July 6th, 2010
06:06 PM ET

The untamed faith of the Discovery Channel’s ‘Man vs. Wild’ star

It takes guts to paraglide over the Antarctica, hike through remote jungles and eat yak eyeballs for dinner.

It also takes a little faith, according to a fun new profile of Bear Grylls, the star of Discovery Channel’s Man vs. Wild adventure show in the evangelical magazine Relevant.


- CNN Writer

Filed under: Buddhism • Christianity • Faith • Islam • Journeys • TV

June 3rd, 2010
10:35 AM ET

One man's crusade to bring justice

Efraim Zuroff's great-uncle was kidnapped in Lithuania, in 1941, by a gang of Lithuanians "roaming the streets of [Vilnius] ... looking for Jews with beards to arrest." He was murdered soon after along with his wife and two sons, Zuroff said.

Zuroff would go on to spend his life hunting Nazis. Since the fall of the Soviet Union, more names of alleged Holocaust criminals have turned up from Lithuania than from anywhere else in Eastern Europe, Zuroff said.

But prosecuting them for war crimes has been a disappointment, he said, because Lithuania has failed to punish a single one of its own Holocaust war criminals since its independence in 1991.

"Nowhere in the world," Zuroff said, "has a government gone to such lengths to obscure their role in the Holocaust."

Read the full story

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Journeys • Judaism

June 3rd, 2010
10:26 AM ET

Is being 'spiritual but not religious' a copout?

"I'm spiritual but not religious." It's a trendy phrase people often use to describe their belief that they don't need organized religion to live a life of faith.

But what exactly does being "spiritual but not religious" mean, and could there be hidden dangers in living such a life?

Read the full story

- CNN Writer

Filed under: Belief • Journeys

Getting a 'clean start'
May 25th, 2010
12:20 PM ET

My adult baptism

What was it like to go on a pilgrimage? How did it feel the first time you spoke in tongues? Where did the experience of a week-long meditation retreat take you?

The CNN Belief Blog will occasionally share the spiritual journeys of others and begins with this one from Jascinth Hall, a 26-year-old wife and mother of three who was baptized - along with 109 others - on Saturday, May 8, at Berean Seventh-day Adventist Church in Atlanta, Georgia. This is her account of the experience, in her own words.


- CNN Writer/Producer

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Journeys • Traditions

April 7th, 2010
12:25 PM ET

Is our version of heaven a recent invention?

Puffy clouds, golden harps and pearly gates. Sounds like the traditional image of heaven. But where do those celestial images come from?

Not from the Bible, according to a provocative article in Slate.

Slate's Johann Hari says the traditional Christian image of heaven as a place where people will be reunited with their loved ones is, well, not as traditional after all. He says that version of heaven "is a very recent invention, only a little older than Goldman Sachs."


- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Art • Books • Christianity • Culture & Science • Journeys • Traditions

March 30th, 2010
07:28 AM ET

Twilight comes for India's fading Jewish community

Ian Zachariah's eyes scan the empty Maghen David synagogue. There have not been prayers said here in a long time, for the lack of 10 able-bodied men needed to form the minyan, the quorum required for a Jewish service.

Zachariah, 65, knows the end is near for the Jews of Kolkata, India. Once a thriving community of 6,000, their numbers can be counted on fingers now. Zachariah says fewer than 30 Jews are left in this bustling eastern Indian metropolis.

Read the full story

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Houses of worship • Journeys • Judaism

March 9th, 2010
11:38 AM ET

45 years on, Selma priest remembers Bloody Sunday

The Rev. Maurice Ouellet remembers the day vividly: March 7, 1965. As he walked out of church after serving Sunday Mass, he encountered silence. Then sirens.

"Everything was dead, still," said the priest, now 83. "It was haunting. Then the sirens started going. Every kind of siren in Selma was blowing. And I just knew something terrible had happened."

Standing on the steps of St. Elizabeth's - Selma, Alabama's "black" Catholic church - the young white priest was about to witness one of the most iconic days of the civil rights era. It would come to be known as Bloody Sunday.

Read the full story

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Journeys • Leaders • Politics

March 4th, 2010
11:21 AM ET

Vice Guide to Travel: Mecca Diaries

Based on the sheer volume of bodies, Hajj should not work. As the world's largest pilgrimage and one of the Five Pillars of Islam, each year about 3 million people cram themselves into the relatively small holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia, to offer up this, the holiest of Islamic rites. In late 2008, I accompanied my parents on Hajj and managed to sneak a VBS video camera past state security and capture the trip as we saw it. The scene was insane, beyond what I could have ever imagined.

See the video diaries and read a behind the scenes account

Editor's Note: The staff at CNN.com has recently been intrigued by the journalism of VICE, an independent media company and Web site based in Brooklyn, New York. VBS.TV is Vice's broadband television network. The reports, which are produced solely by VICE, reflect a very transparent approach to journalism, where viewers are taken along on every step of the reporting process. We believe this unique reporting approach is worthy of sharing with our CNN.com readers.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Journeys

February 21st, 2010
12:16 PM ET

Understanding Buddhism

Buddhism is the major religion of many countries in Asia, based largely on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, or Buddha. There are more than 300 million Buddhists worldwide. Most fall into one of two major schools of Buddhism, but there are dozens of different sects. A third school also has a small following. They all share basic beliefs.

Learn more about Buddhism

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Culture & Science • Journeys

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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.