2012: The Year in Review
At 4:00 am on December 26, 2012
(WNS)--Doomsdayers who followed the Mayan calendar said the world would end with a bang on Dec. 21. Some economists say the economy would crash with a bang if we go over the fiscal cliff. Lots of conservatives have said that America would end as we know it if Barack Obama got re-elected president. God promised he would not destroy the world with another flood, but during Superstorm Sandy, some New Yorkers were unconvinced. Cleanup from that storm continues today.
Two weeks before the end of the year, the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School shocked the nation, and even more than storms and affairs of state may be the event for which 2012 is most remembered.
We now know the doomsdayers were wrong. The ultimate outcome of the other events is still pending. One thing we can say for sure is that 2012 is now in the books. Here are some of the highlights of the year.
Chinese authorities arrest nearly 50 members of Beijing’s largest unregistered church after the congregation decides to continue meeting outdoors for Sunday worship services.
Nigerian Islamist militant group Boko Haram issues a warning to Christians in northern Nigeria to leave the region within three days.
The presidential primary season begins in Iowa, where Rick Santorum ekes out a 34-vote win.
The U.S. Supreme Court rules unanimously that courts can’t intervene in church hiring decisions.
Police arrest 43 New York City pastors and lay people who were protesting the city’s ban on church use of public schools for worship services.
The cruise ship Costa Concordia runs aground at the Isola del Giglio in the Mediterranean Sea with 11 deaths and 14 other casualties confirmed.
President Obama announces that most religious groups must provide full medical insurance coverage for contraceptives, including abortion-causing drugs like Plan B and Ella.
Security forces under the Syrian government kill at least 22 civilians. They kill 52 the next day, and another 100 die on Jan. 27. It’s the beginning of unrest in Syria that resulted in thousands of deaths and tens of thousands of refugees in 2012.
The Trinity Broadcasting Network faces lawsuits alleging clandestine affairs, crimes, and cover-ups. By year-end, the lawsuits were unresolved, but for the first time in years, TBN’s financial support appears to be slipping.
Susan G. Komen for the Cure retreats from its decision not to make future grants to Planned Parenthood.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturns California’s Proposition 8, the 2008 referendum defining marriage as between one man and one woman.
Greece passes austerity measures that earn it a bailout of 130 billion euros from the European Central Bank and other public sources. Greece’s pro-bailout, pro-austerity New Democracy party wins national elections. But the financial problems in Greece and other European nations continue throughout the year.
George Zimmerman allegedly shoots and kills Trayvon Martin, sparking protests and outrage.
Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley signs a law legalizing same-sex “marriage” in his state. On the same day, an Iraqi student shoots and kills American teacher Jeremiah Small as he begins to pray at the start of class.
Mitt Romney edges Rick Santorum in the GOP Ohio primary and, with other “Super Tuesday” victories, takes control of the Republican race.
Chinese officials allow imprisoned Christian attorney Gao Zhisheng to see relatives, the first such visit in nearly two years.
Following controversy over Bible translations in Muslim contexts, Wycliffe and its translation partner SIL agree to an independent review of their translation practices.
Apple Inc. becomes the all-time most valuable company, with a market capitalization of more than $600 billion.
Chen Guangcheng, a blind human rights lawyer, escapes captivity after 18 months of brutal house arrest in China. He arrives in the United States a month later.
Vladimir Putin begins his third term as Russia’s president.
The New York Court of Appeals rules that viewing child pornography online is not a crime.
North Carolina bans same-sex “marriage.”
President Obama announces that he supports same-sex “marriage.”
The Falls Church Anglican congregation meets for the last worship service in its historic building.
Facebook holds an initial public offering and shares plummet.
Terror group Boko Haram claims responsibility for attacks against two Christian churches in Nigeria’s Jos and Borno states.
Chinese officials apologize to Feng Jaimei after a graphic photo of her lying next to her forcibly aborted 7-month-old preborn baby goes viral and sparks worldwide condemnation of the nation’s one-child policy.
President Obama announces that the United States will halt the deportation of some illegal immigrants.
A court convicts Jerry Sandusky, former Penn State University football coach, on 45 charges of child sex abuse.
The Waldo Canyon Fire begins, destroying hundreds of homes and forcing thousands of Colorado residents to flee.
The U.S. Supreme Court rules that most of Arizona’s immigration law is unconstitutional.
The U.S. Supreme Court upholds Obamacare.
Masked attackers kill at least 17 people in attacks on Kenyan churches.
The Obama administration files two cases with the Supreme Court that challenge the Defense of Marriage Act.
U.S. Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., “marries” his longtime partner Jim Ready.
Gunmen kill dozens of people in northern Nigeria’s Christian villages.
Wheaton College joins other Catholic and Protestant institutions fighting the Obama administration’s contraceptive mandate.
Alleged gunman James Holmes opens fire at an Aurora, Colo., movie theater, killing 12 people and injuring 58 more.
Customers flood Chick-fil-A restaurants around the nation in support of CEO Dan Cathy, attacked for defending the biblical definition of marriage.
Mitt Romney chooses Paul Ryan as his running mate.
Alleged gunman Floyd Lee Corkins II opens fire at the Family Research Council, shooting a security guard.
Missouri Senate candidate Rep. Todd Akin sparks controversy by saying women’s bodies have ways of preventing pregnancy in cases of “legitimate rape.”
UN observers leave Syria as their mandate expires.
A Norway court deems Anders Behring Breivik sane and sentences him to 21 years in prison for killing 77 people in July 2011. The shootings sparked a national debate on gun ownership in Norway, though the country already had strict gun ownership laws before the shootings took place.
The UN says 100,000 Syrians fled to another country during August, the highest monthly figure in the 18-month conflict.
Gunmen storm the U.S. embassy in Benghazi, Libya, killing Ambassador Chris Stevens and three others.
Craft chain Hobby Lobby becomes the largest business to sue the federal government over its healthcare contraceptive mandate.
Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke says the Fed plans to buy $85 billion in mortgage-backed securities each month for the rest of the year, and $40 billion worth each month thereafter.
California becomes the first state to ban “conversion therapy” for gay teens.
Taliban gunmen shoot Malala Yousafzai, a 14-year-old Pakistani advocate for women’s education rights.
Superstorm Sandy strikes, bringing havoc to the Northeast.
President Barack Obama wins reelection. Voters in Maine, Maryland, and Washington approve same-sex “marriage,” while Minnesota rejects an amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman.
Russian President Vladimir Putin signs a treason law that opponents believe he will use to silence critics and those who associate with foreigners.
Israel and Hamas reach a cease-fire.
The U.S. Supreme Court orders a federal appeals court to review Liberty University’s lawsuit against Obamacare, including whether the healthcare mandate violates religious freedom.
The first ruling from a circuit court on the healthcare law’s contraceptive mandate goes against the Obama administration.
Adam Lanza, 20, fatally shot 20 children and six adult staff members at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Ct., before taking his own life. Before driving to the school, he fatally shot his mother Nancy Lanza in their home.
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