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Decline of religion
#1
Decline of religion
Here it is, I thought could we have a topic dedicated to the news that follows the decline of religion.

South Dakota churches suffering decline in affiliation, attendance

Anyone who attends church in South Dakota is probably already aware of a troubling trend afflicting religious organizations and churches across the state and nation: the slow but steady decline in church membership and attendance.

It may be fewer cars in the parking lot, fewer people in the pews or fewer volunteers at charitable outings. It might be a pastor or priest who serves more than one congregation or is in a temporary post as a fill-in. It could also be the closure of a local church or growing concerns that closure could be imminent.

Those are some of the outward signs of what religious leaders and experts say is a dramatic decline in religious affiliation and church attendance that began in the late 20th century, picked up pace during the COVID-19 pandemic, and remains a growing cause for concern in the post-pandemic era.

Membership in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, one of the largest churches in South Dakota, is down 40% over the past 30 years nationally and has fallen by almost 10% in South Dakota over roughly the past decade. Attendance at Lutheran churches in South Dakota is down about 14% since 2013, and the ELCA recently closed churches in Newell and Bradley.

Catholic and Methodist churches are also seeing declines.

In the Sioux Falls Catholic Diocese, which serves all of East River South Dakota, records indicate that church attendance in 2022 is down 26% compared with 2010 and that membership has also fallen.

The decrease in church affiliation and attendance follows other patterns that show Americans are turning away from organized religion and many of its tenets. Surveys show that among Americans, belief in God is lower than ever; that trust in religion is way down; and that fewer people believe the Bible to be the true word of God and instead see it as a book of only fables or legends.

Perhaps most worrisome for church leaders in America and South Dakota is that in recent surveys, the people who do not affiliate with any religion, the so-called “nones,” are the fastest-growing segment of the national population as indicated in surveys about religion, faith and beliefs.

Religious scholars and church leaders say the decline in church membership and attendance is being fueled by many factors, most of them cultural shifts within society at large. They include demographic changes that are reducing rural populations where churches are a cornerstone; greater political and cultural divisions within modern society that are driving people apart; generational changes that have made young people less willing to join groups; and self-inflicted wounds within organized religion in the form of sexual and financial crimes and scandals.

https://brookingsregister.com/article/so...attendance


Catholic Church in ‘Profound Crisis’ in Germany

The number of Catholics leaving their religion rose to a record high last year. Around 360,000 Catholics left the church, almost a third more than in the previous record year of 2019, according to numbers published June 27.

“The figures for 2021 show the profound crisis in which we find ourselves as the Catholic Church in Germany. There is no way to sugarcoat it,” said the chairman of the German Bishops’ Conference, Bishop Georg Bätzing.

Protestant churches in Germany are experiencing a similar trend. In March, Evangelical Church in Germany noted that the number of people leaving increased by 60,000, totaling around 280,000. Approximately 19.7 million Germans belong to a Protestant church; 21.6 million belong to the Catholic Church. “For the first time, less than half of Germany’s citizens belong to one of the major churches,” Tagesspiegel reported

Sociologist Petra-Angela Ahrens from the Sozialwissenschaftliche Institut, who conducted the study, noted that scandals in the Catholic Church in particular were likely responsible for exit spikes in 2019. Recent events seems to confirm the observation. In January, a clerical abuse report resulted in another spike in exits. “We had more church departures than ever before,” Johannes Mayer, spokesman for the Munich district administration department, told the German Press Agency.

Last year, Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Munich offered his resignation amid a clerical abuse crisis in Germany. On March 2, he was followed by Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki, leader of the Catholic archdiocese of Cologne.

Historically, the Catholic Church has weathered many crises. In the 16th century, it faced a somewhat similar crisis. Martin Luther was so successful in leading the Protestant Reformation largely because so many people were fed up with the corruption of the Catholic Church. This led to many disputes over doctrinal issues and opened the door for a complete separation. The split led to centuries of religious conflict in the heart of Europe.

