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Patrons watch coverage of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act at the Stonewall Inn in New York June 26, 2013. The U.S. Supreme Court handed a significant victory to gay rights advocates by ruling that married gay men and women are eligible for federal benefits and paving the way for same-sex marriage in California. The 5-4 court decision ranked No. 3 for the year on the list of top religion stories as determined by the Religion Newswriters Association. (Reuters)

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Election, resignation of pope lead 2013's religion stories

The Vatican was at the center of the top2 religion stories of the year

As the year came to a close, it appeared Pope Francis' attention was increasingly focused on the persecution of believers around the world, especially endangered Christian minorities in Egypt, Syria and throughout the Middle East.

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