Skip to comments.Study: World Is Turning More Religious; Atheism Declining
Posted on 08/16/2013 9:08:17 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
A new study says the world is more religious now than it was four decades ago, and this trend will continue to 2020 and perhaps beyond even as the global share of the nonreligious is likely to witness a sustained decrease.
The percentage of the world that is religious continues to increase, according to the study titled "Christianity In Its Global Context, 1970-2010," conducted by the Center for the Study of Global Christianity at Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary in Massachusetts.
In 1970, nearly 80 percent of the world's population was religious, and by 2010 this had grown to around 88 percent, with a projected increase to almost 90 percent by 2020, the report states. The growth of religious adherence can largely be attributed to the continuing resurgence of religion in China, it notes.
In 1970, agnostic and atheist populations together claimed 19.2 percent of the world's total population, largely due to communism in Eastern Europe and China. However, after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, large numbers of the nonreligious returned to religion.
According to the report, projections to 2020 indicate a sustained decrease of the global share of the nonreligious, mostly because China is witnessing a resurgence of Buddhism, Christianity, and other religions, and Christianity is also growing in Eastern Europe.
"If this trend continues, agnostics and atheists will be a smaller portion of the world's population in 2020 than they were in 2010," says the report. "Although the number of atheists and agnostics continues to rise in the Western world, the current growth of a variety of religions in China in particular (where the vast majority of the nonreligious live today) suggests continued future demographic growth of religion."
Christianity and Islam dominate religious demographics and are expected to continue that dominance in the future, according to the report, which notes that the two religions represented 48.8 percent of the global population in 1970, and by 2020 they will likely represent 57.2 percent. The study also predicts that there will be 2.6 billion Christians by 2020.
However, the fastest-growing religions over the next decade are likely to be the Baha'i faith which is growing by 1.7 percent yearly, Islam at 1.6 percent, Sikhism at 1.4 percent, Jainism at 1.3 percent, Christianity at 1.2 percent, and Hinduism at 1.2 percent. Each of these is growing faster than the world's population at 1.1 percent.
The study also found that the global North is becoming more religiously diverse, with more countries becoming home to a greater number of the world's religions, while religious diversity is decreasing in many countries in the global South with the growth of mostly one religion, either Christianity or Islam.
The report also takes note of the great shift of Christianity to the global South in the twentieth century, a trend that is expected to continue into the future. While 41.3 percent of all Christians were from Africa, Asia, or Latin America in 1970, the figure is expected to increase to 64.7 percent in 2020.
Between 1970 and 2020, all major Christian traditions are likely to grow more rapidly than the general population in the global South, according to the report. However, at the same time, Christianity is declining as a percentage of the population in the global North "at a dramatic rate." This can be attributed to birth rates in many European countries in particular being below replacement level, and aging populations. The global shift was reflected in the election of Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires, Argentina, as Pope Francis, the first Latin American head of the Roman Catholic Church, the study points out.
Ping for later
(Today is National Tell a Joke Day)
Might as well show it to everyone:
Genesis 1 For Atheists
1 In the beginning nothing created the heavens and the earth.
2 Now the nothing was dark and void; it was really nothing. But then there was something hovering right in the middle of it. How about that!
3 And there was a really big bang, and then there was light. 4 The light was really, really bright. The big bang separated the light from the nothing. 5 The light was called universe, and the nothing was forgotten, because if anyone knew about the nothing, theyd never believe any of this. And there was evening, and there was morningwell, not yet.
6 And a planet formed at just the right distance from an average star. And the planet was goodvery good. It was a rare planet where something interesting might happen. 7 And an expanse of water formed on the planet. And if you have water, you might as well just admit that you have life. Ever hear of Mars? 8 The water was very good. And there was evening, and there was morningbut if no one was there to see the sunrise, did it really happen?
9 And the elements were gathered to once place, and they combined in new ways, randomly, inexplicably. 10 The elements begat biomolecules, which begat amino acids and phospholipids, which begat nucleotides and lipid bilayers, which begat RNA and mRNA, which begat ribosomes, which begat proteins, which begat fully-programmed cells with three meters of DNA folded neatly inside a microscopic nucleus with its own mitochondrial power supply. Things like this just seem to happen.
11 And the life-bearing cells produced cyanobacteria and vegetation. At least, once the asteroid bombardment abated. 12 The cells used mutation to produce various kinds of species. And all the mutations were good. 13 And there was evening, and there was morningyada, yada, yada.
14 And there was that time when a really huge asteroid slammed into the planet. 15 After things settled down, there were two lights in the expanse of the sky. 16 The greater light governed the day 17 and the lesser light governed the night. 18 It sure was pretty. 19 And there was evening, and there was morningfinally.
20 And even with the bacteria modifying the atmosphere from one type of toxicity to another, new life still formed. 21 Individual cells teamed together and figured out how to create complex organs with full nutrition, oxygenation, and waste removal systems connecting them all. 22 These new creatures were blessed, for it all just seemed to happen so quickly. They were fruitful and increased in number, filling the seas and the air. 23 And there was evening, and there was morninggive or take a billion.
24 And the mutations just kept getting better. The creatures became more complex, which was really amazing, what with smaller population sizes and longer gestation periods and one type of mutated creature preying on another. But somehow they still produced more kinds. 25 Oh my, there were lions and tigers and bears. And monkeys, too. We cant forget the monkeys. They werent really that good, but theyre important to the story later on.
26 Then one creature appeared that could rule them all. This creature ruled over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that moved along the ground.
27 Male and female, they had an image that was unique: thoughts and language and art and multi-year courtship rituals and stupid religions and opposable thumbs and tools and creativity and guilt and consciousness and a lot of fun when trying to have kids and self-reflection and emotions: they got it all, even though their DNA only differed by two percent from other creatures.
28 They were blessed and ruled over everything. But when they mutated, none of the mutations were good.
29 And they ate a lot, too. 30 Not just the plants, but the animals, too. None of plants or animals seemed to be mutating much, either. Adaptation? Sure. Speciation? Not really.
31 And it was all very good, until the image-creatures started trying to explain it. And there was evening, and there was morningbut with no purpose and no reason to exist, you might as well sleep in.
scientific humor keeper
Turning more religious does not equate to anything good necessarily...
“Turning more religious does not equate to anything good necessarily...”
It is a misleading title; the world is becoming more religious because non-religious people have much smaller broods (if they breed at all). It is not as though godless people are suddenly seeing the light; they are just leaving this earth and being replaced by breeders’ offspring.
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