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Is Religiosity Increasing or Decreasing?

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There has been a lot of attention paid to recent polling trends showing a substantial increase in the number of people identifying themselves as religiously unaffiliated, particularly within the "Millennial" age demographic.

We have also seen a lot of attention paid to the slowing rate of growth for the Church.

Jana Riess sums things up here:

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A couple of decades ago, when young adults began showing their dissatisfaction with organized religion by voting with their feet, it was fashionable for pundits to say this was happening because those religions weren’t conservative or demanding enough.

Because the exodus was initially most pronounced among liberal, “mainline” Protestants like Episcopalians and Presbyterians, it was easy to point at liberalism as the root of the problem.

If churches just held fast to their standards, the thinking went, they would be fine, because strictness was what the masses secretly wanted. People craved firm boundaries. Conservatives, you will not be surprised to hear, were the most ardent supporters of this “strict churches” theory, which assured them they were already doing the most important things right.

But now the “strict churches” theory is crumbling because some strict denominations are themselves charting losses, or at least slower growth. The Southern Baptists have lost more than a million members over the last decade, according to LifeWay. Giving and attendance are down, and Southern Baptists are seeing more gray and silver heads in the pews.

Meanwhile, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has seen its once-enviable U.S. growth rate slow to under 1 percent in each of the last two years. Mormonism, which grew by just .75 percent in this country in 2017, is barely keeping pace with the growth of the U.S. population (+.71 percent). That’s down from a 2 percent Mormon growth rate in 2001, 3.1 percent in 1987 and 5.4 percent in 1960.

Now it’s liberal pundits who are quick to point the finger. A HuffPost headline last year screeched that “Evangelical Christianity’s Big Turn-Off” was its relentless pursuit of a conservative political agenda. Let’s call this the “alienation” theory, which says that churches that have waged war against LGBT rights or supported Donald Trump are reaping the fallout: Millennials want nothing to do with them.

There’s evidence to support the alienation theory, to a point. Young adults are leaving religion in droves, and some of it is related to politics. People who vote or lean Democratic are more likely to be “nones,” defined as people who have no religious affiliation. They’re not all atheists. About one-third of U.S. nones say religion is somewhat or very important in their lives and most say they believe in God, though the percentage holding theistic beliefs is falling.

So HuffPo posits that LGBT issues and/or politics in general have caused a decrease in religious affiliation amongst conservative organized religions.

The last link above (here) is from the PRRI ("Public Religion Research Institute") and has some interesting things to say:

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Today, nearly four in ten (39%) young adults (ages 18-29) are religiously unaffiliated—three times the unaffiliated rate (13%) among seniors (ages 65 and older). While previous generations were also more likely to be religiously unaffiliated in their twenties, young adults today are nearly four times as likely as young adults a generation ago to identify as religiously unaffiliated. In 1986, for example, only 10% of young adults claimed no religious affiliation.

Among young adults, the religiously unaffiliated dwarf the percentages of other religious identifications: Catholic (15%), white evangelical Protestant (9%), white mainline Protestant (8%), black Protestant (7%), other non-white Protestants (11%), and affiliation with a non-Christian religion (7%).

The age gap has also widened over the past several decades. Ten years ago, each age cohort was only somewhat more likely to be unaffiliated than the one preceding it. Today, there are only modest differences between middle-aged Americans (age 50 – 64) and seniors, but there is a substantial gap between Americans over the age of 50 (15%) and those under the age of 50 (33%).

In other words, "religiously unaffiliated" has previously been a bigger thing for young adults, but as they get older some of the "unaffiliated" become "affiliated."  However, this trend is changing, such that more people who are "unaffiliated" as young adults are staying that way as they grow older.

More from the PRRI article:

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The growth of the unaffiliated has been fed by an exodus of those who grew up with a religious identity. Only nine percent of Americans report being raised in a non-religious household. And while younger adults are more likely to report growing up without a religious identity than seniors (13% vs. 4%, respectively), the vast majority of unaffiliated Americans formerly identified with a particular religion.

