Weekly Religion News with a new report from Pew Research Center on the rising numbers of the religiously unaffiliated, "40 Days to a Joy-Filled Life: Living the 4:8 Principle" by Tommy Newberry and more.
A new report from the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life shows that the number of Americans who do not identify with any religion is growing at a rapid pace.
About one-fifth of the U.S. public –– and a third of adults under age 30 –– are religiously unaffiliated today, the highest percentages ever in Pew Research Center polling.
In the last five years alone, the religiously unaffiliated have increased from just over 15 percent to just under 20 percent of all U.S. adults. Their ranks now include more than 13 million self-described atheists and agnostics (nearly 6 percent of the U.S. public), as well as nearly 33 million people who say they have no particular religious affiliation (14 percent).
This large and growing group of Americans is less religious than the public at large on many conventional measures, including frequency of attendance at religious services and the degree of importance they attach to religion in their lives.
However, many of the country’s 46 million unaffiliated adults are religious or spiritual in some way. Two-thirds of them say they believe in God (68 percent). More than half say they often feel a deep connection with nature and the earth (58 percent), more than a third classify themselves as “spiritual” but not “religious” (37 percent), and one-in-five say they pray every day (21 percent).
The growth in the number of religiously unaffiliated Americans –– sometimes called the rise of the “nones” –– is largely driven by generational replacement, the gradual supplanting of older generations by newer ones. A third of adults under 30 have no religious affiliation (32 percent), compared with just one-in-ten among those who are 65 and older (9 percent). And young adults today are much more likely to be unaffiliated than to be unaffiliated than previous generations were at a similar stage in their lives.
Week in Religion
Oct. 10, 1560, birth of Jacob Arminius, the Dutch theologian from whose writings and doctrines Protestants opposed to Calvinism have since been called "Arminians."
Oct. 11, 1914, during World War I, the Cathedral of Notre Dame suffered minor damage during an air raid on Paris.
Oct. 12, 1971, the rock musical "Jesus Christ, Superstar" debuted on Broadway. Twenty years later, the actor who played the part of Jesus, Jeff Fenholt, became a born-again Christian.
-- William D. Blake, Almanac of the Christian Church
In 2007, 53 percent of adults in Pew Research Center surveys described themselves as Protestant. In multiple surveys conducted in the first half of 2012, fewer than half of American adults say they are Protestant (48 percent). This marks the first time in Pew Research Center surveys that the Protestant share of the population has dipped significantly below 50 percent.
"40 Days to a Joy-Filled Life: Living the 4:8 Principle" by Tommy Newberry
It's time to unlock the secret to a joy-filled fife! Drawing on the core message and content of The New York Times bestselling "The 4:8 Principle" (based on Philippians 4:8), this book is a highly practical “working devotional” designed to provide readers with encouraging meditational thoughts and relevant, time-tested, immediately usable exercises and strategies for experiencing joy by design — God’s design.
-- Tyndale House Publishers
Quote of the week
“My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness.” -- Dalai Lama XIV
satori: Term in Zen Buddhism for the experience of awakening to the truth.
Religion Around the World
The religious makeup of Russia (2006 est.)
Russian Orthodox: 15-20 percent
Muslim: 10-15 percent
Other Christian: 2 percent
Note: Estimates are of practicing worshipers; Russia has large populations of non-practicing believers and non-believers, a legacy of over seven decades of Soviet rule.
-- CIA Factbook
GateHouse News Service