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Churchgoing on its knees as Christianity falls out of favour - Comments

robotaholic's Avatar Comment 1 by robotaholic

if we're here in 2050 i'll be amazed

Thu, 08 May 2008 19:41:00 UTC | #168192

Goldy's Avatar Comment 2 by Goldy

Why worry. If recent local election results are anything to go by, I dare say things might get a bit uncomfortable for many who don't practise the local religion.
Besides, religon is for the backward and primitive. Which would rather be? :-)

Thu, 08 May 2008 19:45:00 UTC | #168195

dragonfirematrix's Avatar Comment 3 by dragonfirematrix

Why is Islam increasing?

Thu, 08 May 2008 19:52:00 UTC | #168198

robotaholic's Avatar Comment 4 by robotaholic

Something about a death cult is enticing I guess...

Thu, 08 May 2008 19:57:00 UTC | #168201

dr joneZ's Avatar Comment 5 by dr joneZ

The way they will have to organise it in the near future will have to be as follows: religion is something you do at home with the shutters closed and the curtains drawn and only ever between consenting adults. Children under the age of 18 are not to practise religion. Young people caught with Bibles, Qu'ran, Torah etc. will be subject to an age check by police.

As each walking-frame faith-head departs the planet we should be yelling "One more down! 1.2 billion to go!"

Thu, 08 May 2008 20:02:00 UTC | #168203

Carl Sai Baba's Avatar Comment 6 by Carl Sai Baba

dragonfirematrix asked
>> "Why is Islam increasing?"

I think a lot of it is immigration.

Thu, 08 May 2008 20:18:00 UTC | #168208

MPhil's Avatar Comment 7 by MPhil

The prevalence of Islam in western civilisation is increasing mainly because of the fact that Muslims have far more children than non-muslims... and yes, because of immigration, which in itself isn't a bad thing.

Thu, 08 May 2008 20:23:00 UTC | #168209

Andrew Stich's Avatar Comment 8 by Andrew Stich

Very interesting and surprising. Good point, MPhil, and I'm sure that you're right, but there must be some other cultural factors as to why Christianity is losing popularity so fast in Britain. Could it partially stem from the fact that England is a relatively secular nation wherein the natives are mostly Christian, and the Muslims tend to have families originating (in the recent past) in more religiously-intensive countries in the Middle-East, thereby making the Muslims on average more fundamenalist and therefore more likely to go to Church/Mosque ( and have more influence per person) than the Christians?

But yeah, of course, the number of Muslims is rising at a rate much faster than the number of Christians.

Thu, 08 May 2008 20:57:00 UTC | #168217

Andrew Stich's Avatar Comment 9 by Andrew Stich

I couldn't deduce much, though, seeing as how I'm not British. I can't say anything on the level of immigration, or what the difference is for rate of birth for Christians and Muslims in the UK.

Thu, 08 May 2008 21:01:00 UTC | #168218

fontor's Avatar Comment 10 by fontor

"Being religious is a way that you show you are different, that you are proud of your heritage. One of the ways young Muslims assert their identity is by being more observant than their parents."

This, for me, was the most depressing part of the article.

Sometimes I think that the only way to get rid of the religion memes is for all the believers to... well... die out. I hate saying it that way. Maybe I should say it'll happen through 'attrition' instead. Better to help them deconvert, of course. But it's awfully hard, the longer you go.

Sure, it's sad when people go. But an upside is that we get better memes, and I can't say I'm sorry to see the process happening.

Thu, 08 May 2008 21:05:00 UTC | #168219

MPhil's Avatar Comment 11 by MPhil

I wasn't trying to explain why Christianity is losing popularity, just why the percentage of Muslims is rising.

But if I was to try and give an answer to that - I would say it's because, just like in Sweden and Denmark (and Germany, but less so) - and in direct, stark contrast to the US, religion isn't free enterprise. It's a fixed social institution, linked with the government, it's in some way official.

Where religion is free market enterprise, there will be advertising, doing everything to get people to "buy" your "product" - including brainwashing etc (which is what advertising does, but in a slightly different way).

That's just one factor, but I think it's an important one. The prevalence of religious faith as a crutch, as a major pillar of personal life is also one. And I think it has to do with the above. Since in the UK, Denmark, Sweden, (Netherlands in general) it was and is somehow official, it was taken as a given, and something you have to keep sacred, to fight for and do destroy everything that threatens your personal faith, including indoctrinating your children as strongly as possible.

Of course I could be entirely wrong, but it seems to be a valid explanation to me.

