The Decline Of Organized Religion In Western Civilization

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Altemeyer, Bob. "The Decline of Organized Religion in Western Civilization." International Journal for the Psychology of Religion, vol. 14, no. 2, Apr. 2004, pp. 77-89. EBSCOhost, search.ebscohost.com The practice of organized religion has been declining greatly since the mid 20th century, but the pace in which religion is dying is not constant in every western country. Ireland is the only country where most people attend a religious event weekly, on the other hand, less than ten percent of Scandinavians attend religious events. Organized religion is dying where it once was common in everyday life, which is bad news for church leaders who want to fill their seats. From 1945 to 1985 the percent of regular church attendees in Canada dropped in half, from 70% to 35%. Although people have stopped associating themselves with a religion, many of them still believe in a creator. Around 32 percent of America’s population attends church weekly, but 66 percent of Americans have no doubt that there is a God, and another 16 percent believe in a God but have doubts (Altemeyer 79). There is evidence that the recent rise of religious apostasy occurred because of backlash against the “Religious Right”, the christian fundamentalists that are known to be anti-homosexual. Many people are turned off by these beliefs and severed their already weak relationships with the church. Children are also not being taught religious beliefs because of parents who have left the faith. Parents have stopped
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