Five people you (probably) hadn't heard of before 2014

1. Meriam Ibrahim


The Sudanese Christian woman sentenced to death for her faith was first arrested and imprisoned for apostasy and adultery in February, and given the death sentence in May. After a global campaign for her release she was freed in June, only to find herself prevented from leaving Sudan. She eventually managed to leave in July and has been living with her family in New Hampshire since August.

2. Rev Kate Bottley

Bottley first graced our computer screens with the a YouTube hit of her dancing at a parishoner's wedding in June 2013. This year she has gone on to become a household name, appearing in series 3 and 4 of Gogglebox on Channel 4. The moment when Buster (the dog) kicked her husband's cup of tea was another YouTube hit for everyone's favourite tea-loving vicar.


3. Martha Collison

Martha was the youngest of this year's GBBO contestants.Twitter / @ChartersSchool

The 17-year-old Great British Bake Off competitor survived a grilling from Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry and won huge public support and admiration for being so level headed while revising for her Chemistry exam – later acknowledging that her Christian faith helped her stay calm. Alas, 'advanced dough' proved a stumbling block and she was sent home after the quarter finals. It's not all bad news though. Now 18 and working toward her A-levels, Collison has partnered with Tearfund for a campaign against child trafficking, been on Blue Peter, and who knows... maybe there'll be a book before long. What more could a girl want?

4. Saido Berahino

Saido Berahino of West Bromwich Albion in action against Phil Jones of Manchester United at The HawthornsREUTERS

After a tricky 2013, the 21-year-old West Bromwich striker scored seven premier league goals in the early part of this season and was called up to the England squad in November. Although his winning streak has somewhat tailed off in recent games, he is nonetheless hailed as a star of the future. Berahino has spoken openly about how his Christian faith has got him through difficult times.

5. Fleur East

The Catholic schoolgirl turned singer became an X-Factor finalist this year, getting significanty further than her first X-Factor appearance in 2005 as part of girl band Addictiv Ladies. Her cover of Uptown Funk performed at this year's semi-final topped the iTunes Chart the weekend it was released. And although she lost to Ben Haenow in December's final, as Simon Cowell's protegé this 26-year-old East Londoner is unlikely to disappear from view.