It was a banner year in 1980 for religious fundamentalism.

Religion editors from major U.S. newspapers and magazines overwhelmingly selected the emerging clout of the new religious right on the political scene as the most significant religious development of the past year. p

The annual year-end poll is conducted by the Religion Newswriters Association, a professional group of religion specialists working for secular publications.

The editors said the second most important sotry in the world of religion was the continuing revivial of fundamentalist Islam in Iran and other Middle East countries.

The other eight top religion stories of the year were:

The fall meeting of the World Synod of Bishops at the Vatican, at which Roman Catholic prelates reaffirmed their support of the church's traditional teachings on divorce and the use of contraceptives.

The apparent resurgence of Ku Klux Klan activity and the rise of anti-Semitism.

The ongoing battle about bibical interpretation in the 13 million-member Southern Baptist Convention.

The controversy engendered by the president of the Southern Baptist Convention, the Rev. Bailey Smith, who declared in August that "God Almighty does not hear the prayers of a Jew." He added in September that Jews have "funny-looking noses."

The assassination in the spring of Archbishop Oscar Romero while he was celebrating mass in El Salvador and the continuing violence (including the murders of four American women mission workers) in that Central American country.

The protest following the Vatican's removal of maverick theologian Hans Kung from the Catholic faculty at the University of Tubingen in West Germany.

The controversy surrounding the expansion of the "electronic" church and the debate over its impact on local congregations.

The election of the Rev. Marjorie Matthews as United Methodist bishop of Wisconsin, the first woman to be so honored by a major religious body.