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Powerful images from 2011

A few weeks ago, Buzz Feed posted the 45 Most Powerful Images of 2011. Most of them were pretty depressing: Tsunamis, hurricanes, famine…

But two jumped out at me as inspiring beacons of passion, courage and hope, and I wanted to share them with you today. I hope they’ll serve as inspiration to change the world for the better, even if only in small ways, in 2012.

Christians Protect Muslims in Prayer

In Egypt, Muslims and Christians have a particularly rocky relationship. Nevine Zaki posted this photo to Twitter of Christians protecting Muslims during their prayers in Tahrir Square. Protesters had attempted to attack and hurl stones at those praying, but a group of Christians created a protective ring around them.

Compassion and love are powerful. Learn more here and here.

Gay Serviceman March in a Parade

This year, the US finally repealed Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, opening the door for gay people to serve openly in the military. The looks of joy, pride and courage on the faces in this photo is uplifting.

Photo copyright and used with permission from Sandy Huffaker.