Last modified on May 8, 2022, at 20:04

Acceleration of 21st century desecularization

Eric Kaufmann, a professor at Birkbeck College, University of London, using a wealth of demographic studies, argues that there will be a significant decline of global atheism in the 21st century which will impact the Western World.[1]

Desecularization is the process by which religion reasserts its societal influence though religious values, institutions, sectors of society and symbols in reaction to previous and/or co-occurring secularization processes.[2]

The theologian and Harvard University academic Harvey Cox asserted that grassroots movements such as fundamentalism and the Charismatic movement/pentecostalism are significant religious forces that are resistant to secularization forces.[3][4] In her book The Battle for God, Karen Armstrong wrote: "One of the most startling developments of the late 20th century has been the emergence within every major religious tradition of a militant piety known as 'fundamentalism'… this religious resurgence has taken many observers by surprise."[5] Today, even the highly secularized public and political sphere of France is showing a new and more open attitude towards religion.[6]

The current atheist population mostly resides in East Asia (particularly China) and in secular Europe/Australia primarily among whites.[7] See: Western atheism and race

The Soviet Union, communist China and the decline of the secular left in the world, demonstrate that state atheism and/or atheist indoctrination through social institutions is vulnerable to disruption and that desecularization can occur rapidly (see also: Collapse of atheism in the former Soviet Union and Growth of Christianity in China and Decline of the secular left).

In China, Christianity is experiencing explosive growth.[8] In addition, irreligious/secular countries are vulnerable to rapid desecularization through mass immigration of religious immigration or the disruption of atheistic indoctrination. For example, secular Europe is presently having a migrant crisis and these migrants come from religious countries (see: European migrant crisis). In Turkey, which has history of a secular state, the higher fertility rate of religious/fundamentalist Muslims eventually caused the banning of the theory of evolution from secondary schools.[9][10] See also: Atheist indoctrination and Evolutionary indoctrination

Current trends, which are covered below, suggests that the growth of global desecularization may accelerate sometime in the 21st century - particularly in the latter half of the 21st century.

In 2011, Eric Kaufmann declared concerning the population of secular Europe:

If we go to Europe, if we take the population of Europe including Russia, it's expected to decline by 25,000,000 in the next 20 years. And then between 2030 to 2050 by another 55,000,000. So you see there is an acceleration of population decline because total fertility rates, that is the number of children of woman will bear in her lifetime have been below replacement for 30 or 40 years...

As populations shrink, there are fewer mothers begetting fewer children and so forth so you get a compounding effect.[11]

See also: Atheism and fertility rates

Kaufmann wrote in his academic paper Shall the Religious Inherit the Earth?: Demography and Politics in the Twenty-First Century

Today, values play a more important role in fertility behaviour, throwing the contrast between religious pronatalism and secular low-fertility individualism into relief. Over several generations, this process can lead to significant social and political changes. Early Christianity’s exponential rise during its gestation period from 30 to 300 A.D. has been traced to its superior demography (fertility, mortality and female sex ratio), which maintained a rate of growth similar to contemporary Mormonism: 40 percent per decade. For Christians, this led to a jump from 40 converts to 6 million inside three centuries. (Stark 1996) Christianity became the religion of an empire and a continent. In the United States, conservative sects increased their share of white Protestantism from roughly a third to two-thirds during the twentieth century – largely on the back of higher fertility. On the other hand, sects like the Shakers and Cathars, which permitted entry only through conversion, rapidly faded from the scene. Demographic religious revival is a medium and long-term phenomenon, but awareness of shifting population composition can lead to political soul-searching and instability well before the full impact of demographic change takes place. This is clear in ethnically-tense societies like Israel, Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Lebanon, Cote D’Ivoire or Assam.[12]

Dr. Steve Turley wrote:

According to University of London scholar Eric Kaufmann’s detailed study on global demographic trends, we are in the early stages of nothing less than a demographic revolution. In Kaufmann’s words, "religious fundamentalists are on course to take over the world." There is a significant demographic deficit between secularists and conservative religionists. For example, in the U.S., while self-identified non-religionist women averaged only 1.5 children per couple in 2002, conservative evangelical women averaged 2.5 children, representing a 28 percent fertility edge. Kaufmann notes that this demographic deficit has dramatic effects over time. In a population evenly divided, these numbers indicate that conservative evangelicals would increase from 50 to 62.5 percent of the population in a single generation. In two generations, their number would increase to 73.5 percent, and over the course of 200 years, they would represent 99.4 percent. The Amish and Mormons provide contemporary illustrations of the compound effect of endogamous growth. The Amish double in population every twenty years, and projections have the Amish numbering over a million in the U.S. and Canada in just a few decades. Since 1830, Mormon growth has averaged 40 percent per decade, which means that by 2080, there may be as many as 267 million Mormons in the world, making them by 2100 anywhere from one to six percent of the world’s population.

