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 Religion Trends

This is our archive of news items tagged Religion Trends.

 memo You'll find articles about that subject in each of the items listed, even if the term does not necessarily occur within the headlines or descriptive text.
Wednesday December 15, 2010
Religion TrendsRNB's Religion News Blog:
A growing number of Protestant congregations have seen their Sunday collections drop this year, according to a survey by LifeWay Research on the economic health of churches. Pastors blame high unemployment and a drop-off in giving by members.

To make ends meet, churches have laid off staff and frozen salaries, put off major capital projects and cut back on programs.

At the same time, more of their congregation members and neighbors are asking for help with basic needs like paying the rent and buying groceries, the study found.

Tuesday December 7, 2010
Religion TrendsRNB's Religion News Blog:
Attending religious services regularly and having close friends in the congregation are key to having a happier, more satisfying life, a study finds.

Even attending services irregularly — just several times a year — increases a sense of well-being, so long as there is a circle of friendships within the community and a strong, shared religious identity.

That’s the key finding of a study released today in the December issue of the American Sociological Review.

For the study, Lim and co-author Robert Putnam analyzed data collected during 2006 and 2007 as part of the Faith Matters Study, a nationwide survey of a representative sample of adults.

The survey, examining the various ways that religion affects American society, is the focus of the recently released book American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us by Putnam and David Campbell.

Wednesday December 1, 2010
Religion TrendsRNB's Religion News Blog:
Britain’s Christian culture is under attack as faith is “airbrushed” from society, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Carey, has warned.

Even Christmas is being “re-branded” as a secular festival because councils, politicians and businesses are “ashamed” of its true religious meaning, he said.

Lord Carey’s remarks came as he launched a national campaign to promote the right of Christians to express their beliefs in public and at work.

But Anglican bishop Nick Baines has rejected claims by some lobby groups and activists that Christians in Britain are being persecuted for their beliefs.

He said that in fact “we’re everywhere” and urged church people not to allow themselves to be fitted into a “hierarchy of victimhood”.

Acknowledging the genuine and terrible persecutions in Christian history and affecting minorities around the world today, the bishop denied that the choices facing Christians in modern plural Britain were in any way comparable.

Monday October 18, 2010
ChristianityIslamReligion TrendsRNB's Religion News Blog:
Toffler Associates released its predictions for the next 40 years to mark the 40th anniversary of “Future Shock,” in which author Alvin Toffler studied the 1970s to see what would happen in the future.

Among the predictions: Christianity will rise rapidly in the global South, while Muslims will migrate in increasing numbers to the West, where their presence will reshape public attitudes and government policies.

Sunday September 19, 2010
Religion TrendsRNB's Religion News Blog:
Pop stars Miley Cyrus and Taylor Momsen wear rosary necklaces, sometimes four at a time over a slinky corset dress or vintage rock T-shirt. “Eat Pray Love,” whose protagonist travels to India in search of enlightenment, has spawned a collection of charms, rings and bracelets. And the reality-bending Kardashian sisters are designing jewelry based on Armenian religious icons.

It’s official: The practice of incorporating religious or spiritual symbols in jewelry has become ubiquitous among smaller niche designers as well as more commercial brands. With the public’s growing interest in yoga, meditation and personal talismans that offer protection or courage, jewelry and accessory designers are picking up the theme and adorning their work with icons deeply rooted in ancient beliefs and religions.

Thursday April 15, 2010
Religion TrendsSurveys:
Africa religion study In the space of a century, Africa has morphed from a continent dominated by traditional beliefs to one where the majority of people are Christian or Muslim, a US study showed Thursday.

The vast majority of people in sub-Saharan Africa are deeply committed to the world’s two largest religions, according to the study by the Pew Research Forum on Religion and Public Life.

Wednesday December 16, 2009
Religion Trends:
religion trends Only half of Britons now consider themselves Christian after a “sharp decline” in religious belief over the past quarter of a century, according to a new academic study.

At the same time, the proportion of Britons who say they have “no religion” has increased from 31 per cent to 43 per cent.

Thursday October 8, 2009
IslamReligion Trends:
Muslim population The global Muslim population stands at 1.57 billion, meaning that nearly 1 in 4 people in the world practice Islam, according to a report Wednesday billed as the most comprehensive of its kind.

