Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Religion census in UK encouraging

A religious outfit in the United Kingdom has reported their latest census regarding church attendance and faith there. They brag: "Many churches in England are in a healthier state now than seven years ago." Why? Well during the 1990s the churchs lost 1 million members. But "in the seven years from 1998-2005 only 1/2 million left, a much slower rate of decline."

Imagine a company bragging that instead of losing $1 million per year they thrilled to report they are only losing $500,000 per year instead. In 1998 they found that on an average Sunday in the UK only 7.5 percent of the population attended church on any given Sunday. Now it is down to 6.3%. And of those who do attend they are twice as likely to be over 65 years of age as the general population. So they will die off and it's not like they're going to have children at their age. So the decline should continue.

They report some churches are growing. But it would appear to be that they are growing because they pinch members from other churches. And immigrants, especially from Africa, are increasing and these immigrants tend to be more religious. Not exactly a good selling point actually as they are almost more likely to believe in witch doctors -- literally. Religion still tends to appeal to the lower income, less educated, segments of society.


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