Top 10 Religion Stories of 2007?

With new year's eve upon us I thought I'd take a walk through some of the top religion stories of 2007 in the eyes of the media.

Time Magazine list their top 10 as:

  1. The Mother Theresa Revelations
  2. Democrats Embrace Religion and Mitt Romney Channels JFK

  3. The Reverend Jerry Falwell Dies
  4. The Pope's Moto Proprio
  5. The Episcopal Church At Odds Over Gays

  6. The Greening of Evangelicalism
  7. The Roar of Atheist Books
  8. The Trials of New Life Church
  9. The Creation Museum Opens

  10. South Korean Christian Missionaries Kidnapped in Afghanistan

Christianity Today list their top 10 as:

  1. Taliban takes Korean short-term mission team hostage, killing two
  2. Atheism tops the bestseller charts
  3. Presidential campaigns start early, with some faith surprises
  4. Ruth Graham promoted to glory
  5. Anglican Communion fractures over Scripture, homosexuality
  6. Three Christians tortured and killed in eastern Turkey
  7. Lions of the Religious Right, Falwell and Kennedy, pass away
  8. Francis Beckwith returns to Catholicism
  9. Campaign to oust NAE's Richard Cizik fails
  10. Supreme Court upholds 2003 federal partial-birth abortion ban

What are your thoughts?

Over all I felt both these lists were overly focussed on American evangelicalism but given their origin I suppose that's to be expected. So, as influential as America is, which of these stories are truly newsworthy beyond America? What do you think?

From an Australian perspective I would have to say the Atheist books and Anglican strife stories have had the biggest impact down under, but then, that's a local perspective too. I am hopeful that the greening of evangelicalism will become a bigger story but so far its more of a background one. If I was to go real local, I would have to mention the rise and rise of Hillsong, but that doesn't effect so many people beyond Australia.

Thinking more globally I think I should single out the stories that highlight the ongoing tensions between Islamic militants and global market economies, as those tensions continue to be a background buzz behind everything these days, and when the history books are written I think that's what we'll find in them. Maybe that's hard to reduce down to a single catchy story but, still, can we talk of religion in 2007 without it?

But, as far as this blog goes I have to single out the killing of the three Christians in eastern Turkey. You may recall I have a connection with friends of those who were murdered and forwarded a prayer request from friends of the Turkish martyrs back in April. As you reflect on 2007, maybe you might consider praying for the ongoing situation there: for the trial that is still to come; for more tolerance of Christians in Turkey, and ultimately, for reconciliation between Christians and Muslims; and for the family and friends of the three who were killed, for the impact of 2007 will be with them for the rest of their lives.


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