Thu, 08 May 2008 21:15:00 UTC | #168222

MPhil's Avatar Comment 12 by MPhil

fontor,

I hope you're not saying we need to employ means to make them die out.

Thu, 08 May 2008 21:16:00 UTC | #168223

mordacious1's Avatar Comment 13 by mordacious1

The two islamic countries with nuclear weopons are: Pakistan and GREAT BRITAIN?

So the way we beat these bastards here in America should be to increase the price of their water. Never thought of that. You can live without modern conveniences but not without WATER! How can you baptize so many people if you don't have an abundance of free water? Cool.

Thu, 08 May 2008 21:17:00 UTC | #168224

Roy_H's Avatar Comment 14 by Roy_H

Well at least the indigenous population seems to be 'growing up' at long last.

Thu, 08 May 2008 21:20:00 UTC | #168225

Robert Maynard's Avatar Comment 15 by Robert Maynard

I guess it's just important to keep in mind that trends are highly uncertain projections based on current momentum.
I also found the passage about young people practicing Islam pretty depressing too, but ultimately, just look at the numbers.
1.96 million Muslims today, in a country of 58.8 million people. 2.6 million in 2050?
Oooga-booga-boo! I'm so scared!

[hopefully no one stumbles on this comment in 50 years when The United Caliphate rules the planet with an iron fist and is in the process of systematically erasing history, else they might get a chuckle] :P

Thu, 08 May 2008 21:28:00 UTC | #168227

Diacanu's Avatar Comment 16 by Diacanu

MPhil-


I hope you're not saying we need to employ means to make them die out.


Me, I'll just pray for it really hard.
B-)
;-)

Thu, 08 May 2008 21:43:00 UTC | #168229

MPhil's Avatar Comment 17 by MPhil

If ever the Kaaba should be physically destroyed, I bet their theology will just shift to say that what the angels are protecting is still there... it's in fact the non-physical, spiritual Kaaba.

:)

Thu, 08 May 2008 21:50:00 UTC | #168231

Fouad Boussetta's Avatar Comment 18 by Fouad Boussetta

"So long as churchgoing is something that gets you laughed at, so long as there is a social stigma attached to being a churchgoing young person, it will be difficult to reverse the trend."
Yes, ridicule may be the best weapon to phase out religion, more so than education. When the religious feel embarrassed or ashamed of their beliefs or practices, they will keep quiet and stop interfering with the lives of everyone else.

Thu, 08 May 2008 22:15:00 UTC | #168243

Barry Pearson's Avatar Comment 19 by Barry Pearson

PETITION:

There is a "10 Downing Street petition" calling for the disestablishment of the Church of England.
http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/churchofengland/

It closes 11 May 2008!

It is only open to UK citizens and ex-pats. I've just discovered it and signed it. Realistically, such petitions make little or no difference - Jeremy Clarkson isn't Prime Minister (yet).

Thu, 08 May 2008 22:41:00 UTC | #168252

Lisa Bauer's Avatar Comment 20 by Lisa Bauer

If ever the Kaaba should be physically destroyed, I bet their theology will just shift to say that what the angels are protecting is still there... it's in fact the non-physical, spiritual Kaaba.


Actually, the Kaaba has already been destroyed/demolished more than once since the time of Muhammad, during the civil wars in the early centuries of Islam; it was simply rebuilt.

(It is interesting to note just how many civil wars there were in the first 120 years of Islam's existence, each side hell-bent on gaining control of Islam's rapidly-expanding empire...so much for "all Muslims are brothers!")

Anyway, enough of this foul talk of nuclear weapons and Mecca, she said crossly...

Thu, 08 May 2008 23:09:00 UTC | #168257

riki's Avatar Comment 21 by riki

Personally I think immigration policies (for any country) should have stops and checks to ensure some degree of integration.

Thu, 08 May 2008 23:18:00 UTC | #168258

Styrer-'s Avatar Comment 22 by Styrer-

I don't think we are going to win this one, folks.

The faithoholics are just too numerous. Their numbers are increasing all the time.

Muslim numbers are increasing as we speak, more than any idea on the planet.

It's just a matter of time.

What's the fucking point in fighting it anymore.

Wish I knew where Steve Zara's watering hole was. I'd stand the first ten.

Waste of fucking effort.

Styrer

Thu, 08 May 2008 23:43:00 UTC | #168263

DamnDirtyApe's Avatar Comment 23 by DamnDirtyApe

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_England_from_the_2001_United_Kingdom_census#Religion

Do not worry.

3% Muslim, 15% NONE.

