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Is there a resurgence of religion in the world?

Religion is in a more rapid decline today than at any time in history. Until a few decades ago religions dominated all areas of life in all societies. Nearly everyone in North America and Europe was a church­goer. Nearly everyone in the Moslem world was a fundamentalist. Nearly every Jew—by today's standards—was orthodox.

Even a quick scan of early twentieth-century newspapers and journals will show a pervasive climate of religion and the power of the clergy.

The decline of the traditional family—the rapid rise in divorce—the loosening up of sexual mores—open homosexuality—legalized abortion—widespread use of birth control measures—the rapid spread of the women's movement—the phaseout of patriarchy—these are a few evidences of the declining influence of religion.

Tens of millions of Catholics around the world now openly flout the Vatican's rulings on abortion and birth control and women's rights. This would have been unheard-of just a few decades ago.

Tens of millions of young educated Moslems scattered in the big cities of the world have never been inside a mosque and have never observed Koranic tenets on daily prayers—marriage laws—non-drinking—fasting—pilgrimage. They are Moslem only in name.

Year after year scores of churches and synagogues in the United States and Europe give way to apartment buildings—cinemas—shop­ping malls. They are never replaced.

Recently Hans Kung the Roman Catholic theologian addressing the American Psychiatric Association conference in Washington, D.C. complained that "the large majority" of psychiatrists simply ignore religion in treating patients. In fact some go so far as to view their patients' expressions of religion as "an illness requiring a cure."1

The internationally known theologian went on to say that "in Freud's time religion was fought over and argued about, but today there is silence on religion from psychiatry—religion is the final taboo."

There is "silence on religion" precisely because religion has ceased to be a factor in more and more people's lives.

One way to obtain a quick readout on the way the world is going is to observe the youth. It does not take advanced radars to see that the youth of the world is rapidly moving away from religion.

Date: 2015-02-28; view: 914

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