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February 11th, 2013
04:51 AM ET

36 killed in stampede at Indian rail station near huge Hindu festival

By Harmeet Shah Singh, CNN

A railroad station crush left 36 people dead Sunday among tens of millions of Hindu pilgrims flocking to the banks of the Ganges River for the world's largest religious gathering, authorities reported.

The stampede occurred on Sunday evening as floods of pilgrims entering the station in Allahabad, the scene of this year's Kumbh Mela festival, broke through temporary barriers and crowded onto already busy platforms, railway authorities said.

FULL STORY
- A. Hawkins

Filed under: Hinduism • India

My take: Science, faith communities unite to protect millions from disease
A Somali boy is vaccinated at a refugee camp in Kenya.
February 7th, 2013
09:51 AM ET

My take: Science, faith communities unite to protect millions from disease

Editor's note: Dagfinn Høybråten is a vice president of the Norwegian Parliament and chairman of the GAVI Alliance Board. GAVI is a public-private partnership that works with governments, vaccine producers, faith-based organizations and others to expand access to vaccines and immunization. Since its launch in 2000, GAVI has helped immunize 370 million children in the poorest countries.

By Dagfinn Høybråten, Special to CNN

Despite their political, religious and ethnic differences, leaders from around the world are coming together for today's National Prayer Breakfast in Washington. As they do, it is worth noting that faith and science are also coming together around the world to promote healing and equality in the form of access to vaccines.

Vaccines are a triumph of science due to their incredible capacity to save lives and protect health. Yet vaccines reach only four out of five children who need them. To reach the fifth child, science has found an important partner in the faith community, which helps bring vaccines to the most remote areas and the children who need them most. FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Africa • Asia • Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints • Faith & Health • Ghana • Health • Health care • Pakistan • Zambia

Heavy sentences in China for 2 Tibetans over self-immolations
Tibetan Buddhist monks and members of Tibetan Youth congress hold lit candles during a protest in Siliguri, November 28, 2012
February 1st, 2013
04:47 AM ET

Heavy sentences in China for 2 Tibetans over self-immolations

By CNN Staff

(CNN) - A court in southwestern China has given heavy sentences to two ethnic Tibetans convicted of murder for "inciting" people to set themselves of fire, state media reported Thursday.

Self-immolation has become a dramatic and harrowing form of protest in recent years for ethnic Tibetans unhappy with Chinese rule.

Beijing has taken a tough line on the protesters and their associates, accusing the Dalai Lama, the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader, of fomenting unrest inside Chinese borders.

FULL STORY
- A. Hawkins

Filed under: China • Dalai Lama • Tibet

My Take: Blood on Chinese hands in Tibetan self-immolations
Tibetans at a protest in Taipei in 2011 display portraits of people who killed themselves by self-immolation.
January 2nd, 2013
07:00 AM ET

My Take: Blood on Chinese hands in Tibetan self-immolations

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

(CNN) -China Daily, an English-language newspaper and a mouthpiece of the Chinese government,  last week published an article called “Western Voices Question Tibetan Self-Immolation Acts.”

The first of the voices quoted was mine—for a Belief Blog piece I wrote last summer criticizing the Dalai Lama for averting his gaze from the spate of self-immolations protesting Chinese rule in Tibet. "If the Dalai Lama were to speak out unequivocally against these deaths, they would surely stop. So in a very real sense, their blood is on his hands," I wrote in a passage quoted in the Chinese Daily piece.

In my post, I wrote of an “epidemic of self-immolations,” noting that from mid-March to mid-July 2011 more than 40 Tibetans had set themselves on fire to protest the Chinese occupation of Tibet. Since then, the pace of these protests has accelerated. According to the International Campaign for Tibet, 94 Tibetans have set themselves on fire since March 2011, and the pace in November was nearly one a day.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog contributor

Filed under: Asia • Buddhism • China • Dalai Lama • Death • Ethics • Politics • Protest • Religious liberty • Tibet • Tibet • Violence

As worshippers gather, Pakistani city endures second deadly blast in two days
Pakistani Shiite Muslims march during a religious procession on the ninth day of holy month of Moharram in Karachi.
November 26th, 2012
01:44 AM ET

As worshippers gather, Pakistani city endures second deadly blast in two days

By Nasir Habib and Shaan Khan, CNN

Islamabad, Pakistan (CNN) - For the second time in two days, a deadly blast shook a northwest Pakistani city as worshippers marked the sacred holiday of Ashura.

