2015 was a big year for religion but then again, what year isn't huge for faith. Many leaders stuck out as climate advocates, but none had quite the reach or trajectory as Pope Francis. As is apparent by the Papacy landing on, not one, but two lists of important happenings in 2015 according to Religion Dispatches. Coming in at number one for most important quotes, Pope Francis impressed many with his tough love: “The Earth, our home, is beginning to look more and more like an immense pile of filth.”

In another Religion Dispatch article, American Christianity is Changing Fast: Five Stories to Watch in 2016, the Francis Effect is given notable mention as a movement to keep an eye this year. A statement previously qualified by Yale Universities discovery of Pope Francis' ability to increase American climate concern by 8% proceeding his September visit. 

What was your favorite Francis moment of 2015 and what are you hoping to see in 2016?


American Christianity is Changing Fast: Five Stories to Watch in 2016

Religion Dispatches | Richard Flory

While LGBT evangelicals cheered on the SCOTUS decision on gay marriage, evangelical institutions lobbied for the passage of “religious freedom” laws that would allow them to discriminate.

When President Obama mouthed platitudes during the funeral of the slain Rev. Clementa Pinckney at Emanuel AME, activist Bree Newsome took it upon herself to scale a flagpole and take down an instrument of hate and bigotry.

Pope Francis is a rock star, but Americans are still leaving church in droves.

This and other powerful juxtapositions are just part of the reason many of us now refer to American “Christianities,” rather than the singular “Christianity.” The five key stories below evoke questions that religion-watchers will be asking for years to come.

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