The situation today, however, is different. While the Catholic Church’s membership is declining at a faster rate, Protestant churches face a similar crisis. This crisis might actually bring the two churches together to improve their public image.

https://www.thetrumpet.com/25873-catholi...in-germany
teachings of the Bible are so muddled and self-contradictory that it was possible for Christians to happily burn heretics alive for five long centuries. It was even possible for the most venerated patriarchs of the Church, like St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas, to conclude that heretics should be tortured (Augustine) or killed outright (Aquinas). Martin Luther and John Calvin advocated the wholesale murder of heretics, apostates, Jews, and witches. - Sam Harris, "Letter To A Christian Nation"
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#2
RE: Decline of religion
Paganism, meanwhile, has seen gains of up to 1600% between census periods in recent years. All hail to the lord and lady, or somesuch business.

Quote:While reports tell us that organized religion is going extinct in the United States, the rise in neo-pagan spiritualities suggest there might be more to the story of religion’s role in American lives.
https://bigthink.com/the-present/modern-paganism/
I am the Infantry. I am my country’s strength in war, her deterrent in peace. I am the heart of the fight… wherever, whenever. I carry America’s faith and honor against her enemies. I am the Queen of Battle. I am what my country expects me to be, the best trained Soldier in the world. In the race for victory, I am swift, determined, and courageous, armed with a fierce will to win. Never will I fail my country’s trust. Always I fight on…through the foe, to the objective, to triumph overall. If necessary, I will fight to my death. By my steadfast courage, I have won more than 200 years of freedom. I yield not to weakness, to hunger, to cowardice, to fatigue, to superior odds, For I am mentally tough, physically strong, and morally straight. I forsake not, my country, my mission, my comrades, my sacred duty. I am relentless. I am always there, now and forever. I AM THE INFANTRY! FOLLOW ME!
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#3
RE: Decline of religion
(July 20, 2022 at 1:15 am)The Grand Nudger Wrote: Paganism, meanwhile, has seen gains of up to 1600% between census periods in recent years.  All hail to the lord and lady, or somesuch business.

Quote:While reports tell us that organized religion is going extinct in the United States, the rise in neo-pagan spiritualities suggest there might be more to the story of religion’s role in American lives.
https://bigthink.com/the-present/modern-paganism/

This strikes me as a good thing. In the main, pagans aren’t nearly as annoying as Abrahamics. No Wiccan has ever threatened me with eternal damnation for not harvesting belladonna in the prescribed manner.

Boru
‘I can’t be having with this.’ - Esmeralda Weatherwax
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#4
RE: Decline of religion
Blame the internet.


I have said many times - all children are born atheist and any religion you pick up along the way is just regional contamination.

Years back - people traveled far less and were exposed to fewer ideas - contamination. If they only saw one or two options - that' s what they went with.

The internet does what world travel used to - expose people to new, different ideas. Including the idea that ALL religions are bullshit.
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#5
RE: Decline of religion
I can speak anecdotally (which I have already done as far as my personal story) for the "people" I come from - and how they are contributing to the decline.  My entire extended family is United Methodist and has been for ages.  Right now, that church going through the process of a split, based in large part on questions around how to handle homosexuality (it has been simmering for years).  I must admit that, although not my primary issue, it contributed to/deepened my questioning and deconversion.  It appears they will split into at least 2 different denominations depending on how it shakes out.  Based on this alone, many people I have known for many years have either already left or are considering it - including clergy who are leaving or "retiring" just to avoid dealing with it.  How many of these people will end up like me and just not return anywhere when they take a breath and consider things during that absence from an organized religion?
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#6
RE: Decline of religion
(July 20, 2022 at 6:01 am)BrianSoddingBoru4 Wrote:
(July 20, 2022 at 1:15 am)The Grand Nudger Wrote: Paganism, meanwhile, has seen gains of up to 1600% between census periods in recent years.  All hail to the lord and lady, or somesuch business.

https://bigthink.com/the-present/modern-paganism/

This strikes me as a good thing. In the main, pagans aren’t nearly as annoying as Abrahamics. No Wiccan has ever threatened me with eternal damnation for not harvesting belladonna in the prescribed manner.

