When religious beliefs become evil: 4 signs
The Branch Davidians, a religious sect led by David Koresh, clashed with federal agents in 1993 in Waco, Texas.
April 28th, 2013
06:00 AM ET

When religious beliefs become evil: 4 signs

By John Blake, CNN

(CNN) - An angry outburst at a mosque. The posting of a suspicious YouTube video. A friendship with a shadowy imam.

Those were just some of the signs that Tamerlan Tsarnaev, accused of masterminding the Boston Marathon bombings, had adopted a virulent strain of Islam that led to the deaths of four people and injury of more than 260.

But how else can you tell that someone’s religious beliefs have crossed the line? The answer may not be as simple you think, according to scholars who study all brands of religious extremism. The line between good and evil religion is thin, they say, and it’s easy to make self-righteous assumptions.

“When it’s something we like, we say it’s commitment to an idea; when it’s something we don’t like, we say it’s blind obedience,” said Douglas Jacobsen, a theology professor at Messiah College in Pennsylvania.

Yet there are ways to tell that a person’s faith has drifted into fanaticism if you know what to look and listen for, say scholars who have studied some of history’s most horrific cases of religious violence.

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“There are a lot of warning signs all around us, but we usually learn about them after a Jim Jones or a David Koresh,” said Charles Kimball, author of “When Religion Becomes Evil.”

Here are four warning signs:

1. I know the truth, and you don’t.

On the morning of July 29, 1994, the Rev. Paul Hill walked up to John Britton outside an abortion clinic in Pensacola, Florida, and shot the doctor to death. Hill was part of a Christian extremist group called the Army of God, which taught that abortion was legalized murder.

Hill’s actions were motivated by a claim that virtually all religions espouse: We have the truth that others lack.

Those claims can turn deadly when they become absolute and there is no room for interpretation, Kimball says.

“Absolute claims can quickly move into a justification of violence against someone who rejects that claim,” Kimball said. “It’s often a short step.”

Healthy religions acknowledge that sincere people can disagree about even basic truths, Kimball says.

The history of religion is filled with examples of truths that were once considered beyond questioning but are no longer accepted by all followers: inerrancy of sacred scripture, for example, or the subjugation of women and sanctioning of slavery.

If someone like Hall believes that they know God’s truth and they cannot be wrong, watch out, Kimball says.

“Authentic religious truth claims are never as inflexible as zealous adherents insist,” he writes in “When Religion Becomes Evil.”

Yet there’s a flip side to warnings about claiming absolute truth: Much of religion couldn’t exist without them, scholars say.

Many of history’s greatest religious figures – Moses, Jesus, the Prophet Mohammed – all believed that they had discovered some truth, scholars say.

Ordinary people inflamed with a sense of self-righteousness have made the same claim and done good throughout history, says Carl Raschke, a theology professor at the University of Denver in Colorado.

The Protestant Reformation was sparked by an angry German monk who thought he had the truth, Raschke says.

“Martin Luther’s disgust at the worldliness of the papacy in the early 1500s inspired him to become a radical revolutionary whose ideas overturned the entire political structure in Europe,” Raschke said.

So how do you tell the difference between the healthy claims of absolute truth and the deadly? Scholars say to look at the results: When people start hurting others in the name of their religious truth, they’ve crossed the line.

2. Beware the charismatic leader.

It was one of the deadliest terrorist attacks in Japanese history. In March 1995, a religious sect called Aum Shinrikyo released a deadly nerve gas in a Tokyo subway station, leaving 12 people dead and 5,000 injured.

Two months later, Japanese police found Shoko Asahara, the sect’s founder, hiding in a room filled with cash and gold bars. Kimball, who tells the story of the sect in “When Religion Becomes Evil,” says Asahara had poisoned the minds of his followers years before.

Asahara demanded unquestioned devotion from members of his sect and isolated followers in communities where they were told that they no longer needed to think for themselves, Kimball says.

Any religion that limits the intellectual freedom of its followers, he says, has become dangerous. “When you start to get individuals who are the sole interpreters of truth, you get people who follow them blindly."

Charismatic leaders, though, often don’t start off being cruel. Jim Jones, who led the mass suicide of his followers in South America, was a gifted speaker who built an interracial church in San Francisco that did much good in the community. Few people at the beginning of his ministry could predict what he would become.

