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Poll: Bin Laden tops religion news in 2011, tie for top newsmaker
December 15th, 2011
05:09 AM ET

Poll: Bin Laden tops religion news in 2011, tie for top newsmaker

By Dan Merica, CNN

Washington (CNN) – The killing of Osama bin Laden was voted the top story of the year by the Religion Newswriters Association, beating out Rep. Peter King’s hearing on the radicalization of U.S. Muslims and Catholic Bishop Robert Finn’s failure to report the suspected abuse of a child.

Though on face bin Laden’s death is not a religion story, it created conversation on a number of faith topics, the RNA said.

“Faith-based groups reacted to the terrorist leader’s death with renewed sympathy for victims’ families, scriptural citations justifying the demise of evil, and hopeful prayers for peace among the nations,” stated the RNA release.

The honor of Religion Newsmaker of the year was not awarded in 2011 because after voting was finished, three newsmakers were within one vote of each other.

Harold Camping, the radio evangelist whose failed end-of-world predictions became a widely talked about story in 2011, was the top vote getter. Pope Benedict XVI finished a close second, with voters citing, “his efforts to improve Jewish relations, beatify John Paul II, and his triumphal return to his German homeland” as reasons for his second place finish, according to RNA.

And just one vote behind the Pope was Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who has made religion a staple of his campaign.

Here is the complete list of the top 10 news stories of 2011, according to RNA:

1. The death of Osama bin Laden spurs discussions among people of faith on issues of forgiveness, peace, justice and retribution.

2. Lively congressional hearings are held on the civil rights of American Muslims. In the House hearings focus on alleged radicalism and in the Senate on crimes reported against Muslims.

3. Catholic Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City. Mo. is charged with failure to report the suspected abuse of a child, becoming the first active bishop in the country to face criminal prosecution in such a case.

4. The Catholic Church introduces a new translation of the Roman Missal throughout the English–speaking world, making the first significant change to a liturgy since 1973.

5. Presbyterian Church (USA) allows local option on ordination of partnered gay people. Church defections over the issue continue among mainline Presbyterians, Lutherans, and Episcopalians.

6. Pope John Paul II is beatified—the last step before sainthood—in a May ceremony attended by more than million people in Rome.

7. California evangelist Harold Camping attracts attention with his predictions that the world would end in May and again in October.

8. A book by Michigan megachurch pastor Rob Bell, "Love Wins," presenting a much less harsh picture of hell than is traditional, stirs discussion in evangelical circles. Messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention rebut it.

9. The Personhood Initiative, designed to outlaw abortion by declaring a fetus a person, fails on Election Day in Mississippi, but advocates plan to try in other states. Meanwhile, reports show the number of restrictions adopted throughout the country against abortion during the year are far more than in any previous year.

10. Bible translations make news, with celebrations of the 400th anniversary of the King James Version; criticism, notably by Southern Baptists, about gender usage in the newest New International Version; and completion of the Common English Bible.

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Osama bin Laden

soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. John

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1_6PxnvaySw&w=640&h=360]
    ,

    December 16, 2011 at 11:09 am |
    • .....

      TRASH ALERT – don't bother viewing this garbage, click the report abuse link to get rid of this stupid TROLL!

      December 16, 2011 at 3:23 pm |
  2. John

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1_6PxnvaySw&w=640&h=360]
    .

    December 15, 2011 at 7:26 pm |
    • .....

      Another TRASH ALERT – don't bother viewing this garbage, click the report abuse link to get rid of this stupid TROLL!

      December 16, 2011 at 3:23 pm |
  3. Cancer Boy

    bin who? Isn't he dead? He's old news.

    Whistle while you're low. There's no hope for me.

    December 15, 2011 at 7:03 pm |
  4. Ungodly Discipline

    Kill Kill Kill!!! Can I photocopy my As s????

    December 15, 2011 at 12:49 pm |
  5. Call for justice

    This Catholic-slanted list is pretty lame stuff. Funny how the news about that bishop didn't get much coverage here or anywhere.
    When we have the death penalty for child molesters and those that help hide their crimes we will finally have something closer to true justice for the destruction of the lives of their victims.
    Why pay thousands to house these criminals when it would be cheaper to use a handful of bullets? We need to bring back the execution squad and let people see the execution. Victims need to see justice because they never saw it before.

    December 15, 2011 at 10:19 am |
  6. Reality

    And in the other news:

    And the koranic/mosque driven acts of terror and horror continue:

    The Muslim Conquest of India – 11th to 18th century

    ■"The likely death toll is somewhere between 2 million and 80 million. The geometric mean of those two limits is 12.7 million. "

    and the 19 million killed in the Mideast Slave Trade 7C-19C by Muslims.

    and more recently

    1a) 179 killed in Mumbai/Bombay, 290 injured

    1b) Assassination of Benazir Bhutto and Theo Van Gogh

    2) 9/11, 3000 mostly US citizens, 1000’s injured

    3) The 24/7 Sunni-Shiite centuries-old blood feud currently being carried out in Iraq, US troops killed in action, 3,480 and 928 in non combat roles. 102,522 – 112,049 Iraqi civilians killed as of 9/16/2011/, mostly due to suicide bombers, land mines and bombs of various types, http://www.iraqbodycount.org/ and http://www.defenselink.mil/news/casualty.pdf

    4) Kenya- In Nairobi, about 212 people were killed and an estimated 4000 injured; in Dar es Salaam, the attack killed at least 11 and wounded 85.[2]

    5) Bali-in 2002-killing 202 people, 164 of whom were foreign nationals, and 38 Indonesian citizens. A further 209 people were injured.

    6) Bali in 2005- Twenty people were killed, and 129 people were injured by three bombers who killed themselves in the attacks.