In Europe, immigration is making the continent more religiously conservative, not less; in fact, London and Paris are some of the most religiously dense areas within their respective populations. In Britain, for example, Ultra-Orthodox or Haredi Jews constitute only 17 percent of the Jewish population but account for 75 percent of Jewish births. And in Israel, Haredi schoolchildren have gone from comprising a few percent to nearly a third of all Jewish pupils in a matter of five decades, and are poised to represent the majority of the Jewish population by 2050. Since 1970, charismatic Christians in Europe have expanded steadily at a rate of 4 percent per year, in step with Muslim growth. Currently, Laestadian Lutherans in Finland and Holland’s Orthodox Calvinists have a fertility advantage over their wider secular populations of 4:1 and 2:1 respectively.

In contrast, Kaufmann’s data projects that secularists, who consistently exemplify a low fertility rate of around 1.5 (significantly below the replacement level of 2.1), will begin a steady decline after 2030 to a mere 14 to 15 percent of the American population. Similar projections apply to Europe as well. Kaufmann thus appears to have identified what he calls "the soft underbelly of secularism," namely, demography. This is because secular liberalism entails its own “demographic contradiction,” the affirmation of the sovereign individual devoid of the restraints of classical moral structures necessitates the freedom not to reproduce. The link between sex and procreation having been broken, modernist reproduction translates into mere personal preference. It thus turns out that the radical individualism so celebrated and revered by contemporary secular propagandists is in fact the agent by which their ideology implodes.[13]

Global desecularizationEdit

See also: Global atheism and Global atheism statistics

According to the Encyclopædia Britannica, 2% of the world's population self-identifies as atheist and the average annual global change for atheism from 2000 to 2010 was −0.17%.[14] There is excellent research from a number of sources indicating that the percentage of atheists is presently in decline (see: Global atheism statistics).

On July 24, 2013, CNS News reported:

Atheism is in decline worldwide, with the number of atheists falling from 4.5% of the world’s population in 1970 to 2.0% in 2010 and projected to drop to 1.8% by 2020, according to a new report by the Center for the Study of Global Christianity at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in South Hamilton, Mass."[15]

On December 23, 2012, Professor Eric Kaufmann who teaches at Birbeck College, University of London wrote:

I argue that 97% of the world's population growth is taking place in the developing world, where 95% of people are religious.

On the other hand, the secular West and East Asia has very low fertility and a rapidly aging population... In the coming decades, the developed world's demand for workers to pay its pensions and work in its service sector will soar alongside the booming supply of young people in the third world. Ergo, we can expect significant immigration to the secular West which will import religious revival on the back of ethnic change. In addition, those with religious beliefs tend to have higher birth rates than the secular population, with fundamentalists having far larger families. The epicentre of these trends will be in immigration gateway cities like New York (a third white), Amsterdam (half Dutch), Los Angeles (28% white), and London, 45% white British.[16] [17]

At a conference Kaufmann said of religious demographic projections concerning the 21st century:

Part of the reason I think demography is very important, at least if we are going to speak about the future, is that it is the most predictable of the social sciences.

...if you look at a population and its age structure now. You can tell a lot about the future. ...So by looking at the relative age structure of different populations you can already say a lot about the future...

...Religious fundamentalism is going to be on the increase in the future and not just out there in the developing world..., but in the developed world as well.[18]

See also: Growth of religious fundamentalism

Another reason there will be an acceleration of 21st century desecularization is that there is a concurrent decline of the secular left and decline of leftism.

Global atheism, fertility rates and aging populationsEdit

See also: Global atheism and aging populations

Global atheism is facing significant challenges in terms of aging populations in East Asia and Europe and this will be a significant cause of desecularization in the 21st century (see: Global atheism and aging populations).

One of the causes of desecularization is the sub-replacement level of fertility of atheists/agnostics and the high fertility of religious conservatives (See: Atheism and fertility rates).

