April 24th, 2011
07:48 PM ET

Pope calls for peace around the world in Easter message

(CNN) - Pope Benedict XVI called for peace amid ongoing conflicts in Africa and the Middle East and mentioned the plight of those in Japan during his annual Easter message Sunday.

The pope singled out Libya, saying, "may diplomacy and dialogue take the place of arms and may those who suffer as a result of the conflict be given access to humanitarian aid."

Read the full story about the pope's Easter message

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Africa • Catholic Church • Easter • Holidays • Japan • Libya • Middle East • Pope Benedict XVI

My Faith: A reluctant churchgoer 'gets the Holy Ghost'
The author (foreground, age 7), his late aunt, Sylvia Blake (left) and other family members outside their Baltimore church.
April 24th, 2011
12:01 AM ET

My Faith: A reluctant churchgoer 'gets the Holy Ghost'

By John Blake, CNN

(CNN) - I had my first brush with the “Holy Ghost” when I was 9 years old.  I’m still trying to digest what it meant more than 30 years later.

The day began as a typical Sunday. Aunt Sylvia herded me and my brother into her 1972 baby blue Chevy Impala and drove us to church for a service that would often last five hours.

Sunday worship at a black Baptist church wasn’t just long. It was scary. Elderly women who “got the Holy Ghost” during worship would thrash so violently in the pews that their wigs flew off. People shouted, wept and fainted.

This Sunday service started off no differently. But as the frenzy of the worship intensified, an invisible switch seemed to click on. A wave of heat rippled through the congregation as people beside me threw up their arms and shouted.

Suddenly, something seemed to slip inside of me. A tingling raced up my spine. I stood up to clap, scream - I didn’t know what I was about to do.

Is this, I wondered, the Holy Ghost that Aunt Sylvia sang about?


- CNN Writer

Filed under: Belief • Black issues • Christianity • Easter • Faith • Houses of worship • Lost faith • Opinion

April 22nd, 2011
05:34 PM ET

Christians mark Good Friday in Jerusalem

Pilgrims gather in Jerusalem on Good Friday to mark the death of Jesus Christ. CNN's Phil Black reports.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Easter • Jerusalem

April 22nd, 2011
09:36 AM ET

iReport: Catholics walk miles as Holy Week sacrifice

iReporter MjCantilero shot video of an annual pilgrimage of Catholics walking miles to Antipolo City, Philippines, last night. 'Thousands of devotees thread the hills of this city as a sacrifice for the Holy Week. Some walk from nearby cities and provinces, and there are barely vehicles passing the highway leading to the city. It's an amazing view. They stay overnight and sleep on the pavements or outside the church doors with only newspapers,' she said.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Catholic Church • Easter • Holidays • iReport • Philippines

'Holy dirt' in the hills of New Mexico
April 22nd, 2011
12:01 AM ET

'Holy dirt' in the hills of New Mexico

By William Walker, CNN

Chimayo, New Mexico (CNN) - El Santuario de Chimayo, the Roman Catholic adobe mission church set in these hills of northern New Mexico, dates from 1816.

Here, on Good Friday night around 1810, a Chimayo friar reportedly found a miraculous crucifix glowing on the ground near the Santa Cruz River. The church is built on the site of the reported discovery.


- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Catholic Church • Christianity • Church • Easter • Holidays • Miracles • New Mexico

March 28th, 2011
03:16 PM ET

Tiny church finds original King James Bible

By Richard Allen Greene, CNN

Hilmarton, England (CNN) - A little English village church has just made a remarkable discovery.

The ornate old Bible that had been sitting in plain view on a table near the last row of pews for longer than anyone could remember is an original King James Bible - one of perhaps 200 surviving 400-year-old original editions of arguably the most important book ever printed in English.

In fact, the Bible at St. Laurence Church in Hilmarton, England, was sitting right under a hand-lettered sign saying it was an original.


- Newsdesk editor, The CNN Wire

Filed under: Bible • Books • Christianity • Easter • Houses of worship • United Kingdom

March 10th, 2011
09:45 AM ET

Your Take: What I'm giving up for Lent

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

On Ash Wednesday, CNN.com Religion Editor Dan Gilgoff did a video piece (above) explaining Lent and asked what you're giving up for the season.

The response was overwhelming. Here's a sample of what you said:

On the topic of why Lent matters, Caranina wrote:

Lent is also a season of giving, not only of "giving up" something. Help the poor, give a prayer, do something positive and helpful, every day for 40 days, don't swear nor complain.


- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Belief • Catholic Church • Christianity • Church • Easter

March 9th, 2011
09:47 AM ET

Explain it to me: What's Lent? And what are you giving up?

Today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent, the season when many Christians give something up in the weeks before Easter. It's a nod to Jesus' 40 days of fasting in the desert before beginning his ministry. 

Some folks are giving up Facebook. Others are cutting down on their carbon emissions.

Are you giving something up? If so, let us know - and explain your choice.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Catholic Church • Christianity • Easter • Holidays • Lent

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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.