That's back in 2001. Before 9/11, before Bush's mania really took off, and before this movement. I really believe that 15% figure will skyrocket. I'd hope for something closer to 30%.

Fri, 09 May 2008 00:00:00 UTC | #168265

Rawhard Dickins's Avatar Comment 24 by Rawhard Dickins

Styrer

Don't give up mate!

Humanity is in it's adolescent phase (childhood was about 2000 years ago).

It just takes time and education and a lot more straight talking.

Fri, 09 May 2008 00:01:00 UTC | #168267

Naug's Avatar Comment 25 by Naug

Dragonfirematrix said:
Why is Islam increasing?

----

Because children tend to get their religion from their parents. Not rocket science :>

Fri, 09 May 2008 00:14:00 UTC | #168274

hungarianelephant's Avatar Comment 26 by hungarianelephant

I enjoyed this bit:

The Church of England disputed the forecasts last night. Lynda Barley, its head of research, said: "These statistics represent a partial picture of religious trends today. In recent years church life has significantly diversified so these traditional statistics are less and less meaningful in isolation.

Huh? What kind of management consultant gobledegook is that? Don't look at the figures, folks. It doesn't matter that people aren't coming to church, because they do ... er ... lots of other religious stuff. What do you mean, "what exactly"? It's diversified, I tell you. Now please leave me alone. I'm busy trying to leverage our customer focussed employees to deliver shareholder value.
"There are more than 1.7 million people worshipping in a Church of England church or cathedral each month, a figure that is 30 per cent higher [than the Sunday attendance figure used by Christian Research] and has remained stable since 2000. We have no reason to believe that this will drop significantly."

And I'm absolutely not going to tell you how we come to those figures. Well alright, we do a headcount. No, we don't know that those are 1.7 million different people. Yes, I suppose it's possible that we're counting people who come every week 4 times. Well, 8 times if they come twice. Look, it's the same way that airports count passenger numbers, alright? Please shut up.

Fri, 09 May 2008 00:21:00 UTC | #168277

PJG's Avatar Comment 27 by PJG

Martin Salter, the Labour MP for Reading West and a member of Reading inter-faith group, said: "I think all faiths could be treated equally under our constitution. These figures demonstrate the absurdity of favouring one brand of Christianity over other parts of the Christian faith and the many other religions that grace our shores."


I TOTALLY agree with this statement - all faiths should be treated equally.

All faiths/religious institutions should receive equal...

a) Respect
b) Financial support (including to faith schools)
c) Tax exemptions
d) Allowances (of any sort)

In all cases, the amount should be ZERO.

Fri, 09 May 2008 00:38:00 UTC | #168281

briancoughlanworldcitizen's Avatar Comment 28 by briancoughlanworldcitizen

15. Comment #177304 by Robert Maynard on May 8, 2008 at 10:28 pm
1.96 million Muslims today, in a country of 58.8 million people. 2.6 million in 2050?
Oooga-booga-boo! I'm so scared!


I share your terror Robert, these numbers are absolutely chilling!! Thank goodness Fanusi and other similarly concerned citizens are stridently sounding the alarm at every opportunity, people need to be warned of this pending apocalypse!

Fri, 09 May 2008 00:46:00 UTC | #168285

Quetzalcoatl's Avatar Comment 29 by Quetzalcoatl

He said that young Muslims operated in a different environment. "Being religious is a way that you show you are different, that you are proud of your heritage. One of the ways young Muslims assert their identity is by being more observant than their parents


This is interesting. It could be possible that the next generation of Muslims might assert their identities by being less observant than their parents.

Fri, 09 May 2008 00:47:00 UTC | #168287

Barry Pearson's Avatar Comment 30 by Barry Pearson

DamnDirtyApe said: I really believe that 15% figure will skyrocket. I'd hope for something closer to 30%.

A Eurobarometer survey in 2005 showed for the UK:
"I believe in God": 38%.
"I believe there is some sort of spirit or life force": 40%.
"I don't believe there is any sort of spirit, God or life force": 20%.
(Don't know: 2%).

http://ec.europa.eu/public_opinion/archives/ebs/ebs_225_report_en.pdf
See pages 9, 10.

See also the latest "Social Trends":
http://www.statistics.gov.uk/downloads/theme_social/Social_Trends38/Social_Trends_38.pdf
Page 190 repeats the 38% from the Eurobarometer.

38%! That is something for religious people to ponder. Just as that 40% is something for all of us to ponder.

Fri, 09 May 2008 00:50:00 UTC | #168289