No religious group has benefitted more from religious switching than the unaffiliated. Nearly one in five (19%) Americans switched from their childhood religious identity to become unaffiliated as adults, and relatively few (3%) Americans who were raised unaffiliated are joining a religious tradition. This dynamic has resulted in a dramatic net gain—16 percentage points—for the religiously unaffiliated.

...

Most Americans who leave their childhood religious identity to become unaffiliated generally do so before they reach their 18th birthday. More than six in ten (62%) religiously unaffiliated Americans who were raised in a religion say they abandoned their childhood religion before they turned 18. About three in ten (28%) say they were between the ages of 18 and 29. Only five percent say they stopped identifying with their childhood religion between the ages of 30 and 49, and just two percent say age 50 or older.

So here PRRI posits that Affiliated <----> Unaffiliated is mostly a one-way street.  More people are going traveling the Affiliated ----> Unaffiliated road than before, and very few of the children raised in an unaffiliated environment take the other road when they grow up (Unaffiliated ----> Affiliated).

The PRRI also suggests that this transition is mostly happening at younger ages (62% are younger than 18, and 28% are younger than 29, for a total of 90% in this cohort).

Back to PRRI:

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Causes of Disaffiliation

The reasons Americans leave their childhood religion are varied, but a lack of belief in teaching of religion was the most commonly cited reason for disaffiliation. Among the reasons Americans identified as important motivations in leaving their childhood religion are: they stopped believing in the religion’s teachings (60%), their family was never that religious when they were growing up (32%), and their experience of negative religious teachings about or treatment of gay and lesbian people (29%).

Fewer than one in five Americans who left their childhood religion point to the clergy sexual-abuse scandal (19%), a traumatic event in their life (18%), or their congregation becoming too focused on politics (16%) as an important reason for disaffiliating.

Among those who left their childhood religion, women are twice as likely as men to say negative religious teachings about or treatment of gay and lesbian individuals was a major reason they chose to leave their religion (40% vs. 20%, respectively). Women are also about twice as likely as men to cite the clergy sexual-abuse scandal as an important reason they left their childhood faith (26% vs. 13%, respectively).

So some of the big reasons for disaffiliation are:

  • Lack of Belief in Teachings (60%)
  • Lack of Substantial Religious Observance in Childhood (32%)
  • Disagreement with Treatment of LGBT issues (29%)
  • Clergy Sexual Abuse Scandals (19%)
  • Traumatic Life Event (18%)
  • Congregation Becoming Too Political (16%)

PRRI also references data showing that family stability or instability has an impact on "the transmission of religious identity."  "Americans who were raised by divorced parents are more likely than children whose parents were married during most of their formative years to be religiously unaffiliated (35% vs. 23% respectively)."  Divorce also impacts religious attendance.  "Americans who were raised by divorced parents are less likely than children whose parents were married during most of their childhood to report attending religious services at least once per week (21% vs. 34%, respectively). This childhood divorce gap is also evident even among Americans who continue to be religiously affiliated. Roughly three in ten (31%) religious Americans who were brought up by divorced parents say they attend religious services at least once a week, compared to 43% of religious Americans who were raised by married parents."

PRRI also states that children raised in mixed religious households are more likely to end up unaffiliated than those who grow up with parents who are of the same faith  (31% vs. 22%, respectively).  The entire article is worth a read. 

Another interesting article (which focuses on how the Church is faring in this environment is also worth consideration: Most churches are losing members fast — but not the Mormons. Here’s why

Having read the above two articles, I found this next one quite interesting: HARD FACTS: Americans, And Most Everybody Else, Too, Are Becoming More Religious Today, Not Less

Some excerpts:

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It is a commonplace in many of the most influential public policy precincts in the nation’s capitol these days — including among congressional aides working for senators, representatives and committees — that Christianity is in steep decline in America, that the country is fast becoming more secularized with every passing day.