Boru


My daughter asked me to buy her a book last night just released by a pagan/witch practitioner of some sort (I can't be more specific than that because I've reached the limit of my knowledge on it).  I bought it for her - I figured it's safer than a bible.  We have had many discussions where I explain that I don't buy into any of the supernatural aspects of her world view, but she can do whatever she feels is warranted based on her own personal experiences.  She just can't expect me to have anything confirming to say about it.  She understands that - she prefers it to (*cough*) other family members who try to get her to go to church instead.
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#7
RE: Decline of religion
It was aggressively marketed to females and teens. Think about that the next time some nutter complains that the satanists are coming after their daughters (if the migrants don't get them first!). For along while, it was dominated by female authors as a market, too. A single publishing house shaped much of contemporary paganism. Llwellyn.

Their editorial practices probably gave the movement the last bit of oomph it needed to compete with organized religions for the hearts and minds of people seeking alternatives to them, but it could have only been coincidentally, as they didn't set out to create any unified official or approved™ sense of paganism and the entire belief system stresses radical inclusion of wildly different beliefs - nearly all of which are available to atheists and theists alike - and in that movement those two groups do worship together. That's just how the cookies crumbled at barnes and noble.

Early adopters of contemporary feminism, lgbtq allieship..and an intense focus on and respect for the natural environment make it a religion almost (or..perhaps actually) test tubed for the current demographics of unaffiliated, undecideds, and nones in the us. It doesn't hurt that the demographics also overlap with relatively high levels of disposable cash.
I am the Infantry. I am my country’s strength in war, her deterrent in peace. I am the heart of the fight… wherever, whenever. I carry America’s faith and honor against her enemies. I am the Queen of Battle. I am what my country expects me to be, the best trained Soldier in the world. In the race for victory, I am swift, determined, and courageous, armed with a fierce will to win. Never will I fail my country’s trust. Always I fight on…through the foe, to the objective, to triumph overall. If necessary, I will fight to my death. By my steadfast courage, I have won more than 200 years of freedom. I yield not to weakness, to hunger, to cowardice, to fatigue, to superior odds, For I am mentally tough, physically strong, and morally straight. I forsake not, my country, my mission, my comrades, my sacred duty. I am relentless. I am always there, now and forever. I AM THE INFANTRY! FOLLOW ME!
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#8
RE: Decline of religion
-just continuing to ramble because it basically my favorite thing and has been my entire life, lol.....neo-paganism is, in short, exactly the kind of religion people come up with when their traditional religions are fading or dead. Christianity was once like neo-paganism, in it's own time, and also snatched up the space cleared by the failure of traditional beliefs and societies structured on them. It's also at least somewhat interesting to note that this stuff came from nowhere in 1950 to where it is in 2022 in about as much time as it took for christianity (we're told, at least) to go from a bakers dozen or so nutbars to a major religion with millions of adherents. Contemporary neo paganism is, like cargo cults, an impromptu live experiment in the process of religious construction.

