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What To Give Up for Lent? Twitter Reveals Top 100 Ideas of 2015

(UPDATED) Here's what 409,000 people pledged to fast from for the next 40 days.
What To Give Up for Lent? Twitter Reveals Top 100 Ideas of 2015
OpenBible.info

[Updated Feb. 23 with final total from Ash Wednesday week.]

Nearly one in five Americans observed Lent last year. This year, more than 400,000 tweeted about their fast.

Food and technology remained the most popular categories that tweeting Americans reported giving up ...

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Blessed Are the Super Bowl Stars?

Like Russell Wilson, most believe God rewards faithful athletes.
Blessed Are the Super Bowl Stars?
Larry Maurer / Flickr

A majority of Americans—53 percent—believe God rewards faithful athletes with good health and success, up last year’s 48 percent, according to a new study from Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI).

Confidence in God’s favor rose among every ...

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Roll Tide and Read Your Bible: Alabama Ranks No. 1 for Scripture Lovers

Southern states dominate annual list of Bible-minded cities.
Roll Tide and Read Your Bible: Alabama Ranks No. 1 for Scripture Lovers
abcrumley / Flickr

The Bible Belt lived up to its name as Southern locales topped the American Bible Society (ABS) and Barna Group’s annual list of Bible-minded cities, with Birmingham, Alabama, earning the No. 1 spot.

The rankings, based on a city’s Bible reading habits and beliefs, ...

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Sunday Morning Segregation: Most Worshipers Feel Their Church Has Enough Diversity

LifeWay survey finds only a third of Americans have worshiped as a minority, and half didn't last a year.
Sunday Morning Segregation: Most Worshipers Feel Their Church Has Enough Diversity
LifeWay Research

Sunday morning remains one of the most segregated hours in American life, with more than 8 in 10 congregations made up of one predominant racial group.

And most worshipers think their church is fine the way it is.

Two-thirds of American churchgoers (67 percent) say their ...

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'Not Forgotten': The Top 50 Countries Where It's Most Difficult To Be A Christian

Open Doors says 2014 saw the worst persecution of Christians in the 'modern era'—but not because of violence.
'Not Forgotten': The Top 50 Countries Where It's Most Difficult To Be A Christian
Courtesy of Open Doors

New research reveals one more reason to remember 2014: for the greatest number of religious freedom violations against Christians worldwide in recent memory—even in Christian-majority countries. Of the worst 50 nations, 4 out of 5 share the same primary cause. And, ...

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The Top 20 Most-Read Christianity Today Articles of 2014

World Vision's reversal, Kay Warren on son's suicide, 33 Christian leaders under 33, and more.
The Top 20 Most-Read Christianity Today Articles of 2014

Did you catch all of the most-read CT articles from 2014?

Here's a look back at what readers kept clicking:

20) The 160-Year Christian History Behind What's Happening in Ukraine

...

19) Fox News' Highly Reluctant Jesus Follower

Of all people surprised that I became ...

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The Top 10 Testimonies of 2014

Here are the Christian conversion stories that CT readers shared most.
The Top 10 Testimonies of 2014

For two years now, CT has devoted a premium slot in its print magazine—the back page—to a compelling story of Christian conversion. Muslims and Mormons, football players and French atheists, even an alcoholic Baptist have all contributed to our Testimony series. ...

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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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150 Million Bible Readers Were Searching for Love Most in 2014

Bible Gateway finds patterns in how the world searched and read the Bible this past year.
150 Million Bible Readers Were Searching for Love Most in 2014
Bible Gateway

John 3:16 was not among the Bible verses most widely shared or remembered in 2014, based on worldwide YouVersion users. But it still tops the list of verses the world seeks out, according to a report released by Bible Gateway based on 1.5 billion pageviews by 150 million ...

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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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For Giving Tuesday: Where Evangelicals Donate (And No Longer Donate) Their Dollars

Christians are giving away more money than before the recession. But the parachurch, not churches, is getting most of it.
For Giving Tuesday: Where Evangelicals Donate (And No Longer Donate) Their Dollars
Tim Green/Flickr

Giving Tuesday, with its record number of participating organizations this year, is extra frosting on the cake for charities, which saw more money from Americans in 2013 than before the 2007 recession.

But most of that growth is going to parachurch groups, not churches, ...

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Time To Rend Marriage? 1 in 4 Pastors Agree with First Things Petition

Magazine argues for splitting civil and Christian marriage. LifeWay examines which Americans agree.
Time To Rend Marriage? 1 in 4 Pastors Agree with First Things Petition
Jan Smith/Flickr

Should pastors stop signing marriage certificates at the weddings they officiate? In response to same-sex marriage, should churches get out of the wedding business?

A prominent conservative Christian magazine, First Things, thinks so. As do the more than 300 pastors and ...

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Died: R. Judson Carlberg, Christian Higher Ed Leader, Biologos Chair

On Thanksgiving, he once wrote, 'I am thankful for cancer. James 1:2-3... Life is richer, trust is stronger and relationships are deeper.'
Died: R. Judson Carlberg, Christian Higher Ed Leader, Biologos Chair
Courtesy: Gordon College

R. Judson Carlberg, one of Christian higher education’s most influential leaders until his retirement from Gordon College in 2011, has died. He was 74.

Carlberg served Gordon College for 35 years, including nearly 20 years as its president. He passed away early Thursday ...

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Politics

President Obama Cites Exodus on Immigration Reform: 'We Were Strangers Once Too'

(UPDATED) Reactions from Sam Rodriguez, Russell Moore, Jenny Yang, Noel Castellanos on Obama's motive vs. method.
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President Obama Cites Exodus on Immigration Reform: 'We Were Strangers Once Too'
White House screenshot

Update (Nov. 20): Tonight President Barack Obama outlined his executive action on immigration reform, which could impact up to 5 million immigrants. He gave two citations: one from former President George W. Bush, and one from Exodus 23.

"Scripture tells us that we ...

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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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