    7) Spain in 2004- killing 191 people and wounding 2,050.

    8. UK in 2005- The bombings killed 52 commuters and the four radical Islamic suicide bombers, injured 700.

    9) The execution of an eloping couple in Afghanistan on 04/15/2009 by the Taliban.

    10) – Afghanistan: US troops 1,385 killed in action, 273 killed in non-combat situations as of 09/15/2011. Over 40,000 Afghan civilians killed due to the dark-age, koranic-driven Taliban acts of horror

    11) The killing of 13 citizen soldiers at Ft. Hood by a follower of the koran.

    12) 38 Russian citizens killed on March 29, 2010 by Muslim women suicide bombers.

    13) The May 28, 2010 attack on a Islamic religious minority in Pakistan, which have left 98 dead,

    14) Lockerbie is known internationally as the site where, on 21 December 1988, the wreckage of Pan Am Flight 103 crashed as a result of a terrorist bomb. In the United Kingdom the event is referred to as the Lockerbie disaster, the Lockerbie bombing, or simply Lockerbie. Eleven townspeople were killed in Sherwood Crescent, where the plane's wings and fuel tanks plummeted in a fiery explosion, destroying several houses and leaving a huge crater, with debris causing damage to a number of buildings nearby. The 270 fatalities (259 on the plane, 11 in Lockerbie) were citizens of 21 nations.

    15 The daily suicide and/or roadside and/or mosque bombings in the terror world of Islam.

    16) Bombs sent from Yemen by followers of the koran which fortunately were discovered before the bombs were detonated.

    17) The killing of 58 Christians in a Catholic church in one of the latest acts of horror and terror in Iraq.

    18) Moscow airport suicide bombing: 35 dead, 130 injured. January 25, 2011.

    19) A Pakistani minister, who had said he was getting death threats because of his stance against the country's controversial blasphemy law, was shot and killed Wednesday, 3/2/2011

    20) two American troops killed in Germany by a recently radicalized Muslim, 3/3/2011

    21) the kidnapping and apparent killing of a follower of Zoraster in the dark world of Islamic Pakistan.

    22) Shariatpur, Bangladesh (CNN 3/30/2011) - Hena Akhter's last words to her mother proclaimed her innocence. But it was too late to save the 14-year-old girl. Her fellow villagers in Bangladesh's Shariatpur district had already passed harsh judgment on her. Guilty, they said, of having an affair with a married man. The imam from the local mosque ordered the fatwa, or religious ruling, and the punishment: 101 lashes delivered swiftly, deliberately in public. Hena dropped after 70 and died a week later.

    23) "October 4, 2011, 100 die as a truck loaded with drums of fuel exploded Tuesday at the gate of compound housing several government ministries on a busy Mogadishu street. It was the deadliest single bombing carried out by the al Qaeda-linked al-Shabab group in Somalia since their insurgency began. "

    December 15, 2011 at 9:20 am |
    • Portland tony

      And your point is...? Allies fire bomb Dresden. 2 Million Russians die on eastern front..Hiroshima destroyed by atomic bomb. Shock and Awe attack kills over 1000 Iraqi civilians. Killing has been going on for a while, no?

      December 15, 2011 at 10:31 am |
    • Mike G

      And how many died at the hands of those being Christ like? Exactly Zero.

      December 15, 2011 at 10:33 am |
    • .........

      hit rerport abuse on all reality bull sh it

      December 15, 2011 at 11:01 am |
    • Reality

      The Twenty (or so) Worst Things People Have Done to Each Other:
      http://necrometrics.com/warstatz.htm#u

      o The Muslim Conquest of India

      "The likely death toll is somewhere between 2 million and 80 million. The geometric mean of those two limits is 12.7 million. "

      Rank <<<Death Toll <Cause <<Centuries<<<Religions/Groups involved*

      1. 63 million Second World War 20C (Christians et al and Communists/atheists vs. Christians et al, Nazi-Pagan and "Shintoists")

      2. 40 million Mao Zedong (mostly famine) 20C (Communism)

      3. 40 million Genghis Khan 13C (Shamanism or Tengriism)

      4. 27 million British India (mostly famine) 19C (Anglican)

      5. 25 million Fall of the Ming Dynasty 17C (Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, Chinese folk religion)

      6. 20 million Taiping Rebellion 19C ( Confucianism, Buddhism and Chinese folk religion vs. a form of Christianity)

      7. 20 million Joseph Stalin 20C (Communism)

      8. 19 million Mideast Slave Trade 7C-19C (Islam)

      9. 17 million Timur Lenk 14C-15C

      10. 16 million Atlantic Slave Trade 15C-19C (Christianity)

      11. 15 million First World War 20C (Christians vs. Christians)

      12. 15 million Conquest of the Americas 15C-19C (Christians vs. Pagans)

      13. 13 million Muslim Conquest of India 11C-18C

      14. 10 million An Lushan Revolt 8C

      15. 10 million Xin Dynasty 1C

      16. 9 million Russian Civil War 20C (Christians vs Communists)

      17. 8 million Fall of Rome 5C (Pagans vs. Pagans)

      18. 8 million Congo Free State 19C-20C (Christians)

      19. 7½ million Thirty Years War 17C (Christians vs Christians)

      20. 7½ million Fall of the Yuan Dynasty 14C

      |

      December 15, 2011 at 4:02 pm |
  7. Portland tony

    WHO WRITES THIS CRAP? PERHAPS THEY SHOULD GO BACK TO HIGH SCHOOL AND GRADUATE!

    December 15, 2011 at 8:35 am |
    • Dan Merica

      Perhaps you should look at who wrote it instead of demanding someone else read what is in front of your face and tell you what is written there for all to see. And I see no errors here. What the hell are you even talking about?

      December 15, 2011 at 10:51 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.