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White churches uncommonly quiet after Zimmerman verdict
The Rev. Anthony Evans of the National Black Church Initiative leads a demonstration outside the Department of Justice.
July 20th, 2013
08:27 AM ET

White churches uncommonly quiet after Zimmerman verdict

By Jeffrey Weiss, special to CNN

(CNN) Even before the jury read their verdict acquitting George Zimmerman in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, a number of black religious leaders had responses at the ready.

The voices of white pastors and predominantly white churches and religious groups? Much harder to find.

Nearly a week later, some denominations that often weigh in on matters of national policy have yet to go on the public record. It's particularly notable in the leadership of the Catholic Church, the country's largest religious body.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Black issues • Catholic Church • Christianity • Church • Crime • Discrimination • Leaders • Media • Politics • Prejudice • Race • Violence • Weapons

Pastors aim to keep peace at Zimmerman trial
Pastors such as the Rev. Robert K. Gregory Jr., the Rev. Lowman J. Oliver III and the Rev. Joel Hunter hope to play a peacekeeping role during the George Zimmerman trial.
June 24th, 2013
07:57 AM ET

Pastors aim to keep peace at Zimmerman trial

By Mark I. Pinsky, special to CNN

Sanford, Florida (CNN) – As opening arguments begin, courtroom seats are at a premium at the trial of George Zimmerman, charged with second degree murder in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black teenager.

But in an unusual arrangement, four seats in the second row, just steps from the jury box, have been assigned to a group called “Sanford Pastors Connecting.”

The multi-racial ministerial association has pledged to bear witness to the high-profile proceedings during the trial and to keep the peace afterward.

All of the clergy in the courtroom project have agreed to support the jury’s verdict in the racially-charged case, which sparked large rallies and marches led by civil rights figures like the Rev. Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Crime • Politics

Prosecutor: Parents' belief in faith healing led to infant's death
May 24th, 2013
05:22 PM ET

Prosecutor: Parents' belief in faith healing led to infant's death

By Sarah Hoye, CNN
[twitter-follow screen_name='SarahHoyeCNN']

Philadelphia (CNN)–When Brandon Schaible got a rash, his parents prayed.

When the 7-month-old became irritable with diarrhea and lost his appetite, his parents, Catherine and Herbert Schaible, prayed again.

When Brandon had trouble breathing and gasped for air, his parents called a pastor - this, in spite of the fact that a judge had ordered them to call a doctor.

Brandon Schaible died on April 18 from bacterial pneumonia, dehydration and strep, according to the district attorney’s office – all treatable with antibiotics.

On Wednesday his parents were charged with third-degree murder.

The Schaibles are lifelong members of the First Century Gospel Church in Philadelphia, one of several religious groups in the U.S. that relies on faith, and eschews most medical care.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Christian Science • Christianity • Crime • Culture & Science • Faith & Health

May 10th, 2013
10:42 PM ET

Christian metal singer charged with attempting to hire hit man

By Tom Watkins, CNN

(CNN)–The lead singer of the metal band As I Lay Dying has been arrested and charged with seeking to have his wife killed, the San Diego County Sheriff's Department said.

Authorities said Tuesday that Tim Lambesis tried to contract an undercover detective posing as a killer for hire to murder his estranged wife, who lives in Encinitas, California.

Arraignment was set for Thursday afternoon at North Division Court in Vista.

The department said it learned on May 2 that Lambesis, 32, had asked someone to carry out the killing and an investigation was initiated.

The investigation culminated Tuesday afternoon, "when Lambesis solicited an undercover detective to kill his wife," it said. He was arrested without incident at a business in Oceanside and taken to the Encinitas Station and booked into the Vista Detention Facility.

Last September, Meggan Lambesis filed with San Diego Superior Court to have the marriage dissolved.

FULL STORY
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Crime

May 10th, 2013
09:09 PM ET

Uncle: Tamerlan Tsarnaev buried in Virginia

By Greg Botelho and Paula Newton, CNN

(CNN) – The body of one of the two men accused of pulling off the Boston Marathon attack has been buried in rural Virginia - a development that local officials said caught them totally "off guard."

Tamerlan Tsarnaev's remains were accepted "by an interfaith coalition in that community - they responded to our calls," his uncle Ruslan Tsarni, of Maryland, told CNN. The body was buried in an unmarked grave in a Muslim cemetery in Doswell, Virginia, according to Tsarni.

"My tradition was that of a Muslim, and I have that tradition of burial, and people helped me with that," he said in a phone interview.

The death certificate released by Massachusetts authorities indicates that Tsarnaev, whose cause of death was listed as gunshot wounds and "blunt trauma to (his) head and torso," was interred at Al-Barzakh Muslim Cemetery in Doswell, which is about 25 minutes north of Richmond in a rural county of about 30,000 people.

While the news came out Friday, Bukhari Abdel-Alim from the Islamic Funeral Services of Richmond said Tsarnaev was actually buried the previous morning.

Speaking Friday from the cemetery, which his organization owns, Abdel-Alim said there was "no intention to ... make anybody angry," but that he and others felt obligated to do what "God says to do" by putting Tsarnaev's "body back into the earth."

Read the full story

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Crime • Death • Islam

April 23rd, 2013
08:22 AM ET

Boston suspect's anger over MLK sermon

(CNN)–CNN's Brian Todd visit's the Tsarnaev brothers' mosque to see if the members noticed any red flags around the suspects.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Crime • Islam • TV-The Situation Room

My Take: The thin line between God and guns
April 10th, 2013
06:45 AM ET

My Take: The thin line between God and guns

Editor's Note: The Rt. Rev. Edward J. Konieczny is bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Oklahoma. He was previously a police officer in Southern California.

By Edward J. Konieczny, Special to CNN

(CNN)  Both sides of the gun control debate think I’m on their side. I am the bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Oklahoma, a believer in Jesus Christ and for more than 18 years before entering seminary, I was a police officer.

While I try to preach God’s love and mercy, I also have a concealed carry permit and sometimes take my gun on long drives through the isolated areas of my diocese.

I live with the knowledge that I share responsibility for the taking of a human life in the line of duty and that a good friend on the force was shot and killed after we’d swapped shifts. And I wouldn’t be writing this article if the rifle that was pointed at my head one night by a man in the grip of a mental illness hadn’t failed to fire.

FULL POST

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Crime • Episcopal • Opinion

Police: Man raped woman he met on Christian dating website
Sean Banks was arrested on suspicion of raping a woman he met on the online dating website, Christianmingle.com.
February 19th, 2013
03:10 PM ET

Police: Man raped woman he met on Christian dating website

By Ben Brumfield, CNN

(CNN) - A California man is accused of raping a woman he met on a Christian dating website - and police fear there may be other victims.

Sean Banks, 37, met the victim on the matchmaking website Christianmingle.com, where he went by the user name "Raritiy," La Mesa Police said in a statement.

Banks used three additional online identities - "Rylan," "Rylan Butterwood" and "Rylan Harbough" - and police said they are concerned "there may have been more cases with other women."

ChristianMingle touts a safety section that includes a warning to avoid contact with members who cannot take "no" for an answer.

FULL STORY
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Crime

Israeli football club torched after signing Muslim players
A club official at Beitar Jerusalem cleans up after the arson attack on the club's offices.
February 11th, 2013
02:14 AM ET

Israeli football club torched after signing Muslim players

By Paul Gittings, CNN

(CNN) - Arsonists attacked the administrative offices of leading Israeli football club Beitar Jerusalem on Friday, police said. The attack occurred just days after the club signed two Muslim players.

No one was injured in the fire, which was discovered around 5 a.m., police said. But the blaze damaged the club's trophy room.

FULL STORY
- A. Hawkins

Filed under: Crime • Israel • Prejudice

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.

FULL STORY
- gcarter

Filed under: Amish • Belief • Crime • Ohio

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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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