That certainly appears to be the case, judging by many aspects of the elite culture and the intellectual, social media and political rhetoric it sanctions, but a totally opposite picture is easily seen once you get outside of Amtrak’s Acela Corridor and the LA-San Francisco-Seattle axis to examine the data that reveals the real America.

There we find a nation whose people are becoming more, not less, involved in their churches, small groups, Bible studies and caring ministries reaching out in their communities. Perhaps even more surprising is the fact that the same thing is true in their own ways of most of the rest of the people with whom we share this Earth.

This reality is made crystal clear by the data and analyses found in the two remarkable recently published books seen in the photo above.

“The Triumph of Faith” by Baylor University Professor Rodney Stark was published in 2015 and it was followed by  “The Myth of the Dying Church” by Glenn T. Stanton in 2019.

...

Among the data sources are Gallup’s World Poll for every year since 2005, multiple waves from the World Values Surveys, various Pew Research Center compilations, Baylor University’s National Religion Surveys, and the General Social Survey of the University of Chicago. Also, the joint work of sociologists Sean Bock of Harvard and Landon Schnabel of Indiana University.

This was quite illuminating to me, particularly given the data cited in the two articles above.

More from this article:

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“Contrary to the constant predictions that religion is doomed, there is abundant evidence of an ongoing world-wide religious awakening. Never before have four out of five people on Earth claimed to belong to one of the great world faiths,” Stark writes.

“Today, there are millions of devout Protestants in Latin America; not so long ago, there were none. Even so, Latin American Catholics are far more religious than ever before.

“Sub-Saharan Africa is now home to more church-going Christians than anywhere else on Earth, and North Africa and the Middle East are ablaze with Muslim fervor.

“Hinduism has never been stronger and India’s transport system are straining to meet the demands of pilgrims. The Chinese have rebuilt tens of thousands of temples destroyed by the Red Guards, and million have converted to Christianity.

“Only in parts of Europe are the churches still rather empty, but this is not the reliable sign of secularization it has long been said to be; it is, rather, a sign of lazy clergy and unsuitable religions. As has been said, ‘Europe is a continent of believing non-belongers.'”

Among the most amazing data points Stark cites in reporting these facts is this, from the Gallup World Poll: Ninety percent of Nigerians said they attended a religious service in the past week, 88 percent in Burundi and 82 percent in Liberia. The sub-Saharan average is 71 percent.

So in the the broader picture (worldwide rather than just in the U.S., and across all religious faiths rather than just looking at Christianity), religiosity appears to be increasing.

And even the characterization of Christianity-in-Decline in the U.S. appears to merit more scrutiny:

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Something quite similar is found in America via Stanton, a Focus on the Family leader who decisively upends the conventional wisdom about the state of Christianity in this country:

“Liberal churches are hemorrhaging members. Churches that are bailing on Christian orthodoxy — those denying the deity of Christ; rejected the reality of sin; doubting the historical reality of Christ’s death and resurrection; and embracing abortion, gay and gender politics — are all in drastic free fall. People are leaving those churches as though the buildings were on fire. They can’t get out fast enough,” Stanton writes.

“Biblical churches are holding strong. Churches that are faithfully preaching, teaching and practicing biblical truths and conservative theology are holding stable overall. Some are seeing steady growth and others are exploding …

“Church attendance is at an all-time high. More Americans in raw numbers and as a percentage of the population, attend church today than at any other time in our nation’s history, including the colonial days. That’s hardly scary news.

Are there conflicting data here (as compared to the two articles cited above)?  Or just differences in emphasis and interpretation?

The article goes on to discuss the rise of the "Unaffiliated" that are referenced in the first two articles above:

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“More young adults attend biblically faithful churches today than attended nearly 50 year ago. According to some of the best sociological data, the percentage of young adults regularly attending evangelical and non-denominational churches has roughly doubled between 1972 and today.

