CP Year in Review: Top 10 News Stories, Trends of 2013

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Here are some of the stories:







(Photo: The Becket Fund)

3. Religious Liberty in the Courts

Possibly in reaction to (2) and (1) on our list, 2013 also marks the year when Christian legal institutions flooded the courts with cases seeking to further define and protect the free speech and religious liberty protections in the Constitution that allow for the free practice of Christianity in America.

The Becket Fund reports that there are 70 cases and over 200 plaintiffs, including hospitals, universities, businesses, schools, and individuals asking the court to codify and affirm religious liberty and speech protection. There have been 28 injunctions granted besides the high-profile Hobby Lobby, which has reached the Supreme Court.

Here are some relevant stories:






(Photo: Facebook)

 2. Corporations and Government Endorse the LGBT War On Christianity

While this storyline is not new, 2013 marks the year the gay agenda held sway over government and corporate authorities. The year started with gay activists winning a key battle during the inauguration by disinviting Louie Giglio to deliver the benediction because of his biblical views on gay marriage, even though Giglio has avoided the subject publicly for a decade. Gay activists lost the same battle in 2008 with Rick Warren, but President Obama did not step in this time. Gay activists were able to convince corporate sponsors to force the Boy Scouts to change its policies on gay scouts and are pushing for gay scout leaders. The military also acquiesced to gay pressure and the Supreme Court affirmed state decisions to allow gay marriage. The year ended with the A&E Network initially suspending Phil Robertson of the popular "Duck Dynasty" show for calling homosexuality a sin in a magazine interview. The resulting outcry from Duck Dynasty supporters and Christians has forced the network to lift the suspension, but critics are persisting in finding fault with Phil Robertson and pressuring A&E to remove him from the show.

Here are some sample stories:





(Reuters/David McNew)Coptic Christians protest against the killings of people during clashes in Cairo between Christian protesters and military police, and what the demonstrators say is persecution of Christians.

1. Increasing Persecution of Christians Worldwide

No other story is more fundamentally important to Christians than the increasing intolerance to Christ happening across the world, mainly from the hands of Muslim extremists. In Nigeria, of the 14,000 killed by the terrorist group Boko Haram in murderous sprees, an estimated 60 percent of them were targeted because they were Christians. In the Middle East, the Arab Spring has meant increasing persecution of Copts by the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. The Syrian Civil War has produced the same for Syrian Christians at the hands of Al Qaeda forces helping the rebels. Both conflicts have produced a flood of Christians fleeing the Middle East, the region where Jesus Christ was born.

While these massive killings made world headlines, churches were bombed in Iraq, Pakistan, in Southeast Asia, and even in India, calling into question the safety of Christians worldwide. Experts are wondering whether 2013 is the turning point of a new era of Christian persecution worldwide.

Here are some sample stories: