Post Author: Bill Pratt
Reports like this must cause Dawkins foot soldiers massive indigestion. The standard atheist dogma is that religious belief is on the decline and will eventually die out altogether. According to the study titled “Christianity In Its Global Context, 1970-2010,” conducted by the Center for the Study of Global Christianity at Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary in Massachusetts, religion is on the rise. The study is summarized at the Christian Post, but here are some highlights:
In 1970, nearly 80 percent of the world’s population was religious, and by 2010 this had grown to around 88 percent, with a projected increase to almost 90 percent by 2020, the report states. The growth of religious adherence can largely be attributed to the continuing resurgence of religion in China, it notes.
In 1970, agnostic and atheist populations together claimed 19.2 percent of the world’s total population, largely due to communism in Eastern Europe and China. However, after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, large numbers of the nonreligious returned to religion. . . .
“If this trend continues, agnostics and atheists will be a smaller portion of the world’s population in 2020 than they were in 2010,” says the report. “Although the number of atheists and agnostics continues to rise in the Western world, the current growth of a variety of religions in China in particular (where the vast majority of the nonreligious live today) suggests continued future demographic growth of religion.” . . .
Between 1970 and 2020, all major Christian traditions are likely to grow more rapidly than the general population in the global South, according to the report. However, at the same time, Christianity is declining as a percentage of the population in the global North “at a dramatic rate.” This can be attributed to birth rates in many European countries in particular being below replacement level, and aging populations.