After the jump, the top religion news stories of 2013, based on a poll of the Religion Newswriters Association. Strangely downplayed or omitted: the persecution of Christians in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East; the new assaults on religious liberty; the new prominence of aggressive atheism; the rise of the “nones.”
What do you think should be included? What do you think of this list? Was 2013 a good year or a bad year for religion?
From Pope Francis’ election tops 2013 religion stories:
1. Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina is a surprise choice to succeed Benedict, becoming the first Latin American and first Jesuit pope, and the first to take the name of Francis. He immediately launches a series of stunning and generally popular forays — meeting with the poor in Brazil, embracing the ill, issuing conciliatory words toward gays and calling for a poorer and more pastoral church.