Influential stories of 2010: Religion in Utah


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SALT LAKE CITY -- 2010 has been a landmark year for people of many faiths in our state.

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

During the last year, leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints dedicated, rededicated, broke ground for and announced new temples throughout the world.

President Thomas S. Monson traveled to dedications in Vancouver; Gila Valley, Arizona; Cebu City, Philippines; and Kiev, Ukraine--the first temple in the former Soviet Union.

November brought the rededication of the Laie, Hawaii temple.

Church leaders announced six new temples and groundbreakings for six others. Pres. Monson joined Italian Latter-day Saints for the groundbreaking of a temple and Church complex outside Rome.

Catholic Church

Bishop John Wester, the leader of Utah's Catholics stepped into the immigration debate, asking for better legislation, supporting the Utah Compact and the Dream Act.

"We believe that strong families are the foundation of successful communities. We oppose policies that unnecessarily separate families," he said.

Episcopal Diocese

Hundreds from Utah's Episcopal Diocese participated in the installation service for their new Bishop, Scott Hayashi. Retiring Bishop Carolyn Tanner Irish passed the bishop's staff.

"Very humble and grateful to all, and I feel a burden of the responsibility, but with the prayers of the people of this diocese, I hope to fulfill the task in front of me," Bishop Hayashi told parishioners,

Greek Orthodox

Utah's Greek Orthodox community met for a historic, yet controversial vote. The majority of the members of two churches voted to remain as one parish, against the wishes of their religious leader in Denver, the Metropolitan Isaiah.

Provo Tabernacle

Also this year, the Provo community suffered a huge loss when a fire gutted the historic Tabernacle. Investigators don't yet know what caused it. They still face the daunting task of stabilizing the brick walls with steel supports so they can thoroughly investigate.

Earlier this week, they allowed the media a much closer look at the damage.

The landmark building was completed in 1898.

E-mail: cmikita@ksl.com

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