Are there really 100,000 new Christian martyrs every year?
It’s often claimed that 100,000 Christians are killed every year because of their religion. Earlier this year, the Vatican called it a credible number. But is it?
Gunmen on motorcycles kill three people when they open fire on a wedding outside a Coptic Christian church in Cairo. A twin-suicide bombing outside a church in Pakistan kills at least 75 people.
These two recent headline-grabbing attacks occurred within just a month of each other. Horrific, but by no means isolated incidents.
So how widespread is anti-Christian violence?
Religious people are less intelligent than atheists, analysis of over 63 scientific studies stretching back over decades concludes
Study found ‘a reliable negative relation between intelligence and religiosity’ in 53 out of 63 studies
A new review of 63 scientific studies stretching back over decades has concluded that religious people are less intelligent than non-believers.
A piece of University of Rochester analysis, led by Professor Miron Zuckerman, found “a reliable negative relation between intelligence and religiosity” in 53 out of 63 studies.
Cooked or misquoted studies are often cited that “show” that religious believers are happier and healthier and less insane than atheists.
“So atheism is bad for you, is what.”
Or so the argument attempts to go.
Really Listening to Atheists: Taking Nonbelief Seriously
When Larry Alex Taunton talked to young atheists about why they left Christianity, he interpreted their objections as matters of style, not substance. That’s not accurate or fair.
As an atheist, I have frequently had religious acquaintances and even family members misunderstand the basis for my lack of faith. So when Larry Alex Taunton, a Christian who has debated nonbelief with celebrity New Atheists Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins, recently wrote about his conversations with college-aged apostates, emerging with several conclusions about why these young people are leaving the church, I was interested.
Author and noted biopsychologist Nigel Barber has completed a new study that shows Atheism is most prevalent in developed countries, and, according to his projections, religion will completely disappear by 2041. His findings are discussed in his new book “Why Atheism Will Replace Religion.” A new study that clarifies his earlier research will be published in August. His findings focus on studying trends within countries around the world and the fact that “Atheists are heavily concentrated in economically developed countries”
"In my new study of 137 countries (1), I also found that atheism increases for countries with a well-developed welfare state (as indexed by high taxation rates). Moreover, countries with a more equal distribution of income had more atheists. My study improved on earlier research by taking account of whether a country is mostly Moslem (where atheism is criminalized) or formerly Communist (where religion was suppressed) and accounted for three-quarters of country differences in atheism."
His main thesis stems from the phenomenon of religion declining as personal wealth increases. He cites the reason as people having less of a need for supernatural beliefs when the tangible, natural world is providing for their needs. He says the majority of the world will come to view religion as completely irrelevant by 2041.
If a recent PEW study is any indication of a solid answer to the question, Kaufman may be correct. The study, performed by PEW in 2012, indicates a huge upswing in Atheism, with 20% of Americans now identifying as Agnostic, Atheist or “Unaffiliated” with a religion. This number represents the largest percentage of people in PEW’s history of polling who identify as non-religious.
It is clear that the growth of Atheism or “unaffiliated” people is growing at an incredibly rapid rate in the United States, but it seems that being non-religious is also exploding globally. The UK’s Daily Mail reported an extensive 2010 study that showed unaffiliated individuals as the “third largest global group” behind Christians and Muslims, placing the unaffiliated ahead of Hindus, Buddists, Jews and all other religious affliations.
Optimistic, but I doubt this. We’re dealing with a hardheaded bunch (Christians) that will justify even genocide in order to preserve their beliefs. We’re dealing with another hardheaded bunch (Muslims) that doesn’t mind committing genocide because they’re so sure of their supposed truth. These are the top two world religions and given their obstinacy, I don’t see them going anywhere in just under three decades.
It is difficult to deny that there is a strong negative trend between professional expertise in the field of science and traditional monotheistic beliefs. 93% of the members of the National Academy of Sciences do not believe in the existence of god, while an almost reversed proportion of 92% of the general American public do believe in a god. While different polls have slightly different numbers, and while the specific views people hold about a god can vary within many shades of grey, it is still hard to deny that there is an inverse relationship between one’s expert background in science and their belief in monotheism.
I do not mean to argue or imply by any of this that such a trend discredits monotheism. That would be an appeal to authority that I have no intention of making. What I do wish to address here is a reverse appeal to authority that I have heard repeated by many apologists:
“Sure, if you just read those scientists like Dawkins and Harris, you are going to think that science disproves God, but you need to study what philosophers have to say about God!”
