The latest research on worldwide trends shows that religious beliefs are deteriorating, while those adhering to a secular belief system devoid of God are on the rise.
Pitzer College Sociology and Secular Studies Professor Phil Zuckerman explains that around the globe, people are simply doing away with religion in their hearts and minds.
“Indeed, as a recent National Geographic report confirms, the world’s newest religion is: ‘No Religion,’” Zuckerman confirmed.
The academian asserts that recent studies conducted on a global scale indicate that secularism is spreading at an ever-increasing rate.
“[C]hurches are closing across the world, faith is fading and those men and women who live their lives according to secular values and humanist principles are on the rise,” Zuckerman stated in a column published by the Huffington Post.
In fact, the world population of 7.4 billion people is not just indifferently practicing less religion at greater levels — it is increasingly embracing atheistic and agnostic beliefs.
This trend has already manifested for some time across many European nations as they continue to drift further and further from God.
In Northern European nations such as Great Britain and Norway — with populations of 63 million and 5 million, respectively — there are actually more atheists and agnostics than there are believers. In the Netherlands, approximately 70 percent of the 17 million Dutch claim that they do not identify with any religion, while west of the mainland on the island nation Iceland, a stunning zero percent of the nation’s more than 300,000 inhabitants ascribe to the belief that God created the earth.
On the Asian continent, a similar trend has evolved, as the atheist-governed nations of Russia and China are not the only world powers that predominantly reject religious beliefs.
Today, in Japan — a nation that has embraced Buddhism and other eastern religions for centuries — only about 20 percent of its 130 million residents claim to be religious.
Even though secular humanism is said to be the “religion” spreading throughout the United States — via the curricula that many say has indoctrinated students in public schools and universities to reject their faith and adopt an atheistic worldview — statistics show that up to 80 percent of Americans still consider themselves to be Christians or adherents to other world religions.
However, research cited by Zuckerman shows that the number of Americans living in the United States who claim that they are not affiliated with any religion at all has risen to between 23 percent and 28 percent — a number that consistently continues to rise amidst its 319 million inhabitants.
Things to come
With the declining rates of religiosity around the world, Zuckerman says that there is a self-perpetuating trend.
The scholar, who earned his Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Oregon, asserts that as people cease being religious, their children will continue their secular legacy after them.
On the other hand, Pew Research predicts that the spread of secularism will level off in just a few decades — mainly due to the fact that people of faith tend to have more children than non-religious people.
Even though Christianity still continues to be the world largest religion, with approximately 2 billion of the earth’s 7-plus-billion people claiming to identify as Christians — at least by name — it is argued that within a few decades, this will no longer be the case.
By 2050, it is predicted that Islam will surpass Christianity as the most followed religion on the planet, as the Muslim influence on the continents of Asia and Africa have rapidly spread over the years, while faith in Allah has also become pronounced in Europe and North America in recent years, largely due to immigration and recruitment.