Each week, TheBlaze publishes diverse articles about faith and culture. With religion often coloring political and social news, we seek out the most intriguing stories. From the legislative arguments surrounding gay marriage to comical pranks, faith stories generally span from serious to light-hearted, as you’ll see from this week’s recap of the 10 best faith and religion stories.

Starting this weekend, we’re going to regularly publish a recap of some of the most interesting faith stories from the past seven days — news pieces that either shaped or impacted the media cycle in some way, had a profound impact on religious groups or simply entertained (for a full list of religiously-themed Blaze content, visit the faith vertical).

To begin, let’s briefly recap “The Bible,” the television series that is set to premiere tonight on the History Channel. This morning, we published 10 surprising celebrity endorsements of the show. And, earlier in the week, its creators, reality producer Mark Burnett and his wife, actress Roma Downey, published an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal calling for Bible instruction in public schools.

These Are the Top Faith and Religion Stories of the Week on TheBlaze

U.S. President Barack Obama speaks to the media after meeting with Congressional leaders at the White House, March 1, 2013 in Washington, DC. President Obama said that no agreement was reached with Republicans to avoid the sequester that will trigger automatic domestic and defense cuts. Credit: Getty Images 

On another note, it seems President Barack Obama starts every day with some scripture verses that are sent to him by his so-called “pastor-in-chief.” Meet faith leader Joshia DuBois and find out a little more about the president’s Christian faith here.

And did you catch TheBlaze’s interview with commentator S.E. Cupp last week? Weighing in on the same-sex marriage debate, she explained why she supports gay Republican groups and had some advice for the GOP regarding how to handle the controversial and divisive issue. We also had an article about a transgender student who’s suing her former university — a Christian institution — for expelling her after finding out that she was born a man.

While we’re on the subject of contentious social issues, let’s look at a few recent stories about abortion. First and foremost, there’s the viral video of students at Hunter College in New York City playing “Abortion Battles” — a game that is as contentious as it sounds. We’ll let you read the article to get a sense of what’s involved, but perhaps this quote from the video will be disturbing enough: “Kill that baby!”

Plus, don’t miss this story about a pro-life college student who might be expelled (you’ll never believe why). 

These Are the Top Faith and Religion Stories of the Week on TheBlaze

Catholics pray during a Sunday mass at the Mother of God sanctuary in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Sunday March 3, 2013. Catholics around the world attended the first Sunday masses since Benedict stepped down as pope. Many prayed for a energetic, new leader to reinvigorate what many said was an ailing institution. Credit: AP

The Catholic Church continues to make headlines as the search for a new pope is underway. But now that Pope Benedict XVI has gone into retirement, who’s running the ship? We have a run-down that tells you who’s in charge and details their current roles (at least until a new leader is selected).

Last, but not least, we have two additional stories you won’t want to miss. On Thursday, The Rev. Kenn Blanchard, an African American pastor from Washington, D.C., gave NPR a history lesson about minorities and gun rights.

And, finally, if you want to get a good laugh before the Monday morning blues hit, be sure to check out this prank video setup to scare the pants off of women having their hair done at a salon. It involves a faux demon-possessed girl, a double-sided mirror and lots — and lots — of screaming.