The declining number of people associated with religion

(aminds) IDK if this is the best place to put this so please move it if there is better place to put it

I think many of us know that as of recent times people who are associated with religion has gone down, and the younger people are the less people are associated with religion.

here is an indepth look at what i’m talking about

pewforum.org/Age/Religion-Among-the-Millennials.aspx

but I have a couple of questions for you.

first how should we address this problem we have in the church?

will the problem get big enough that religion is an after thought and not that big of a deal in the world, just a small handful of people follow it.

will we ever see a reverse in trend, meaning the next generation will have less non believers in the generation before it?

also how do you see the current younger generation? I would guess high school and college age kids.

do you think they are more on fire for their faith then previous generations, and when they get into positions where they could drastically change the church they will, bring the church back to the way it should be and increase membership. (I hold this view, IDK if being part of the generation makes my opinion not a good one)

do you think that they are less on fire then previous generations, and when they get into positions where they could change the church they won’t do much and you are worried about the future of the church.

do you have the same hope I think JPII had for the young people?

thanks for any comments.

but here are my :twocents:

I think that the younger generation high school and college age kids are really going to save the church.

when I look at my own diocese I notice that the younger priest are the more on fire ones the priest I more look up to (my age probably has something to do with it.) But these young priest give me a great hope for the churches future. note: there are plenty of older good priest.

also when I go to youth rally’s and conferences and such the amount of on fire youth also gives me lots of hope.

also probably something that gives me the most hope ever is the amount of people who are discerning religious vocations.

A year or two ago the arch bishop of New Orleans he is now retired, was brought to tears by the number of teens who said they where interested in religious vocations.

from what I see I think God is using my generation people now in high school and college to re-spark the church and bring people back to the church. I think in my life time we will see a reversal in percentages of people calling themselves as unaffiliated with religion.

do you have the same opinion as me.

The number one factor influencing whether or not a children will advance toward adult faith formation and a connection or reconnection to religion is…

Their father’s participation at Church services!

Influence of men on church attendance

"Switzerland released a study in 2000 which concluded that the religious practice of the father of the family that, above all, determines the future attendance at or absence from church of the children.

If both father and mother attend regularly, 33 percent of their children will end up as regular churchgoers, and 41 percent will end up attending irregularly. A quarter of their children will end up not practicing at all.

If the father is irregular and mother regular, 3 percent of the children will subsequently become regulars themselves, while a further 59 percent will become irregulars. Thirty-eight percent will be lost.

If the father is non-practicing and mother regular, 2 percent of children will become regular worshippers, and 37 percent will attend irregularly. Over 60 percent of their children will be lost completely to the church.

In short, if a father does not go to church, no matter how faithful his wife’s devotions, only one child in 50 will become a regular worshipper.

If a father does go regularly, regardless of the practice of the mother, between two-thirds and three-quarters of their children will become churchgoers (regular and irregular).

If a father goes but irregularly to church, regardless of his wife’s devotion, between a half and two-thirds of their offspring will find themselves coming to church regularly or occasionally.

A non-practicing mother with a regular father will see a minimum of two-thirds of her children ending up at church. In contrast, a non-practicing father with a regular mother will see two-thirds of his children will not go to church. If his wife is similarly negligent that figure rises to 80 percent.[22][23]

  1. The Truth About Men & Church On the Importance of Fathers to Churchgoing By Robbie Low

  2. CHURCH ATTENDANCE: The family, feminism and the declining role of fatherhood By Richard Egan "

Retrieved from “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Church_attendance

In a worldwide scale, there isn’t really a decline. The Catholic Church has been gaining ground in places where there was hardly any Catholics in the past. On the other hand, many members in traditionally Catholic countries are leaving the Church.

I’m with you Catholictiger. I have great hope in a new evangilazation of the Church. There are many great things happening out there within the church. As we see many of the more liberal prochoice/proevil memebers of the church leave, the Church only becomes stronger and more vibrant. Great truths can been seen in the church more clearly. For the western church many of its congregation will grow because of this. As the secular society moves further away from truth and God, Christianity will be more persecuted especailly the Church. As this happens people will start to fall on each side of the fence. AS the people fall on the side of the fence where the CHurch is found, more and more people will be able to see the truth of which the Church speaks. most smaller protestant religion can not whether this kind of storm. The Anglican congregation is a great example of this. This sect is clearly old and tired having a hard time keeping itself together. More and more of this will happen.

Now that the Barque of Peter has been anchored to the two massive pillars upon which rests our Lord & Lady, the troubled waters crashing around us will only cause us discomfort. If any of the smaller ships want to stay afloat in this torential storm they must anchor to the Barque or be lost to the storm.

God Bless.:thumbsup:

CatholicTiger
I am not of your generation, but of an older one. I don’t see many young ones at Mass so I am hoping they attend a later one than I do. All of the priests at my church, (there are 4), are younger than me. You are right, they are full of fire, dedicated, compassionate, willing to give their time, and all are very pious. I just love them all.

Fr. Barron said last night only 23% of Catholics regularly attend Mass; 48% believe in pre-marital sex; and 31% are pro-abortion. This is scary,
He also presented a list of government decisions that affect religion starting in 1962 with school prayer; some affecting the Lord’s Prayer, the Ten Commandments, and in 1973 Roe v. Wade. Seems odd all these happened after Vat II.

Our children need better guidance from their parents, many of whom are not properly catechized. Our Catholic schools need to be CATHOLIC. They are afraid to teach certain things, i.e., mortal sin, abstinence and others. We don’t even get catechizing in the sermons.
I do have hope for the church. It will always be persecuted but will rise in the end to glory.

A pro-choice politician looked out at the March for Life this weekend, and she couldn’t help but notice that the majority of the crowd was young people.

At Pope John Paul II’s funeral in 2005, roughly 70% of those who attended were age 25 or under.

At National Catholic Youth Conference in Kansas City in November 2009, the communion distribution lasted roughly 2 hours. And after Jason Evert made a speech, the confession lines went out of the Sprint Center and out onto the street.

I’m almost 19, and I say to the Church: The '60s are over, and the future is bright.

John 17: 14-19 especialy verse 19 "I have given them thy word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I do not pray that thou shouldst take them out of the world, but that thou shouldst keep them from the evil one.** Sanctify them in the truth; thy word is truth. ** As thou didst send me into the world,** so I have sent them into the world. [19] And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be consecrated in truth.**

I certainly agree with yor acessment that The Youth DO HAVE a Powerful and meaninful role to play. May God give all you the GRACE you’ll need and the RIGHT Wisdom and TRUE Understanding, that ONLY God can provide. BUT this will not happen withour MUCH prayer and sacrifice.

As a Grandpa, I don’t have the contact with youth like I did when I was teaching them.

I suspect some Do, BUT remain in the minoriy of he population; which is not something to be concerned about. Our Faith was founded on mere fishermen and sinners The TWELVE Apostles [leaving out Judas the traitor] and adding in St. Paul, were all that God needed
then and He NO DOUBT can accomplish His will with those who are truly On Fire; and STAY comitted to the cause.:thumbsup:

