I began the series on religious statistics by asking the question: is religion disappearing? Okay, I didn’t ask it that explicitly, but it’s the question at the heart of secularization. And the question keeps intriguing me because it’s so difficult to answer. In America alone there are increasing numbers of religiously unaffiliated, but among those ranks, religion is still described as important to their daily lives. How do we explain that? Worldwide, the picture becomes even more complex.
One of the most difficult things to figure out is why most industrial nations show a decline in religious affiliation, but worldwide the number of people holding strong religious beliefs is at an all time high. How do we juggle these seemingly opposed trends? Continue reading