I'd even say that contemporary paganism is the best evidence for the idea that a religion can go through periods of explosive but disorganized and possibly difficult to see growth in a short time. But that's not where the potential relationships stop. A survey that christian shaman put out of their own adherents and by their own metrics identified that the overwhelming majority of self professed christians had already incorporated neo pagan or new age beliefs that were directly antithetical to their nominal doctrinal faiths. The number of actual neopagans in this country may include a very healthy share of self identifying christians - hence the market for christian wicca and other equivalent syncretism.
I am the Infantry. I am my country’s strength in war, her deterrent in peace. I am the heart of the fight… wherever, whenever. I carry America’s faith and honor against her enemies. I am the Queen of Battle. I am what my country expects me to be, the best trained Soldier in the world. In the race for victory, I am swift, determined, and courageous, armed with a fierce will to win. Never will I fail my country’s trust. Always I fight on…through the foe, to the objective, to triumph overall. If necessary, I will fight to my death. By my steadfast courage, I have won more than 200 years of freedom. I yield not to weakness, to hunger, to cowardice, to fatigue, to superior odds, For I am mentally tough, physically strong, and morally straight. I forsake not, my country, my mission, my comrades, my sacred duty. I am relentless. I am always there, now and forever. I AM THE INFANTRY! FOLLOW ME!
Reply
#9
RE: Decline of religion
Christianity Declines While More Report Having ‘No Religion’ in Australia

The number of Australians moving away from religion is rising fast, with new statistics revealing that the proportion of Australians identifying as having ‘no religion’ has risen from merely 0.7 percent in 1961 to almost 40 percent 2021.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics’s census from five years earlier showed that the proportion of irreligious was at 30.1 percent and 22.3 percent ten years earlier.

“The decline in the proportion of Australians who say they are Christian—whether Catholic, Anglican or another denomination—coupled with a similarly sized increase in the number who tell us they have no religion, could reflect a growing level of genuine atheism or agnosticism,” he said.

If the current downward trend continues, the number of irreligious people will exceed the number of Christians by 2026, according to professor and head of law at the Sheridan Institute of Higher Education Augusto Zimmermann.

https://www.theepochtimes.com/christiani...67940.html

Interestingly, this other artile claims that nonreligion is even higher in Australia:

The latest census results are out and the number of Australians who selected "no religion" has risen again to 38.9%, up from 30.1% in 2016.

This makes them the second-largest "religious group" after Christians, who make up 43.9% of the population, down from 52.1% in 2016.

--- the effect ---

In the five years between the 2016 census and 2021 census, Australia saw a monumental shift in what might broadly be considered moral laws.

In December 2017 the definition of marriage was officially changed to being the union of two persons voluntarily entered into for life, regardless of gender.

But marriage equality is just the tip of the iceberg.

Euthanasia and abortion laws have also been reformed in the five years between the censuses.

Victoria, WA and Tasmania all passed laws to legalise euthanasia. Queensland and New South Wales have also passed similar laws since the 2021 census.

Abortion has been decriminalised in all states, with South Australia, NSW, the Northern Territory and Queensland all making reforms to their laws.

https://phys.org/news/2022-06-religion-a...upand.html
teachings of the Bible are so muddled and self-contradictory that it was possible for Christians to happily burn heretics alive for five long centuries. It was even possible for the most venerated patriarchs of the Church, like St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas, to conclude that heretics should be tortured (Augustine) or killed outright (Aquinas). Martin Luther and John Calvin advocated the wholesale murder of heretics, apostates, Jews, and witches. - Sam Harris, "Letter To A Christian Nation"
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#10
RE: Decline of religion
(July 20, 2022 at 9:33 am)TheJefe817 Wrote: My daughter asked me to buy her a book last night just released by a pagan/witch practitioner of some sort (I can't be more specific than that because I've reached the limit of my knowledge on it).  I bought it for her - I figured it's safer than a bible.  We have had many discussions where I explain that I don't buy into any of the supernatural aspects of her world view, but she can do whatever she feels is warranted based on her own personal experiences.  She just can't expect me to have anything confirming to say about it.  She understands that - she prefers it to (*cough*) other family members who try to get her to go to church instead.

You don't mention how old your daughter is, but if she's old enough for some serious reading I can recommend a good Druid.

https://www.ecosophia.net

This guy is seriously smart. If you click around on the links on his present page, you can find his various books and blog archives. 

If one of my family members got seriously into this kind of paganism it wouldn't be embarrassing.
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