As of October 5, 2015, the penalty for Christianity on the Network Hot Questions has been removed.
Well, there's a reason for this. The hot network questions algorithm includes adjustments based on feedback such as: I shouldn't have to see a bible study on Stack Overflow. Therefore, Christianity questions must score higher in order to be displayed on the sidebar of other sites. The other, more justifiable, reason is that hot network questions can be extremely disruptive to a site that's less well understood on Stack Overflow.
Currently, the sites being penalized are:
- Stack Overflow
- The Workplace
Stack Overflow generates more questions than the rest of the network combined, so it would dominate the list without a penalty. The other three sites on that list share a problem with non-obvious voting cultures. Since anyone with at least 200 reputation on Stack Overflow can create a voting account on any other site, there's a strong possibility that people will vote up answers they agree with rather than answers that accurately describe the position of the tradition the question is asking about. Early on in the history of the site, users engaged in "vote contests" that undermined the answers that reflected the point of view being asked about.
Now, I'm not sure if the penalty is still necessary for this site. It probably was a good idea when people were asking:
Can an atheist go to heaven?
But it might not be so helpful if current questions are phrased more like:
According to Roman Catholicism, is it a sin to vote for pro-choice politicians?
The difference is that the former is practically click bait and the later is a question clearly confined to a particular point of view.