselves. Never will change, whether you are Republican, Democrat, Wiccan, Muslim, Christian, Red Sox fan, Yankees fan, gay, etc ....

    April 23, 2013 at 2:10 pm |
    • Don't Sing Kumbaya

      While human nature may be the same globally, the issue with Islam is that certain interpretations of its doctrine justify violence against non-believers or those who are perceived to be attacking the faith. While modern, progressive, followers of Islam denounce violence. The idea of jihad has traditionally meant unrelenting warfare against the infidel. Polling data suggests that around the Middle East 10% to 30% of all Muslims think terrorist acts in the defense of Islam are justified. If 1000 Muslims apply for visas to come to the U.S. 100 to 300 may be supportive of suicide bombings. If even 1% of those people are actually willing to act on that notion, then we let in a handful of potential terrorists with each batch of visitors. That is a problem.

      April 23, 2013 at 2:24 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @sly

      I have yet to see a Wiccan go apeshit and kill for their religion. I think it's that whole "threefold" rule that's part of their central doctrine that prevents this.

      April 23, 2013 at 2:28 pm |
    • William Demuth

      I once saw a Wiccan chick go ape on a case of Boones Farm Apple Zapple.

      Does that count?

      April 23, 2013 at 2:33 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      What the hell is Boones Farm Apple Zapple?
      And I don't think it does.

      April 23, 2013 at 2:35 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Dude, that was the official Wiccan Hippie Chick wine for like 30 years

      Strawberry Hill was a close second

      April 23, 2013 at 2:37 pm |
    • Science

      WD ......................The wine of the times............back in the day ?

      April 23, 2013 at 2:42 pm |
    • LB

      Good post and thinking, Sly. What you say is very, very true. Fanatics like this exist in ALL religions of every kind and many times outside of organized religions hiding behind PAC's, warm and fuzzy names like The Patriot Movement, and the like. Look at the "Minute Men" and Shawna Ford for a good example of this. I worked in Law Enforcement as an Investigator at the Federal, State, and local levels my entire career until I retired and had the opportunity to interview several of these fanatics face to face over the years. A fanatic is a fanatic is a fanatic anyway you cut it. Fanatical Muslims are absolutely no different than Fanatical Evangelical Christians. The same goes for all fanatics, no matter what beliefs they espouse and hide behind. Unfortunately, there will always be folks like that out there. We must be vigilant and guard ourselves against these types of people.

      April 23, 2013 at 2:45 pm |
    • William Demuth

      WD ......................The wine of the times............back in the day ?

      Hell yeah, it was the rage

      Used it as bong water, melted blotter in it, it was a multi purpose beverage!

      April 23, 2013 at 2:52 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      I've never seen that wine here.

      April 23, 2013 at 2:57 pm |
    • Science

      Hey WD.......................the stories aye ?

      Peace

      April 23, 2013 at 3:03 pm |
    • Science

      Hey hawaiiguest........................I think it is still marketed today...................it was a cheap(like 2 US dollars back in the day)

      friuty flavor wine for the masses.

      April 23, 2013 at 3:28 pm |
  20. Mirabel

    Look how blind was the FBI.

    http://www.amazon.Com/gp/registry/registry.html?ie=UTF8&type=wishlist&id=1PNVMAW2D4CT1

    April 23, 2013 at 2:10 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.