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Thread: More and more decline of religion

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    Administrator lpetrich's Avatar
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    More and more decline of religion

    The Biggest News of the 21st Century | James Haught
    The remarkably rapid collapse of religion in advanced democracies. It’s major news with far-reaching impact.

    Sociologists are stunned by the abrupt downfall of supernatural faith in Western civilization. The swift cultural transformation gained recognition in the 1990s and then accelerated.
    Over 1/2 of United Kingdom adults have no religious affiliation, and over 1/4 are "confident atheists", up from 10% in 1998.
    Similar findings are reported across western Europe, Scandinavia, Canada, Australia, Japan, New Zealand and the like. Secularism has soared since the 1990s.

    (In the United States) A recent Gallup poll found that church membership fell twenty percent in the past two decades. One-fourth of American adults now say their faith is “none” – and the ratio is one-third among those under thirty.
    The Republican Party has been painting itself into a corner by not doing much to expand its reach.
    Polls show that born-again whites were 27 percent of America’s population in the 1990s, but now they’ve slipped as low as 13 percent. But they’re intensely active in politics. They gave 81 percent of their votes to Donald Trump in the 2016 election.

    Why do fundamentalists embrace a vulgar, shallow, obnoxious, juvenile, self-worshiping racist who abuses women and boasted that he could “grab ’em by the pussy”? Why do they want the extreme opposite of Jesus? Wake Forest University church historian Bill Leonard says white evangelicals flock to Trump because they’re in “panic at the precipitous decline of Christianity.”
    The only thing about him that they object to is his use of profanity, it seems.

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    Administrator lpetrich's Avatar
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    The Coming Secular Era, Continued | Adam Lee
    In 2017, religiously unaffiliated people became the majority in the Netherlands, according to government data. With space at a premium and a population that’s less and less interested in using them for worship, dozens of historic old church buildings are finding a new life as skating rinks, bookstores, gyms or other secular structures.
    One-Fifth Of All Dutch Churches Are Now Secular Buildings | HuffPost
    That's 25% of those younger than 1800 and 20% older than 1800.

    French Catholics increasingly asking to be de-baptised - France - RFI - I recall someone who did de-baptism ceremonies with a hair dryer.

    Religion in Spain: Losing their religion? New report shows Spaniards are turning their backs on faith | In English | EL PAÍS - "Nearly one-third of people in Spain are either atheists, agnostics or non-believers, according to a study by the Ferrer i Guàrdia Foundation"
    The numbers show a steady decline (nonbelievers, believers):
    • 18-24: 48.9% 48.5%
    • 25-34: 44.3% 53.4%
    • 35-44: 35.0% 61.7%
    • 45-54: 25.4% 71.4%
    • 55-64: 20.9% 76.7%
    • >=65: 09.6% 88.6%

    Nonbelievers, nonpracticing believers, practicing believers
    • 1980: 8.5%
    • 2000: 14.2% 34.4% 50.4%
    • 2018: 30.5% 42.9% 26.6%

    Civil, religious weddings
    • 1992: 20.6% 79.4%
    • 2018: 80.2% 19.8%

    “The European Social Survey found that Poland has the biggest percentage of believers with 91%, due to anti-communist sentiment and the subsequent role of Pope John Paul II.” The survey finds that Lithuania comes next with 88%, Italy 74%, Ireland 74%, Portugal 73% Austria 73% and Spain 69%. In France, only 53% of the population are believers, a figure that can be put down to the division of the state and religion at the start of the 20th century, according to Luque.

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    Administrator lpetrich's Avatar
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    Reading the runes, the established church can see its future looks grim with only 1% of 18- to 24-year-olds saying they belong to the Church of England.

    ...
    The survey indicated that nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of Brits aged 18-24 are unaffiliated with any religion, compared to 28 percent of people aged 65 and older. Fifty-six percent of people who currently belong to a religion or who were raised in a faith tradition never attend church services or meetings; only 14 percent attend weekly religious gatherings.
    It's not only happening in the industrialized nations.
    According to a new study recently released by the Arab Barometer Research Network and the BBC — a large, in-depth study covering 10 countries (plus the Palestinian territories) and involving responses from over 25,000 people — secularism is on the rise throughout the Middle East and North Africa.

    For example, back in 2013, around 14% of Tunisians said they were nonreligious, but that is up to around 31% today. In Libya, it was around 11% five years ago, but is up to 25% today. In Algeria, from 8% up to around 13%. In Morocco, from around 4% up to around 13%. In Egypt, from around 3% up to around 10% today. In Lebanon — the most secular nation of them all — less than 25% of the population identifies as religious.
    It must be remarkable to buck the trend in nations that severely punish apostasy.
    A new survey by the respected Chilean polling firm Latinobarómetro finds Latin America now to be only 59 per cent Catholic, down from 80 per cent in 1995.

    …Until the past decade or so the primary beneficiary of Catholic loss was Pentecostalism… [but] the most significant new development on the Latin American religious landscape is the meteoric rise of the “religious nones”: those who don’t have any specific religious affiliation or identity. The 2014 Pew survey reported a Latin American population of 8 per cent nones. In just three years that figure has more than doubled to 17 per cent, according to Latinobarómetro.

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    Administrator lpetrich's Avatar
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    The Internet Gives Doubters a Home | James Haught notes Secular Churches Rethink Their Sales Pitch - The Atlantic - "Secular organizers started their own congregations. But to succeed, they need to do a better job of imitating religion."

    Home - Sunday Assembly Online - several big American cities now lack Sunday Assemblies, it seems. There used to be a New York City one, but it is now gone. Sunday Assembly: My Review (Feb 2014)
    From The Atlantic:
    But the latest Atlantic magazine says the project is faltering: 70 chapters with 5,000 monthly attendees in 2016 fell to 40 chapters with 3,500 attendees by 2018.
    Oasis Network | Creating Secular Community for the Good of Humanity - a much smaller network, and still a small one.

    But the Internet is a good place to find atheist views.
    Atheism and humanism thrive in the free-for-all chaos, alongside other “isms.” Hundreds of different doubter sites skewer supernatural mumbo-jumbo daily. Almost every attack on magical dogmas draws comments from readers, making them active participants in a global skeptic dialogue. It’s a beehive of freethought that buzzes day and night, nonstop. Thus the Internet makes a home for all of us who cannot swallow church miracle claims.

    ...
    In 2014, computer scientist Allen Downey published a controversial study claiming that fast-growing Internet usage was partly responsible for the fast-growing rise of churchless Americans.

    “The Internet provides opportunities to find information about people of other religions (and none), and to interact with them personally,” Downey wrote. “…Internet use decreases the chance of religious affiliation.”

    ...
    “Increases in Internet use correlate with a loss of religious affiliation,” lead researcher Paul McClure said, “and I also discovered that individuals who spend lots of time online are less likely to be religious exclusivists, or in other words they are less likely to think there’s only one correct religion out there.”

    Translation: Inquiring minds of Internet users make them doubt claims that only Christians go to heaven, and other such absurdities.

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    Administrator lpetrich's Avatar
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    Quote Of The Day: "Nones" Are Growing And They're Not Civically Engaged
    Ryan Burge, an associate professor of political science at Eastern Illinois University and opinion writer for the Religion News Service is fearful for the future of civic engagement in the US because the rising "nones" (those with no religious preference), are the least likely to volunteer.

    ...
    Interestingly, Burge separates the nones from atheists and agnostics in his piece and argues that educational level is the main factor of decreased civic engagement. The nones have the lowest levels of educational achievement while atheists have some of the highest. So while all this news looks bad on the nones, it doesn't necessarily look bad on atheists.

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    Fair dinkum thinkum bilby's Avatar
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    Where I grew up (in the city of Leeds, in the north of England), there are two churches within a hundred metres of the house. One is CofE, and the other was built as Roman Catholic, but was acquired by a West Indian baptist sect before I was born.

    Even as a teenager in the 1980s, the CofE church had almost no congregation. At Easter or Christmas you might walk past and see a few dozen people attending a service; But walk past on any ordinary Sunday, and the congregation was three or four people, all in their eighties. That's more than thirty years ago; I believe that their Sunday attendance is up fractionally today, but not because there are more practicing Anglicans - rather it is because a half-dozen other CofE churches have closed in that time, and their congregations have been amalgamated in that one location.