God Bless You all!
Pat

This point has probably been made a hundred times or more by the time I post this, but I feel moved to comment. I am a colelge student, I can’t really afford to go to a more Religious college. But the atmosphere there (surprise) is overwhelmingly anti-religious. Of course, I am advancing toward a degree in education. The fact of the matter is that there are so many liberal influences in society that there is no way to pinpoint them, and if there were, someone would have surely done it by now. Religion is shot down in the media, the Church has become a laughing stock for comedians. The “evils” of religion are constantly portrayed on television. There are more subtle nuances in the media. Has anyone ever tried to learn about Religion from the History channel? There is no longer any acceptable objective truth in society. In college, where I am told most people lose their faith, it is easier to lose it because of the “free-speaking” and “free-thinking” atmosphere. Of course, the irony is that there isn’t a lot of free-speech in secularism. If you don’t believe evolution was the best thing to happen on this side of reality than you’re labelled a kook and people automatically assume you drink Kool-Aid from a styrophome cup while wearing white robes in a rented gymnasium to wait for the mother-ship to take you to Kolob. I’m currently enrolled in a “fair and balanced” Intro to American Education class. Supposedly the Conservative and Liberal sides were given equal airtime, but roughly twenty minutes was left to the defence of Conservatism while the remaining two-hours and forty minutes were left to the Liberals. At least a half hour of the Liberal point was devoted to insult all forms of Religious thought. The amount of peer-pressure to give up and give in to the hedonism of secular life is very prominent. I thank God that He already cured me of my atheism before I entered college, otherwise, there probably wouldn’t have been much in the way of going back to God. I think another reason for the depopularisation of Religion is the flimsiness of the Church in certain aspects. There are certain aspects of Dogma and Doctrine that are only vaguely discussed. I have been attending Services at my Parish for close to a year now, and they’ve mentioned Hell three times, there has been no mention of Purgatory, there is no Marian devotion except to mention that she is the Theotokos (that word not used) around Christmas. There is a great deal of dissent in the Church, I think, because our culture values relativism and political correctness far more than it does Truth. It’s easier to remain silent and avoid insulting someone than it is to do what is right. If there was anything I learned as a heathen it’s that we shouldn’t expect God to do for us what we won’t do for ourselves. We have a duty to uphold the stances and expectations He left with us. I think we would do well to learn from the Evangelicals, the lot of them seem to be outspoken and utterly confident in God being in their side. Where Christ established His Church on Cephas, Peter shouldn’t we be all the more confident than the apostate and heretics? If we had more organisations like EWTN and the The Presence (my local Catholic radio station) than we’d be a lot more liable to be taken seriously. If every Parish donated a little bit of money to make programmes like the YRM (Yahweh’s Restoration Ministry, which is a Messianic Jewish outreach sort of group that offers free tracts, DVDs, CDs, pamphlets and apologetics) than we would be ahead of the game. Someday, when I’m not making 7.50 an hour to pay for College, my truck and gas, than I would love to put money into a Catholic version of an evangelic outreach, but unfortunately, I don’t think a couple bucks a week is going to spread the Word very far. Which is why the actions of the institutional Church are so very important. The Catholic and Orthodox Churches are the most logical and intellectual of Churches, but only the Catholic Church has the proper historicity to back up her claims. The Popes John Paul and Benedict have been doing wonderful work, as have Father Corapi and Tim Staples, Marcus Grodi and all the other TV Catholics, but they’re constantly smeared by detractors. If we could properly illustrate that detraction is the only weapon the enemy has, than we wouldn’t have much to worry about. Well, anyway, I guess I’d thrown in my two bent cents.

God bless,

Thanks. Your post has made my day. :slight_smile:

In my humble opinion, I’d have to say that in an increasingly complex world its easier to find both positive and negative signs for the Church. But, I’d have to say there are still more negative signs and impacts to the Church than positive.

On the plus side:
The Sex Abuse Crises has just about ended (in the U.S.)… with only 6 accusations made in 2010 I think. And the majority of all the coverage still on priests in the 60s and 70s. This is because Bishops acted fast (in terms of the Church)… So, 50 years later the US conference of Bishops has actually set itself as an example for the worldwide Church to follow in all the measures its put in place to have better clergy, and punish the filth quicker… so this should resonate to other countries, and eventually even the public will see that the media criticism of the Church is unfounded and becoming irrelevant to the situation today.

Furthermore, the clarity of doctrine and orthodoxy remain in the Vatican. Its always heartening to me that any cleric or prelate need only look to Rome to see how things are done.

On the negative side:
While gains are being made in poorer countries (Africa and Asia), and the majority of South America remains steadfast to the faith for the same reason… I wonder if any “modernized” country will ever revert to truly turning to God on everything. There are so many distractions with secularism and increased living standards, that it seems easier than ever to fall into sin. The Church has a narrative of how society can beat secularism, and it has a plan to fill the gap of what to replace secularism with. However, the trend of secularization doesn’t seem to reverse itself. Even countries like Ireland, the Phillipines, and Malta may soon pass laws contrary to Church teaching. And I can’t think of when a country last made secular laws on abortion or IVF or contraception and then later fully illegalized abortion, IVF, or contraception.

