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The Top 20 Most-Read Gleanings of 2014

Did you catch all the religion news that CT readers found most interesting this year?
The Top 20 Most-Read Gleanings of 2014

What do Mark Driscoll, Tim Keller, Meriam Ibrahim, and the KJV have in common? All were subjects of the most-read Gleanings posts of 2014.

Here are the top 20 stories that kept readers clicking:

20) How 727 Megachurches Spend Their Money

Leadership Network and Vanderbloemen ...

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Korea's Christmas 'Psychological Warfare' Canceled After All

South Korean Christians reverse plan to light the North Korean border with holiday cheer.
Korea's Christmas 'Psychological Warfare' Canceled After All
rok1966/Flickr

Military tensions have caused a leading group of South Korean Christians to drop plans to construct a tower on the North Korean border and light it up with Christmas cheer.

"The establishment of our Christmas tree [tower] was to be a religious event aimed at promoting ...

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Sorry Again, John 3:16: The World's 10 Most Popular Bible Verses of 2014

YouVersion studies which scriptures 164 million users shared and remembered most this year.
Sorry Again, John 3:16: The World's 10 Most Popular Bible Verses of 2014
Courtesy of YouVersion

[Editor's note: Bible GateWay also offers a year-end analysis of the Bible searches of 150 million visitors. One takeaway: Most were searching for love.]

Philippians made out well this year. The New Testament letter authored by the Apostle Paul contained 3 of the top ...

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Do They Know It's Christmas in Sierra Leone? Ebola Cancels Celebrations

Deadly disease brings a bit more accuracy to much-maligned Band Aid advocacy song.
Do They Know It's Christmas in Sierra Leone? Ebola Cancels Celebrations
Courtesy of robinelaine/Flickr

The lyrics to a popular yet much maligned Africa advocacy song are now a bit more defensible, given that Ebola has led Sierra Leone to ban Christmas celebrations.

"Do they know it's Christmas time at all?" asks the chorus of Band Aid's 1984 fundraising ...

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Qatar Frees Matt and Grace: Christian Couple Acquitted of Adopted Daughter's Death

(UPDATED) The Huangs finally have permission to return home to the United States.
Qatar Frees Matt and Grace: Christian Couple Acquitted of Adopted Daughter's Death
Courtesy of Free Matt and Grace

Update (Dec. 3): Matt and Grace Huang are on a plane home to Los Angeles, after finally having their travel ban lifted.

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An American couple living in Qatar, convicted of the death of their adopted daughter, and sentenced to three years in prison, have finally been ...

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Here's What Protestants in 18 Latin American Countries Believe and Practice

New Pew research identifies who evangelizes most and who believes the prosperity gospel, among many other topics.
Here's What Protestants in 18 Latin American Countries Believe and Practice
Gabeira 43/Flickr

The latest data not only show that Protestants are remarkably ascendent throughout the longtime Catholic stronghold of Latin America. The Pew Research Center also offers a window into who evangelizes most, which millennials pray and attend church most often, and just how ...

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Kenya Bans New Churches Amid 'Miracle-Faking Spree'

After TV exposé, attorney general seeks ways to rein in fake pastors.
Kenya Bans New Churches Amid 'Miracle-Faking Spree'
KTN Kenya (YouTube screenshot)

Prompted by news coverage of alleged illegal activity by pastors promising miracles, Kenya’s attorney general has banned new religious organizations from registering as the East African nation moves to enforce stricter regulations on churches, mosques, and temples.

The ...

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Sorry, Pope Francis: Protestants Are Converting Catholics Across Latin America

'Francis effect' may yet materialize. But for now, Catholics have hit record low across 19 nations and territories.
Sorry, Pope Francis: Protestants Are Converting Catholics Across Latin America
Pew Research Center

[Editor's note: CT also took a deeper look at differences between what Protestants believe and practice in each country.]