As time went on, though, his charisma turned cruel as he tolerated no questions to his authority and became delusional.

“Charismatic leadership is important, but in healthy religions, there’s always a process where questions are encouraged,” Kimball said.

Weaning followers away from corrupt charismatic leaders and bad religion can take years, but it can be done if one knows how to speak their language, says Ed Husain, senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York.

Countries such as Saudi Arabia and Egypt will often deploy imams to reach out to young men in prison who have adopted “Islamism,” or extreme forms of Islam sanctioning violence against civilians, says Husain, who has written about Muslim extremism.

These Muslim clerics know the Quran better than the extremists and can use their knowledge to reach extremists in a place that logic and outsiders cannot penetrate, Husain said.

“The antidote to extremism is religion itself,” Husain said. “The problem is not to take Islam out of the debate but to use Islam to counter Islamism.”

3. The end is near.

In 1970, an unknown pastor from Texas wrote a book called “The Late, Great Planet Earth.” The book, which linked biblical prophecy with political events like Israel’s victory in the 1967 Six-Day War, predicted the imminent return of an antichrist and the end of the world.

Author Hal Lindsey’s book has sold an estimated 15 million copies and spawned a genre of books like the “Left Behind” series. Many people are fascinated by the idea that the heavens will open soon because the end is near.

That end-times theology can turn lethal, though, when a follower decides that he or she will speed up that end-time by conducting some dramatic or violent act, says John Alverson, chairman of the theology department at Carlow University in Pittsburgh.

“A religious terrorist mistakenly believes that God has ordained or called him or her to establish the will of God on Earth now, not gradually and not according to the slow and finicky free will of other humans,” Alverson said.

Yet this impulse to see God’s intervention in human affairs now and not in some distant future can also be good, he says.

There are vibrant religious communities that teach that political and economic injustice must be addressed now. Liberation theology, for example, was a movement among pastors and theologians in Latin America that called for justice for the poor now, not in some future apocalyptic event, Alverson says.

“Hope is a good breakfast but not much of a supper,” Alverson said. “We can’t just live on the hope that justice will happen; we have to actually experience justice from time to time so that our hope can continue.”

4. The end justifies the means.

It was one of the biggest scandals the Roman Catholic Church ever faced, and the repercussions are still being felt today.

In January 2002, the Boston Globe published a story about Father John Geoghan, a priest who had been moved around various parishes after Catholic leaders learned that he had abused children. It was later revealed that Catholic officials had quietly paid at least $10 million to settle lawsuits against Geoghan.

Kimball says the Catholic scandal revealed another sign that a faith has turned toxic: Religious figures start justifying doing something wrong for a higher good.

 “The common theme was trying to protect the integrity of the church,” Kimball said of some Catholic leaders who covered up the crimes. “You get all of these rationalizations that we can’t let this scandal bring the whole church down, so we have to pay off this family and send the priests off to rehab.”

Religion is supposed to be a force for good. Still, it’s common that everyone from suicide bombers to venal church figures finds ways to justify their behavior in the name of some higher good.

Those rationalizations are so pervasive that religious movements that avoid them stand out, scholars say.

Jacobsen, the theology professor from Messiah College, cited the civil rights movement. The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and his fellow activists renounced violence, even as they were attacked and sometimes murdered.

“They were willing to lay down their lives for what they believed in, but what’s incredible is, they practiced not retaliating when they suffered violence,” he said. “Those people really believed that God created everyone equal, and they were committed to the point of death.”

In some ways, it’s easy to say we would never adopt a form of religion that’s evil. But when we use the word “evil” to describe those who kill in the name of their faith, we’re already mimicking what we condemn, Jacobsen says.

In his new book, “No Longer Invisible: Religion in University Education,” Jacobson writes that calling a religion evil is dangerous because “bad or wrong actions can be corrected, but typically evil needs to be destroyed.”

CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories

“To label someone or something as evil is to demonize it, putting it in a category of otherness where the rules of normal life do not apply, where the end often justifies almost any means,” Jacobson writes.

And when we do that, we don’t have to read about radical imams or look at angry YouTube videos to see how easy it is for someone to drift toward religious extremism, he says.

