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Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Will 21st century cultural/ideological convergence grind down atheism at an accelerating pace?

Earlier in the day, I created a post entitled Ideological convergence will grind down atheism in the 21st century which cited the work of various scholars.  If you haven't done so already, please read that article before reading the remainder of this article.

Question: Will the pace of cultural/ideological convergence grind down atheism at an accelerated rate in the 21st century?

Consider:

1.  In 2011, the American Spectator declared:
The report estimates about 80,000 new Christians every day, 79,000 new Muslims every day, and 300 fewer atheists every day. These atheists are presumably disproportionately represented in the West, while religion is thriving in the Global South, where charismatic Christianity is exploding."
Now I don't know if the number of atheists is decreasing in absolute number due the explosive growth of Christianity in China and the existence of state atheism in China, but as a percentage of the world's population atheism is seeing a decline. See:  Growth of Christianity in China and Desecularization

 2.  The American sociologist and author Peter L. Berger introduced the concept of desecularization in 1999.  According to Berger, "One can say with some confidence that modern Pentecostalism must be the fastest growing religion in human history."

Phillip Jenkins published the book The Next Christendom: The Coming of Global Christianity.

Chuck Colson, citing the work of Jenkins, writes:

As Penn State professor Philip Jenkins writes in The Next Christendom: The Coming of Global Christianity, predictions like Huntingtons betray an ignorance of the explosive growth of Christianity outside of the West.

For instance, in 1900, there were approximately 10 million Christians in Africa. By 2000, there were 360 million. By 2025, conservative estimates see that number rising to 633 million. Those same estimates put the number of Christians in Latin America in 2025 at 640 million and in Asia at 460 million.

According to Jenkins, the percentage of the worlds population that is, at least by name, Christian will be roughly the same in 2050 as it was in 1900. By the middle of this century, there will be three billion Christians in the world -- one and a half times the number of Muslims. In fact, by 2050 there will be nearly as many Pentecostal Christians in the world as there are Muslims today.

3.  If the religious and/or religious immigrants and their descendants continue to grow in secular places like Europe and China, they will have more power to influence the media (who are dependent on advertisers so they will not want to offend the religious)  and government as far as religious freedom.

Conclusion:

So given the much higher daily increase of the religious per day in the world, I would argue and their attendant growing influence on media, government, etc., I would argue that pace of global desecularization and the expected desecularization of the Western World in the 21st century would happen at an increasing rate during the 21st century

For more information, please see:

Growth of global desecularization

Acceleration of 21st century desecularization



Eric Kaufmann: Shall the Religious Inherit the Earth?

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