As atheist populations rise in age, the fertility rates of atheistic countries could drop further. The Rand Corporation indicates, "Nearly all European nations are experiencing long-term downtrends in fertility, and consequently, ageing of their populations. These demographic trends could have potentially damaging consequences for European economies."[19]

Religious immigrants to Europe resistant to secularizationEdit

See: Religious immigrants to Europe resistant to secularization

Future of immigration to Europe uncertainEdit

The future of immigration to Europe is difficult to determine. Should Europe's economic condition worsen in the future it will be less attractive to immigrants and anti-immigration politics could heighten due to increased competition for scarcer job opportunities. In addition, anti-Muslim sentiments in Europe appear to be rising so the proportion of immigration from Muslim countries could be affected due to politicians catering to anti-Muslim public sentiments.

Global desecularization and evangelical ChristianityEdit

Evangelical Christians are often zealous when it comes to evangelism and evangelical Christianity has seen rapid growth in the world (see: Growth of evangelical Christianity).

Research on the number of atheists in the worldEdit

Data compiled by the Center for the Study of Global Christianity (CSGC) at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (GCTS) as far as the number of atheists in the world:

Given the information in the resources directly above, the Center for the Study of Global Christianity at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, expects the global atheist population to shrink in its total number of individuals in 2017.

If CSGC is correct, then not only is the global market share for atheism going downward, but now the actual number of atheists in the world is going down as well. Specifically, CSGC is projecting that from the midpoint of 2016 to the midpoint of 2017, the total number of atheists in the world is going to go from 138,101,000 individuals to 137,041,000 individuals. That would be a net loss of 60,000 atheists in the world during this period.[20]

Decline of Asian atheismEdit

See also: Asian atheism and East Asia and global desecularization and Growth of Christianity in China and Future of atheism in China

In front of the Great Hall of the People in Tiananmen Square in Beijing.

According to Slate, "Protestant Christianity has been the fastest growing religion in China."[21] Evangelical Christianity is especially growing sharply in China.[22]

On November 1, 2014, an article in The Economist entitled Cracks in the atheist edifice declared:

Officials are untroubled by the clash between the city’s famously freewheeling capitalism and the Communist Party’s ideology, yet still see religion and its symbols as affronts to the party’s atheism...

Yang Fenggang of Purdue University, in Indiana, says the Christian church in China has grown by an average of 10% a year since 1980. He reckons that on current trends there will be 250m Christians by around 2030, making China’s Christian population the largest in the world. Mr. Yang says this speed of growth is similar to that seen in fourth-century Rome just before the conversion of Constantine, which paved the way for Christianity to become the religion of his empire.[23]

Justin Wood also wrote:

Ten thousand Chinese become Christians each day, according to a stunning report by ...veteran correspondent John Allen, and 200 million Chinese may comprise the world's largest concentration of Christians by mid-century, and the largest missionary force in history...

I suspect that even the most enthusiastic accounts err on the downside, and that Christianity will have become a Sino-centric religion two generations from now. China may be for the 21st century what Europe was during the 8th-11th centuries, and America has been during the past 200 years: the natural ground for mass evangelization. If this occurs, the world will change beyond our capacity to recognize it. Islam might defeat the western Europeans, simply by replacing their diminishing numbers with immigrants, but it will crumble beneath the challenge from the East.[24]

Projected growth of evangelical Christianity in AsiaEdit

See also: Growth of evangelical Christianity and Growth of evangelical Christianity in irreligious regions

Justin Long, citing statistics from Operation World states:

From 146 million in 2010, evangelicals grow to 1.2 billion, or 24% of Asia’s 4.3 billion by 2100. Evangelicals are, in this model, predicted to slip from 3% per annum growth today to 1.5% per annum in 2100, due to the projected fall in population growth. This, too, seems a fairly realistic projection. While there are significant gains in the number of evangelicals in China, growth in other places in Asia is presently fairly flat.[25]

Desecularization and EuropeEdit

See also: European desecularization in the 21st century and Religion and migration

Concerning the future of religion/secularism in Europe, Eric Kaufmann wrote:

We have performed these unprecedented analyses on several cases. Austria offers us a window into what the future holds. Its census question on religious affiliation permits us to perform cohort component projections, which show the secular population plateauing by 2050, or as early as 2021 if secularism fails to attract lapsed Christians and new Muslim immigrants at the same rate as it has in the past. (Goujon, Skirbekk et al. 2006).

