July 16th, 2010
03:47 PM ET

Religious minorities: Is the disadvantage the advantage?

Editor's note: CNN's Talya Minsberg files this report about what life is like for some religious minorities in the United States:

Imagine having an exam or mandatory meeting on a holiday with the religious importance of Christmas.

It’s a regular occurrence for religious minorities in the United States.

Many college students will head back to school after Labor Day, September 7. And for Jewish and Muslim American students, a dilemma awaits. This year, the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashana, begins at sundown the very next day, September 8. And September 9 is Eid al Fitr, an Islamic holiday marking the end of the month of Ramadan. Both holidays are celebrated with festive meals and special services.


- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Education • Islam • Judaism • Religious liberty • Traditions • United States

June 28th, 2010
04:30 PM ET

Pope reprimands cardinal over sex abuse criticism

Pope Benedict XVI slapped down Cardinal Christoph Schonborn on Monday over comments earlier this year in which he was seen as criticizing a fellow cardinal.

Schonborn - the archbishop of Vienna, Austria, and a former student of the pope - had said that  Cardinal Angelo Sodano had blocked an investigation of sexual abuse charges against a former archbishop of Vienna, according to the Catholic News Service.  Sodano was the Vatican's secretary of state at the time.


- Newsdesk editor, The CNN Wire

Filed under: Catholic Church • Pope Benedict XVI • Traditions

June 25th, 2010
07:24 PM ET

Documentary attempts to answer life’s biggest questions

Roger Nygard was seven years old when he first realized he was going to die.

He had found the entry on tuberculosis inside his family’s medical encyclopedia one day and it appeared that he was exhibiting all the symptoms noted in the book: coughing, fatigue, and sleepiness.

The young Nygard aptly put on his winter suit on that cold Minnesota night and went outside by the lake across from his home to wait for death to come. After twenty minutes though, his feet got cold and he decided to go back inside to have dinner.

You can see a trailer for the documentary here.

- CNN Video Assistant

Filed under: Atheism • Buddhism • Christianity • Confucianism • Culture & Science • Faith • Interfaith issues • Traditions

June 25th, 2010
09:08 AM ET

Photo spotlight: 'Mud people festival'

Catholic devotees in Aliaga, Philippines listen to Mass while covered in mud and leaves during the Taong Putik Festival or "Mud People Festival," on Friday, June 24. They cover themselves in mud, banana leaves, twigs and vines to emulate John the Baptist's disguised appearance when he baptized Jesus Christ, according to the Bible.

- CNN.com Senior Producer

Filed under: Catholic Church • Culture & Science • Traditions

June 25th, 2010
08:37 AM ET

Dealing with the anniversary of a loved one's death

In Judaism, the Yahrzeit is the commemoration of the day of someone's death, according to the Hebrew calendar. Mourners recite the Kaddish prayer three times that day, go to synagogue and light a candle that burns for 24 hours. Outside the Jewish faith, the concept of an annual ritual to remember a loved one's death can be as simple as reading a book or having a family meal. Full Story

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Faith • Traditions

June 22nd, 2010
12:03 PM ET

Photo spotlight: Hindus, Muslims pray for rain

Hindus and Muslims gather in Ahmedabad, India, on Tuesday, June 22, to pray for rain. The western state of Gujarat and other parts of India are waiting for the annual monsoon rains to cool down the triple-digit temperatures.

- CNN.com Senior Producer

Filed under: Hinduism • Muslim • Traditions

June 11th, 2010
10:54 AM ET

Corpus Christi in Brazil

CNN's Marilia Brocchetto files this report from Brazil about a Catholic holiday being celebrated in her grandmother's hometown:

“Do you have any flour?” asked the neighbor, as she proceeded to throw the little she had on the pavement in front of my grandmother’s house.

I must have given her an interesting look because she felt the need to go into detail as to why she was throwing it on the ground: “It’s for the parade later on tonight.” For a second I had forgotten today was Corpus Christi.


- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Catholic Church • Culture & Science • Traditions

What do headstone symbols mean?
May 31st, 2010
07:14 AM ET

What headstones say about the living

Cemeteries are known for telling the stories of the people buried there. But the symbols on headstones and monuments can tell a different story: how our view of death has changed over time.

“Historic cemeteries really function as outdoor museums,” says Steve Estroff, education manager at Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York.


- Associate Producer

Filed under: Art • Culture & Science • Traditions

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
02:54 PM ET

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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.