Relgious Trends

Italians — not as Catholic as they used to be

 Italy may be the spiritual home of 1.2 billion Catholics around the world, but a new poll shows only 50 percent of Italians consider themselves Catholic

The poll, published in the liberal daily L’Unita, challenges long-held perceptions that Italy is a ”Catholic” country, despite the popularity of Pope Francis and the historic role of the Vatican City State in the heart of Rome.

In addition to the 50 percent who consider themselves Catholic, the poll found 13 percent defined themselves as “Christian.”

Of the 1,500 respondents, 4 percent said they were Orthodox or Protestant, 2 percent were Buddhist, 1 percent were Jewish and 1 percent were Muslim.

A surprising 20 percent said they were atheist, while 8 percent said they were religiously unaffiliated.

Italy has witnessed a weakening of religious faith over the past 20 years and a growing trend toward personal spiritual inquiry.

Sixty-four percent of those surveyed said they did not feel part of a religious community. Of those, some said they believed in destiny, horoscopes, reincarnation, Tarot readings and miracle cures.

Islam on track to become the world's largest religion

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According to Pew Research:

Over the next four decades, Christians will remain the largest religious group, but Islam will grow faster than any other major religion, mostly because Muslims are younger and have more children than any other religious group globally. By 2050, the number of Muslims will nearly equal the number of Christians.

The growth of Christianity is keeping pace with world population growth. All other faiths, except Islam, have plateaued or are declining in their percentage share of the world’s growing population. Even the percentage of religiously unaffiliated is declining.

The world is becoming more religious due mainly to the growth in Islam and Christianity. I don’t think anyone predicted this trend.

A generation ago the assumption was the ultimate triumph of secularism.

The Hispanic future of America

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One American in six is now Hispanic, up from a small minority two generations ago. By mid-century it will be more than one in four.

Hispanics are transforming the definition of what it means to be a mainstream American. During the roughly 200 years from the presidency of George Washington to that of Ronald Reagan, whites of European descent consistently made up 80-90% of America’s population. By the time of the 2010 census, the proportion of non-Hispanic whites (for simplicity’s sake called whites hereafter) was down to 64%. Some time around 2044 it is projected to fall to less than half.

David Rennie, The Economist

Let’s take a look at past and the forward predictions and see just how much America’s future is Hispanic.

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Based on effectiveness in reaching Hispanics, this is good news for the Pentecostals and Catholics. It’s bad news for the liberal Protestants and Southern Baptists.

UPDATE: ABC radio reports on Hispanics in America.

The religious profiles of the 17 largest US cities

According to Pew Research

The religious face of America is largely a Christian one, with roughly seven-in-ten Americans belonging to that faith. But some of the nation’s biggest metropolitan areas have a very different look.

Only about half of the residents in the Seattle (52%) and San Francisco (48%) metropolitan areas identify as Christians, as well as roughly six-in-ten or fewer of those living in Boston (57%) and New York (59%).

Boston, Seattle and San Francisco Have Relatively Few Christians

When Pew describes someone as “Christian,” they are reporting that the person identifies as “Christian” when asked what religion they are.

Here’s the religious affiliation of Americans state by state

Religious affiliation state by state

 

 

The largest and the second-largest religious group by country

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According to Pew Research:

Religiously unaffiliated people – sometimes called the “nones” – account for 16% of the world’s population, and they make up the largest “religious group” in seven countries and territories. Perhaps more remarkably, they also are the second-largest group in roughly half (48%) of the world’s nations.

Indeed, while either Christians or Muslims make up the largest religious group in nine-in-ten nations around the globe, “nones” rank second in size in most of the Americas and Europe, as well as in many countries in sub-Saharan Africa.

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