This task will arguably become far more difficult as the supply of nominal Christians dries up while more secularisation-resistant Muslims and committed rump Christians comprise an increasing share of the population.[26]

Immigration to the European continent has a long history. In the latter part of the 20th century, immigration to Europe increased substantially - especially in Western Europe. At the same time, in 2014, the Pew Research Forum indicated that Europe will go from 11% of the world's population to 7% of the world's population by 2050.[27] See: Growth of global desecularization

Concerning the future of evangelical Protestantism in Europe, in a paper entitled Shall the Religious Inherit the Earth?: Demography and Politics in the Twenty-First Century, Kaufmann wrote:

What of European Christianity? The conventional wisdom holds it to be in free fall, especially in Western Europe. (Bruce 2002) This is undoubtedly correct for Catholic Europe, while Protestant Europe already has low levels of religious practice. Yet closer scrutiny reveals an increasingly lively and demographically growing Christian remnant. Several studies have examined the connection between religiosity - whether defined as attendance, belief or affiliation - and fertility in Europe. Most find a statistically significant effect even when controlling for age, education, income, marital status and other factors...

Moving to the wider spectrum of European Christianity, we find that fertility is indeed much higher among European women who are religious...

Today, most of those who remain religious in Europe wear their beliefs lightly, but conservative Christianity is hardly a spent force. Data on conservative Christians is difficult to come by since many new churches keep few official records. Reports from the World Christian Database, which meticulously tracks reports from church bodies, indicates that 4.1 percent of Europeans (including Russians) were evangelical Christians in 2005. This figure rises to 4.9 percent in northern, western and southern Europe. Most religious conservatives are charismatics, working within mainstream denominations like Catholicism or Lutheranism to ‘renew’ the faith along more conservative lines. There is also an important minority of Pentecostals, who account for .5% of Europe’s population. Together, charismatics and Pentecostals account for close to 5 % of Europe’s population. The proportion of conservative Christians has been rising, however: some estimate that the trajectory of conservative Christian growth has outpaced that of Islam in Europe. (Jenkins 2007: 75).

In many European countries, the proportion of conservative Christians is close to the number who are recorded as attending church weekly. This would suggest an increasingly devout Christian remnant is emerging in western Europe which is more resistant to secularization. This shows up in France, Britain and Scandinavia (less Finland), the most secular countries where we have 1981, 1990 and 2000 EVS and 2004 ESS data on religiosity...

Currently there are more evangelical Christians than Muslims in Europe. (Jenkins 2007: 75) In Eastern Europe, as outside the western world, Pentecostalism is a sociological and not a demographic phenomenon. In Western Europe, by contrast, demography is central to evangelicalism’s growth, especially in urban areas. Alas, immigration brings two foreign imports, Islam and Christianity, to secular Europe.[28]

Atheists/agnostics in the Western World have historically not engaged in personal evangelism as far as racial minorities in their countries (see: Western atheism and race and Atheism and apathy).

Yale Daily News reported in an article entitled White Europeans: An endangered species? that "Without a major shift in the current fertility trends, industrialized Europe will see its native population decline by about three-fourths over the 21st century."[29] See also: Decline of global atheism and Global Christianity

See also:

Projected growth of evangelical Christianity in Europe according to Operation WorldEdit

See also: Growth of evangelical Christianity

Justin Long, citing statistics from Operation World states:

Europe. From 18 million today, this model projects growth to 26 million evangelicals by 2100. The annual growth rate will decline along with the falling population AGR, which is projected to hit its peak ‘low’ rate of -0.246% per annum around 2075. Since the evangelical AGR will not be as slow as the population’s, Europe will actually become more evangelical (by percentage of the population): rising from 2.5% in 2010 to 4% in 2100 in this model.[30]

A sign of desecularization and/or the ending of secularization in BritainEdit

See also: British atheism

The news website Premier reported in 2016:

The decline in the number of people calling themselves Christians has halted, new figures suggest.

A small increase in the percentage of Brits who classify themselves as followers of Christ has been found in the British Social Attitudes Survey.

The report, which is published every year, has not been official released but the Sunday Telegraph has reported some of its findings.

The amount of Brits who say they are Christian has increase in the past year from 42 per cent to 43 per cent, it says.

Such a small change is within the margin of error in surveys but if it is to be believed it shows a decade long decline in Christianity has levelled off.[31]

Europe beginning to enter a postsecular ageEdit

See also: Postsecularism

In November 2017, the Catholic News Agency reported Vatican Secretary for Relations with the States Archbishop Paul Gallagher indicating that religion is no longer a forbidden subject in European politics.[32]

According to Gallagher: "Many diplomatic services throughout Europe and elsewhere are now running courses, literally accelerated courses to make up time on religion,” he said, explaining that political leaders are beginning to recognize that “the world is a very religious place."[33]

United States, irreligion vs. religion, demographics and desecularizationEdit

See also: United States, irreligion vs. religion and demographics

Demography is the study of human populations, and is a major specialty in the disciplines of sociology, economics, history, geography, statistics and epidemiology.