So yes, while the Church is clearly making gains in Africa, Asia, and still holds significant clout in South America… Catholics in Europe and America need to learn that these people’s way of life is superior to ours relatively speaking. All the talk of how the 1950’s was the ideal America (before the sex revolution, etc), or maybe the early 1900’s or the later half of the 19th century. The society in Europe and America in the past were similar to how people live today in South America: manufacturing jobs, a poorer standard of living because it was Industrial and post-Industrial. Not the digital age or “post modernism”.

The trend of globalization is clear: Africa, South America, Asia… they want to become like the USA and Europe. By in large materialism, consumerism, multiculturalism, political correctness, all the things which characterize a secular lifestyle will spread to these places if people in traditionally Catholic countries don’t realize that they are not the example anymore. Catholics in these new areas are now representative of the lifestyle which the Church supports. So the ‘old guard’ of the Church better start to reform their lives, live off of less, start rejecting materialism, start living a more austere life in order to more fully listen to what Jesus Christ calls us to. Matthew 6:19-25.

In developed countries young people seem to be turning away from religion. I know a lot of people between the ages of 22 and 26 and I can’t honestly name one of them that has strong religions beliefs (unless I were to count staunch atheists). The world is not the same as it once was. There are a lot more skeptics around now and the internet is fueling religious skepticism. People like Dawkins and Hitchens are convincing people that God does not exist by the thousands. These people will then raise their children as atheists and so on and so forth. In the next 10-20 years religion will be at an all time low in developed nations.

=John Carlton;7498366]This point has probably been made a hundred times or more by the time I post this, but I feel moved to comment. I am a colelge student, I can’t really afford to go to a more Religious college. But the atmosphere there (surprise) is overwhelmingly anti-religious. Of course, I am advancing toward a degree in education. The fact of the matter is that there are so many liberal influences in society that there is no way to pinpoint them, and if there were, someone would have surely done it by now. Religion is shot down in the media, the Church has become a laughing stock for comedians. The “evils” of religion are constantly portrayed on television. There are more subtle nuances in the media. Has anyone ever tried to learn about Religion from the History channel? There is no longer any acceptable objective truth in society. In college, where I am told most people lose their faith, it is easier to lose it because of the “free-speaking” and “free-thinking” atmosphere. Of course, the irony is that there isn’t a lot of free-speech in secularism. If you don’t believe evolution was the best thing to happen on this side of reality than you’re labelled a kook and people automatically assume you drink Kool-Aid from a styrophome cup while wearing white robes in a rented gymnasium to wait for the mother-ship to take you to Kolob. I’m currently enrolled in a “fair and balanced” Intro to American Education class. Supposedly the Conservative and Liberal sides were given equal airtime, but roughly twenty minutes was left to the defence of Conservatism while the remaining two-hours and forty minutes were left to the Liberals. At least a half hour of the Liberal point was devoted to insult all forms of Religious thought. The amount of peer-pressure to give up and give in to the hedonism of secular life is very prominent. I thank God that He already cured me of my atheism before I entered college, otherwise, there probably wouldn’t have been much in the way of going back to God. I think another reason for the depopularisation of Religion is the flimsiness of the Church in certain aspects. There are certain aspects of Dogma and Doctrine that are only vaguely discussed. I have been attending Services at my Parish for close to a year now, and they’ve mentioned Hell three times, there has been no mention of Purgatory, there is no Marian devotion except to mention that she is the Theotokos (that word not used) around Christmas. There is a great deal of dissent in the Church, I think, because our culture values relativism and political correctness far more than it does Truth. It’s easier to remain silent and avoid insulting someone than it is to do what is right. If there was anything I learned as a heathen it’s that we shouldn’t expect God to do for us what we won’t do for ourselves. We have a duty to uphold the stances and expectations He left with us. I think we would do well to learn from the Evangelicals, the lot of them seem to be outspoken and utterly confident in God being in their side. Where Christ established His Church on Cephas, Peter shouldn’t we be all the more confident than the apostate and heretics? If we had more organisations like EWTN and the The Presence (my local Catholic radio station) than we’d be a lot more liable to be taken seriously. If every Parish donated a little bit of money to make programmes like the YRM (Yahweh’s Restoration Ministry, which is a Messianic Jewish outreach sort of group that offers free tracts, DVDs, CDs, pamphlets and apologetics) than we would be ahead of the game. Someday, when I’m not making 7.50 an hour to pay for College, my truck and gas, than I would love to put money into a Catholic version of an evangelic outreach, but unfortunately, I don’t think a couple bucks a week is going to spread the Word very far. Which is why the actions of the institutional Church are so very important. The Catholic and Orthodox Churches are the most logical and intellectual of Churches, but only the Catholic Church has the proper historicity to back up her claims. The Popes John Paul and Benedict have been doing wonderful work, as have Father Corapi and Tim Staples, Marcus Grodi and all the other TV Catholics, but they’re constantly smeared by detractors. If we could properly illustrate that detraction is the only weapon the enemy has, than we wouldn’t have much to worry about. Well, anyway, I guess I’d thrown in my two bent cents.

God bless,

THANKS for the reality check:eek:

Stay close to God and He’ll stay close to you.

God Bless,
Pat

I’ve seen a few of these people. I’m almost 19, they don’st seem to think for themselves. Their arguments are almost always parroting Dawkins or Hitchens; apparently they think it makes them look smart. If not, they get their opinions on religion from 4Chan. Either way, they are highly opinionated on religion, which they know nothing about and don’t want to know anything about. They’re completely asinine.

Are you serious?

newser.com/story/101652/atheists-know-the-most-about-religion-study.html

From my experience a lot of staunch atheists used to be very religious. Most atheists that I know actually know more about religion than most people sitting in church every Sunday.

As for not thinking for themselves, I could just as easily say that about the people that follow the pope’s teachings.

What I mean by this is not that you’re not allowed to learn from the experts. That’s how you learn anything. What I mean by this is that they will try to bash religion by taking verbatim excerpts from The God Delusion and think that it makes them smart. Other than that, they will simply call names (Jason Evert’s booklet Pure Manhood on Amazon was labeled by an atheist “homophobic, religious bigotry”, which obviously shows that this person didn’t read it, because there is like 2 paragraphs on homosexuality, and they are kindly and respectful.

You are generalizing atheists. When large numbers of atheists are polled it is quite obvious that they are far from ignorant about religion as you suggested.

Just read this quote from the article:

*Why are non-believers so knowledgeable? Probably because most grew up religious, but turned from the faith after study and soul-searching, says one Pew researcher. “These are people who thought a lot about religion.”
*

Many atheists have thought long and hard about religion. At this point I would consider myself an agnostic atheist and I have spent countless hours contemplating religion. I even have a BA in religious studies.

Obviously there are some atheists that just want to be rebellious and aren’t very knowledgeable, but there are a whole lot of atheists that know the bible and Church history better than 90% of people going to church every Sunday. For a rational person to reject something, they need to know a lot about it. There are plenty of people that go to church every Sunday and don’t even think about religion elsewhere. In fact, according to a study quoted in a book I have begun reading (How God Changes Your Brain) the people who contemplate religion and God the most are the ones that are most likely to change their views. So you are going to have people that study up on religion and embrace it and people that study up on religion and reject it. So it is easy to see how atheists, as a general group, are usually quite knowledgeable about religion.

So they grew up in the faith, and then turned away. Big deal. It happens all the time. Richard Dawkins was raised in the Church of England. And his knowledge of religion has been proven faulty by multiple Christian apologists (see Scott Hahn, Dinesh D’Souza, Thomas Crean, Patrick Madrid, or Kevin Vost).

With me, the opposite happened. I went to CCD and was confirmed, and then stopped practicing. About a year and a half ago, I started going to Mass again, knowing hardly anything about the faith. Now, I know a lot about it, and I have even practiced it. I have weighed the alternatives and come to the conclusion that being a Christian is the only way to live. In fact, I feel it’s the only thing that’s keeping me from completely losing my mind.

