1991 | 1992 | 1993 | 1994 | 1995 | 1996 | 1997 | 1998

1991's Top Ten Stories (from our Dec. 16, 1991 issue)The following items were selected by the CT news staff as the year's top stories, based on the stories' impact on the evangelical community.

  1. War in the Gulf. The conflict heightened not only interest in the end times, but also concern for peace in the Middle East.
  2. Reforms in the USSR and Eastern Europe. Continued restructuring created new opportunities for believers.
  3. Denominations address sexuality issues. Traditional standards of personal holiness were considered, and, by and large, upheld.
  4. Euthanasia. Court cases, a suicide machine, a best-selling how-to suicide book, and a state referendum put the issue high on the public agenda.
  5. Religious liberty. Lower-court interpretations of a landmark Supreme Court decision eroded constitutional protections of religious practice, said church/state experts.
  6. Operation Rescue in Wichita. The controversial movement once again claimed the national spotlight, fanning the already-hot abortion debate.
  7. Southern Baptist moderates. After more than a decade of conservative victories in the Southern Baptist Convention, moderates formed their own fellowship.
  8. Protestantism in Latin America. The changing religious landscape in this part of the world was highlighted by major visits from both Pope John Paul II and Billy Graham.
  9. Economic recession. Troubled times pinched Christian ministries and denominations, resulting in layoffs and cutbacks)
  10. Dead Sea Scrolls. After decades of frustration, scholars finally gained full access to the 2,000-year-old documents.

Top Religion Stories, 1992 (from our Dec. 14, 1992 issue)David Briggs,Associated Press: (only four noted)

  1. Religion and politics
  2. Church debate on homosexuality
  3. Decline in denominational giving (as percentage of income)
  4. Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) statement on abortion.
Steve Rabey,Colorado Springs Gazette Telegraph:
  1. The (political) "Righting" of American evangelicalism
  2. Popular culture wars
  3. Supreme Court graduation prayer decision
  4. Battle over homosexual rights
  5. Christian publishers and musicians in mainstream markets
Richard Vara,Houston Chronicle:
  1. Christian political activity
  2. Church debate on homosexuality
  3. Continued demise of televangelists
  4. Continued organizational separation among Southern Baptists
  5. Evangelical activity in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union
David Crumm,Detroit Free Press:
  1. Church debate on homosexuality
  2. Religion and the presidential campaign
  3. Abortion
  4. Sexual misconduct of religious leaders
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  1. Columbus quincentennial
Gustav Niebuhr,Washington Post:
  1. Religion and the presidential election
  2. Ethnic cleansing of Muslims in the former Yugoslavia
  3. Supreme Court and religious freedom
  4. Southern Baptists and homosexuality
  5. Decline in denominational giving (as percentage of income)
Gayle White,Atlanta Journal-Constitution
  1. The Religious Right at the grassroots
  2. Supreme Court and church/state relations
  3. Restructuring of mainline Protestantism
  4. Debate on cultural morality
  5. Competition to evangelize Eastern Europe and former USSR

Top Religion Stories of 1993CT survey of religion writers and editors (from our Jan. 10, 1994 issue)Tom Roberts,Religion News Service

  1. Branch Davidian tragedy in Waco
  2. Passage of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act
  3. Israeli-PlO agreement
  4. Pope's Denver visit and World Youth Day events
  5. New use of religious language and symbols and an openness to a wider range of religious groups in the White House with the election of Bill Clinton
Peter Steinfels,New York Times
  1. New charges of sexual abuse of minors by Catholic priests
  2. Branch Davidians
  3. Examinations of Islam in America stirred by World Trade Center bombing
  4. Pope's Denver visit and encyclical
  5. Israeli-PLO agreement
Jim Franklin,Boston Globe
  1. Papal participation in World Youth Day
  2. Muslims as threats and victims in the news
  3. Clergy sexual abuse
  4. Abortion
  5. Papal encyclical on moral teaching
Jeff Sheler,U.S. News & World Report
  1. Israeli-PLO agreement
  2. Branch Davidian tragedy
  3. Pope's Denver visit and encyclical
  4. Passage of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act
  5. Discovery of House of David inscription in Israel
Jim Jones,Fort Worth Star-Telegram
  1. Branch Davidian tragedy
  2. Cardinal Joseph Bernardin accused of sexual abuse
  3. Papal participation in World Youth Day
  4. Evangelical Lutheran Church in America sexuality statement
  5. Passage of Religious Freedom Restoration Act

Top Religion Stories of 1994 CT survey of religion writers and editors (from our Jan. 9, 1995 issue)Terry Mattingly, syndicated religion columnist

