It has been a devastating and difficult year. Terror attacks, police shootings, record-hot temperatures, and spikes in Islamophobia and anti-Semitism made 2016 feel almost too much to bear at times. With everything that happened, it’s no wonder some speculated, “Is 2016 the worst year in history?”
And yet, a review of the year in religion news reveals pockets of hope that got us through 2016. People of all different faiths stood up for social justice, for the rights of minorities and marginalized communities, for the environment, for freedom and for one another. These moments reminded us that no story is simply tragic or #blessed. Life is complicated and often full of suffering, but the journey can still be beautiful.
Here are 33 moments in religion news that made this difficult year just a bit easier to bear: