Faith News: The Stories That Shaped the Past 10 Years
By Omar Sacirbey
The last 10 years in religion have been the most meaningful and turbulent since the 1960s, when America elected its first Catholic president, the Civil Rights Movement was being fought in the streets, and "Godless communism" was the enemy.
This decade is similar, yet in many ways more intense, more dismal, and maybe more hopeful. The terrorist attacks of 9/11 alone made this decade unique. America had never suffered an attack to its mainland, and pursued an unconventional enemy that claimed no country.
New barriers were falling as well, but not without resistance and conflict. Homosexuals could become religious leaders and get married in some countries, but were still being killed in others. Many Muslims in the West had fully integrated into their adopted societies, some even becoming congressmen or members of European parliaments, but others faced discrimination or were vulnerable to extremism.
Multiple and powerful forces worked on the United States and the rest of the world this decade, and at times, cruelty, intolerance and misunderstanding seemed to dominate. Yet dark days also inspired reflection, study, and interfaith fellowship, processes that helped the world survive and made it stronger going into the next decade.