    The vicar is from Africa; Which is apparently very common now in the CofE, as there are nowhere near enough English people to fill all of the vacancies - nobody is sufficiently interested as to want to become a priest.

    The Jamaicans had much larger congregations on a typical Sunday back in the '80s. But that church is now closed, and whoever was still attending has gone elsewhere.

    I understand that attendances at Friday prayers in the mosques in the area are also sharply down (There are a lot of people of Bangladeshi and Pakistani ancestry in the area, most of whom are third or fourth generation British Citizens, whose grand- or great-grand parents arrived in the region in the '50s and early '60s). It seems that being raised and schooled in a secular environment is a very effective way to eliminate even devout beliefs in a population within two or three generations.

    Most English people (of any background) view religion as a (not particularly entertaining) cultural phenomenon, rather than as something that they actually believe in. Those who still attend church typically stick with it because their elderly relatives would be scandalized if they didn't get married in a church, or have their child christened in one - but even that phenomenon is now collapsing as the generation of 'true believers' dies off, and there's nobody to tut and roll their eyes if they choose to get married without the involvement of a priest.

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    Formerly Joedad
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    Why do fundamentalists embrace a vulgar, shallow, obnoxious, juvenile, self-worshiping racist who abuses women and boasted that he could “grab ’em by the pussy”? Why do they want the extreme opposite of Jesus? Wake Forest University church historian Bill Leonard says white evangelicals flock to Trump because they’re in “panic at the precipitous decline of Christianity.”
    Their religion isn't the important thing, rather it's the power and influence it brings, and the proof is that they will vote for Trump. This is not at all unusual, it's the norm. Christianity historically has been a power game, not some kind of religious peace, love and hippies for Jesus movement. It's always been political, not ethical or ideological.

    How many people are not being baptized? That would be the real measure.

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    Sapere aude Politesse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by T.G.G. Moogly View Post
    Why do fundamentalists embrace a vulgar, shallow, obnoxious, juvenile, self-worshiping racist who abuses women and boasted that he could “grab ’em by the pussy”? Why do they want the extreme opposite of Jesus? Wake Forest University church historian Bill Leonard says white evangelicals flock to Trump because they’re in “panic at the precipitous decline of Christianity.”
    Their religion isn't the important thing, rather it's the power and influence it brings, and the proof is that they will vote for Trump. This is not at all unusual, it's the norm. Christianity historically has been a power game, not some kind of religious peace, love and hippies for Jesus movement. It's always been political, not ethical or ideological.

    How many people are not being baptized? That would be the real measure.
    I'm pretty sure those are declining also; at least, the RCC and the Southern Baptist Convention have been deeply alarmed about a declining rate of formal baptisms for the last two decades at least. It was a frequent topic of conversation when I was in seminary in the late 00's.

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    Veteran Member Sarpedon's Avatar
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    I recall reading an article about that at around that time. I don't have the reference for it, but for baptists the number of deaths or defections has exceeded the number of baptisms since the late eighties, I believe.

    The Catholics owe their numbers in the USA to continuous immigration. If 'Ex-Catholic' were a religion, it would be the biggest religion in the USA. Of course many Ex-Catholics change to a different flavor of christianity.

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    Formerly Joedad
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sarpedon View Post
    I recall reading an article about that at around that time. I don't have the reference for it, but for baptists the number of deaths or defections has exceeded the number of baptisms since the late eighties, I believe.

    The Catholics owe their numbers in the USA to continuous immigration. If 'Ex-Catholic' were a religion, it would be the biggest religion in the USA. Of course many Ex-Catholics change to a different flavor of christianity.
    Declining birth rates in the U.S aren't helping. Long gone are the days of those catholic families with eight children. We do see large families both christian and not, but those are an exception.

    In my neck of the woods parishes are closing and church properties are being sold off. Even if every person who was born catholic was still a practicing catholic it wouldn't solve the problem. There are just less people to support the infrastructure that was built around those large families.

    Looking back at those days from my 65 year old age, religion was something you just didn't think about. You were born into it and that was that, it was traditional, it was community, it was necessary. I remember using my pastor as a job reference, something that would never occur to a young person today I would think.

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