  1. Black and white Pentecostal Christians form umbrella organization
  2. Religious Right's most talented members turn pro
  3. Re-Imagining conference fuels financial revolt in Protestant pews
  4. Promise Keepers movement for men grows
  5. Southern Baptists experience unrest at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and Texas Baptist General Convention
John Dart, religion writer, Los Angeles Times
  1. Controversy in Presbyterian and United Methodist churches over Re-Imagining continues
  2. Vatican okays altar girls, but Pope rules out women priests
  3. Pentecostalists reform North American fellowship to end racial separation
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  1. Republican election victories revive goals for school prayers
  2. Vatican efforts, partly with Islamic allies, influence world population conference in Cairo
Peggy Wehmeyer, ABC News
  1. Cairo conference on population
  2. Church-state issues, especially in schools
  3. Christian Coalition's political power
  4. Pope's reaffirmation on women ordination ban
  5. America's search for spirituality
Thomas Billitteri, Religion News Service
  1. The Republican sweep of Congress and heightened visibility of Religious Right
  2. The papacy: John Paul II's failing health and the Vatican's increasingly authoritarian stance in the face of dissent
  3. Passage of the Oregon right-to-die measure
  4. Carnage in Rwanda, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and other trouble spots
  5. The renewed emphasis on sexual morality in religious and secular circles, including True Love Waits campaign
Chris Woehr/Kim Lawton, News Network International
  1. Martyrdom of Iran's top three Protestant church leaders
  2. Continued enforcement of Pakistan's blasphemy law against Christians and moderate Muslims
  3. Mexican government failure to ensure safety of indigenous Protestants, leading to murder of leader of exiles for Chiapas
  4. Targeting of Catholic clerics in Rwanda's civil war
  5. Rise of nationalism and Orthodoxy in Eastern Europe, leading to increased repression of religious minorities

Top Religion Stories of 1995 As selected by 10 CT editors and news writers (from our Jan. 8, 1996 issue)

  1. Nonprofits claim $725 million in losses from New Era debacle
  2. Southern Baptists, other Christians, acknowledge need for racial reconciliation
  3. Billy Graham's health falters; son Franklin named successor
  4. Evangelical-Catholic accord draws praise, criticism
  5. Promise Keepers men's meetings draw 725,000
  6. Christian Right gains influence in GOP Congress
  7. Spiritual renewal and confession sweeps college campuses
  8. Religious freedom disputes occupy courts and Congress
  9. Worldwide, Muslims and Christians clash violently
  10. Christian singer Sandi Patty confesses infidelity.

Top Religion Stories of 1996 As selected by 10 CT editors and news writers (from our Jan. 6, 1997 issue)

  1. Worldwide persecution of Christians increases.
  2. Black church arsons trigger new focus on racism.
  3. Romer v. Evans ruling bolsters homosexual-rights movement.
  4. Partial-birth abortion veto override fails.
  5. New Era bankruptcy agreement forged.
  6. Central African conflicts limit Christian relief.
  7. Episcopal Church rocked by heresy trial, clergy misconduct.
  8. Welfare reform includes "charitable choice."
  9. Promise Keepers expands, reviving Christian men's movements.
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  1. Call to Renewal forms as alternative to Christian Coalition.

Top Religion Stories of 1997 As selected by CT editors and writers (from our Jan. 12, 1998 issue)

  1. Promise Keepers' Stand in the Gap draws 1 million men to Washington, D.C.
  2. Gender-inclusive New International Version canceled.
  3. Supreme Court rules RFRA unconstitutional.
  4. Churches worldwide unify against religious persecution.
  5. New Russian law restricts freedom of religion.
  6. Oregon favors first law for physician-assisted suicide.
  7. U.S. State Department notes global religious persecution.
  8. New Era's John Bennett imprisoned for fraud.
  9. Disney boycott gathers momentum.
  10. Partial-birth abortion battle moves to states

Top Religion Stories of 1998 As selected by CT editors and writers (from our Jan. 11, 1999 issue)

  1. Congress enacts law against religious persecution.
  2. Midterm election jolts Christian Right.
  3. Worldwide body of Anglicans rejects ordination, "marriage" for homosexuals.
  4. Clinton seeks pastoral counsel after Lewinsky scandal.
  5. Papal visit to Cuba stimulates religious freedom.
  6. Christians in southern Sudan victimized by war, famine.
  7. Public-school vouchers gain court approval.
  8. Lutherans, Catholics draw closer on justification.
  9. Protestants, Catholics in Northern Ireland vote for peace.
  10. National Baptists retain indicted leader Lyons.