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Old 04-15-2014, 08:33 PM
 
Location: East coast
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Islam is the fastest growing faith worldwide and while Christianity is not necessarily growing so much in the west (North America and Europe), Africa is becoming more and more either Christianized or Islamic, from missionaries. Traditional African folk religions are on the decline there.

In Asia (where technically in the western part of which they originated), it also seems like the Abrahamic faiths spread too, from either Islamic conquest or conversion by trade and contact (India was ruled by Muslims once which explains the presence in the subcontinent and the Indonesian/Malaysia region was converted from Hindu-Buddhist to Muslim), or Christian missionaries such as Roman Catholics in the Philippines or Evangelical Protestants in Korea. Historically, either Dharmic or folk religions were more common in the eastern half of Asia. Some people say that China might become more Christian in the future and more people find their calling in religion after communism suppressed it.

It seems like the polytheistic, traditional folk type of religions on most continents are becoming less common compared to the monotheistic faiths (just like what happened with Europe during its period of Christianizing from late Antiquity to the Middle Ages, where paganism declined).
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Old 04-15-2014, 08:54 PM
 
Location: Melbourne, Australia
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Yeah it's been going on for centuries. In Asia, for instance, it seems most tribal people practice Christianity, Islam, Buddhism.etc rather than traditional beliefs, or in addition to them.
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Old 04-17-2014, 10:49 AM
 
Location: East of the Sun, West of the Moon
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The Abrahamic religions are voracious and jealous. Their underpinning philosophy is join or burn in eternal hellfire. So no great surprise that they are taking over.
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Old 04-19-2014, 04:44 PM
 
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The Buddhist countries of the world have pretty low birth rates. I think only some SE Asian Buddhist countries still have above replacement birth rates, so we can probably expect that faith to decline a bit in coming decades.

Christianity may or may not be in decline. The probably with counting both Christianity and Buddhists is that a very large number of people loosely attached to these faiths describe themselves as Agnostics or Atheists. I for instance am an agnostic, but if I had to pick a religion then I would pick Christianity as that is the faith I was raised with. Christian Europe is in population decline but Christian Latin America and Africa still has strong population growth.

Take for example, Islam likes to tout itself as the world's second largest religion, but if all the agnostics and atheists connected to Buddhism all of a sudden started identifying as Buddhists then Buddhism would reach almost 2 billion adherents jumping to second place.
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Old 04-19-2014, 06:24 PM
 
Location: Melbourne, Australia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CravingMountains View Post
The Buddhist countries of the world have pretty low birth rates. I think only some SE Asian Buddhist countries still have above replacement birth rates, so we can probably expect that faith to decline a bit in coming decades.

Christianity may or may not be in decline. The probably with counting both Christianity and Buddhists is that a very large number of people loosely attached to these faiths describe themselves as Agnostics or Atheists. I for instance am an agnostic, but if I had to pick a religion then I would pick Christianity as that is the faith I was raised with. Christian Europe is in population decline but Christian Latin America and Africa still has strong population growth.

Take for example, Islam likes to tout itself as the world's second largest religion, but if all the agnostics and atheists connected to Buddhism all of a sudden started identifying as Buddhists then Buddhism would reach almost 2 billion adherents jumping to second place.
Buddhism is as much a philosophy as a religion (well the lines between them often blur/there's overlap). There's no baptism, statement of faith, admission into some church, nothing you HAVE to follow or else...of course there's the Buddhist clergy where people become monks, nuns, priests etc, but for the common person raised in a Buddhist tradition, it's often little more than occasional celebrations and visits to the temples. Many don't meditate, or think much about following the 'Middle Way' or strive to attain enlightenment or nibbana. Of coursre many do, but it's hard to count the number of 'true adherents' because well, what makes someone a 'true' follower?

I would agree that many who identify as Christian aren't all that serious about it/don't have a strong faith/it doesn't dominate their lives. A surprising number of people in strict Muslim countries too.
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Old 04-19-2014, 07:19 PM
 
Location: East Coast of the United States
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I think the overall trend in the world is less personal belief in any particular religion, even though religious celebrations and holidays remain prominent in most places. Nowadays, people tend to be "cultural" Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, etc., more than anything else.

In the United States, people who are politically progressive hardly ever talk about their actual personal religious beliefs. It is considered borderline socially awkward to do so.

I mean if someone came up to me and told me "Jesus Christ is your Lord and Savior" I would just say "okay, sounds cool" and give a thumbs up and move on. lol.

Last edited by BigCityDreamer; 04-19-2014 at 07:47 PM..
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Old 04-19-2014, 08:46 PM
 
Location: Melbourne, Australia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigCityDreamer View Post
I think the overall trend in the world is less personal belief in any particular religion, even though religious celebrations and holidays remain prominent in most places. Nowadays, people tend to be "cultural" Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, etc., more than anything else.

In the United States, people who are politically progressive hardly ever talk about their actual personal religious beliefs. It is considered borderline socially awkward to do so.

I mean if someone came up to me and told me "Jesus Christ is your Lord and Savior" I would just say "okay, sounds cool" and give a thumbs up and move on. lol.
Yeah, in contrast Africans are very open with religion. People you've just met will often talk in open terms about God, about their faith.etc.
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Old 04-19-2014, 08:52 PM
 
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Originally Posted by The Postman View Post
Yeah, in contrast Africans are very open with religion. People you've just met will often talk in open terms about God, about their faith.etc.
Haitians are like that too. Drives me insane. And when I tell them I am agnostic they look at me in utter shock. lol.
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Old 04-19-2014, 09:03 PM
 
Location: Melbourne, Australia
9,783 posts, read 15,328,540 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CravingMountains View Post
Haitians are like that too. Drives me insane. And when I tell them I am agnostic they look at me in utter shock. lol.
Yeah, some can't comprehend it, it's not in their worldview haha.

Yeah I was discussing religion with my ex-roomate, a Kenyan student studying here, he's nominally Catholic, and I think he believes in the basics but he's recently begun questioning the authority of the Pope, he was like, the Pope is just a man.etc, and also about the existence of God. So I think many people in Africa also do think/question rather than just practising religion in a very emotional, exuberant way like we think.
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