Professor Eric Kaufmann, Birkbeck College, University of London, specializes on how demographics affects religion/irreligion/politics.

Steve Turley wrote:

According to a recent a demographic study by University of London Professor Eric Kaufmann, there is a significant demographic deficit between secularists and conservative religionists. For example, in the U.S., while self-identified secular women averaged only 1.5 children per couple in 2002, conservative evangelical women averaged 2 to 3 children per couple, which amounts to a 28 percent fertility advantage. Now Kaufmann notices that this demographic deficit has dramatic effects over time. In a population evenly divided, these numbers indicate that conservative evangelicals would increase from 50 to 62.5 percent of the population in a single generation. In two generations, their number would increase to 73.5 percent, and over the course of 200 years, they would represent 99.4 percent.

Kaufmann noticed further that the more religiously conservative, the more children. For example, the Amish double in population every twenty years, and are projected to number over a million in the U.S. and Canada in just a few decades. We're seeing a similar trend among Mormons, who have averaged a 40 percent growth per decade, which means that by the end of the century, there will be as many as 300 million Mormons in the world, or six percent of the world's population. And note: Mormons vote overwhelmingly Republican.

Now in stark contrast to all of this, Kaufmann's data projects that secularists consistently exemplify a low fertility rate of around 1.5 percent per couple, which is significantly below the replacement level of 2.1 percent. And so he sees a steady decline of secular populations after 2030 or 2050 to potentially no more than a mere 14 to 15 percent of the American population. He notices that similar projections apply to Europe as well.[34]

In 2012, Kaufmann wrote:

In the United States, they manage 1.5, considerably lower than the national 2.1. This disadvantage is not enough to prevent religious decline in much of Europe and America today, but secularism must run to stand still. Since the history of religious decline in Europe suggests that secularization rates tend to drop over time, this portends the end of secularization. Projections I recently published with Skirbekk and Goujon in the journal Sociology of Religion show secularism losing momentum and beginning to decline in both Europe and America by 2050, largely because of low fertility and religious immigration.[35]

Growth of underlying factors related to desecularizationEdit

There are a number of factors which cause desecularization (see: Causes of desecularization).

Some of these factors like the weakening of state atheism may accelerate (see also: Collapse of atheism in the former Soviet Union).

Weakening of state atheismEdit

The historian Martin Van Crevel points out that sovereign states are losing power/influence due to technology democratizing access to information, welfare states increasingly failing, fourth-generation warfare being waged against countries and sovereign states increasingly losing their ability to maintain internal order.[36][37]

Aging populations in the developed worldEdit

See also: Global atheism and aging populations

The article Developed countries may become more religious in 20 years indicates:

Researchers from HSE University and RANEPA found that in high-income countries, age, rather than the cohort effect, has more impact on religiosity. They predict that this may have an impact on societal structure in the future. The study was published in Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion.

It has long been observed that older people tend to be more religious than younger people. However, it is still disputable whether this fact should be attributed to people generally becoming more religious with age per se (age effect), or to the process of secularization, wherein earlier cohorts (to which the now older people belong) used to be more religious than those that appeared later, i.e. younger cohorts (cohort effect). HSE University scholars decided to analyze this issue using data from six waves of the World Values Survey (2016) in high-income OECD countries. A total of 16 countries were studied, including Australia, the USA, Canada, Great Britain, Israel, New Zealand, Japan, Germany, as well as other European countries.

The researchers used logistic models and multiple linear regression to determine that the age effect has a higher impact on religiosity than the cohort effect. Older people are more inclined to believe in God, attend church, and believe it is important to instill religion in children.. The cohort effect impacts other factors analyzed by the scholars, such as church attendance and a belief in religion's importance in life, but the age effect still strongly prevails over the cohort effect...

