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11 faith-based predictions for 2011
January 1st, 2011
06:00 AM ET

11 faith-based predictions for 2011

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

To open 2011, CNN's Belief Blog asked 10 religious leaders and experts - plus one secular humanist - to make a faith-based prediction about the year ahead.

Have a faithy prediction of your own? Share it in comments.

Here's what those in the know are predicting:

1. With the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell" there will be a more concerted effort by the gay, lesbian,  bisexual and transgendered community for gay marriage, uniting conservative evangelicals, Roman Catholics, Muslims and Orthodox Jews in a much more civil but principled resistance. Respectful debate will produce more precise and pluralistic solutions.
-Dr. Joel C. Hunter, senior pastor of Northland, a Church Distributed, in Orlando, Florida

2. A new generation of Muslims will bust out of their culturally and politically isolated cocoons and passionately reclaim their voice and narratives; one that has been stolen, used, abused and hijacked by extremists, terrorists and fear-mongering propagandists. Watch out for a major cultural renaissance as a new generation of Muslim artists and storytellers grab the mic, enter the arena and speak their voice with a revived passion and purpose.
-Wajahat Ali, Muslim playwright and attorney

3. As anti-Christian violence accelerates in places like Iraq, Egypt and India, a government crackdown on Christian churches gathers steam in China, and European bureaucrats continue to drive Christianity from the public square, “Christianophobia” will become a buzzword.
-John Allen Jr., CNN's senior Vatican analyst

4. After years of increasingly contentious debates and billboard wars between religious believers and atheists, American secularists will begin to embrace a message of positive humanist community, gaining increasing acceptance as they organize cooperation between nontheists and theists toward the common good.
-Greg M. Epstein, humanist chaplain at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts

5. As religious tensions grow over the coming presidential election and domestic cultural issues involving perceived legislation of morality, the media will find more zealous Christians reacting to the issues of the day whose extreme positions will further divide the evangelical church into radical positions, and turn away seekers looking for a peaceful resolution to the churning in their own souls. In other words, the devil will play a trick on the church, and the church will, like sheep, lose their focus on the grace and love of Christ and wander astray. Those who seek peace, then, will turn to liberal ideologies.
-Don Miller, Christian author whose books include "Blue Like Jazz"

6. I foresee multiple instances of dialogue and cooperation between Muslim and Jewish houses of worship, with the initiative coming from the moderate Muslim community. They will avoid talking about the Middle East and concentrate on living as religious minorities in the United States.
–Rabbi Harold Kushner, author whose books include "When Bad Things Happen to Good People"

7. Mormons have delivered the vote for Republicans year after year, but the GOP would be wise to remember that Mormons don't actually belong to them. We noticed and will not forget Mike Huckabee's viciously anti-Mormon mockery of Mitt Romney during the 2008 campaign. If Huckabee is the Republican nominee for president, look for substantial numbers of Mormons to defect or abstain. Mormons are the key to Republican victory in many Western swing states; if Huckabee actually wants their votes, he'd better start mending fences now.
-Orson Scott Card, Mormon author whose books include "Pathfinder"

8. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg will loudly and proudly denounce the anti-Muslim rhetoric of Republican presidential hopefuls, ensuring that religious pluralism will be a central issue in the 2012 presidential race and nudging President Obama and other leading Democrats to stand tall for one of America’s most cherished ideals.
–Eboo Patel, founder and president of Interfaith Youth Core

9. Religious conservatives and Tea Party activists will increasingly work together to keep pressure on the Republican Party to remain true to its fiscal and culturally conservative principles in the new session of Congress and the 2012 presidential nomination.
–Ralph Reed, founder of the Faith and Freedom Coalition

10. More Wiccan ministers and other pagan leaders will be actively involved in interfaith organizations, conferences and initiatives in the United States and internationally. Interfaith endeavors will grow in importance in addressing ongoing needs in the world today as well as in responding to natural disasters and other tragedies.
-Rev. Selena Fox, senior minister of Circle Sanctuary, a Wiccan church near Barneveld, Wisconsin

