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|“||Among the repulsions of atheism for me has been its drastic un-interestingness as an intellectual position. Where was the ingenuity, the ambiguity, the humanity...of saying that the universe just happened to happen and that when we're dead we're dead?".||”|
|“||But it’s not the nihilism, the soullessness, the lack of poetry, the moral and physical ugliness, the shallow iconoclasm or the vainglory of atheists that bother me most. It’s the boringness.|
|“||...a religion is a philosophy that makes you dance. It pleased me because the book itself can be read as a history of how philosophy grew from dance... There aren't any overwhelming and inspiring collective atheist rituals...|
If I'm right, then liberal, individualistic atheism is impossible as an organising principle of society because any doctrine that actually works to hold society together is indistinguishable from a religion. It needs its rituals.
But to me the speakers and talks have often seemed repetitive: the same crew of jet-set skeptics giving the same talks.
...a few things bothered me, most notably the air of self-congratulation (which I excused on the grounds of enthusiastic people finding like-minded folks for the first time), the “fanboyness” directed at some of the famous atheists (they hardly let poor Richard alone, and I’m not sure he liked that!), and the lameness of quite a few of the talks. Again, how much new can you say about atheism?
Christianity in Britain is seeing a "seismic shift" as more aging churches are closing down and giving way to new and vibrant Pentecostal and charismatic churches that are drawing more and more people of various ages and races.
Assessing the state of Christianity in Britain, a recent Religion News Service report pointed out that in the past six years, 168 Church of England churches have closed, along with 500 Methodist and 100 Roman Catholic churches.
But even as aging Church of England congregations decline, charismatic churches are sprouting and welcoming new members into their fold.
According to an analysis by The Times of London, for every Anglican church that has closed over the past six years, more than three Pentecostal or charismatic churches have taken their place.
Unlike the old churches, the Pentecostal and charismatic churches are drawing people of all ages and races, including black, Asian and mixed-race people.
In fact the Pentecostal church is considered as one of the fastest growing Christian churches in the world, with an estimated 500 million followers, the report said.
The Pentecostal church is reportedly bringing renewed hope to many people in Britain as attested by its growing membership.
"I am optimistic that we will see this nation come back to God," said Pastor Agu Irukwu of the Redeemed Christian Church of God. The Pentecostal group, founded in Nigeria, now has 600 congregations across England.
"A century ago the face of European Christianity could have been labeled as white, but now it is increasingly becoming multicoloured," Israel Olofinjana, a Nigerian-born minister in London, told the Times.
Church of England worshippers increase 0.8 per cent since 2009. The number of non-religious people falls from 50.65% to 48.6%
Rise in Church of England worshippers likely due to resurgence in patriotism and pride in Christianity, a report has found
According to a new report, for every person brought up in a non-religious household who becomes a churchgoer, 26 people raised as Christians now identify as non-believers.
The study, which is based on an analysis of the British Social Attitudes Survey and the European Social Survey, reported that the proportion of non-religious in the UK hit a high of 50.6 per cent in 2009. However, it has been decreasing ever since and hit 48.6 per cent in 2015.
However, the proportion of those who identify as Church of England worshippers has seen a slight increased from 16.3 per cent in 2009 to 17.1 per cent in 2015.A 2012 report shows that evangelicalism is rising in the UK (see: UK: The rise of evangelicalism is shaking up the established church ).
...African Pentecostals are the fastest-growing denominations. “In Lewisham, there are 65 Pentecostal churches serving the Nigerian community, and others serving the Congolese, Ghanian and Ivorian communities,” says the report. It adds, “perhaps the most significant change has been the growth of Pentecostal and charismatic Christianity within migrant populations, particularly those from Africa and Latin America.”In the past, the new atheist Richard Dawkins referred to Bible believing/evangelical Christianity as a type of "muscular Christianity". Given its growth in the UK, this type of Christianity appears to be kicking quite a bit of proverbial sand in the faces of UK militant atheists at the beach. And globally, atheism is losing its market share in terms its percentage of the world population.
