the extinction of religion

There was a really interesting article that came from the BBC about recent European census data. There was a study done using census data going back as far as a century tracking the religious affiliation of individuals and showing the rise of those claiming no religious affiliation. Based on a mathematical model, the study says that religious affiliation will all but die out in Australia, Austria, Canada, the Czech Republic, Finland, Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand and Switzerland. (here is the full article)

To be honest this study doesn’t really surprise me but I think using the word extinct is a little harsh. There are tons of culture practices that have come and gone through the ages without being deemed extinct (disco anyone?) What this study says to me is that religion is no longer going to be a widespread cultural practice in these areas but that people may (or may not) still have a faith in a divine presence. I am interested how many people responded as atheist, that would be a more telling stat about the potential extinction of religion. The future of the church in our country is cloudy at best and trending towards a similar fate. I believe that the church still has some cultural relevance to people and so will continue to function though it has lost a tremendous amount of authority and no longer has a viable voice in the larger conversations. I’m not here to trash the church, I think the church still does a tremendous amount of good, but there needs to be a great deal of re-evaluation.

In other, more humorous, church news. I drove past a church sign yesterday on my way home that read “Faith Book: God just sent you a friend request.” I’m shocked there wasn’t a line of teenagers waiting outside to get in…

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