We need only look at ourselves.

- CNN Writer

Filed under: Belief • Books • Catholic Church • Christianity • Courts • Culture wars • Egypt • Fundamentalism • History • Islam • Jesus • Leaders • Moses • Muslim • Quran

soundoff (3,810 Responses)
  1. Where's Hitler?

    You failed to mention Hitler in this article. His ideals were based off of Christian teachings. He killed Jews for GOD.

    July 9, 2013 at 5:00 am |
    • Anna

      I would be interested to know. It's not vitally important, we leave the judgement to God. I could also ask: Where's Idi Amin? Nero?

      August 5, 2013 at 5:15 pm |
    • Tom

      Wrong. While I am no fan of Christian teaching, there is no evidence of this. While there is no certain statement of the source of Hitler's anti-semitism, it is generally accepted by historians that his extreme anti-semitism stemmed from Germany's defeat in WWI, the belief that Germany was stabbed in the back, especially by Jews, as well as secular influences from his early life in Vienna, a hotbed of anti-semitism and anti-immigrant paranoia.

      August 16, 2013 at 1:18 pm |
  2. Kido

    Reblogged this on Convergenism.

    June 30, 2013 at 1:00 pm |
  3. Adolfo

    You should take part in a contest for one
    of the highest quality blogs on the net. I will recommend this website!

    June 25, 2013 at 5:29 pm |
  4. Skorpio

    Islamic clerics and devout Muslims as opposed to ANY OTHER religion are the most perverse, violent, irrational, intolerant and discriminatory people. I just don't understand why millions of brainless Muslims follow prophet Mohammed's immoral, cruel, merciless conduct, this guy reflects pure evil.

    June 23, 2013 at 10:17 am |
    • Lawrence

      A member of one religion calling members of another religion brainless... funny!

      June 28, 2013 at 2:51 pm |
    • Godisone

      Funny how you just said how the holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon hiim) was an evil man but you clearly don't have a slighest idea who he was. If he is evil, then starting from Prophet Adam to Prophet Jesus (peace be upon them both) are evil too..Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was one of the kindest, honest, logical, and practical man. If you every read his biography you will see how he was. Instead of listining to people who hates Islam, try to do your own research. I am not telling you to convert or anything but before you pass your judgement on such a great man, I'd suggest you try to know him a little more. Peace brother.

      July 29, 2013 at 10:11 am |
  5. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things'

    June 22, 2013 at 7:34 am |
    • secular heathen

      I'd say the same about your mother.

      June 23, 2013 at 4:34 pm |
  6. Pat

    2000 years of the song "Mary had a little lab, " is quite enough for any people to understand as devisive.

    June 16, 2013 at 8:54 am |
  7. faith

    sam stone
    You tell me, you stupid c u n t . You don't posess any.


    June 12, 2013 at 10:08 pm |
    • Science

      Hey faithy you are a PEST !..............where are your other sock puppets ?

      How old are they faithy..............I have a pocket full...........fun to take out when the

      bible thumpers come to the door.

      Hey fake science poster chew on native iron stones all your life...............it drives the medical tests nuts !

      19. Solar nebula (repeat)
      Most meteorites are very old, as old as the solar system (4.6 billion years). Because meteorites haven't changed much since then, they are the best clues we have to the origin and history of the solar system and of the Earth. (Painting by Don Dixon, NASA JSC photo S76-25001)



      Remember Adam had to poke himself hard with his BONE to create Eve ?

      Bone Tumor in 120,000-Year-Old Neandertal Discovered

      June 7, 2013 — The first-known definitive case of a benign bone tumor has been discovered in the rib of a young Neandertal who lived about 120,000 years ago in what is now present-day Croatia. The bone


      The bible is BS !!!

      Biblical Marriage Not Defined Simply As One Man, One Woman: Iowa Religious Scholars' Op-Ed


      June 21, 2013 at 9:55 am |
  8. faith

    True Believer
    I love Jesus so much I want to buttfvck him.



    June 12, 2013 at 9:49 pm |
  9. faith

    True Believer
    I love Jesus so much I want to buttfvck him.


