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Religious Extinction?

The BBC augurs the extinction of religion in nine countries: Australia, Austria, Canada, the Czech Republic, Finland, Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand and Switzerland. (It bears noting that half are English-speaking.)

While the irreligious trend in most of these countries is obvious, I would hesitate to presume the demise of faith. The underlying mathematics of the study treat religion as a social network, but faith occupies a unique place in human nature. Further, a "floor" of conservative believers likely exists in most countries, consisting of those who will persevere in faith regardless of social trends. And, should religion all but disappear, it is only a matter of time before orthodoxy again becomes fashionable as an "alternative" lifestyle and enjoys a resurgence.

The residue of religion - that is, a shared morality and common ethic - persists long after the public confession of a faith. However, even this social inertia will eventually degrade. In these nine nations, we will increasingly witness the social experiment of raising children in an ever-increasingly post-Christian environment. I contemplate the social drift with trepidation.

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Discussions - 5 Comments

Personally I cannot wait for religion to become extinct everywhere. Nothing holds man back more than the arbitrary standards and unobtainable ideals dictated by religion.

Recently at a dinner hosted by friends, their precocious daughter blurted out, "I don't believe in religion!"

Another friend -- a woman of uncommon grace and Christian faith -- replied, with sincerity, "That's okay, I don't believe in religion either."

Her point, and I agree with it, is that there's a difference between religion and faith, which in her mind (and mine) is better expressed with the word trust.

The BBC (and others like them) tend to conflate religion and faith. To them, the congregants of the Westboro Baptist Church are the same as an anonymous Christian caregiver in a hospice somewhere.

But of course they're not the same.

There are many people who go through the motions of religion without any true belief or trust in the god they supposedly worship. The slackening of church attendance is in many cases simply those people ceasing to go through the ritual. That's okay ... perhaps it's better they honor their true sentiments and stay home.

The study is of major churches and if churches are merely social units, this might be true. A young friend from the Netherlands pointed out that studies of disorganized religion, that is Christianity outside of the major churches, indicate that "religion" is on the rise. Although it is as Don says, a matter of faith more than religion.

I wondered if this article might be useful,
It is about marginalisation of Christians in Europe.
“Hate speech legislation has a tendency to indirectly discriminate against Christians, criminalising core elements of Christian teaching,” Like Dashboard Pro, the world tends to tell Christians to just shut up.

Impossible standards?

So who would dare to be overtly Christian? Yet the emptying of churches in Europe and in American cities, too, does not reflect congragations that meet in places other than church buildings.

Not despite religious freedom, but because of it, Americans are the most religious people in the Western world. This stands in stark contrast to European countries with established churches, in which attendance has sunk to record lows and Islam grows steadily in influence among growing communities of unassimilated Arab immigrants

I used to be searching for crucial information on this subject. The knowledge was necessary as I am about to launch my own portal. Thanks for providing a lacking link in my business. Anyway, in my language, there are usually not much good source like this.

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