A new governmental report on Christianity is making some waves, though, according to the report, not as many waves as one might think. The core of the report is that Christianity, once the religion that wasn’t to be trifled with, is quickly on the decline, and at a much faster rate than anyone really thought. Christianity is declining so quickly that experts believe the religion will be “statistically nonexistent” by 2067 — or, in other words, extinct.
The report that leads to a prediction of Christianity’s demise stems from the British Census Study, the British Social Attitudes survey, and the British Election Study. Though the report on Christianity centers on Great Britain, experts say that Christians would be naive to think that the United States isn’t far behind, and offers evidence and statistics to back up their predictions.
According to the statistics, between 2001 and 2011, the number of people who followed Christianity fell by over 5.3 million people. To put that on a timescale, that’s about 10,000 individuals per week forsaking Christianity. Following up on those stats, Christianity will fall to nonexistence in England in the year 2067.
The Social Attitude survey concurs with this data on Christianity. Believers in Christianity fell from 40 percent of the British population in 1983, to 29 percent in 2004, to 17 percent in 2014.
So how does all this affect Christianity in the United States and beyond? Well, again, according to the statistics, Christianity in the United States is falling out of influence almost as quickly as in Great Britain. Thirty-six percent (more than a third) of American citizens between the ages of 18 and 24 identify themselves as having no religious affiliation whatsoever — the largest unaffiliated cross-section of that demographic in history.
Furthermore, in an article on the decline of Christianity in Great Britain and beyond, writer Damian Thompson calls attention to one of the most contentious of legal issues in the United States, Roe v. Wade, and its effect on abortion. What’s more, Thompson talks about the inability of the Christian-minded conservative right to overturn the Supreme Court’s ruling on Roe v. Wade.
“The failure of American Christians to secure the repeal of Roe v. Wade is mirrored by British Catholics’ fruitless campaign against the 1967 Abortion Act. These failures can’t simply be ascribed to popular support for abortion. They are signs of the waning of religion in Britain and the United States, where Christianity is being attacked by, and accommodating to, European-style secularisation.”
The statistics don’t lie. Christianity is farther back on its heels than its ever been in 2,000-odd years. However, that doesn’t mean the current trends of demise will continue.
The larger question may be, why is Christianity falling out of favor, especially with young people? There is certainly a point to be made that the industrialized West is smarter — academically — than it’s ever been before in history (if not smarter, it certainly has access to more information than any civilization in human history). Current generations in the industrialized West are also not as subject to possible adverse living conditions as they once were even half a century ago, making the need for a belief in something like Christianity less necessary.
It should be noted, that the results of these studies and reports aren’t really addressing Christianity uniquely, but religion as a whole, suggesting that the more advanced in technology and knowledge that a civilization becomes, the less it requires the belief in religions like Islam, Buddhism, or Christianity.
What do you think? Are you a Christian? Are you doubting your faith in the second decade of the 21st Century? Do you think that by the end of the century at the very least, that we will see an evisceration of Christianity on the planet?
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