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:
- The Mother Theresa Revelations
- Democrats Embrace Religion and Mitt Romney Channels JFK
The Reverend Jerry Falwell Dies
- The Pope's Moto Proprio
- The Episcopal Church At Odds Over Gays
The Greening of Evangelicalism
- The Roar of Atheist Books
- The Trials of New Life Church
- The Creation Museum Opens
South Korean Christian Missionaries Kidnapped in Afghanistan
Christianity Today list their top 10 as:
- Taliban takes Korean short-term mission team hostage, killing two
- Atheism tops the bestseller charts
- Presidential campaigns start early, with some faith surprises
- Ruth Graham promoted to glory
- Anglican Communion fractures over Scripture, homosexuality
- Three Christians tortured and killed in eastern Turkey
- Lions of the Religious Right, Falwell and Kennedy, pass away
- Francis Beckwith returns to Catholicism
- Campaign to oust NAE's Richard Cizik fails
- 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.