For the second time in a decade, charges of child molestation by Roman Catholic priests dominated the year's headlines, this time reaching the highest levels of the Vatican.
That was among the top religion stories in 2010, according to Religion News Service. However, it said old stories found new life online, and voices that once would have been dismissed as extreme were amplified by the Internet, Facebook and Twitter.
"New media has had the effect of keeping certain news stories alive, bringing them back from the dead and propelling them into the news," said Diane Winston, a scholar of religion and media at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles.
Other top stories included a fight over health-care reform, lingering questions about President Barack Obama's faith, and a Florida pastor threatening to torch Korans.
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