December 31, 2013
Pope Francis, left, shakes hands with Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI at the Mater Ecclesiae monastery at the Vatican on Dec. 23. Benedict’s resignation as pope was voted the No. 2 religion story of the year by religion writers. (Reuters)
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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.