    June 12, 2013 at 9:48 pm |
  10. faith

    one of my favs

    True Believer

    for the pounding. I would donkey pun ch her until she pas s ed out in fr o n t of her ret @ rd son.


    June 12, 2013 at 9:28 pm |
  11. faith

    one of my favs

    True Believer

    P a l i n's bu t t h ol e is r i p e


    June 12, 2013 at 9:27 pm |
    • faith

      ain't god-haters sweet?

      boycott this criminal dump

      June 13, 2013 at 12:22 pm |
    • Science

      Hey faith the KJV and the gang (ICR RCC and discovery Insti-tute)................are you know full of it.

      Adam and his bone.

      you know that se-x thing.................NO divine create needed to create US.

      June 16, 2013 at 8:38 am |
    • Science

      Hey faith you are a fruitcake from xmas past take the test and find out where.

      DNA tests reveal Prince William's Indian ancestry

      By Peter Wilkinson, CNN

      updated 12:48 PM EDT, Fri June 14, 2013


      June 22, 2013 at 7:32 am |
  12. faith

    one of my favs

    True Believer

    P a li n's bu t t h ole is ripe for the pounding. I would donkey pun ch her until she pas s ed out in fr o n t of her ret @ rd son.


    June 12, 2013 at 9:25 pm |
  13. LIGHT

    The world now is ruling by the antichrist but no one wants to believe.

    Especially US is completely under the antichrist control because he is ruling the world thru it.

    CNN is one of his official channels which through he can control the brains and concepts of people.

    He planned for the 9/11 attacks and they said Muslims did it, and as usual people believe whatever they are saying.

    See now how he can play with your brains and eyes using numbers,letters and words to know what is going on and what CNN is:

    Take a look on the CNN logo and read it upside and down you will get............. MD.......it means (M)onth and (D)ay.

    Read it from left to right you will get.............. 911.

    Read it from right to left and be ready for the shoke as you will get...............WTC......... read the T upside down.

    Please tell those who are sleeping to awake before it is too late.

    June 8, 2013 at 8:46 am |
    • Science

      Hey dog ...........the inquisition from page 21 of Atheists to start 1-800 hotline for doubters...... looks like it is over

      the inquisition that is .

      The more you know creationists...........chad too ...............might help you know Bill...........you too Cap A

      Destiny & DNA......................World Science Festival


      Professor Richard Dawkins – "What if you're wrong?"


      The Light...is...Science Wins God Loses | Facebook................from the little blue box.........think outside the box.


      "Creationists make it sound like a ‘theory’ is something you ... are all over it. ... that says I must submit to him or suffer agonizing punishment for all time?

      8,000,000 yesterday, today numbers are 27,200,000 results Any time Bing

      The e word wins all the time creationists ..........no god(s) made US............get over IT

      Make sure to highlight above phrase..............then click on the little blue box and search with Bing.

      Think out side the box and have fun .

      AND 3 BILLION year old what ?

      Three-Billion-Year-Old Microfossils Include Plankton

      June 6, 2013 — Spindle-shaped inclusions in three-billion-year-old rocks are microfossils of plankton that probably inhabited the oceans around the globe during that time, according to an international team of researchers.


      Agree the bible is BS !!!

      Biblical Marriage Not Defined Simply As One Man, One Woman: Iowa Religious Scholars' Op-Ed








      The Light...is...Science Wins God Loses | Facebook................from the little blue box.........think outside the box. https://www.facebook.com/ScienceWinsGodLoses "Creationists make it sound like a ‘theory’ is something you ... are all over it. ... that says I must submit to him or suffer agonizing punishment for all time? 8,000,000 results Any time.


      Your request was successfully submitted.

      Bing will come and visit your site soon. To find out if your site is indexed and receiving traffic from Bing or to submit more URLs, sign up for a free account with

      Bing Webmaster Tools

      Your comment is awaiting moderation.
      Well, the hotline has already resulted in death when they muscled out this pair of like minded crooks. No honor amongst thieves!!
      New York (CNN) – Two life coaches who hosted a radio show called "The Pursuit of Happiness" apparently committed suicide together in their Brooklyn apartment, police said.
      Motivational speaker John Littig, 48, and his common-law psychotherapist wife, Lynne Rosen, 46, were found with plastic bags over their heads and a tube attached to a canister of helium, according to police............"
      A&A's are so um, well, evangelical!!

