These are some of the most talked about religious issues of 2016.
2016 was a year of great importance to religious people as a year when a lot happened in the name of religion. In the U.S., especially during the presidential elections, people clearly saw the nation’s religious divisions and allegiances. 2016 was also the year when the relationship between politics and religion was seen at its peak. Here are some religion news stories of 2016 selected by The Atlantic and Religion News Association (RNA) as the most significant.
Many of the top news stories are connected in one way or another to Donald Trump. Although he didn’t seem to be a very religious person, his views on Muslims and immigrants sparked an ongoing series of incidents and news involving Muslims, Jews and even Pope Francis. The pope himself, who is often on top of the list of newsmakers, has been outrun by news spurred by the Trump campaign. In fact, one of the most significant news that the pope created this year was when he denounced Trump and called his idea to build a wall across the U.S.-Mexico border as “un-Christian.”
An organization of journalists specializing in religious news, the Religious News Association, also point out that Khizr Khan made a lot of news with his defiance of Trump and was so named the top newsmaker of the year. The Trump campaign also showed the world how the white Christian American still dominates the nation’s politics, especially Conservative evangelicals. On the same note, the denouncement of Trump by Mormons, who traditionally lean Republican, was a matter of great discussion too.
The steady rise of hostility towards Muslims in America, especially the sharp rise in direct attacks was another important issue that became a hot topic worldwide. Muslims felt it was more difficult to be a Muslim now than it was after 9/11.
Additional news stories on RNA’s top ten list are:
- The protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota by tribal members of the Standing Rock Sioux.
- The death of almost 5,000 immigrants who were trying to escape war in Africa and Asia when boats submerged in the Mediterranean Sea.
- The terror shooting at a gay club in Orlando by Omar Mateen, who claimed to be a member of ISIS.
- Attacks linked to ISIS in Brussels, Nice, Istanbul, and parts of Germany.
- The rise in shootings of African-Americans instigated protests against racism by #BlackLivesMatter.
- The Atlantic
- Religion News Association
- “The Donald Trump vs. Pope Francis Battle Explained”
- “Father of Fallen Muslim Soldier, John McCain Rebuke Trump’s Anti-Muslim Comments”
- “Why the Majority of Christians Voted for Donald Trump”
- “Thanks to Donald Trump, Muslims are More Fearful Now Than After 9/11”
- “Dakota Access Pipeline Protest Is a Fight for Religious Freedom”
- “Muslim Leaders Condemn Orlando Shooting”
- “Religious Groups United in Condemning Brussels Terror Attacks”
- “Faith Leaders Condemn Turkish Airport Attack”