The Top 10 Christian News Stories of 2010
- Wednesday, December 22, 2010
The year 2010 brought hundreds of stories and movements to bear on global Christianity. Here are the faces, places, and movements the Crosswalk.com editors believe most impacted Christians around the world.
1. Haiti's earthquake creates multiple aftershocks
When a 7.0 magnitude earthquake crumbled most of Port-au-Prince on January 12, the impoverished country's problems were only beginning. Eleven months after the quake, more than one million people still live in muddy tent cities with poor sanitation. Those conditions have allowed cholera - a disease not seen in Haiti for 50 years - to claim at least 2,000 victims and sicken another 90,000. That's in addition to the 220,000 people killed and more than 300,000 injured in the earthquake. Aids groups descended on the country in droves, shifting from recovery to rebuilding to disease prevention with the season, but have little show for it. Haiti's extreme lack of infrastructure hamstrung relief workers. Confusing bureaucracy led to charges of child-smuggling against 10 volunteers from Idaho. And as the year ended, Haitians crowded the streets of Port-au-Prince in protest of alleged vote rigging in the country's presidential election. Haiti was already the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere before 2010; today, the country has a firm hold on the dubious title.
Massive Quake Devastates Already-Impoverished Haiti
Missionary Zeal, Practical Wisdom and Haitian Orphans
2. Pakistan sentences a Christian woman to death for 'blasphemy'
In November, the act of drawing water for her Muslim neighbors earned a Christian woman the first death sentence handed down to a Pakistani woman for blasphemy. Asia Bibi's non sequitur conviction drew international attention to Pakistan's easily-abused blasphemy laws, as further investigation yielded little supporting evidence for prosecutors. Pakistan's court system has said the mother of five children cannot be pardoned until the appeals process is exhausted, which could extend the case for years. Even if acquitted, Bibi's notoriety will remain - one imam offered $6,000 to anyone who murders her.
Pakistan Mother Condemned for ‘Blasphemy' Stunned, Shattered
Pakistan Minister Condemns Reward for Killing Christian Woman
3. Jesus finds trapped miners in Chile
Video feeds and messages in bottles kept 33 trapped miners connected to the world 2,000 feet above them, allowing letters and information - even Bibles and sermon MP3s - to travel through the rock. When the San Jose mine collapsed in August, just three of the men were believers. But at the end of their two-month ordeal, every miner emerged from the escape shaft wearing a shirt saying, "Gracias Senor" - "Thank you Lord." Hundreds of media outlets caught the moment on camera, broadcasting the story throughout the world. Many of miners returned to the site shortly afterwards to commemorate their internment and rescue with a Mass.
Chilean Miners' Altruism Defied Darwinian Explanation
The Story Behind the Chilean Miners' Jesus T-Shirts
4. The ‘Ground Zero Mosque' becomes a national lightning rod
"Islamophobia" became a byword for those opposed to the so-called Ground Zero Mosque. The proposed civic center project, called Park51 and located two blocks from the site of the 9/11 attacks, drew criticism from dozens of Christian leaders and sparked nationwide debate over religious freedom, rights, and cultural propriety. The controversy also fanned fears of retaliation against Christians in Islamic countries when a renegade pastor in Florida escalated the fight, threatening to burn the Koran in protest of the project. Cordoba House is still raising funds for the center, which has yet to break ground.
The Mosque at Ground Zero: Sense and Sensibility
Speak Gently of NYC Mosque, Lest Christians Come to Harm
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