Pope's Twitter account to close as he leaves office, Vatican Radio says
Pope Benedict XVI clicks on a tablet to send his first twitter message at the Paul VI hall at the Vatican, December 12, 2012.
February 22nd, 2013
03:01 PM ET

Pope's Twitter account to close as he leaves office, Vatican Radio says

By Laura Smith-Spark, CNN

(CNN) - At the same time as Pope Benedict XVI leaves office on February 28, his Twitter presence as @Pontifex will also come to an end, according to Vatican Radio.

The news may come as a sad blow to the more than 2 million people who've signed up to follow his tweets in nine languages since his account was launched with fanfare two-and-a-half months ago.

About 1.5 million of those people follow the English language feed, with nearly 700,000 following him in Spanish and just short of 335,000 in Italian. About 22,500 people follow @Pontifex in Latin.

The account will be closed to coincide with the 85-year-old pope's formal departure from office at 8 p.m. local time, Vatican Radio said.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Catholic Church • Christianity • Pope Benedict XVI

The rise of 'Hallelujah'
Leonard Cohen performs at Madison Square Garden on December 18, 2012.
December 26th, 2012
10:35 AM ET

The rise of 'Hallelujah'

By Edgar Treiguts, CNN

(CNN) – It's a song that's been recorded by hundreds of artists. It's been a favorite in TV competition shows and been used as a healing anthem in times of tragedy. And just recently, after the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, 'Hallelujah' emerged again.

The popularity of 'Hallelujah' was hardly foreshadowed when it was written and first recorded by Leonard Cohen in 1984. The song was on an album Cohen's record company decided not to release.

A decade would pass before it was embraced by another artist, and its true introduction began.

Listen to the full story on CNN Soundwaves

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Christianity

'The Blind Side' too hot for Christian bookstore
Sandra Bullock arrives at the premier of "The Blind Side." The film was recently pulled from Christian bookstores.
July 19th, 2012
07:23 AM ET

'The Blind Side' too hot for Christian bookstore

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

(CNN) - "The Blind Side" was a heartwarming movie about a real-life Christian family who adopted a troubled teen with a knack for football, helped him get into college, and eventually all the way to the NFL. It was nominated for a best picture Oscar, won Sandra Bullock the best actress Oscar, and it won over Christian audiences who for decades have said they were slighted and misrepresented by Hollywood. But all that was not enough to keep the movie on the shelves one of the country's largest Christian bookstores.

LifeWay Christian Resources, a division of the Southern Baptist Convention, had been selling the DVD at its 165 stores for two years with a sticker warning its patrons of strong language. There were rumblings about a resolution last month at the denomination's annual conference, and complaints from about a dozen people prompted LifeWay to remove the film from its shelves and online store.

At issue was the film's use of profanity, a racial slur and taking the Lord's name in vain.

That decision sparked outrage among some prominent evangelicals Christians who said pulling the movie over foul language was "legalistic" and "Pharisaical."


- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Movies

May 25th, 2012
11:01 AM ET

Foxworthy hosts 'Biblical' new game show

(CNN)– Comedian Jeff Foxworthy will host "American Bible Challenge," a new show premiering this summer on GSN.  CNN's Carol Costello reports.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Bible • TV

Writer: Mel Gibson spewed anti-Semitism, talked of killing ex
Mel Gibson "kept raging" about his ex-girlfriend, according to Joe Eszterhas' letter, published by thewrap.com.
April 12th, 2012
03:18 PM ET

Writer: Mel Gibson spewed anti-Semitism, talked of killing ex

By Josh Levs, CNN

Editor's note: This story contains offensive language

(CNN) - Mel Gibson frequently spews "looney, rancid" anti-Semitism, has talked about killing his former girlfriend, and is prone to hate-filled diatribes slamming everyone from John Lennon to Walter Cronkite, according to a screenwriter who has been working with him.

Joe Eszterhas, who wrote a screenplay about the Jewish hero Judah Maccabee for Gibson, recounts numerous alleged incidents in detail in a nine-page letter to Gibson published by the website thewrap.com.

In a letter replying to Eszterhas, Gibson denies the allegations, saying most of the claims are fabricated.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Movies

April 7th, 2012
10:00 AM ET

Country star Merle Haggard on religion, poverty and family

By Denise Quan, CNN

(CNN)–Merle Haggard calls himself a walking miracle and credits God for keeping him healthy. He spent his 21st birthday in San Quentin State Prison for attempted robbery. He'll celebrate this birthday surrounded by family and friends at his home in Palo Cedro, California. For the remainder of April, he'll travel around the country, playing new songs and old such hits like "Mama Tried" and "Okie From Muskogee."

In a rare and unflinching interview with CNN, the man critics have dubbed "Poet of the Common Man" sounds off on religion, poverty, politics, health and family.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Music

Santorum rails against Maher on 'Christian madrassa' comment
Rick Santorum fired back against comedian Bill Maher who said Santorum's children attended a 'Christian madrassa.'
March 13th, 2012
11:09 AM ET

Santorum rails against Maher on 'Christian madrassa' comment

By Ashley Killough, CNN

(CNN)– Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum hit back against Bill Maher Monday night after the liberal talk show host criticized Santorum for home-schooling his children, calling his home a "Christian madrassa."

Responding to his comments, Santorum, a devout Catholic, said on Fox News that "folks on the left" are out there "trashing anybody who stands up for Christian conservative values, anybody who dares to actually teach their children faith in their home."

Maher made the remarks on his show Friday, saying that Santorum was sheltering his children and educating them in the home rather than in public out of fear they "could be infected by the virus of reason."

Read the full story on CNN's Political Ticker.
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Politics

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.