Retention rate of American atheists and Jehovah's Witnesses

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In 2012, a Georgetown University study was published indicating that only about 30 percent of those who grow up in an atheist household remain atheists as adults.[1]

In 2012, a Georgetown University study was published indicating that in the United States only about 30 percent of those who grow up in an atheist household remain atheists as adults.[2] See also: Atheism and its retention rate in individuals

On the other hand, the Jehovah's Witnesses religion in the United States has a retention rate of 37 percent.[3]

Personal evangelism: Jehovah's Witness vs. atheists

Jehovah's Witnesses and personal evangelism

Adherents of the Jehovah's Witnessses religion are well known for engaging in door-to-door proselytizing.[4]

A former Jehovah's Witnesses adherent wrote:

[The] leaders require that all Witnesses, from children to the frail-aged, devote their lives to proselytizing...; they must also hand in monthly reports detailing the hours they spent “in the field” and how many calls they made.

Back then when my heart was in it, my Saturday mornings were often all about perfecting the soft knock, half-hoping no one would hear me. And I was not alone. For most of those I paired up with on Saturdays, an unopened door was a good door. When it did swing open, revealing a clearly irritated resident, I felt like saying, “Hey, I hate this as much as you do!”[5]

An adherent of the Jehovah's Witnesses religion. Jehovah's Witnesses are well known for their door-to-door proselytizing.

According to John Garghan, who took the photograph on the left of an adherent of the Jehovah's Witnesses faith who engages in door-to-door proselytizing in his neighborhood:

Jim is well known in the area regularly knocking on doors in Yardley Wood; For personal reasons I asked him not to knock on my door and even threatened him with a bucket of cold water when he returned, I told him my reasons and also said that I would acknowledge him and speak to him if we met in the street but would not accept him preaching to me. And that arrangement works well. Today he knocked on the door and straight away he said he hadn’t come to preach but wanted to know I was ok as he hadn’t seen me around. I invited him in for a cuppa. He didn’t preach.[6]

American atheists and personal evangelism

In the United States, atheists the majority of atheists seldom or rarely tell others about their atheism and atheists have a very low reputation among the public (see: Atheism and apathy and Views on atheists). The atheist Sam Harris said concerning the label of atheist, "It's right next to child molester as a designation."[7]

In addition, the atheist population in the Western World has not had significant outreaches to spread atheism outside their region (see: Lack of significant global outreach by Western World atheists).

Disfellowshipping and Jehovah's Witness retention rate

In 2011, the atheist Jerry Coyne said about atheist conferences which he attended that they had an air of self-congratulation.[8] He also indicated about atheist conferences: "But to me the speakers and talks have often seemed repetitive: the same crew of jet-set skeptics giving the same talks."[9]

See also: Atheist indoctrination and Retention rate of atheist cults

Some Jehovah's Witnesses are disfellowshipped/shunned due to congregational disciplinary measures imposed by congregation leaders, although they may be able to return to their congregation if they are repentant.

One of the reasons why difellowshipping occurs is if they no longer hold Jehovah's Witnesses teachings. Individuals who are disfellowshipped are shunned by their family and friends who are Jehovah's Witnesses. As a result, many Jehovah Witnesses are afraid of announcing their disbelief in the Jehovah's Witnesses religion.[10] Some Jehovah's Witness avoid being disfellowshipped by fading away (becoming less and less active in their congregation over a long period of time).[11]

Atheist factions and infighting. Atheists and meetings

See also: Atheist factions and Atheist movement and Atheism and loneliness

One of the factors which keep people within a particular ideology or religion is fellowship with like-minded individuals and the support of those individuals. In addition, a common code of ethics in order to better resolve conflicts.

There are factions within atheism and contention between those factions (see: Atheist factions).

Few atheists attend atheist meetings, atheist conferences or "atheist churches" (see: Atheism and apathy and Atheist movement and Atheism and loneliness).

Atheists have no agreed upon morality (see: Atheism and morality).

Atheists as a population filled with many socially challenged individuals


Atheism and Jehovah's Witness religion both lack holidays

See also: Atheism and holidays and Atheism and Christmas

The Jewish comedian Henny Youngman joked about atheism, "I once wanted to become an atheist but I gave up . . . they have no holidays."[12]

According to the website Religion Facts: "One of the more well-known practices of the Jehovah's Witnesses is their non-celebration of holidays. All holidays, including birthdays, are considered "pagan holidays" and may not be observed by Witnesses."[13] The Jehovah's Witnesses religion does not celebrate Christmas or Easter.[14]

See also