In 2014 the top subject involving religious implications was Israel, Jerusalem, and the Jews during the year. Hardly a week went by without news dominating the secular news outlets or religious stories that had great spiritual ramifications. Whether it was news of archaeology, conflict, or prophecy, Israel commanded the interests of other countries worldwide.http://www.cbn.com/cbnnews/us/2014/10-CBN-News-Stories-You-Watched-the-Most-in-2014/
(1)-Divine signs point to Israel
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict was one of many stories that brought Israel to the forefront of the world’s main interest once again in 2014. The stories from Israel’s impact on today’s global socio-political scene have come from eschatology of Judeo-Christian history which has been discussed for thousands of years.
The Middle East peace process, United Nations’ weekly discussions, Jewish feasts, the Jerusalem and Temple Mount issues, and contentions among Israel and Arab neighbors have been predicted by Jewish prophets. This fact is typically ignored by secular media which does not accept religion in general.
The ascension of ISIS out of the Syrian conflict and unrest in Iraq and the fact that ISIS was too violent of an already brutal al-Qaida gives substantiation of this blood thirsty group of thugs’ ruthlessness. Stories of the brutality of ISIS has not only forced America to intervene back into Iraq and Syria, but other Islamic counties are expressing disdain and disgust towards this band of criminals.http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-24179084
(3)-Increase of violence by Islamic radicals
Stories of Islamic extremism continued to dot the globe during 2014 with horrific carnage and violence being increasingly directed towards children. Boko Harem kidnapped hundreds of children and sold many into slavery and sexual exploitation. The Taliban in Pakistan slaughtered over one hundred school children for reprisal of the government crackdown against Taliban radicals. ISIS fanatics beheaded children who refused to reject Christ under the threat of death. Other countries are also experiencing brutal acts against children in the name of Islamic radical extremism.http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/boko-haram-video-leader-hails-isis-taliban-al-qaeda-brethren-1456539
(4) US Supreme Court Hobby Lobby decision for religious freedom
Although the media and anti-religious groups spun Hobby Lobby’s rejection of abortion drugs as attacks on women’s rights or a war against women, the US Supreme Court clearly ruled that forcing Hobby Lobby to comply with Obamacare abortions violated the US Constitution. Citing religious freedom and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), the highest court ruled in favor of Hobby Lobby.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burwell_v._Hobby_Lobby
Hobby Lobby already offered many of the contraceptive drugs under Obamacare and only objected to the abortion inducing drugs. One of the main framers of Obamacare is radically pro-abortion and had many embedded abortion features in the health care provision.
(5) Sexual and Economic scandals rock religious organizations
Hardly a month went by without a sexual or financial scandal rocking a prominent religious leader or organization. Catholic organizations continued to be stung by priests that sexually abused young people under their care. Mega-Pastor Mark Driscoll of Seattle resigned after charges of financial misconduct.
Rabbi Barry Freundel, a prominent Orthodox leader was fired from his congregation and suspended from his college teaching position for spying on women taking ritual baths. Some successful Protestant leaders received sanctions after found to be guilty of sexual impropriety.
(6) The Great Falling Away (Apostasy) invades the American churches
Ongoing stories of large Christian organizations turning away from traditional Christian doctrines continued to erode the American and international churches. Some of the largest denominations have implemented strategies that pulled away from the support of Israel.
Churches have introduced the Muslim Quran into the centers of worship and have even hosted Islamic services which touted the supremacy of Allah and Mohammed during the services. Inclusiveness and tolerance have been incorporated into services which allow recognition of other deities.
(7) Anti-religious climate continues in schools, military, and government
The American Center of Law and Justice (ACLJ), Becket Fund, and Alliance Defense Fund have been more busy in 2014 than any other time in history. The IRS targeting of religious groups is merely one avenue the government has demonstrated bias against religion. The ACLJ and Alliance Defense Fund has been pressuring the government to relax its anti-religious rhetoric and action against military personnel for religious expression.
There have been a multitude of cases filed against school districts, colleges, and government agencies that have been guilty of restricting the expression of religious principle by citizens.http://www.christianpost.com/news/rick-santorum-on-why-we-may-be-one-generation-away-from-christian-persecution-in-america-128876/
(8) Pope Francis and the Catholic Church
The Pontiff has made great inroads of expecting humility and propriety from the Catholic clergy. The Pope has removed several high ranking officials for demonstrating wasteful use of Catholic funds for their own pricy living arrangements. Pedophile priests have been fired as the Pope has implemented zero tolerance for those practicing sexual immorality.
Although a traditional conservative himself, Pope Francis removed conservative Cardinal Raymond Burke from his powerful position in Rome. The Pope has shown he has no partiality to anyone not doing what is expected.http://mashable.com/2014/12/17/good-pope-year/
(9) Myles Munroe and wife tragically killed in plane crash with seven others
International known evangelists and renowned author Dr. Myles Munroe and wife Ruth along with seven others were killed in a jet plane crash in the Bahamas.
Dr. Munroe was an esteemed religious giant who was a fixture on CBN’s “700 Club” where he often was a guest speaker and Bible expositor.
(10) Revival in Russia?
In a fascinating story that flew under the proverbial radar, after the collapse of the atheistic Soviet Union in 1989, orthodox Christianity is flourishing. Led by devoted President Vladimir Putin, Russia’s stand against homosexuality conflicted with America’s policy of inclusiveness and tolerance regarding the gay lifestyle. There are signs of a great spiritual revival among Russians under the age of 40 is taking hold.http://batr.org/reactionary/040714.html