Netanyahu cartoon sparks anger, Murdoch says sorry
News Corp. chairman Rupert Murdoch said cartoonist Gerald Scarfe had "never reflected the opinions of the Sunday Times."
January 30th, 2013
04:49 AM ET

Netanyahu cartoon sparks anger, Murdoch says sorry

By Susannah Cullinane, CNN

London (CNN) - Rupert Murdoch has apologized for a "grotesque, offensive" cartoon of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu published in Britain's Sunday Times.

The cartoon by Gerald Scarfe depicts Netanyahu atop an incomplete brick wall with screaming Palestinians and body parts in the mortar. Netanyahu is holding what appears to be a bloody builder's trowel and the wall's mortar is colored red. The wording beneath reads: "Israeli Elections, Will Cementing Peace Continue?"

The cartoon was published on Holocaust Memorial Day on Sunday and prompted complaints that it was anti-Semitic and insensitive.

- A. Hawkins

Filed under: Britain • Judaism • Media

September 4th, 2012
08:07 AM ET

Christians take discrimination cases to Europe's top court

By Richard Allen Greene, CNN

Four British Christians urged Europe's top court Tuesday to rule that they faced discrimination because of their religious beliefs.

Two women accuse their employers of refusing to let them wear crosses openly at work.

Alongside them, a woman who declined to register gay civil partnerships and a man who did not want to give sex therapy to same-sex couples say they were unfairly dismissed from their jobs.

Gary McFarlane, the relationship counselor, said he was pleased with the way Tuesday's hearing went.

"Today, for the first time, I heard somebody talking about my rights," he said. "Surely I have some rights. I am a member of society. I have some beliefs."


- Newsdesk editor, The CNN Wire

Filed under: Britain • Christianity • Church and state • Europe • Religious liberty

Britain fights Christians' right to wear cross, infuriating activists
In Britain, women are fighting for the right to wear cross necklaces over their uniforms.
March 12th, 2012
02:05 PM ET

Britain fights Christians' right to wear cross, infuriating activists

By Richard Allen Greene, CNN

London (CNN) -
Christian activists in Britain are furious at the arguments their government will use against them when Europe's highest court considers whether employees have the right to wear crosses that show over their uniforms.

Britain will argue that the two Christian women at the center of the case had the option of quitting their jobs and working elsewhere, so they are not covered by European human rights law, according to legal papers obtained by CNN.

"Employees who face work requirements incompatible with their faith, and have the option of resigning and seeking alternative employment, cannot claim for a breach of Article 9" of the European Convention on Human Rights, Britain will argue.


- Newsdesk editor, The CNN Wire

Filed under: Britain • Church and state • Religious liberty

February 3rd, 2012
09:10 AM ET

From place of prayer to place of beer

By Richard Allen Greene, CNN

(CNN)–The leafy, genteel north London neighborhood of Muswell Hill is well stocked with stores, coffee bars, restaurants and apartments.

It also has plenty of churches – at least four were built within a few hundred yards of each other, thanks to the generosity of the developer who built Muswell Hill in the late 19th century.

It turned out that was too many.


- Newsdesk editor, The CNN Wire

Filed under: Britain • Christianity • Church • Europe

Dean of St Paul's Cathedral quits over protests
The Dean of St Paul's Cathedral, the Right Reverend Graeme Knowles, addresses 'Occupy London' activists in the City of London.
October 31st, 2011
02:11 PM ET

Dean of St Paul's Cathedral quits over protests

By Bryony Jones, CNN

London (CNN) - The Dean of London's St Paul's Cathedral has resigned amid criticism of his handling of a large "Occupy" protest taking place on the church's doorstep.

The Right Reverend Graeme Knowles announced his decision on Monday, saying his position was "becoming untenable" following weeks of debate over the demonstrations.

St Paul's has come under fire after it said it would take legal action to try to remove around 200 tents from the square outside its main entrance.

Read the full story on dean's resignation over protests

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Anglican • Britain • Protest

August 11th, 2011
05:24 PM ET

My take: Rioting raises religious concern

Editor's Note: Andrew Watson is the Bishop of Aston in the Diocese of Birmingham, UK. He was formerly a vicar in London, and is a musician, author and father of four.