The explosion occurred near a Shiite Muslim procession in Dera Ismail Khan. The bomb was planted inside a bicycle repair shop, killing five people and injuring more than 70 others, said Mian Iftikahr Hussain, the provincial information minister.

The spokesman for the Pakistani Taliban, Ihsanullah Ihsan, said the group would continue "its mission" and attack Shiite Ashura processions across Pakistan.

FULL STORY
- A. Hawkins

Filed under: Islam • Pakistan • Terrorism

Diwali: One festival, many customs
Diwali is not only celebrated by Hindus, it is also an occasion for celebration by Jains and Sikhs (pictured). The Sikhs celebrate Diwali to mark the return of the Sixth Guru, Guru Hargobind Ji, who was freed from imprisonment and also managed to release 52 political prisoners at the same time from Gwalior fort by Mughal Emperor Jahangir in 1619.
November 6th, 2012
05:21 AM ET

Diwali: One festival, many customs

By Naomi Canton, for CNN

(CNN) - Diwali is one of the most important Hindu festivals in India - but the colorful customs and meanings associated with it can vary dramatically depending on whether you reside in the countryside or the city.

On the streets of densely populated conurbations like Mumbai, Diwali - popularly known as the Festival of Lights - is often a raucous affair, marked by a cacophony of firecrackers on the streets and a flourish of ceremonial gambling in the home. The wealthier urban dwellers splurge on gold, jewelry, clothes and expensive gifts such as electronics, which they buy for themselves and their loved ones.

FULL STORY
- A. Hawkins

Filed under: Hinduism • India • Sikh

Fresh violence in Myanmar leaves mosque, monastery burned
Myanmar refugees from the Rohingya community, a predominantly Muslim sect, take refuge on a street, in this photo taken in May.
October 23rd, 2012
05:42 AM ET

Fresh violence in Myanmar leaves mosque, monastery burned

By Kocha Olarn, CNN

(CNN) - Fresh sectarian clashes in Myanmar's western state of Rakhine killed three people and left more than 400 houses, a monastery and a mosque burned to the ground, authorities said Tuesday.

The clashes began Sunday night and spread to four townships, said state Attorney General Hla Thein.

Rakhine is home to the Rohingya, an ethnic Muslim minority who say they have been persecuted by the Myanmar military during its decades of authoritarian rule.

FULL STORY
- A. Hawkins

Filed under: Buddhism • Crime • Islam • Myanmar • Religious violence

October 10th, 2012
04:13 AM ET

Taliban attack wounds teen activist blogger

By Shaan Khan, CNN

Islamabad, Pakistan (CNN) - Malala Yousufzai's courageous blogging against the Taliban set her apart from other 14-year-old Pakistani girls.

Growing up in a region once dominated by the Islamic extremists, she knew the fear associated with the word Taliban.

One of her fears came to pass Tuesday, when gunmen sought her out and opened fire on her school van, leaving her seriously wounded along with two other classmates.

FULL STORY
- A. Hawkins

Filed under: Islam • Pakistan

Philippines, Muslim rebels reach peace deal
October 8th, 2012
04:45 AM ET

Philippines, Muslim rebels reach peace deal

By the CNN Wire Staff

(CNN) - The Philippines has reached a preliminary agreement with Muslim rebels after 15 years of talks, the president announced Sunday, marking a major milestone after decades of militant insurgency in the nation's troubled south.

The Moro Islamic Liberation Front has fought for decades for an independent Islamic state in southern Philippines. It has been blamed for rampant attacks in the region.

FULL STORY
- A. Hawkins

Filed under: Muslim • Philippines

Now 2 bounties on producer of anti-Islamic film
A prominent Pakistani is offering a six-figure bounty to anyone who kills the man who produced "Innocence of Muslims."
October 2nd, 2012
05:54 AM ET

Now 2 bounties on producer of anti-Islamic film

By Nasir Habib

Islamabad, Pakistan (CNN) - For the second time in less than two weeks, a prominent Pakistani is offering a six-figure bounty to anyone who kills the man who produced "Innocence of Muslims," a film that has offended many Muslims throughout the world.

Former Pakistani lawmaker Ikramullah Shahid told demonstrators protesting the movie in Peshawar on Monday that he'd pay $200,000 to anyone who kills the filmmaker, according to Siraj Ul Haq, a senior leader of the religious group that organized the rally.

FULL STORY
- A. Hawkins

Filed under: Islam • Pakistan • Protest

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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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