American religious institutions have been at the center of many legal controversies in recent years. These and related lawsuits raise complex constitutional questions that have been troubling American courts for more than a century. Are legal disputes involving churches and other religious institutions constitutionally different from those involving their secular counterparts, and if so, how?
Though still small in volume, mainstream media coverage of religion in 2010 doubled over the preceding year. Events and controversies related to Islam -- especially a proposed Islamic center in New York City -- dominated coverage, bumping the Catholic Church from the top spot.