The transition from religious to secular values may slow by 2040 in high-income OECD countries and, probably, there will be a resurgence of religiosity, the symptoms of which can be observed in Japan. On the other hand, widely divergent socio-cultural settings in different countries have an impact on religious behavior and attitude, and this must be taken into account in further research.[38]

(See also: European desecularization in the 21st century and United States, irreligion vs. religion and demographics and American atheism and British atheism and Irreligion in Australia and Postsecularism and New Zealand in the 21st century and Canada and irreligion)

Atheist indoctrination facing future challengesEdit

Dennis Prager is a vocal opponent of atheist indoctrination in public schools.[39]

Jewish columnist Dennis Prager has stated that a causal factor of atheism is the "secular indoctrination of a generation."[40] Prager stated that "From elementary school through graduate school, only one way of looking at the world – the secular – is presented. The typical individual in the Western world receives as secular an indoctrination as the typical European received a religious one in the Middle Ages."[41] See also: Atheism and critical thinking

Homeschooling is growing worldwide.[42]

Nearly 7% of American college-educated parents homeschool their children.[43] In the United States, an estimated one to two million students are homeschooled, or nearly one out of every 30 students.[44]

In 2011, it was reported that homeschooling has grown by almost 75% in the last 8 years in the United States.[45] and in a recent survey "the average homeschooled student scored at the 88th percentile" in the core subjects of reading, language and math.[46] The most successful mathematician in contests in history, Reid Barton, was homeschooled.[47]

Aging populations under financial pressure and lower per pupil cost of private schoolingEdit

Private schooling per student cost less than public schooling.[48]

According to a news program by John Stossel, Belgium has a school system which funds students to attend primary and secondary schools and they can use those funds to attend any school or their choice whether it be a religious private school, a non-religious private school or a public school.

American government run public schools are increasingly facing budget cuts and there is growing criticism of public schools. Vouchers for private schools (including religious schools) and charter schools are increasingly being discussed and legislators are introducing and passing school choice bills.[49] America also has an aging population and Bill Gates indicates that state budgets are breaking schools in the United States.[50] Of course, constrained public school budgets includes constrained school legal budgets so many schools will be less able to engage in frivolous/unwarranted legal suits constraining religious free speech in their schools.

There appears to be a higher education bubble that will burst.[51] The Wall Street Journal reported in 2013 that the percentage of Americans going to college has been decreasing for 3 years in the USA.[52]

Europe faces an aging population and will also have challenges financing public schools.

Declining influence of pro-atheism mainstream mediaEdit

The Media Research Center released a study reporting a pro-atheism bias by major press outlets in the United States. The study found that 80% of mainstream media coverage of atheism was positive and that 71% of Christian-themed stories had an atheist counterpoint or were written from an atheist perspective. The New Atheism movement received significant support from the mainstream media during its early years.

In recent years, the American public has been increasingly distrustful of the mainstream media and the profitability of newspapers has been declining.[53]

Pessimism and various atheists/agnostics about recent history of secularism and/or future of secularismEdit

See also: Atheists and the endurance of religion and Decline of the atheist movement

In 2011, atheist Jacques Berlinerblau declared: "The Golden Age of Secularism has passed."[54]

Groups/organizations which unsuccessfully meet challenges and/or face future challenges which they believe they cannot successfully overcome, often become dispirited, pessimistic and less effective.

The agnostic Eric Kaufmann wrote in 2010:

Worldwide, the march of religion can probably only be reversed by a renewed, self-aware secularism. Today, it appears exhausted and lacking in confidence... Secularism's greatest triumphs owe less to science than to popular social movements like nationalism, socialism and 1960s anarchist-liberalism. Ironically, secularism's demographic deficit means that it will probably only succeed in the twenty-first century if it can create a secular form of 'religious' enthusiasm." [55]

In 2011, atheist Jacques Berlinerblau declared: "The Golden Age of Secularism has passed."[56]

In 2015, the atheist author Joshua Kelly wrote:

...since the death of Hitchens: angry atheism lost its most charismatic champion. Call it what you like: New Atheism, fire-brand atheism, etc., had a surge with the Four Horsemen in the middle of the last decade and in the last four years has generally peetered out to a kind that is more docile, politically correct, and even apologetic.[57]

The American atheist activist Eddie Tabash said at the 2010 Michigan Atheists State Convention:

In every generation there has been a promising beginning of a true vanguard movement that will finally achieve widespread public acceptance for nonbelief. Yet, in each generation there has been an ultimately disappointing failure to actually register the naturalistic alternative to supernatural claims in the public consciousness...