      June 9, 2013 at 12:36 am | Report abuse | Reply


      Yea the sh-it is happening again hey lol??.............YOU KNOW.

      The pentagram ..............markings of an implosion on a chondrite/stony iron meteorite.

      Doobs comment disappeared also that was under post with comment about the pentagram lol??

      June 9, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
  14. GDC

    The belief in God/s IS a BIZARRE DELUSION and Religion IS a PSYCHOSIS!!! Religion has ALWAYS been EVIL!!!!

    June 6, 2013 at 10:11 pm |
  15. LIGHT

    The antichrist is playing with words,letters and numbers in a very high profissional way .

    I will send a small surprise for you all.

    Take a look on the CNN logo and concentrate very well,you can read it as.................. 911!!!

    June 6, 2013 at 2:41 am |
    • Science

      Just the destiny of US.................LIGHT ..............the more you know might help you ?

      Destiny & DNA......................World Science Festival


      June 7, 2013 at 8:54 pm |
  16. JKNBT

    hey CNN, this takes the prize as the most irresponsible article you have ever published....unbelievable that you compare Hal Lindsey to Koresh or any of the other monsters.

    If you read Lindsey's writings, you would understand that the rapture is the great hope that the faithful will be spared the end times disasters that will come before armageddon. that is all. why are you so threatened with that? have you read your own headlines recently? Floods in the east, fires in the west, tornados in the middle, and we are only half done with this year! you ain't seen nothin' yet! I want to go out in the rapture and avoid world war III....it could break out any day-they syrian violence is about 30 miles from the valley of armageddon. it's happening, folks. mockers & naysayers, please take notice. there were 24 major earthquakes in a single day a couple of weeks ago....they came on the feast of shauvot or pentecost...did anyone notice?

    the same conservative folk that you despise also teach full involvement in the politics & culture of the day....these people hold public office, teach school, serve in the military, and take responsibility toward making this world a better place....there is no hiding out in bomb shelters waiting for the end....

    this is just the liberal press taking a cheap shot at a very public conservative journalist. shame on you! liberals are not tolerant of conservative journalists....try to be a conservative journalist and work just about anywhere in the media....nope, sorry, those doors are closed to you, young aspiring conservative writers....

    June 3, 2013 at 8:01 pm |
    • Science

      Chomp on that bone...................creationists/ID believers. chadie too..................evolution at its best the old croc.

      Time for the horn-y beast to get the hell out of the bedVroooom !!!

      Fourteen Closely Related Crocodiles Existed Around 5 Million Years Ago

      May 21, 2013 — Today, the most diverse species of crocodile are found in northern South America and Southeast Asia: As many as six species of alligator and four true crocodiles exist, although no more than two or three ever live alongside one another at the same time. It was a different story nine to about five million years ago, however, when a total of 14 different crocodile species existed and at least seven of them occupied the same area at the same time, as an international team headed by paleontologists Marcelo Sánchez and Torsten Scheyer from the University of Zurich is now able to reveal.


      Hey faithy seems like you have not been weaned yet sort of like chadie .............reminds me of a 5 year old ?

      Monkey Teeth Help Reveal Neanderthal Weaning

      May 24, 2013 — Most modern human mothers wean their babies much earlier than our closest primate relatives. But what about our extinct relatives, the Neanderthals?


      Current search on Bing chadie ..........bookmark update chad........3rd one from top of page.

      RDFRS: When Christians become a 'hated minority'


      11,000,000 results Any time

      Evolution wins !

      New Species of Marine Fish from 408 Million Years Ago Discovered in Teruel

      June 3, 2013 — Researchers from the University of Valencia and the Natural History Museum of Berlin have studied the fossilised remains of scales and bones found in Teruel and the south of Zaragoza, ascertaining that they belong to a new fish species called Machaeracanthus goujeti that lived in that area of the peninsula during the Devonian period. The fossils are part of the collection housed in the Palaeontology Museum of Zaragoza.


      Splat Chad

      June 3, 2013 at 8:05 pm |
    • faith

      it is all staged. that's not 2 say they don't detest christians. they do. they love to despise and hate xtards. obviously. they cheat, delete, u name it, 2 push their agenda and 4 which they r being sued. the point is, they promote their editorial position thru biased articles they post and through the nazis who control what the public posts. the most entertaining piece of all this is they think they have xtards buyin it.

      June 12, 2013 at 7:57 am |
  17. bev 156

    Take care of your soul, help other souls when you can, and don't force religion on others.

    June 1, 2013 at 3:54 pm |
    • Science

      By the way bev 156 evolution gave you the brain...soles are on shoes.........OK and se-x was needed back then .

      Hey all creationists ...........chadie too....the truth below !

      The fairy in the sky DID NOT create US !

      Ancient life...............3.5 billion years ago.............NO god(s) or horn-y red devil (666 the beast) never has been

      Disappearance of Stromatolites, Earliest Visible Manifestation of Life: Ancient Enigma Solved?

      May 28, 2013 — The widespread disappearance of stromatolites, the earliest visible manifestation of life on Earth, may have been driven by single-celled organisms called foraminifera.



      The University of Sydney.........................geology..............the dirt guys.

      Precious opal veinlets in a sandstone from central Australia.


      Answer to opal mystery shows Red Centre's links to Red Planet

      31 May 2013

      The dramatic geological events that created opal, Australia's national gemstone, have been described for the first time by a University of Sydney researcher.


      + the damn fossils ..............works better than the BIBLE !

      Scientists Recover Wooly Mammoth Blood ..................cloning could happen maybe

      Posted by Soulskill on Wednesday May 29, 2013 @01:52PM
      from the wooly-mammoth-vampires-very-excited dept.


      New study restores famed fossil to "bird" branch

      Wednesday May 29, 2013 | Alicia Chang for The Associated Press


      AND chadie has a link on Bing

      Quarterback's next play: Going long with the Bible – CNN Belief ...


      Feb 01, 2013 · Since we've got Chad buybull ... Jurassic Park came out. Now that it has been found, ... You have nothing but a 2000 year old stone age book written ...


      All creationists...............a turtle.............but is it to old to have come from the ark ?

      Or chad crawled into his shell on the ark and finally found his way out .............you know chad ?

      The mystery of how the turtle got its shell has finally been solved by scientists studying a 260-million-year-old fossil.

      Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/scientists-have-figured-out-how-the-turtle-got-its-unique-hard-shell-2013-5#ixzz2UspYoTOm

      Prehistoric Park : T-Rex Returns – Episode 1


      Remember chad........... the talking donkey you like so much might of chewed on that BONE.............that created eve.

      Stony Irons

      Ancient Egyptians Accessorized With Meteorites

      May 30, 2013 — Researchers at The Open University (OU) and The University of Manchester have found conclusive proof that Ancient Egyptians used meteorites to make symbolic accessories for their dead.


      Chomp Chomp.............make sure to look up creationists for the next big chondrite and

      Crickets at the swamp............. are gone this time of year ............but the ticks are out.


      June 1, 2013 at 9:06 pm |
  18. Science

    Hey all creationists ...........chadie too....the truth below !

    The fairy in the sky DID NOT create US !

    Ancient life...............3.5 billion years ago.............NO god(s) or horn-y red devil (666 the beast) never has been

    Disappearance of Stromatolites, Earliest Visible Manifestation of Life: Ancient Enigma Solved?

    May 28, 2013 — The widespread disappearance of stromatolites, the earliest visible manifestation of life on Earth, may have been driven by single-celled organisms called foraminifera.


    June 1, 2013 at 7:07 am |
  19. georead

    Watch out for the "John Thiel Cult." John Thiel demands unquestioning obedience. He speaks in the first person as God saying what he thinks God ought to be saying.


    May 30, 2013 at 5:55 am |
  20. Diggy

    It's a waste of time to look up who created God, or to discredit Christians, Muslims, Buddhist....but I believe in Jesus Christ and I live a relationship with Him. He's the One I lean on.
    Now, if you don't lean on God, then we cannot tell you nothing. It's love and respect. That's your life and your choices.
    But Jesus offers forgiveness, love, strenght, patience.......and this is true story. I lived out the change in my life.

    May 29, 2013 at 11:46 am |
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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.