Maybe our opposing views on atheism comes from which types of atheists we are talking about. You may be one of those atheists that knows a lot about religion and associate with others like you. I, however, am part of the younger generation. Most of my encounters with atheists are online, therefore I tend to run into the arrogant, dumb, hedonistic college kid ones.

It all depends on why you are studying religion. You, for example, have a degree in religious studies. did you get that degree just because the comparative religions interested you?

I, on the other hand, study my religion because my life revolves around it. Ever since I started practicing my Catholic faith, I’ve become a happier, healthier, smarter, and much more likeable person.

So it all depends on what you mean by “religious”. Do you mean a guy like me, who gets up at 5 am to go to adoration?

I feel a need to address this, albeit anecdotally. I know many people who have left the Church. Many. They are people who were studying for the priesthood, had done well in their religious studies in Catholic schools, even who had won accolades in their knowledge of Catholic theology. Each and every one of them had deep and serious considerations about their faith. They were intelligent, some exceptionally so. Some even had profound mystical experiences. All of them reported that in the face of their considerations that the Church was either not helpful, failed to specifically address their issues, or even directly contradicted their experience. The ones I am still in contact with do not, to all appearances, have any regret, remorse, or second thoughts about leaving. They universally acknowledge God, even if it is no longer for some of them the Christian God of our Bible. All of them are very spiritual and even write religious poetry, drama, teach comparative religion in one case, and some have or are members of study groups that seriously study religious literature including Catholic as well as other tradition. In short, many are to all appearances more religious than the habitual religious one sees in any faith. They simply no longer adhere to Catholicism or any other denomination as such.

There are other studies than the pew poll that are relative to general intelligence and ability to articulate religious ideas, ( sorry, I’ve misplaced those links, so don’t take my word…) fundamentalist Christians are at the bottom and atheist and agnostics at the top. This bears out the OP’s statement and is extremely worrisome in terms of the composition of the laity. And most Catholics now reside, I understand, in third world countries.

So whatever it is that is going on, the Church has a lot on its plate to deal with in these terms.

If I was a company and was loosing employees like that, I would have some serious questions to ask. But the Church is not an employer. You do the do or you aren’t in, even if you still tacitly bear the label. For my part, argument based on dogma and tradition is useless with these people, as thy are both emotionally and intellectually convinced of their way.

I’m sorry, but I feel inclined to remind everyone that the purpose of this post is the phenomenon of people in the young demographics (like myself) who turn away from the faith… or who would otherwise have been Christian.
Its not about Atheists that happen to know a lot about religion. The intellect of atheists is quite frankly irrelevant here. The question is WHY are younger people leaving the Church? Looking at the last 4 posts, I don’t see that question being answered, unless it is as subtle as the morning dew.

I would like to touch on 2 points here.

  1. I find a theme mentioned often enough here from people disparaging “believers in the 3rd world”, and acting like you have to have a religious education if not undertake a scholarly following in theology and the history of Christianity, in order to be a true follower of Christ. I see no basis for this belief in either the Bible or Church tradition. Let us not forget: :bible1:John 4:53:bible1:

When the man’s son is saved by Jesus, and his whole house converts (wife, family, servants) are the servants not as fully Christian as the Disciples? Just because we have the internet today doesn’t mean we should talk down to people who have experienced a more traditional path to be in the Lord’s flock. How can someone be blind in their faith, when Jesus Christ is himself the truth?
I don’t think it is the Christian’s duty to be able to defeat the propositions of any other belief system… seeing as Catholicism is meant to eventually be a universally believed idea.:highprayer:

  1. Secondly, the intent of the OP in general is aimed at the problem of the loss of people from the flock. Now, I’m no expert on end times predictions or anything like that. But, of the many narratives and speculations I’ve heard about the end times:whistle:, is that those faithful to the Lord will become very few in number before the reckoning.

On that note, does anyone believe the declining number of people associated with religion is not a problem, but is determined by God? I sometimes think that could be the case.:twocents:

= ?

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