These findings on the world Muslim population lay the foundation for a forthcoming study by the Pew Forum, scheduled to be released in 2010, that will estimate growth rates among Muslim populations worldwide and project Muslim populations into the future.

Wednesday September 30, 2009
Religion Trends:
Nones choose no religion The number of Americans who don’t identify with any religion is growing. A new study by Trinity College suggests that more than one in five Americans will identify themselves as “Nones” in religious terms in 20 years (up from 15 percent now). Most would not consider themselves atheists. But they are increasingly skeptical of organized religion and clerics. They are, said one researcher, a stew of agnostics, deists and rationalists – and their numbers appear to be increasing.

Clearly, interest in religion is high. News magazines run cover stories. Megachurches are booming. Political campaigns target churchgoers as a valuable metric to win elections.

So why are fewer Americans identifying with a religion, denomination or particular faith group? Why are a growing number of people becoming faith-free? And if the trend continues, is it a matter of alarm?

These are questions Wayne Slater, of The Dallas Morning News, asked of a panel of religious leaders.

Religion Trends:
financial crisis Organized religion was already in trouble before the fall of 2008. Denominations were stagnating or shrinking, and congregations across faith groups were fretting about their finances.

The Great Recession made things worse, AP reports.

It’s further drained the financial resources of many congregations, seminaries and religious day schools. Some congregations have disappeared and schools have been closed. In areas hit hardest by the recession, worshippers have moved away to find jobs, leaving those who remain to minister to communities struggling with rising home foreclosures, unemployment and uncertainty.

Religion has a long history of drawing hope out of suffering, but there’s little good news emerging from the recession. Long after the economy improves, the changes made today will have a profound effect on how people practice their faith, where they turn for help in times of stress and how they pass their beliefs to their children.

Wednesday September 23, 2009
Religion TrendsSpiritual Direction:
Spiritual Direction Spiritual direction, an ancient practice with Christian roots that has recently seen a revival among contemporary seekers from all faiths, including some who don’t necessarily believe in God.

In a culture where people readily engage physical trainers to hone their bodies and psychotherapists to untangle their neuroses, an increasing number are looking to spiritual directors as “spotters” for their souls.

Tuesday September 22, 2009
Religion Trends:
religion trends Americans who don’t identify with any religion are now 15% of the USA, but trends in a new study shows they could one day surpass the nation’s largest denominations — including Catholics, now 24% of the nation.

As it has grown larger, the no religion or None population is no longer a fringe group and the “None” choice in terms of (ir)religious identification is now attracting wide swaths of Middle America.

Friday September 18, 2009
AtheismReligion Trends:
Atheism The number of atheist or agnostic student groups on U.S. campuses has more than doubled in the past two years — from 80 to 162 — according to the Secular Student Alliance (SSA), the national organization for the secular student movement.

The rise of the secular student movement parallels that of the broader secular demographic in the U.S.

Thursday September 17, 2009
Religion Trends:
prayer Is praying becoming a religion unto itself?

Consider this: 39% of Americans attend church weekly yet 75% pray at least weekly, according to the Pew Religion Forum. In fact, 58% overall, and 66% of American women pray daily.

And maybe most remarkably: 35% of those who don’t identify with any religion at all — the “unaffiliated”– pray weekly or daily. That means there’s a large number of Americans who don’t attend church regularly but pray a great deal.

These statistics, as well as the popularity over the years of books like the Prayer of Jabez and The Secret and many other devotional books, show that prayer has become popular on its own, sometimes detached from the tradition of church. Call it Prayerism.

Tuesday March 10, 2009
Religion Trends:
American Religious Indentification Survey America is a less Christian nation than it was 20 years ago, and Christianity is not losing out to other religions, but primarily to a rejection of religion altogether, a survey published Monday found.

The only group that grew in every U.S. state since the 2001 survey was people saying they had “no” religion; the survey says this group is now 15 percent of the population. Mark Silk said this group is likely responsible for the shrinking percentage of Christians in the United States.

But researchers point out that just because people are dropping out of organized religion, that doesn’t mean they’re abandoning faith.

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