Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Blooming Christianity

A century ago, G.K. Chesterton noted that when men cease to believe in God they tend to believe in anything. When the German people chose to deny God and follow Hitler, they embraced the nonsense of Mein Kampf and the Nazi reign of terror. Decades later the Soviets ruled Eastern Europe and much of Asia with godless Communism that denied the most basic human rights. The Chinese Communists sought to stamp out all religions and even the 25 century old belief in Confucianism with it’s principles of good conduct and social values.

In Western Europe, secular relativism began to replace religious practice, and today only about 1/3 of Europeans are religious. Indeed, among Western nations, America is exceptional for its belief in God (86%), Christianity (80%) and religiosity (75%).

Elsewhere on God’s green Earth, Christianity is blooming like wild flowers. In a recent New York Times opinion piece (3/26/05), columnist Nicholas Christoff noted that “one of the most important trends reshaping the world is the decline of Christianity in Europe and its rise in Africa and other parts of the developing world, including Asia and Latin America.” The statistics are astounding. “On Easter, more Anglicans will attend church in Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda - each - than Anglicans and Episcopalians together will attend services in Britain, Canada and the U.S. combined. More Roman Catholics will celebrate Easter Mass in the Philippines than in any European country.”


While Chairman Mao suppressed Chinese religions, “David Lyle Jeffrey of Baylor University sees some parallels between China today and the early Roman empire. He wonders aloud whether a Chinese Constantine will come along and convert to Christianity.” It is estimated that there are already several hundred million underground Christians in China. In a few decades China could be the largest Christian nation.

In Africa, Christianity is competing with Islam for converts. The Christian denominations such as evangelicals that are the strictest are flourishing. Thus global Christianity is becoming more socially conservative.

Meanwhile, in Europe, immigration is causing a resurgence of religion. If demographic trends continue, formerly Christian Europe will be Muslim by mid-century. And in America, an already Christian population will become even more so with the influx of immigrants from Mexico and from Central and South America. Good for America.

6 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Erik Hoffer wrote in The True Believer that what mattered most to those who were fervent nazis was the power of their "true" beliefs. He noted that the men and women who became the most adament communists had been the most adament nazis. What mattered was the believing, not what they were believing.

That, I hope, is the difference between us and them. It matters what we believe, not that we believe.

Dr. Dave

12:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A former college English prof of mine and an elder in the church I attended in New York is now in China with his wife and one of his daughters for 2 years. He and his daughter are teachers there. The wife was and in many ways still is my best friend. I get weekly long narratives written by Ted about life in China. He cannot, nor anyone who writes to him can write such words as God, Jesus, prayer anything with a religious cognition. However, we do have "code" words!
examples:
God= father, prayer=thinking about.
I am going to forward one of his letters to you.

Pam

1:01 PM  
Blogger Ralph said...

So what are you trying to say Dr. Dave? And why would any clear thinking person care what Erik Hoffer has to say?

7:19 AM  
Blogger job opportunitya said...

Incredible blog. I admired your site and I will be
back once again to view it! I use much of my spare
time searching for blogs like yours.
Please go over my plastic surgery michigan blog.

11:32 PM  
Blogger summer-time said...

Extraordinary blog. Your site was hip and fresh
and we'll visit it again! I love surfing the internet
for blogs.
Click on my cash advance cleveland ohio blog before its to late.

3:36 AM  
Blogger die4-freedom said...

Delightful blog. I devote my spare time just
looking for great blogs such as yours. I treasure this
site and will go back!
Everyday of the month you need to peep my no checking account cash advance blog.

9:51 PM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home