There are at least two other Top 10 lists published this month on religion related stories. You may find it interesting to compare their picks, many of which differ a good deal from mine, though they were using somewhat different criteria. They are Don Byrds' Top 10 Religious Liberty Stories of 2009; and Religion Newswriters Top 10 Religion Stories.
1. U.S. Catholic bishops are at increasing odds with President Obama over abortion. Very public disputes, sometimes splitting the Catholic community, erupted over Notre Dame's award of an honorary degree to Obama and over the USCCB's insistence on strict language in health care reform bills to limit abortion coverage.
2. Conservative Christian groups mount extensive but unsuccessful attempt to prevent passage of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act.
3. The Freedom From Religion Foundation becomes a major player in pressing for church-state separation by challenging a wide variety of practices, from sectarian prayers at city council meetings, to the tax code's parsonage allowance, to engravings at the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center.
4. The Rifqa Bary case requires Florida and Ohio courts to become involved in run-away teenager's claim that her Muslim father threatens her life because of her conversion to Christianity.
5. U.S. Supreme Court rules that a Utah city can refuse to allow the religious group, Summum, to put up a monument containing its "Seven Aphorisms" in a public park, even though a 10 Commandments monument and other monuments are already there.
6. Britain's new Supreme Court holds that a Jewish school's admissions policy using the traditional Orthodox definition of who is a Jew amounts to ethnic, and therefore racial, discrimination.
7. Courts around the country decide disputes over ownership of property after numerous conservative Episcopal parishes move to Anglican affiliations.
8. South Carolina's attempt to issue state-sponsored "I Believe" license plates is ruled a violation of the Establishment Clause.
10. A Utah trial court rejects a settlement proposed by Utah's Attorney General in the complicated attempt to reform the FLDS United Effort Plan Trust, while the estate of a deceased leader of the polygamous FLDS Church seeks control of the $120 million trust.
UPDATE: Politics Daily has also published an interesting list of Top 10 Religion/ Politics Stories of '09.