“Atheism and agnosticism are not growing wildly. Both have grown in the last few years, but they are an extreme minority, accounting for just about seven percent of all U.S. adults.

“The ‘Nones’ are not new unbelievers. The infamous ‘Nones’ — those reporting to have no particular institutional — are indeed a growing category. This has been widely reported. But there is something very important to note here: They are not a new category. They are not folks who have left a once-living faith, but rather those who merely had a cold or lukewarm family history of church identity and now feel more comfortable saying ‘I don’t really identify with anything.’ It’s not a change in belief. Instead, it’s an honest explanation for where they’ve always been.”

Stanton cited Wheaton College’s Professor Ed Stetzer, who specializes in the study of young adults. Among much else, Stetzer, based on the General Social Survey, said “the percentage of young adults … who self-identify as evangelicals doubled from 1972 to 2016.”

Interesting stuff.  

Thoughts?

Thanks,

-Smac

 

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1 hour ago, smac97 said:

............................................:

So in the the broader picture (worldwide rather than just in the U.S., and across all religious faiths rather than just looking at Christianity), religiosity appears to be increasing.

And even the characterization of Christianity-in-Decline in the U.S. appears to merit more scrutiny:

Are there conflicting data here (as compared to the two articles cited above)?  Or just differences in emphasis and interpretation?.....................

The claims do appear to be in conflict.  However, there is one fact which is not covered  in these articles:  The secular and unaffiliated don't reproduce.  Religious people do.  Time and numbers are on the side of those who marry and bear children.  Moreover, as your data shows, those families which stay together remain more religious.  Nothing succeeds like success.

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3 minutes ago, Robert F. Smith said:

The claims do appear to be in conflict.  However, there is one fact which is not covered  in these articles:  The secular and unaffiliated don't reproduce.  Religious people do.  Time and numbers are on the side of those who marry and bear children.  Moreover, as your data shows, those families which stay together remain more religious.  Nothing succeeds like success.

I would be interested in seeing sociological data pertaining to the birth rates of "the secular and unaffiliated" compared to those of "religious people."  I think you are correct in this general premise.

Thanks,

-Smac

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, smac97 said:

There has been a lot of attention paid to recent polling trends showing a substantial increase in the number of people identifying themselves as religiously unaffiliated, particularly within the "Millennial" age demographic.

Interesting post smac and some great questions.

I think that many of the younger generation are leaving organized religions, but are still embracing spirituality....we know there's a difference between being religious and being spiritual, (but people can be both of course too).

Here's one of several articles on this:

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WHY MILLENNIALS ARE LEAVING RELIGION BUT EMBRACING SPIRITUALITY

https://news.virginia.edu/content/qa-why-millennials-are-leaving-religion-embracing-spirituality

This tagline has become increasingly popular with the millennial generation – aged 18 to 34 – and University of Virginia Associate Religious Studies Professor Matthew Hedstrom has spent a lot of time asking why. He’s finding answers in today’s consumer capitalist culture.

A Pew Research Center survey, published in November, revealed that millennials are less attached to organized religion than their parents or grandparents were at the same age, with only about 40 percent saying religion is very important in their lives. However, the same survey revealed that about 80 percent of millennials believe in God and increasing numbers identify with statements like “I feel a deep sense of spiritual peace and well-being” or “I experience a deep sense of wonder about the universe.”

 

 

Edited by ALarson
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Americans, and Western Europeans, can be very shortsighted in their thinking. Their concept of the what the world is doing is really limited to what "I" am doing and what the media is telling them. Our society has the misfortune of being led about by the nose ring of media opinions.

Living in the Middle East for almost eight years led me to think that religion is, was, and remains a focal point of community life. Islam has an extremely firm grip on cultural life and Christianity and Hinduism, as well as others, also were as active as possible. 

