The Top 10 Christian News Stories of 2010
- Wednesday, December 22, 2010
5. Churches face the reality of gay bullying
After classmates uploaded video of his romantic encounter with another male student, Tyler Clementi wrote a terse message on Facebook: "Jumping off gw bridge sorry." The Rutgers University freshman's suicide thrust the issue of gay bullying into the public spotlight. His death and several similar suicides prompted hundreds of op-eds - and finger-pointing - from gay activists like Dan Savage as well as church leaders like Albert Mohler. The tragedy gave church leaders a chance to distinguish between disagreeing with homosexual behavior and condoning assaults on the vulnerable.
Between the Boy and the Bridge - A Haunting Question
When Teen Suicide Is a Mainstream Medium
6. Assyrian Christians come under fire in the heart of Iraq
When the smoke cleared, 58 people lay dead inside Our Lady of Salvation Catholic Church in Baghdad. An al Qaeda-affiliate took church members hostage during their service on October 31, and Iraqi police eventually stormed the church with disastrous results. The attack was the single deadliest on record against Iraq's dwindling Christian minority. Subsequent attacks on Christian homes caused many to flee the country's cities, leaving ever fewer behind to celebrate Christmas in the once-venerable Assyrian Christian community.
Out of Sight, Out of Mind, Dead
Iraqis Mourn Victims of Deadly Church Attack
7. In Afghanistan, aid workers receive a deadly welcome
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the deaths of 10 Christian aid workers in the mountains of Afghanistan, but the motives behind their deaths remain unclear. The medical team, which included six Americans and two Afghans, was accused of proselytizing in the Muslim country in August. The group's organization, International Assistance Mission, pointed to their code of conduct and flatly denied the charges, but the killings by alleged Taliban demonstrated that Christian aid organizations are not always welcome.
Motive for Aid Worker Killings in Afghanistan Still Uncertain
8. Christopher Hitchens inspires a day of prayer
When Christopher Hitchens, the outspoken atheist and author of God Is Not Great, announced that he's fighting aggressive esophageal cancer, Christians decided he needed serious prayer. Hitchens protested and asked people not to "trouble deaf heaven with your bootless cries" lest his recovery be attributed to divine healing. Nonetheless, believers staged an international "Everybody Pray for Hitchens Day" on September 20. The attention given to one atheist quickly turned general, however, with a new survey's release just a week later. The survey revealed that atheists and agnostics actually scored better on religious literacy tests than many people who identify as Christians.
Poll Finds Atheists Know the Most about Belief
Christopher Hitchens and Jesus
Religion Today Summaries - Sept. 10, 2010
9. The "Dawn Treader" sails to number one
The 2008 hit "Facing the Giants" tested the potential of faith-based audiences, but the next installment of The Chronicles of Narnia assumed this audience. Disney dropped the franchise after "Prince Caspian's" less-than-spectacular show at the box office, but Fox and Walden Media decided "Caspian" was still popular enough to warrant a sequel. The franchise returned the beloved works of Christian literature to pop culture popularity, and reintroduced Christianity's premier thinker to churches and the wider audience. The movie fell short of its opening goals, but still won the number one spot at the box office its opening weekend.
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader: An Epic Journey Within
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader Takes Lewis Fans on a Fantastic Trip
10. The glass ceiling comes crashing down on Crystal Cathedral
For five decades, Robert Schuller fed the Crystal Cathedral's growing ministry and "Hour of Power" television show on his personal brand of positive thinking. But in October, the megachurch filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy - despite the best cash flow in 10 years - to satisfy its creditors. Schuller's daughter and successor in ministry, Dr. Sheila Schuller Coleman, pledged to continue the ministry's services and broadcasts, but cracks in the Crystal ceiling may be a sign of things to come for other megachurches based in prosperity theology.
Bankruptcy in the Cathedral
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