Enthusiasm for the first pope picked from Latin America has prompted predictions of a “Francis effect” revival among the region’s ...

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Plane Crash Kills Myles Munroe, Bahamas' Best-Known Pastor

Samuel Rodriguez says ORU alum 'breathed, lived, and died expanding the kingdom of God.'
Plane Crash Kills Myles Munroe, Bahamas' Best-Known Pastor
Instagram screenshot

En route to the international leadership conference he was hosting today, the Bahamas' best-known pastor, Myles Munroe, died with his wife and seven others in a plane crash Sunday.

The 60-year-old founder and president of Bahamas Faith Ministries International was an ...

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Winter Is Coming: Mark Burnett, Roma Downey Launch $25 Million Plan To Help Christians in Iraq and Syria

Powerhouse TV Christian couple partner with Muslim king to address 'crisis in the cradle of Christianity.'
Winter Is Coming: Mark Burnett, Roma Downey Launch $25 Million Plan To Help Christians in Iraq and Syria
Courtesy of IGE

Walking the streets of Irbil, Johnnie Moore was struck by what he saw.

"Christians were everywhere: on the streets, in abandoned buildings, in canvas tents that are not water-proof or winterized," the former Liberty University chaplain and spokesman wrote of his ...

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U.S. Visited by Only Politician Ever Banned Over Religious Freedom Violations: India's Modi

Meanwhile, Indian Christians prepare to protest persecution surge from prime minister's first 100 days in office.
U.S. Visited by Only Politician Ever Banned Over Religious Freedom Violations: India's Modi
Global Panorama/Flickr

Today the only person ever banned by the United States because of alleged religious freedom violations—India’s newly-elected prime minister, Narendra Modi—will begin a four-day tour on American shores.

After Modi failed to prevent the riot deaths of 1,000 ...

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New Iran Bible Debuts as 460 Prayer Vigils Seek To 'Save Saeed'

(UPDATED) Bad news for prominent pastor imprisoned in Iran comes amid good news for Persian Christians at large.
New Iran Bible Debuts as 460 Prayer Vigils Seek To 'Save Saeed'
Screenshot of Save Saeed campaign

Update (Sept. 29): World Watch Monitor reports on the new translation of the Bible into modern Persian and how some of its contributors were martyred.

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Two years ago, Idaho pastor Saeed Abedini made one of his frequent trips to Iran. A convert from Islam to Christianity, ...

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What Evangelicals Think About Scotland's Independence Vote

(UPDATED) After narrow "No" vote, Scottish evangelicals say churches will take lead in building the 'new Scotland.'
What Evangelicals Think About Scotland's Independence Vote
Evangelical Alliance Scotland

Update (Sept 19): A narrow majority of Scottish voters (55%) voted no Thursday on independence from the United Kingdom. In the wake of the contentious referendum—which saw more than 80 percent of voters participate—the Evangelical Alliance Scotland called for ...

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Israel’s Christian Schools Threaten Strike over Government's 'Oppressive Steps'

'Don’t stop us from carrying on our mission,' say 50 schools as Jewish state slashes support.
Israel’s Christian Schools Threaten Strike over Government's 'Oppressive Steps'
Nazareth Baptist

Calling for change, Israel’s Christian educators might go on strike next week to protest the government’s sharp cutbacks (up to 35 percent) for their schools, which are “recognized, but not official.”

At a press conference in Nazareth today (Aug. ...

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Ebola Keeps Mercy Ships, African Evangelical Leaders Away from West Africa

'This type of contagious situation is unprecedented' in past two decades, says medical ministry.
Ebola Keeps Mercy Ships, African Evangelical Leaders Away from West Africa
Mercy Ships

The deadly Ebola outbreak in West Africa, which has killed 1,145 people so far, is causing Christian ministries to cancel or postpone activity in the region.

Yesterday the African Evangelical Association, a continent-wide group of pastors, educators, and Christian leaders, ...

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