Attempting to make a snapshot of religious life in America and then make long-term prognostications is fraught with challenges. Religion will remain a vital influence of both Western culture and our communities. False forms of Christianity will catch fire and then fall away or fail completely. Religion will remain vital as long as the individual encounters God and is able to respond to the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

The social activism's pounding drumbeat will be silenced in favor of the next, new cause célèbre and its attendant drumbeat. 

The green beans will still need to be picked, the sun will rise, and we each will seek to engage with God. I turned off the news a long time ago and I find our home more peaceful. 

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Posted (edited)
30 minutes ago, smac97 said:

I would be interested in seeing sociological data pertaining to the birth rates of "the secular and unaffiliated" compared to those of "religious people."  I think you are correct in this general premise......................

Only two states had fertility above replacement levels in 2017. Utah was one of them, Jan 9, 2019, https://www.deseretnews.com/article/900049924/only-two-states-had-fertility-levels-above-replacement-levels-in-2017-utah-was-one-of-them.html?_cid=Email-1&utm_campaign=445fef9062-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2019_01_10_12_00&utm_medium=email&utm_source=Deseret News&utm_term=0_2e4a89ae88-445fef9062-585640965 .

https://gardner.utah.edu/wp-content/uploads/Fertility-Fact-Sheet.pdf .

http://www.fullerconsideration.com/membership.php .

https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2015/05/22/mormons-more-likely-to-marry-have-more-children-than-other-u-s-religious-groups/ .

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2015/05/12/charted-the-religions-that-make-the-most-babies/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.1a74f6234301 (atheists and agnostics the least fertile)

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Reid Wilson, “More Americans are living alone after recession,” The Hill, Oct 12, 2017, online at http://thehill.com/homenews/state-watch/355122-more-americans-are-living-alone-after-recession ,

The number of Americans living with a spouse or partner has fallen notably in the last decade, driven in part by decisions to delay marriage in the wake of a recession that hit new entrants into the workforce especially hard.

Forty-two percent of Americans live without a spouse or partner, up from 39 percent in 2007, according to the Pew Research Center’s analysis of U.S. Census Bureau figures. For those under the age of 35 years old, 61 percent live without a spouse or partner, up 5 percentage points from a decade ago.

The higher number of spouseless households comes as the marriage rate declines precipitously. Just half of American adults are married, down from 72 percent in 1960.

The average American woman gets married just after her 27th birthday, while the average man waits until he is 29.5 years old to marry — significantly higher than the median ages half a century ago.

“The median age of first marriage has gone up significantly over the past several decades,” said Kim Parker, who directs research on social trends at the Pew Research Center. “But it’s not all about delayed marriage. The share of Americans who have never married has been rising steadily in recent decades. So, part of it is a move away from marriage.”

Pew researchers said the rise in those households without a partner or spouse is not a sign that more marriages are breaking up; the divorce rate has been stable, or even declining, since the 1980s.

Instead, analysts said, the decline in both marriage and partnerships is likely a result of the declining ability of men to earn a salary large enough to sustain a family.

“All signs point to the growing fragility of the male wage earner,” said Cheryl Russell, a demographer and editorial director at the New Strategist Press. “The demographic segments most likely to be living without a partner are the ones in which men are struggling the most — young adults, the less educated, Hispanics and blacks.”

:pew_livingalone.jpg

Russell pointed to data that shows marriage rates increase for younger Americans in connection with salaries. Fewer than half of men between the ages of 30 and 34 who earn less than $40,000 a year are married. More than half of those who make more than $40,000 a year are married, including two-thirds of those who make between $75,000 and $100,000 a year.

“The point at which the average young man becomes ‘marriageable’ appears to be earnings of $40,000 a year or more,” Russell said.

The Pew data underscores the economic marriage gap: Adults who do not live with partners are more than twice as likely to live in poverty than those who have partners. 

“Our surveys show us that one of the things that’s holding unmarried adults back from getting married is that they feel they’re not financially stable enough,” Parker said.

