July 27th, 2011
09:42 AM ET
By Tim Lister, CNN
(CNN) - Anders Behring Breivik was a prolific blogger and visitor to online sites that reaffirmed his worldview.
Breivik's taste in online conversation shows a compulsive interest in websites that see the modern world in terms of a "clash of civilizations," where Christian values are supposedly under siege in the face of an Islamic onslaught.
But rarely if ever does he seem to have advocated a violent response to what he saw as the Islamization of Europe, even as he planned a massacre for years.
The head of Norway's intelligence police, Janne Kristiansen, told a Norwegian newspaper Monday that Breivik had "deliberately desisted from violent exhortations on the net. He has more or less been a moderate, and has neither been part of any extremist network."Read the full story on the bloggers Anders Behring Breivik read
July 25th, 2011
11:13 AM ET
By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor
(CNN) - Given initial suspicions that Friday's bombing and mass shooting in Norway were carried out by Islamic militants linked to al Qaeda, the way police ended up describing the suspect behind the attacks came as a big surprise even to many security experts: The alleged attacker was called a "Christian fundamentalist."
But experts on European politics and religion say that the Christian fundamentalist label could overstate the extent to which the suspect, Anders Behring Breivik - who has told authorities that he carried out the attacks - was motivated by religion, and the extent to which he is tied to a broader religious movement.
"It is true that he sees himself as a crusader and some sort of Templar knight," said Marcus Buck, a political science professor at Norway's University of Tromso, referring to an online manifesto that Breivik appears to have authored and which draws inspiration from medieval Christian crusaders.
"But he doesn't seem to have any insight into Christian theology or any ideas of how the Christian faith should play any role in Norwegian or European society," Buck wrote in an email message. "His links to Christianity are much more based on being against Islam and what he perceives of as 'cultural Marxism.'"
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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.