September 15th, 2011
11:12 PM ET

FBI training program: Mainstream Muslims sympathize with militants

By Brian Todd and Dugald McConnell, CNN

Washington (CNN)–The passages are startling. One refers to the Prophet Mohammed as a "Cult leader for a small inner circle."

Another says Mohammed "ordered the assassinations and executions of his critics." One after another, the phrases depict Islam, its writings and leaders, as violent and bent on conquest.

What's even more startling: These passages were written by an FBI analyst, they were shown as part of a training program for agents, and the author believes mainstream Muslims believe all this, not just the extremist wing.

The phrases are in slide presentations given to FBI agents at the bureau's training facility in Quantico, Virginia.  They were written by an FBI analyst.  The slides were first posted by Wired magazine, which says it received them from "FBI whistle blowers."


- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Content Partner • Islam • TV-The Situation Room

August 30th, 2011
04:23 PM ET

Preparing clergy for war: army chaplains train by the hundred for the combat zone

By Eric Marrapodi and Chris Lawrence, CNN

Fort Jackson, South Carolina (CNN) – The summer sun beats down on camouflaged Kevlar helmets.  Weighed down by heavy body armor, men and women of the cloth are crawling through sand, under barbed wire and learning how to run with soldiers.

Explosions in woods simulate the battlefield as an instructor barks commands.

"You are not following simple instructions!  Cover me while I move!  Got you covered!  Let's go!"

This is the U.S. Army Chaplain Center and School at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, where the Army trains clergy of all faiths how to survive in combat.


- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Afghanistan • Belief • Buddhism • Christianity • Content Partner • Hinduism • Iraq • Islam • Middle East • Military • TV-The Situation Room

August 2nd, 2011
07:36 AM ET

Congressman explains debt deal is a 'sugar coated Satan sandwhich'

Washington (CNN) – We 'lift the bun' to hear from Rep. Emanuel Cleaver who explained to CNN's Wolf Blitzer the debt deal went against every major religion.

On Monday he tweeted, "This deal is a sugar-coated Satan sandwich. If you lift the bun, you will not like what you see."

The four-term Missouri Democrat continued his Twitter diatribe against the deal to raise the amount of money the nation can borrow and make a down payment on the federal deficit saying, "This debt deal is antithetical to everything the great religions of the world teach, which is take care of the poor, aged, vulnerable."

You can follow us on Twitter @CNNBelief. 

Read more on the 'satan sandwhich' from CNN's Political Ticker
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Content Partner • Politics • Satanism • TV-The Situation Room

July 13th, 2011
09:14 PM ET

Amid growing pressure, churches in China 'are at a critical moment,' pastor says

By Eunice Yoon, CNN

Beijing, China (CNN) - The congregants were seated in rows of folding chairs, clasping their hands in prayer or studying passages in their Bibles.

The choir was sitting up front ready to sing on cue. A cross hung behind the pastor. The service looked like a Christian service you would see pretty much anywhere else in the world. But this is Beijing, and the recent Sunday service was illegal.

I couldn't stop glancing at the door and wonder - are the authorities on their way?


- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Asia • Belief • China • Christianity • Church • Church and state • Content Partner • TV-The Situation Room

April 7th, 2011
02:27 PM ET

Hunger fast grows on Capitol Hill

By Laura Klairmont, CNN

Washington (CNN) - In the final hours of budget negotiations, a growing list of Congressional members are joining former Rep. Tony Hall and over 36,000 participants in a hunger fast to protest what they say are proposed budget cuts that would affect those living in poverty in the U.S. and abroad.

Members of Congress joining the fast include Democratic Connecticut Rep. Rosa DeLauro, California Rep. Mike Honda, Ohio Rep. Marcy Kaptur, Illinois Rep. Jan Schakowsky, Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison, California Reps. Sam Farr and Barbara Lee, Massachusetts Rep. Jim McGovern, and Missouri Rep. Emanuel Cleaver.

The participating representatives will partake in a "relay fast," each one abstaining from eating for a day before passing over to another representative.

The fast was first announced last month by Ambassador Hall, Jim Wallis, president and CEO of Sojourners, Rev. David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World and Ritu Sharma, president of Women Thrive Worldwide- who asked others to join them in putting pressure on Congress to protect vulnerable programs assisting the poor and hungry.

Read the full story about the hunger fast on the CNN Political Ticker.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Leaders • Politics • Poverty • TV-The Situation Room

February 24th, 2011
11:07 AM ET

Protests over congressional Muslim hearings

Rep. Peter King's office in New York draws protests over hearings on the radicalization of Muslims.

CNN's Mary Snow has more.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Interfaith issues • Muslim • New York • TV-The Situation Room • United States

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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.