Now given the confounding extent to which religion is entrenched in our society, it could take a minimum of 100 years of sustained, intense effort to even begin to cut into the current monolithic stranglehold that religion has on American mass culture, [58]

Tabash said in a 2007 speech to the Atheist Alliance International organization:

The other likely future is one in which by a shift of only one vote on the United States Supreme Court, we will essentially become a theocracy in which all branches of government we be freed to favor religion collectively over nonbelief.[59]

In 2013, atheist PZ Myers declared:

If we're going to expand our base and we're going to draw in more people to recognize the virtues of living in a secular world, we need to appeal to more than just that geek and nerd subset of the population. We need to have a wider base. ...I seriously believe that we're on the cusp of a crisis. We're not there yet but it's looming in front of us. Will we adapt and thrive and change the world? Or will we remain an avocation for a prosperous and largely irrelevant subset of the population? Will we become something more than a scattered society of internet nerds? That's what we have to do.[60]

In response, Evolution News and Views wrote:

A crisis looms, in Myers's view, because he looks around himself and sees a not very promising basis for a mass movement. He's right. There is indeed a quality of geeky isolation from reality, common sense, and the fullness of life that I see as a motif in atheist and Darwin activism alike.[61]


See also: Postsecularism

Jens Köhrsen, a professor for religion and economics at the Centre for Religion, Economy and Politics (ZRWP),[62] wrote:

[ Jürgen Habermas ] ...argues that a new age, the age of post-secularity, has begun. Previously vastly secularized societies, like the highly developed countries of Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Canada, would experience a new awareness of religion and attribute a new public role to religion. From now on, religion would constitute a relevant dialogue partner in the public debates of these societies (Habermas, 2008). Moreover, Habermas presents a normative argument about public religion: he recommends that post-secular societies should facilitate religious contributions to the public sphere. Religious reasoning could contribute to public debates about the ethical values of contemporaneous and future societies. Habermas believes that modern societies might find some answers to the moral questions of our time by listening to religion in public debates (Habermas, 2001, 2005, 2006, 2008). A similar position to that of Habermas is proposed by Leclerc (2001) and French sociologist Willaime (2004a, 2004b, 2005[1995]: 76-78, 2008). Willaime observes that even the highly secularized public and political sphere of France is exhibiting a new, more open attitude towards religion. The hypersecularity of France would stimulate a restructuration process of religion. According to Willaime, religion can form an important resource for public debates and be engaged in the identity construction process of individuals and collectives.[63]

Religion and its projected increase in the 22nd centuryEdit

See also: Religion and its projected increase in the 22nd century

In 2012, the W. Edwards Deming Institute published a report by the World Future Society which indicated:

In 2100, however, the world will likely be only 9% unaffiliated — more religious than in 2012. The peak of the unaffiliated was in 1970 at around 20%, largely due to the influence of European communism. Since communism’s collapse, religion has been experiencing resurgence that will likely continue beyond 2100. All the world’s religions are poised to have enormous numeric growth (with the exceptions of tribal religions and Chinese folk religion), as well as geographic spread with the continuation of migration trends. Adherents of the world’s religions—perhaps particularly Muslims, Hindus, and Buddhists—will continue to settle in the formerly Christian and ever-expanding cities of Europe and North America, causing increases of religious pluralism in these areas. Christians and Muslims together will encompass two-thirds of the global population—more than 7 billion individuals. In 2100, the majority of the world’s 11.6 billion residents will be adherents of religious traditions.[64]

