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The World is More Religious Today Than Ever Before in History


GLENN STANTON

Source:
Nat. Cath. Register
Type:
Media/Opinion
Date:
2/19/2016

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ABSTRACTFact: The World is More Religious Today Than Ever Before in History |Blogs | NCRegister.com Print Edition:  Feb. 7, 2016 Sign-up for our E-letter!   Donate News Blogs Radio Events Resources Advertise Store Subscriptions Make This My Homepage Resources Archives Jobs College Guide Arts & Entertainment Books Commentary Culture of Life Education In Person News Opinion Sunday Guides Travel Vatican Dan Burke Jeanette DeMelo Edward Pentin Mark Shea Matthew Warner Jimmy Akin Matthew Archbold Joan Frawley Desmond Simcha Fisher Tito Edwards Jennifer Fulwiler Steven D. Greydanus Tom Wehner Our Latest Show About the Show About the Register Donate Subscribe Stations Schedule Other EWTN Shows Advertising Overview Policies & Guidelines Digital Ad Specs Print Ad Specs Editorial Calendar & Due Dates Order Web Ad Subscribe Discounted Bulk Subscriptions Give a Gift Subscription Renew Your Subscription Renew Your Gift Subscription Change of Address Missed Issues Payments Account Status General Customer Service Print Article | Email Article | Write To Us Blogs » Glenn Stanton Glenn Stanton Fact: The World is More Religious Today Than Ever Before in History Tweet by Glenn Stanton 02/19/2016 Comment Pilgrims sleep overnight on Copacabana Beach during World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro, July 27, 2013. (Estefania Aguirre/CNA) It has been repeated so often and so widely that it’s become an unquestioned truism. Society is becoming more secular as more and more people bag their faith. Of course, the mainstream press – and the Christian press as well – are happy to relay the tale. Each of us have seen the flurry of such headlines: "Christianity Declines Sharply in US, Agnostics Growing: Pew" – Newsmax "Christians In U.S. On Decline As Number Of 'Nones' Grows, Survey Finds" – NPR "Big Drop in Share of Americans Calling Themselves Christian" - New York Times "America Is Getting Less Christian and Less Religious, Study Shows" – HuffPo Well this story is as wrong as it is widespread. Ours is not an increasingly secular and irreligious culture and Baylor University’s Professor Rodney Stark, one of the leading sociologists of religion in the world, explains this in great depth and clarity in his critical  and deeply researched new book, The Triumph of Faith . His first sentence explains his findings bluntly: “The world is more religious than it has ever been.” A few pages later with equal clarity he explains, “The world is not merely as religious as it used to be. In important ways, it is much more intensely religious than ever before ; indeed, it is far more churched.” (emphasis added) Thus, “…the popular notion of an increasingly secularizing world is not merely wrong, but actually the opposite of what has been taking place.” Surveys of more than a million adults covering 163 nations find: 81 percent say they belong to an organized religious faith Many of the rest report attending religious services or activities now and then 74 percent say that religion is important to them 50 percent say they have attended a religious service in the past 7 days 56 percent believe that “God is directly involved in things that happen in the world” At Focus on the Family, we have brought attention to this truth here , here and here . The sky is certainly not falling where religion is concerned, and certainly not with Christianity. While Stark spends some time explaining how spirituality in general is and has been growing over the last few decades, he spends most of his time demonstrating how it is Christianity that is growing in considerable numbers. And it is a particular kind Christianity that is growing: the good kind. Let’s look at some of the important specifics of the larger picture in brief. Atheism: Not Growing Atheism has remained stagnant for as long as pollsters have been measuring it. Most nations across the globe have fewer than 5% of their population who say they are atheists. There is not any nation in the world where their share of the population is higher than 30% and only three are above 20%: South Korea at 29.5%, China, 27% and Vietnam, 24%. In only eleven nations do they make up more than 10% of the population. The United States has only 4.4 percent, Canada is 6.6 and Mexico 2.4 of its population saying they believe there is no god.   The “New Atheists” are not having much success in getting people to drop their silly “God Delusion” as one of them famously put it even while their books sold briskly there for a while. The “Nones” The group that says they don’t identify with any particular faith tradition has gotten a great deal of press in the last few years because of their significant growth, moving from 8 percent in 1990 to nearly 22 percent in 2014. They have indeed grown, but their nature is not what most think. They are not the new ir.......