From the article:
So which is the correct interpretation of the data? Are the majority of professional scientists and philosophers atheist simply because they are moral failures trying to cover up for their spiritual shortcomings? Or are apologists like Craig merely grasping at straws and committing ad hominem attacks to rationalize how Christian scientists and philosophers are such a fringe and extreme minority in the fields they claim support their beliefs in an ancient religion? I leave it to the readers to decide.
returning-the-ticket asked: Please, not this again. The numbers are accurate. Your first article dealt only with Britain and your second with general religiosity whereas we're talking about the WORLDWIDE (ie. not just the West) growth of CATHOLICISM (ie. not general religiosity). Not sure what your rant about mega churches in Korea was about. Sorry, but numbers are numbers (google it) and if you're going to accuse someone of lying because you don't like the statistics then that just shows a denial of reality on your part.
I’m not denying the statistics because I don’t like the results. I’m denying the statistics because other sources disagree with your sources. The Catholic church isn’t growing worldwide. My mention of South Korea was in addressing the notion that Catholicism is growing in Asia. There are more Protestants in Japan, South Korea, China, Taiwan and Hong Kong; Catholicism is more prominent in the Philippines given that the Philippines boasts the 3rd largest Catholic population in the world. The Church (as in Catholic) isn’t growing; it would be more accurate to argue that Christianity is growing, but statistics show a decline (worldwide) every year. The mega church bit was to show that most South Koreans are Protestants; in other words, Protestantism and not Catholicism is growing in Asia. In Africa, Protestants are as or more prominent; statistics (even from Pew) aren’t conclusive on that. In any case, a March 2013 article titled Catholics in Africa: Boomtown Church, states that there are 186 million Catholics in a continent that boasts a population of over 1 billion people. There are almost that many Protestants in Nigeria, the Congo, South Africa and Kenya alone (see here); apart from those four countries, there are 59 other countries in Africa. Again, it is safe to conclude that Protestantism is more prominent in Africa. Since the molestation scandals the Church is in decline; that’s the reality. In 2008 alone, the Church lost 400,000 members (see here). From the article:
“In 2008 alone, Catholic membership declined by 400,000. More than 1,000 parishes have closed since 1995, and the number of priests has fallen from about 49,000 to 40,000 during that same period.”
Those are general stats. The number of global Catholics has tripled over the century; so if you want to call that growth, then feel free. However, over the past five years or so, Catholicism has been declining. In any case, it seems your attention is on the wrong group (atheists); those “heretic” Protestants have grown much faster since Azusa Street, and they have more to do with Catholic decline than some may think.
One thing I find curious: why do you always respond to these petty matters? When I call out your faith or challenge your belief in god, you’re completely silent; also, when I correct misconceptions that you like spreading about atheism, it’s as if someone tied your hands and prohibited you from typing. It seems that you reply to me only when you imagine that you have a point; you will only have a point when you change your approach. For example, let’s focus on the matter at hand: do you want us to trust your stats? Include secular sites; the Vatican has given the public plenty of reason to distrust it (i.e. apart from the scandals, Catholics hurl plenty of vitriol at Protestants, gays and atheists). Also, take that same advice in general: change your approach. You want other atheists to stop mocking you and cursing at you? Respond to them; stand corrected when they correct you and apologize for spreading misconceptions. You want me to stop badgering most of your posts? Stand by your posts, clarify when necessary and take every rebuttal into account. There are very few opponents who can say that I’ve ignored them. You know why? Because I usually don’t ignore people. When someone feels offended, I apologize, tell them that I didn’t mean to be offensive and clarify whatever comment they found offensive. When they object, I clarify, strengthen my points when necessary or ask them to give me good reason to reject my original position. Unfortunately, the latter rarely happens. Honest discourse is a two-say street, but it seems to me that you only discuss non-matters; in other words, these statistics are a non-matter when considering the big picture. The big picture is your worldview versus the worldview you constantly misrepresent; it’s a discussion that you don’t want to have.
The Vatican has just released church statistics for the last few years.
A few facts:
the number of Catholics continues to rise, especially in Africa and Asia.
The number of priests and young men training for the priesthood continues to rise. Asia reported a 44% increase of candidates for the religious priesthood in the last decade.
The church is growing particularly quickly in South Korea, Hong Kong, and Singapore. This would seem to disprove the suggestion of some that education and prosperity lead to irreligion.
There are around 2.5 million adult baptisms a year.
How does one know that something is propaganda and not fact?
1) Consider the sources
In this case, both sources are obviously pro-Catholic. Propaganda is subjective and easily refuted by other sources. Facts are objective; thus, there are usually corroborative sources when it comes to facts. All polls (except propagandist Christian polls) show that Christianity is declining worldwide:
Christianity declining 50pc faster than thought – as one in 10 under-25s is a Muslim
Christianity could be facing a catastrophic collapse in Britain according to official figures suggesting it is declining 50 per cent faster than previously thought.
A new analysis of the 2011 census shows that a decade of mass immigration helped mask the scale of decline in Christian affiliation among the British-born population – while driving a dramatic increase in Islam, particularly among the young.