The phenomenon of disappearing Christians seems to be a current British phenomenon (hurrah).
and why not in the USA too?
Please, let's spread this welcome trend worldwide. But why is it not happening like this in the United States?
In the Daily Telegraph of 16 December 2009 (on the front page) Martin Beckford, the Religious Affairs Correspondent, wrote:
“Only half of Britons consider themselves Christian, a sharp decline on 25 years ago, an academic study suggests.
One professorial analyst described a large proportion of the country as the “fuzzy faithful”, people who have a vague belief in god but do not belong to a particular denomination or attend services. However, most people still say religion helps bring happiness and comfort, and regret its declining influence on modern society.”
Sociology Professor David Voas, University of Manchester, analysed the data. He said: “More and more people are ceasing to identify with a religion at all. The key distinction in Britain now is between religious involvement and indifference.”
His analysis will be published in January 2010 by the National Centre for Social Research. It considers the results of 4486 interviews that were conducted in the respected survey on British Social Attitudes survey in 2008. It shows that just 50% of respondents call themselves Christian, which is down from 66% in 1983.
The proportion having “no religion” has risen from 31 to 43%. Non-Christians, including Muslims and Jews, represent 7% of the population, which is a steep rise from 2% 25 years ago and is largely due to Muslim immigration encouraged by the Labour government.
The steepest fall was among those who say they worship in the Church of England. This is down from 40% of those who call themselves Christians to 23%. Official church figures show that average Sunday attendance was 978,000 in 2007, compared with 1.2 million in 1983.
The proportion of Roman Catholics declined only slightly from 10 to 9%.This is partly because of a vast increase in the numbers of Catholic Poles and other eastern Europeans into Britain.
37% of people questioned “did not believe in god” or were unable to say whether some supreme being exists. 35% had a definite belief in god or a belief with “occasional doubts.”
A mighty 62% said they never attend services in a place of worship.
How different this is from the situation a century ago. And how different it is from the people of the Americas.