12 May 2016

The Rise Of The Nones?

Secularism is swiftly becoming the norm in Western Europe and Japan, and is becoming significantly more common in many places in world.  But, signals are mixed in much of the world as well.

The story does not discuss, however, the surge in Christianity generally in Africa, or the rise of Evangelical Christianity in lieu of Roman Catholicism in Latin America, or the massive return to religion from Soviet era levels in the former Soviet Union and to a lesser extent in China.  South Korea's mild step towards secularization, likewise follows a surge in Christian adherence in the 20th century that made it the Asian country with the highest percentage of Christians by far.

It isn't clear if there have been any shifts in religious adherence in predominantly Muslim and Hindu areas where religion has also become far more entangled in politics and nationalistic struggles.

* For the first time in Norwegian history, there are more atheists and agnostics than believers in God. 
* For the first time in British history, there are now more atheists and agnostics than believers in God. And church attendance rates in the UK are at an all-time low, with less than 2% of British men and women attending church on any given Sunday. 
* A recent survey found that 0% of Icelanders believe that God created the Earth. That’s correct: 0%. And whereas 20 years ago, 90% of Icelanders claimed to be religious, today less than 50% claim to be. 
* Nearly 70% of the Dutch are not affiliated with any religion, and approximately 700 Protestant churches and over 1,000 Catholic churches are expected to close within the next few years throughout the Netherlands, due to low attendance. 
* According to a recent Eurobarometer Poll, 19% of Spaniards, 24% of Danes, 26% of Slovenians, 27% of Germans and Belgians, 34% of Swedes, and 40% of the French, claim to not believe in “any sort of spirit, God, or life-force.”
North America
* In the United States, somewhere between 23% and 28% of American adults have no religious affiliation, and these so-called “nones” are not only growing in number, but they are becoming increasingly secular in their behaviors and beliefs. 
* Among Millennials - Americans in their 20s - over 35% are non-religious, constituting the largest cohort of secular men and women in the nation’s history. 
* In Canada, back in 1991, 12% of adults stated “none,” when asked their religion - today that is up to 24%.
Latin America and the Caribbean
* In South America, 7% of men and women in Mexico, 8% in Brazil, 11% in Argentina, 12% in El Salvador, 16% in Chile, 18% in the Dominican Republic, and 37% in Uruguay are non-religious — the highest such rates of Latin American secularity ever recorded. 
* Over 20% of Jamaicans are now non-religious.
Australia and New Zealand
* In Australia, 15% of the population said they had no religion in 2001, and it is up to at least 22% today. 
* In New Zealand, 30% of the population claimed no religion in 2001, but it had risen to 42% in 2013.  
East Asia
* In Japan, about 70% of adults claimed to hold personal religious beliefs sixty years ago, but today, that figure is down to only about 20%; In 1970 there were 96,000 Buddhist temples throughout Japan, but in 2007, there were 75,866 - and around 20,000 of those were un-staffed, with no resident priest. In the 1950s, over 75% of Japanese households had a kamidana (Shinto altar), but by 2006 this was down to 44% nationwide, and only 26% in major cities. 
* While 11% of South Koreans were atheists in 2005, that has increased to at least 15% as of late, and the percentage of South Koreans who described themselves as religious has dropped from 58% to 52% over the past decade. 
* Over 50% of Chinese adults are secular (although in Communist dictatorships where religion is officially oppressed, valid information on people’s religiosity is always hard to come by).
* In Africa, while religiosity remains high, there are none the less growing pockets of irreligion: over 5% of the those in Ghana claim to have no religion, and 9% of people in Madagascar and Tanzania, and 11% of people in Gabon and Swaziland are now non-religious. 
* Approximately 20% of Botswanans now claim to have no religion. 
Per the Huffington Post.

No comments: