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1. Rob Bell tries to legitimize universalism, prompting huge backlash. He later announces he's leaving Mars Hill Bible Church to work in TV.

2. States adopt 80 abortion restrictions in their 2011 legislative sessions, an all-time high (the previous record was 34).

3. Mideast Christians conflicted about the Arab Spring, especially as anti-Christian violence follows Mubarak ouster in Egypt.

4. John Stott, evangelical statesman, pastor, and builder of the global church, dies at 90.

5. Beijing's Shouwang Church holds outdoor services for more than six months, enduring mass arrests as it leads China's booming house churches in unprecedented demands for religious freedom.

6. HarperCollins, which already owns Zondervan, buys Thomas Nelson; it now has about 50 percent of the Christian book market.

7. How best to translate "Son of God" in Bibles for the Muslim world becomes a flashpoint, prompting Wycliffe to clarify standards and missionaries to pledge more civility.

8. Tim Tebow's prominent display of faith becomes one of the sports world's major talking points.

9. Largely Christian South Sudan votes for independence; persecution ensues for Christians in the Nuba Mountains and Khartoum.

10. The PC(USA) votes to allow noncelibate gay pastors, prompting defections from presbyteries. (Meanwhile, the United Methodists hold the line on same-sex unions amid a planned clergy revolt.)


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