11. Two-thousand-eleven will be, unfortunately, a continuation of great Islamophobic and uninformed attacks that will further alienate American Muslims and cause great distress in the rest of the Muslim world. However, I predict that the Park 51 will become less of an issue as more New Yorkers decide enough is enough and that they will not allow a few people with an Islamophobic agenda to dictate location of places of worship.
- Muna Abusulayman, secretary general of The Alwaleed Bin Talal Foundation

CNN's Jessica Ravitz, John Blake, Maria Ebrahimji and Kelly Marshall Smoot contributed to this report.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Christianity • Islam • Judaism • Leaders

soundoff (803 Responses)
  1. Jesus_Christ

    Don't wait up for me.

    January 2, 2011 at 11:14 am |
    • guestwhite

      funnyunhun you're Never home!

      January 3, 2011 at 5:12 am |
  2. alpharowe3

    These "predictions" are not very bold or definitive. I was hoping these mystics could give us something to confirm or deny by years end. But all these predictions could be argued either way no matter what happens. *sigh*

    January 2, 2011 at 11:14 am |
  3. jk

    Those weren't predictions, those are beliefs. Predictions are when you reveal information that is unknown that is not based upon any truth. These people just gave their opinions based upon their beliefs. Boring.....

    January 2, 2011 at 11:13 am |
    • alpharowe3

      Exactly!

      January 2, 2011 at 11:17 am |
  4. Waynew

    The fact is there is proof GOG does exist. Whe a person decides to believe and ask JESUS into their heart HE truly comes in and joy overwhelms us, and the total assurance we will spend eternity with HIM feels our hearts. After all HE is the ALPHA and OMEGA, The BEGINNING and The END, the BRIGHT and MORNING STAR, The LILY of the VALLEY, REDEEMER, LORD, SAVIOR, ALMIGHTY GOD, LION OF JUDAH, THE PERFECT LAMB, KING OF KINGS, WONDERFUL, PRINCE OF PEACE, CHRIST THE SAVIOR, JEHOVAH, MIGHTY GOD IS HE, ETERNAL LIFE, EVERLASTING LIFE, PAST PRESENT FUTURE, PERFECT SACRIFICE, SON OF GOD, HOLY GHOST IS HE, POWER, TRUTH, COMFORTER IS HE. HOPE, MERCY, GRACE, FORGIVER, BLOOD SACRIFICE, ONE CRUCIFIED, MASTER, TEACHER, FATHER, ABBA, LOVING LORD, CREATOR, HEALER, FIRST BORN OF GOD. THE I AM, THE ONLY JUDGE, WATER OF LIFE, BREAD FROM HEAVEN, SABBATH, MANNA, WORD OF GOD, LIVING WORD, SON OF MAN. Though the skies cannot contain the whole of GOD just ask HIM and he will fit right into your willing heart and you will live forever.

    January 2, 2011 at 11:03 am |
  5. IntegralReality

    2011: Continued irrational faith in unproven mythologies will further divide humanity from truly recognizing the brotherhood of man.

    January 2, 2011 at 10:13 am |
  6. And So It Continues...

    The fact is that humans are a twisted species, period. No matter what religious or non-religious folks say or predict, things will remain the same. The human species are warmongers that have feuded with each other since their existence. Even if religion would be eliminated, we would still fight about something, it's in our nature. And to answer the question that so many ask about "if there is a God or not"... I guess we will all find out the day we die... won't we? And death, my friends, is always a close, oh so very close compatriot of ours 🙂

    January 2, 2011 at 10:10 am |
  7. Terry W. Brookman

    Decline of the dollar will continue due to inflation and politicians pandering to their corporate masters. Islam will continue in it's path because there is not really a moderate Muslim.When the bottom line of a religion is the same as the Borg the outcome is war. Organized religion may decide to tend to their flocks instead of playing politics, but I would not bet on it. The outcome of that will be an increase in animosity toward Christan's of all flavors and a watering down of Christs true message.

