Every year TIME magazine releases its list of “The 100 Most Influential People” in the world. Consistent with years past, the 2017 list is filled with movie stars, actors, musicians, athletes, notable political leaders and high-level executives.
Faithwire scanned each subcategory to see if any of the world’s most vocal Christians made the cut. Out of the five subcategories — Pioneers, Artists, Leaders, Titans and Icons — here’s who landed in the top 100.
Demi Lovato: This past year, Lovato, who made the Artists list, celebrated her fifth sobriety anniversary. On social media, the singer and former Disney star gave God the glory along with her family for keeping her healthy.
“So many times I wanted to relapse but sat on my hands and begged God to relieve the obsession,” Lovato said. I’m so proud of myself but I couldn’t have done it without my higher power (God), my family, friends, and everyone else who supported me.”
The young celebrity has also been a strong advocate for mental health education.
Viola Davis: Oscar winner Viola Davis made the Icons list. In recent months, the “Fences” actress has been making headlines for saying all the right things. This past year, “The Help” actress gave an emotionally charged speech after she winning her first Academy Award.
Full of emotion, she explained, “I grew up in poverty. You know, I grew up in apartments that were condemned and rat infested and I just always sort of wanted to be somebody. And I just wanted to be good at something, so this is sort of the miracle of God, dreaming big, and just hoping that it sticks and lands — and it did. Who knew? So, yeah. I’m overwhelmed.”
— People EW Network (@PeopleEWNetwork) April 20, 2017
Chance The Rapper: Chicago-based Christian hip-hop artist, Chance the Rapper landed on the Pioneers list. Over the past year, the artist has given God glory for his rapid rise to success. Born Chancelor Johnathan Bennett, the three-time Grammy winner and Chicago native recently pledge more than $1 million to help students in his hometown thrive.
— TIME (@TIME) April 21, 2017
— Lil Chano From 79th (@chancetherapper) April 20, 2017
Simone Biles: The gold medal-winning Olympic gymnast Simone Biles made the Icons list. Since the 2016 Summer Olympics, Biles’s Christian values, work ethic and positive attitude have taken her many places, including her current role as a contestant on Dancing with the Stars.
if God is making you wait be prepared to receive more than you asked for
— Simone Biles (@Simone_Biles) January 22, 2017
As Faithwire previously reported, Biles had a memorable performance earlier this month when she danced to the Christian song “Good Good Father,” a tune by the worship band, Housefires.
Pope Francis: Pope Francis made TIME’s Leaders list. The Argentinian-born religious leader has been surrounded by controversy since he stepped into his new post in 2013. According to an opinion piece published in Fox News last year, the Pope’s papacy has been “a litany of confusing statements for the faithful on the most sensitive and delicate topics.” Francis has faced sharp criticism from laity and clergy alike.
But the Pope is also viewed by many as a unifying force who has successfully drawn parishioners back to the faith. Faithwire previously reported that during a morning Mass held earlier this year, he called out hypocritical Christians.
“So many Christians are like this, and these people scandalize others,” Francis said. “How many times have we heard — all of us, around the neighborhood and elsewhere — ‘But to be a Catholic like that, it’s better to be an atheist.’ It is that: scandal.”
Gretchen Carlson: The former Fox News anchor also made the Leaders list this year. In the wake of scandalous reports that led to the firing of Fox media mogul Roger Ailes, Carlson has been very vocal about changing the way women fight sexual harassment in the workplace.
— Gretchen Carlson (@GretchenCarlson) October 21, 2016
— TIME (@TIME) April 20, 2017
A few years ago, Carlson shared in an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network that “As a journalist, you’re supposed to ask a lot of questions. [My faith is] the one thing I don’t question in life, and I feel so blessed that I don’t.”
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