Thursday, February 9, 2017

Gods migrate to third world!

Gallup International surveys (2015) show that China, Japan, Hong Kong South Korea, Israel, Canada, Switzerland, Uruguay, Germany, France, Estonia, Belgium, Spain, Switzerland, Ireland, Czech Republic, Austria, Denmark, Netherlands, Australia, New Zealand, Sweden and UK have more than 50% atheists. They are places where religion was strong less than 100 years back.  They are rich (not China) with higher GDP-average around $30,000. If the poor nations increase their GDP (now below $10,000) to such levels, they will probably become godless too. 

“Basically, people are less scared about what might befall them,” says Quentin Atkinson, a psychologist at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. “Security in society seems to diminish religious belief, says Prof. Zuckerman, a professor of sociology and secular studies at Pitzer College in Claremont, California, and author of 'Living the Secular Life.'

Catholic journalist Damian Thompson speculates that at the present rate of decline, Anglicanism will disappear from Britain by 2033. He points out that the number of Anglicans has already fallen from 40% of the population in 1983 to 29% in 2004 to 17% in 2015. Roman Catholics decline too but at a lesser rate from 10% of the population to 8% over the same period. This lesser rate of decline can be due to the inflow of Catholic immigrants.

The religious will decline even in USA too. A survey published by the Washington-based Pew Foundation in August, 2016, found that the percentage of Americans who described themselves as Christian had dropped from 78.4% to 70.6% between 2007 and 2014. And between 2007 and 2012, atheists rose from 1.6% to 2.4. At this rate, in half a century, there will not be even 20% in the US who believes in Christianity!

Everyone will agree that there is no country in the world more religious than before. Even Brazil, and Ireland –once strongly Catholic societies are becoming less Catholic and less religious. The exception may be places like Iran and Saudi but there is no way to know how people take religion there. According to a Gallup International survey the number of religious people fell from 77% to 68% between 2005 and 2011 and atheists rose by 3% bringing the total estimated share of atheists in the world to 13%.

But Wikipedia writes that mainly because of high fertility rates, Muslims, Christians, Hindus and Buddhists will increase in the next few decades-mostly in the third world. The fertility rate of Muslims is more than any other group and experts suggest the number of Muslims will become more than that of Christians in half a century. The Christian population will increase in China as religion flourishes when persecution ends. 

Christianity is now making inroads into the gullible third world –the poor nations of Asia and Africa. According to a June 2013 report by the Center for the Study of Global Christianity, Nepal, China, UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar Benin, Burkina Faso, South Sudan, and Mali have the highest increase in Christian population. A 2013 Pew Research Center study show that Europe &Americas which once housed 93% of the world’s Christians, account for only 63% today. Sub-Saharan Africa’s Christian population rose from  9% to 63% in the century between 1910-2010. A Pew study reveals that countries like Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Ethiopia are on the list of the most Christian-populated nations.

Most of the earlier Catholic saints were Europeans. but now many blacks are canonized. Even from Kerala, a small southern Indian state, Alphonsamma, Chavara Kuriakose and Sister Euphrasia have been made saints. A few are on the waiting list. Wikipedia gives the list of recent saints from Africa. Anthony Mary Claret  (1950- Canary Islands) , Ss. Charles Lwanga and 21 companions, martyrs (1964, Uganda) , St. Justin de Jacobis, Lazarist priest (1975, Ethiopia and Eritrea), St. Josephine Bakhita, Canossian Religious (2000, Sudan), St. Peter of Saint Joseph Betancur, layman (2002, Canary Islands), St. Daniel Comboni, Bishop (2003, Sudan), St. Jacques Berthieu, Jesuit priest and martyr (2012, Madagascar), St. José de Anchieta, Jesuit priest (2014, Canary Islands). Recently Pope Francis even canonized two Palestinian nuns! The Church is making serious inroads into the third world.

Parents have been indoctrinating children deciding what they should think and believe instead of letting them find out what is true or good. Nevertheless, in-the-not-so-distant-future our descendants may discard religious beliefs like those of the developed world to become better humans.Many scientists say  the universe is self-originating and self-propelling and there is no need for gods.

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