Religion Declining, Secularism Surging (Perhaps)

CHR Comment: Phil Zuckerman, Professor of Sociology and Secular Studies, Pitzer College in Claremont, CA, provides an interesting look at the secularization trend described by a variety of polls. However, as I read the article, I wonder whether the polling fully accounts for persons who might described themselves as spiritual but are unaffiliated with a particular religion. He also oddly connects secularization with internet access as though internet use might dispose someone toward secularism. In any event, the anticipated number of church closings he describes in places like Holland are important cultural developments and sure indicators of change. Christians need to view countries with state churches as important mission fields.

Source: Religion Declining, Secularism Surging

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Church Attendance Plunges after Nepal Becomes a Secular State

Christians mostly welcomed new constitution. Nepal’s main trading partner did not.

CHR Comment: Due to political changes and parliament representation, India has blocked the transport of fuel into Nepal. As a result, fewer Nepalese are able to travel to church as easily as before. Attendance at some congregations has been cut in half.

Source: Church Attendance Plunges after Nepal Becomes a Secular State… | Gleanings | ChristianityToday.com

Crowded Churches in Paris

On Sunday, with the city in a reflective mood, churches were packed, and many headed to the statue of Marianne, the symbol of the French Republic.

CHR Comment: As a modern, secularized nation, churches in France are normally nearly empty. According to Sara Miller Llana and Jason Walsh, churches were packed on Sunday with only standing room at the back. People were drawn to church, as well other public venues, in their search for meaning and comfort. One wonders whether the ideological clash between Islam and western freedom will lead to a renewal of church life, which teaches freedom through God’s forgiveness in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Source: In churches, plazas, playgrounds, Parisians find strength in gathering – CSMonitor.com