    January 2, 2011 at 9:57 am |
  8. Tom

    Prediction: Continued posting of extreme views from only two sides on religion-based topics will prevent moderates from wanting to participate in these sorts of dialogues, leading to increasing resentment from polar opposites and the resolution of nothing.

    January 2, 2011 at 9:54 am |
  9. WHATS IN THE BLACK BOX ANYWAY?

    WHATS IN THE BLACK BOX ANYWAY???

    January 2, 2011 at 9:35 am |
  10. Dean Schoenewald

    http://www.LiberalFailth .com has the answers.

    January 2, 2011 at 9:26 am |
    • BS Police

      Dean Schoenewald is a wanted in Tennessee and Vermont, and is currently on the run, living in Ocean City, NJ.. His bogus web site has been shuttered, the sixth one shut down on him in a year. So much for providing "answers."

      BTW, go to youtube, put in Dean Schoenewald and "Where's The Money In the Buckets Going" to see this clown with the "answers" get schooled by a Philly female reporter. This moron has NO ANSWERS when put on the spot.

      January 4, 2011 at 2:59 am |
  11. Dean Schoenewald

    'The Truth' and real answers, are at http://www.LiberalFaith.com

    January 2, 2011 at 9:24 am |
    • BS Police

      Dean Schoenewald is a wanted in Tennessee and Vermont, and is currently on the run, living in Ocean City, NJ.. His bogus web site has been shuttered, the sixth one shut down on him in a year. So much for providing "answers."

      BTW, go to youtube, put in Dean Schoenewald and "Where's The Money In the Buckets Going" to see this clown with the "answers" get schooled by a Philly female reporter. This moron has NO ANSWERS when put on the spot.

      January 4, 2011 at 3:01 am |
  12. Bob

    http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/Pages/Islamophobia.htm

    January 2, 2011 at 9:19 am |
  13. Reverend Strategy Pony

    Religion is biggest threat to reason and peace.

    January 2, 2011 at 9:16 am |
  14. Lisa Limmer

    May 21,2011 is the Day of Judgment The LORD is coming and we know from HIS Holy Word http://www.familyradio.com

    January 2, 2011 at 9:13 am |
  15. jm357

    Jesus is Lord, God and Savior. If you reject it, to bad for you. Read Romans 10:9.

    January 2, 2011 at 8:45 am |
  16. faith

    all mankind will continue to distort and compromise the word of God, thus wresting to their inevitable destruction.
    God will keep his promise in his time but he is not amused.

    January 2, 2011 at 8:32 am |
    • Hope 111

      No, Faith, God is not amused....... He did not intend for any human soul to go to that place of the dam-ned called Hell. It's the rebellion that's in human heart, that causes those who reject His witness in their consciences (which was given to every living human being), that sends them there!

      January 2, 2011 at 7:08 pm |
  17. relph

    Prediction #12 Anderson Cooper will come out of the closet.

    January 2, 2011 at 8:01 am |
  18. Karloff

    My prediction: More people will come to their senses and realize there is no god and start living ethical and moral lives without the delusional and irrational fear of their archaic beliefs.

    (Well, I can dream....)

    January 2, 2011 at 7:47 am |
  19. TMC

    The country and subsequently the world will have a CURRENCY crisis of unprecedented degree. A true black swan. The zero value of currency will cause all the false religions who are based soley on the almighty dollar and not the almight word of G-d to fall into total collapse.

    January 2, 2011 at 7:47 am |
  20. plaztikjezuz

    really dr. hunter, hate for gays will unite groups who have hated each other for centuries.

    my god give me a break, are yoiu kidding me, if this does become a reality then religion is truly LOST in this country.

    hate never unites people.

    January 2, 2011 at 7:21 am |
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About this blog

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.