Monday, August 15, 2005

UK - Faith in God declining faster than church visits

More evidence that, within a generation or so, Christianity may be history in the U.K. UK - Faith in God declining faster than church visits

BELIEF in God is declining even faster than church attendance, according to a new study.

Academics argued that contrary to the commonly accepted theory of "believing without belonging" - the idea that religious belief is fairly robust even though congregations are shrinking - all measures of religiousness had fallen.

In fact actual belief had decreased even more than affiliation to a particular religion and participation - attendance at services - between 1991 and 1999.

...and ...

Institutional religion has a "half-life" of one generation, they discovered, meaning that two religious parents have a 50-50 chance of passing on their beliefs.

Two non-religious parents will successfully pass on their lack of faith and one religious parents does half as well as a couple of believers. The report said one factor which might slow the decline in belief is that religious parents have more children than others.

The researchers, who used figures from the British Household Panel and British Social Attitudes surveys, wrote that "believing without belonging" had become the "catchphrase" of much European work on religion in the past decade.

Dr David Voas, who led the team, said although religion in Britain would not die out completely, it would reach "fairly low levels" before very long.

For theories as to why this is so see Christianity Vanquished in Britain?