Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 2 Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn Share on Reddit Tell A Friend Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites
OpEdNews Op Eds

Exodus: Is the Christian church losing critical mass?

By       Message Rakesh Krishnan Simha       (Page 1 of 2 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   59 comments

Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; (more...) , Add Tags  (less...)
Add to My Group(s)

Must Read 4   Well Said 4   Interesting 3  
View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com Headlined to H1 8/14/10

Author 20636
Become a Fan
  (5 fans)
- Advertisement -

Is Christianity facing an exodus of, well, Biblical proportions?

There are clear signs that the passion of Jesus's followers is ebbing and the congregation is losing critical mass.

On July 28, in a spectacular renunciation of her faith, celebrated Christian author Anne Rice announced on Facebook that she was quitting the Roman Catholic Church.

- Advertisement -

Rice wrote: "For those who care, and I understand if you don't: Today I quit being a Christian. I'm out. I remain committed to Christ as always but not to being 'Christian' or to being part of Christianity. It's simply impossible for me to 'belong' to this quarrelsome, hostile, disputatious, and deservedly infamous group. For ten years, I've tried. I've failed. I'm an outsider. My conscience will allow nothing else."

She also pointed to recent statements from several radical Christian groups that have threatened the lives of gay citizens. "In the name of Christ, I refuse to be anti-gay. I refuse to be anti-feminist. I refuse to be anti-artificial birth control. I refuse to be anti-Democrat. I refuse to be anti-secular humanism. I refuse to be anti-science. I refuse to be anti-life," she added.

In yet another celebrated case, in August, 42-year-old Hollywood actress Julia Roberts declared she, her husband and their three children were practising Hindus. Roberts, who was born to Baptist and Catholic parents in Bible belt Georgia, is thought to have made the religious conversion while in India where she was shooting her new film, Eat, Pray, Love, in which she plays a woman hoping to find herself through Hindu spirituality.

- Advertisement -

Heartland Crisis
While these high-profile exits, coming shortly after the damaging exposes of rampant pedophilia in Christian churches worldwide, have no doubt caused disquiet in the over 2000-year-old faith, it is the less publicized but inexorable exit of once staunch members that is a pointer to the real crisis.

According to the 2009 American Religious Identification Survey, the number of Americans who claim no religious affiliation has nearly doubled since 1990, rising from 8 to 15 percent. Overall, the percentage of self-identified Christians has fallen 10 percentage points since 1990, from 86 to 76 percent.

The proportion of Americans who think religion "can answer all or most of today's problems" is now at a historic low of 48 percent. Meanwhile, the number of people willing to describe themselves as atheist or agnostic has increased nearly fourfold from 1990 to 2009, from 1 million to about 3.6 million.

Worse, the biggest decline in US church affiliation was concentrated in the north-east, America's Christian heartland. This massive decline in the Mayflower sector, where Christians first settled has caused acute anguish among conservative Christian leaders who fear America will soon become a post-Christian country.

Of course, there is denial. Christian commentators like to talk about revolving door membership, that people quitting the traditional churches are signing up at Born Again denominations. Sure, more than 34 percent of adult church goers today consider themselves Born Again or Evangelical Christians, but as the surveys says, "The challenge to Christianity in the US does not come from other religions but rather from a rejection of all forms of organized religion."

- Advertisement -

Indeed, 27 percent of Americans do not expect a religious funeral at their death, indicating that they dismiss Christianity's zero-sum offer of heaven or hell.

European Sector
Across the Atlantic, Northern Europe is a virtual graveyard of abandoned churches. Further south, in predominantly Catholic Italy, over 60 percent of Italians have stopped attending confession. An entire generation of European Catholics has become indifferent -- or openly hostile -- to the church,mainly because of the sexual abuse of young children by priests.

Next Page  1  |  2

 

- Advertisement -

Must Read 4   Well Said 4   Interesting 3  
View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com

Rakesh Krishnan Simha is a New Zealand-based writer.

Rakesh Krishnan Simha Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

STAY IN THE KNOW
If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
Name
Email
   (Opens new browser window)
 

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

BRICS: Shaking the world order

Exodus: Is the Christian church losing critical mass?

Mother Teresa: Giving Charity an Uncharitable Name

The Bilderberg Group: Sealing the world's fate behind closed doors

How India's Cold Start is Turning the Heat on Pakistan

Welcome to Colonialism 2.0