Recent Religious Studies

The BBC recently released the results of a survey they had commissioned with the research consultancy ComRes.

Here are some of the results…

• Half of the people surveyed didn’t believe in Jesus’ resurrection (including a quarter of people who described themselves as Christian)
• There was an equal split among those who say they believe in a life after death (e.g. reincarnation, heaven, hell) and those who do not (at 46% each).

More from the survey can be found HERE.

Tables from the survey HERE.

Another recent study from the Pew Research Center says that “For years, the percentage of Americans who do not identify with any religion has been rising, a trend similar to what has been happening in much of Europe (including the United Kingdom). Despite this, in coming decades, the global share of religiously unaffiliated people is actually expected to fall, according to Pew Research Center’s new study on the future of world religions.”

The main reason given is that “This relative decline is largely attributable to the fact that religious ‘nones’ are, on average, older and have fewer children than people who are affiliated with a religion. In 2015, for instance, the median age of people who belong to any of the world’s religions was 29, compared with 36 among the unaffiliated. And between 2010 and 2015, adherents of religions are estimated to have given birth to an average of 2.45 children per woman, compared with an average of 1.65 children among the unaffiliated.”

In other words, the religious are outbreeding the nonreligious.

I’d like to suggest that the religious have always been outbreeding the nonreligious and the only way the percentage of those who do not identify with any religion has been rising recently in spite of that is because of the internet.

As I’ve said previously, “if you look back on the rise of the nonreligious, it seems to coincide with the rise of the internet,” and “for the first time in the history of humanity, religion will have to fight it out in the marketplace of ideas like it’s never had to do before.”

I guess only time will tell which way it will go.

A report of the study is HERE.

The study is HERE.