This trend of increasing Christian migrants has not gone unnoticed by religious observers. Dr Joe Aldred, secretary of the Minority Ethnic Christian Affairs section of the Churches Together in England (CTE) tweeted on @joealdred : “At national Church Planting Consultation. Didn’t know so much going on planting new churches. Christianity making a come back in Britain?”
I don't think the Muslim are particularly worried about Richard Dawkins... They don't care what he says. They are not impressed. Their beliefs are unaffected by this sort of thing.Related article
But, Bullivant told the Observer that the “growth of no religion may have stalled”. After consistent decline, in the past few years the proportion of nones appears to have stabilised. “Younger people tend to be more non-religious, so you’d expect it to keep going – but it hasn’t. The steady growth of non-Christian religions is a contributing factor, but I wonder if everyone who is going to give up their Anglican affiliation has done so by now? We’ve seen a vast shedding of nominal Christianity, and perhaps it’s now down to its hardcore.”In the USA, the vast majority of "Nones" who are not part of organized religion believe in the existence of God, but I am sure of the situation in the UK.
We have performed these unprecedented analyses on several cases. Austria offers us a window into what the future holds. Its census question on religious affiliation permits us to perform cohort component projections, which show the secular population plateauing by 2050, or as early as 2021 if secularism fails to attract lapsed Christians and new Muslim immigrants at the same rate as it has in the past. (Goujon, Skirbekk et al. 2006).
This task will arguably become far more difficult as the supply of nominal Christians dries up while more secularisation-resistant Muslims and committed rump Christians comprise an increasing share of the population.
A Christian evangelical movement where followers avoid contraception and have as many children as they can is spreading to the UK. They are The Quiverfull, writes Cat McShane.First, the spread of creationism in Europe on the back of religious immigrants upset new atheist Richard Dawkins. Then British right-wingers managed to get Brexit passed and Dawkins is very upset about this matter also. And now secularism hits a wall in the UK.
I argue that 97% of the world's population growth is taking place in the developing world, where 95% of people are religious.
On the other hand, the secular West and East Asia has very low fertility and a rapidly aging population... In the coming decades, the developed world's demand for workers to pay its pensions and work in its service sector will soar alongside the booming supply of young people in the third world. Ergo, we can expect significant immigration to the secular West which will import religious revival on the back of ethnic change. In addition, those with religious beliefs tend to have higher birth rates than the secular population, with fundamentalists having far larger families. The epicentre of these trends will be in immigration gateway cities like New York (a third white), Amsterdam (half Dutch), Los Angeles (28% white), and London, 45% white British.
Christianity in China began decades ago in the countryside, but today, a dramatic shift is happening.
Young professionals in big cities like Beijing and Shanghai are changing the face of Chinese Christianity, as faith moves from rural to more urban areas.
On a recent Wednesday evening, a group of men and women in their late 20s met in an apartment not too far from the city center to discuss how to thrive in their rapidly changing nation.
Those who attended are members of China's new privileged class -- highly educated, cosmopolitan, middle or even upper class of urban professionals. And they're all Christians.
"We've never had it so good in China today," Jia Li Tian, a member of the group, told CBN News. "But there's more to life that just money and materialism."...
Although Christianity continues to grow in China's countryside, experts say it's in big cities like Beijing where the church is growing fastest.
"Whereas the rural church was not able to have an impact on society as a whole, the 'Third Church' in the cities is able to do that because they are comprised of leaders who can have an impact," Peter explained. "[They are] businessmen, government officials, professors, leaders in engineering, every aspect of life...
The Chinese government has always maintained a tight grip on religion. Torture, arrests, imprisonment, and beatings of Christians are still practiced in the country.
But in recent years, authorities have made positive overtures towards house church leaders -- especially those in urban areas