When household size is taken into account, the median household with partnered adults makes far more, $86,000, than those with unpartnered adults, $61,000.

A little more than a quarter of those living without a partner or spouse live with a parent or a grandparent. More than a third live alone, the Census data show.

You will note that it is the younger people of child-bearing age who are unpartnered.

“Religion’s Relationship to Happiness, Civic Engagement and Health Around the World,” Pew Research Center, Jan 31, 2019, online at http://www.pewforum.org/2019/01/31/religions-relationship-to-happiness-civic-engagement-and-health-around-the-world/ , There is a discrepancy in happiness reporting between actively religious and unaffiliated/inactive.  In the U.S. and other countries, participation in a congregation is a key factor.

Edited by Robert F. Smith
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One more article to add to the many good ones posted so far:

https://latterdaysaintmag.com/god-doesnt-change-should-the-church/

This is pertinant to the LDS church: Multiple studies exist that give varying numbers, but one of the most recent studies reports that in America, the majority of millennial Latter-day Saints (55%) have left and that the trend has worsened over time (compared to 25% who disaffiliated in Generation X). 

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6 hours ago, smac97 said:

once you get outside oAmtrak’s Acela Corridor and the LA-San Francisco-Seattle axis to examine the data that reveals the real America.

I dislike the dismissal of these two districts as not part of the “real America”.  Makes me concerned about possible conclusions.  The rest of the States should not be ignored in favor of these two, but the reverse shouldn’t happen either as the phrasing here appears to do imo. Hopefully that is not the actual case, but at the moment my brain isn’t inclined to read the article. Will do later. 

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3 minutes ago, Calm said:

I dislike the dismissal of these two districts as not part of the “real America”.  Makes me concerned about possible conclusions.  The rest of the States should not be ignored in favor of these two, but the reverse shouldn’t happen either as the phrasing here appears to do imo. Hopefully that is not the actual case, but at the moment my brain isn’t inclined to read the article. Will do later. 

I did not really care for the combative tone of that article.  But I think the point is that the "Amtrak’s  Acela Corridor and the LA-San Francisco-Seattle axis" is fairly homogenous and provincial in its political outlooks, but these places also have an outsized influence on popular media, so their viewpoints get more coverage, so their viewpoints seem more widespread than they really are.  

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8 hours ago, smac97 said:

Interesting stuff.  

Thoughts?

Thanks,

-Smac

I think that religiosity also decreases when ostensibly personal revelation or "spirituality" is not recognized as a manipulated infusion of influence from most impressive secular advancements, including those coming from "conspiring men." In other words, a practice of one's pure religion that retains the form of godliness but denies the power thereof. 

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5 hours ago, Tacenda said:

One more article to add to the many good ones posted so far:

https://latterdaysaintmag.com/god-doesnt-change-should-the-church/

This is pertinant to the LDS church: Multiple studies exist that give varying numbers, but one of the most recent studies reports that in America, the majority of millennial Latter-day Saints (55%) have left and that the trend has worsened over time (compared to 25% who disaffiliated in Generation X). 

There is no reason to believe that the majority of LDS millennials in the USA have left the church, and I don't see a citation to back that figure up.

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47 minutes ago, Robert F. Smith said:

There is no reason to believe that the majority of LDS millennials in the USA have left the church, and I don't see a citation to back that figure up.

Pew puts retention at 62% which is actually surprising high in the midst of the None transition. GSS puts it at 46% although for various reasons I find that more problematic due to the small n. 

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Lots of Millennials are joining a new religion. It used to be called the Church of global warming.  Then it became the church of climate change and now transitioning to the church of climate crisis. In this religion, fossil fuels is the devil and carbon taxes, government, and science is the savior. 

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The Pew Research Center certainly backs the 'increasing' option.

I'm reminded by all this data of an experience I had when I was teaching in an American overseas territory. Our philosophy instructor and I were in the staff room one day, and he noted my overt displays of religiosity (such as blessing my lunch) and asked about them. He said he was surprised that someone as educated as I was -- I had just finished a dual master's degree -- was religious. I laughed good-naturedly. He then asked me what it felt like to be part of a minority population. This made me laugh even more. I then told him I had no idea since, on this topic, I'd never been in the minority. I pointed him to data on global religiosity and then noted that it was he as an atheist, not I, who belonged to a minority population, and one that is shrinking. He was incredulous at first and then clearly bothered. I surmised from what he said that he'd spent most of his life around the 'nones' and had convinced himself that they were both numerous and ascendant.

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1 hour ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

The Pew Research Center certainly backs the 'increasing' option.

I'm reminded by all this data of an experience I had when I was teaching in an American overseas territory. Our philosophy instructor and I were in the staff room one day, and he noted my overt displays of religiosity (such as blessing my lunch) and asked about them. He said he was surprised that someone as educated as I was -- I had just finished a dual master's degree -- was religious. I laughed good-naturedly. He then asked me what it felt like to be part of a minority population. This made me laugh even more. I then told him I had no idea since, on this topic, I'd never been in the minority. I pointed him to data on global religiosity and then noted that it was he as an atheist, not I, who belonged to a minority population, and one that is shrinking. He was incredulous at first and then clearly bothered. I surmised from what he said that he'd spent most of his life around the 'nones' and had convinced himself that they were both numerous and ascendant.

The situation is dire in some cases, with more nominal "Christians" dying in Europe than are being born.  In a century, nearly all of Europe will be Muslim.  In actually, there are very few actual Christians in Europe.  The only real question is What will get you first?  Your suicidal secularism, or global warming?

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In Australia there is always a large difference between those who profess to be Latter Day Saints in the census and the numbers the church claims to have. "

Australia census has reported increases in Latter-day Saint membership from 35,500 in 1986 to 45,200 in 1996, and 53,100 in 2006.[15]  LDS Church figures for membership were reported at approximately 60,000 in 1986, 87,000 in 1996, and 116,925 in 2006.  The percentage of members on LDS Church records that self-identified on the Australian census declined from 59% in 1986 to 52% in 1996 and 45% in 2006.  In 2009, one in 170 was nominally LDS. http://cumorah.com  Australians prefer their footy and beach on a Sunday. Only growth are the Pentecostals  and  Moslems.

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19 hours ago, carbon dioxide said:

Lots of Millennials are joining a new religion. It used to be called the Church of global warming.  Then it became the church of climate change and now transitioning to the church of climate crisis. In this religion, fossil fuels is the devil and carbon taxes, government, and science is the savior. 

User name checks out...

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Posted (edited)

Unless I missed it, I didn’t see a reference to economics.  Sharing the Gospel in prosperous areas is more challenging because when a person’s financial needs are met, why do they need faith in God?  Today, we are at near full employment.  Add to that the issues of pornography and liberal bias in k-12 through university level education  Add to that media general condescension and social pressure against religion.  Add to that the ever increasing hours at work due to labor shortage and the mind numbing access to entertainment and electronic devices during off hours.  Add to that the breakdown of the family, where faith in God used to be taught and we see the perfect storm we have today. It takes an unusually self assured person to stand against those forces to seek faith in God, in my opinion.  Who wants or needs faith in God these days?  Simplistic?  Maybe.  Accurate?  I’m 🤔.

Edited by Meerkat
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On 7/15/2019 at 9:59 PM, carbon dioxide said:

Lots of Millennials are joining a new religion. It used to be called the Church of global warming.  Then it became the church of climate change and now transitioning to the church of climate crisis. In this religion, fossil fuels is the devil and carbon taxes, government, and science is the savior. 

If this were the case something would be being done about it.

It is somewhat telling that a scientific consensus is being labeled as a religion as an insult and the label is being applied by religious people. Interesting way of cutting your own throat.

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