See alsoEdit

External linksEdit


  1. Religion and the State in Russia and China: Suppression, Survival and Revival by Christopher Marsh, 2011, page 11 (Christopher Marsh cites the definitions of desecularization given by Peter L. Berger and Vyacheslav Karpov)
  2. Publisher's Weekly Review of The Desecularization of the World: Resurgent Religion and World Politics by Peter L. Berger
  3. Kirkus Reviews- FIRE FROM HEAVEN: Pentecostalism, Spirituality, and the Reshaping of Religion in the Twenty-First Century by Harvey Cox
  4. Karen Armstrong, The Battle for God, p. 9
  5. How religious is the public sphere? – A critical stance on the debate about public religion and post-secularity, Draft Version, Jens Koehrsen (Köhrsen). Bielefeld Graduate School in History and Sociology, Germany. École des hautes études en sciences socials, France. Published in: Acta Sociologica 55 (3), S. 273-288.
  6. A surprising map of where the world’s atheists live, By Max Fisher and Caitlin Dewey, Washington Post, May 23, 2013
  7. In China, Unregistered Churches Are Driving a Religious Revolution, The Atlantic, 2017.
  8. [Turkey Coup: Undone by Demographics Turkey Coup: Undone by Demographics], The Unz Review: An Alternative Media Selection, 2016
  9. urkey Drops Evolution From Curriculum, Angering Secularists, New York Times, 2017
  10. Big Ideas Eric Kaufmann
  11. Shall the Religious Inherit the Earth?: Demography and Politics in the Twenty-First Century by Eric Kaufmann, Belfer Center, Harvard University/Birkbeck College, University of London (PDF)
  12. (source: Text below the YouTube video Shall the Religious Inherit the Earth and the text was written by Dr. Steven Turley).
  13. Religion: Year in Review 2010: Worldwide Adherents of All Religions. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Encyclopædia Britannica Inc.. Retrieved on 2013-11-21.
  14. Global Study: Atheists in Decline, Only 1.8% of World Population by 2020
  15. London: A Rising Island of Religion in a Secular Sea by Eric Kaufmann, Huffington Post, 2012
  16. 97% of the world's population growth is taking place in the developing world, where 95% of people are religious, Tuesday, April 30, 2013
  17. Eric Kaufmann - Religion, Demography and Politics in the 21st Century
  18. Low Fertility and Population Ageing, Rand Corporation
  19. When Will China Become the World’s Largest Christian Country?, Slate
  20. In China, a church-state showdown of biblical proportions
  21. Cracks in the atheist edifice, The Economist, November 1, 2014
  22. Christianity Finds a Fulcrum in Asia by Justin Wood
  23. When will the world be over half evangelical? by Justin Long
  24. Shall the Religious Inherit the Earth?: Demography and Politics in the Twenty-First Century by Eric Kaufmann
  25. Kochhar, Rakesh (February 3, 2014). "10 projections for the global population in 2050". FactTank/Pew Research Center website.
  26. Shall the Religious Inherit the Earth?: Demography and Politics in the Twenty-First Century by Eric Kaufmann
  27. White Europeans: An endangered species? By Trevor Wagener, Yale Daily News, February 27, 2008
  28. When will the world be over half evangelical? by Justin Long
  29. Decline in UK Christianity 'halts', Prremier
  30. Religious freedom, not secularism, key to Europe’s future, Vatican official says, Catholic News Agency, 2017
  31. Religious freedom, not secularism, key to Europe’s future, Vatican official says, Catholic News Agency, 2017
  32. Feminist Futility: Why the Women's March Promises a Conservative Future by Steve Turley, Christian Post
  33. The Future Will Be More Religious and Conservative Than You Think by Eric Kaufmann, American Enterprise Institute
  34. The Fate of the State by MARTIN VAN CREVELD
  35. Martin van Creveld interview
  36. Developed countries may become more religious in 20 years, Eureka Alert
  37. How atheism is being sold in America
  38. How atheism is being sold in America
  39. How atheism is being sold in America
  40. Homeschooling is growing worldwide
  46. Anti-evolution religious private schooling and homeschooling will see big growth worldwide
  47. Bill Gates: How state budgets are breaking US schools
  48. College enrollment shows signs of slowing which means less post high school evolutionary indoctrination. Also, the ever shrinking role of tenured evolutionist professors and evolutionary biologists
  49. 7 alarming trends for the atheist movement
  50. Berlinerblau, Jacques (February 4, 2011). "Obama at the National Prayer Breakfast". The Chronicle of Higher Education/Brainstorm blog. Retrieved on May 29, 2015.
  51. Shall the religious inherit the earth? - Eric Kaufmann
  52. Berlinerblau, Jacques (February 4, 2011). "Obama at the National Prayer Breakfast". The Chronicle of Higher Education/Brainstorm blog. Retrieved on May 29, 2015.
  53. Uproar Against Dawkins Is Sign of New Atheism Retrogression by Joshua Kelly
  54. Atheists Speak Up - Eddie Tabash
  55. Eddie Tabash: Speech and Q&A at AAI 07
  56. in Seattle, PZ Myers Reflects Candidly on His Constituency
  57. in Seattle, PZ Myers Reflects Candidly on His Constituency
  58. Prof. Dr. Jens Köhrsen, University website faculty page
  59. How religious is the public sphere? – A critical stance on the debate about public religion and post-secularity, Draft Version, Jens Koehrsen (Köhrsen). Bielefeld Graduate School in History and Sociology, Germany. École des hautes études en sciences socials, France. Published in: Acta Sociologica 55 (3), S. 273-288.
  60. The 22nd Century at First Light: Envisioning Life in the Year 2100: A special report by members and friends of the World Future Society, Religious Belief in 2100 by Gina A. Bellofatto