By Andrew Watson, Special to CNN

Birmingham, England (CNN) - I spent most of yesterday in Winson Green, Birmingham, following the deaths of three young British men in the early hours of the morning. I visited the small mosque where two of the men (brothers aged 32 and 30) had been regular worshippers, and where both their uncle and older brother were in a state of profound shock and grief.

I then attended a gathering hastily convened by the local member of parliament - taking place in a room above a local supermarket – followed by a much larger public meeting with the police later in the day. About 150 people crammed into the community hall for the police meeting, with twice as many gathered outside.

Feelings were understandably running very high, with the grief and anger of the community expressed in equal measure. There were voices calling for retaliation, but these were increasingly drowned out by other voices (both old and younger) urging restraint.

Read the full story here.
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Anglican • Belief • Britain • Europe

Heaven is 'a fairy story,' scientist Stephen Hawking says
Stephen Hawking at the World Science Festival in New York in 2010.
May 17th, 2011
01:44 PM ET

Heaven is 'a fairy story,' scientist Stephen Hawking says

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

The concept of heaven or any kind of afterlife is a "fairy story," famed British scientist Stephen Hawking said in a newspaper interview this week.

"I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail," the physicist said in an interview published Sunday in Britain's Guardian newspaper. "There is no heaven or afterlife for broken down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark."

Hawking, who was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis - a terminal and debilitating illness that causes loss of mobility and impairs speech - at age 21 and was not expected to live long after, also talked with The Guardian about his own mortality.


- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Britain • Death • Heaven

Strange confluence of Catholic and royal events continues this weekend
Mother Teresa and Princess Diana together in New York in 1997, months before they died.
April 28th, 2011
05:10 PM ET

Strange confluence of Catholic and royal events continues this weekend

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

(CNN) - Have you heard about the historic event this weekend that's drawing hundreds of thousands to one of Europe’s leading capitals for a long day of pageantry?

No, not Friday’s royal wedding in London. I’m referring to Sunday’s beatification of Pope John Paul II in Rome.

It’s hard to deny that international media coverage of William and Kate’s nuptials is overshadowing preparations for Sunday’s beatification, the last step before sainthood.

A spokesman for the BBC said he didn't know how many of its personnel will be on hand for Sunday’s beatification but estimated that 550 BBCers are covering Friday’s wedding festivities: "It's likely to be the most watched event of the century so far.”


- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Britain • Catholic Church • Europe • Pope John Paul II

March 21st, 2011
01:16 PM ET

UK cleric leaves mosque over evolution

By Andrew Carey, CNN

London (CNN) - Usama Hasan has led Friday prayers at Leyton mosque in East London for 20 years.

Back in the early 1990s, his sympathies lay with what became known as the global jihad and he was an active supporter of extremist causes.

Over time, however, he warmed to Britain and started questioning the idea that the West was always acting against Muslim interests.

Now, his message is different. In recent years he has used his position as an imam to tackle issues like terrorism head-on.

But it’s his views on Darwinian evolution that have landed him in trouble with some fellow Muslims. It’s been two months now since he says criticism over his support for the theory of evolution provoked him to stop leading Friday prayers at his congregation.


- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Britain • Culture & Science • Culture wars • Europe • Islam • Muslim

November 8th, 2010
11:26 AM ET

Islam Channel breaks British broadcast rules, regulator says

Editor's Note: From CNN's Richard Allen Greene

Britain's Islam Channel broke broadcasting regulations by condoning marital rape, encouraging violence against women, and promoting an anti-Israel, pro-Hamas line, the country's broadcast regulator Ofcom ruled Monday.

One violation came during an advice program in which a female caller asked if a woman could hit her husband back if he was beating her. The host, as part of his answer, said the most a husband could do was hit her with a stick the size of a pen "just to make her feel that you are not happy with her."

The same host said in another program that for a woman to wear perfume when praying in a mosque made her a prostitute in the eyes of the Prophet Mohammed.


- Newsdesk editor, The CNN Wire

Filed under: Belief • Britain • Courts • Europe • Islam • Muslim • TV

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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.