Society New survey compares percentages of Christians and unaffiliated in Western Europe

:) They describe theirs better, but yes, I believe so. Here’s European value study’s methodology. www.europeanvaluesstudy.eu/page/methodology

They ask people questions and then make statistics from that. But it’s beside the point imo. When it comes to how they formulate the questions, all it says is:
"The questionnaire administered by survey interviewers was designed by Pew Research Center staff in consultation with subject matter experts and advisers to the project."

I have a feeling it's not about methodology, but rather how you define "christian" (I guess that’s strictly speaking part of the methodology too, though). Notice that in Eauopeanvaluestudy they are asking the same thing, but with a different angle, which gives a different result.

Since 1990 the number of members of the Lutheran state-church of Denmark has declined steadily from 90% to 76%. Number of baptisms are down from 80% in 1990 to 62% in 2017 (obviously muslim immigration also is a factor here, but not the sole one) Hows that for christianity growing in Denmark? Yes, culturally some people are maybe reclaiming a cultural christian identity as a defence against muslim immigration, but it's just superficial.

Add to that, that you have to understand that just because people are members of the state-church because they were baptized by their parents, it doesn’t mean they believe in Jesus Christ or even god. It’s just a tradition. You can read about the danes relationship to their state-church here, if interested: https://international.kk.dk/artikel/are-danes-religious

We actually even had a priest of the state-church in 2003, who openly declared he didn’t believe in god. It did cause some debate of cause. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thorkild_Grosbøll

Also......

“According to a 2009 poll, 25% of Danes believe Jesus is the Son of God, and 18% believe he is the saviour of the world.”

Source:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Church_of_Denmark#Faith_and_church_attendance (the original source of the quote is from a yougov study. I’ll see if I can dig it up somewere in english if I have time)

If you don’t believe Jesus Christ is the savior of the world, then you’re not a real Christian - because you don’t believe in the god of the new testament. Otherwise I'd label you: "a spiritual person from a christian culture". What could be called a “cultural Christian”. Many danes selfidentify as christians, while in reality - they're strictly speaking not.

But can you believe in a pantheistic and un-personal God, and still call yourself christian? Of cause you can - because religions are ideas, and like all other man-made ideas, they can be put into all kinds of constellations with other ideas that shouldn’t fit together. And you don’t have to be consequent. I mean, can you be a neonazi skinhead and a jew at the same time? Of cause you can. Humans are full of contradictions and absurdities like that.

The question, “are you a christian?” doesn’t neccesarily mean the same in the ears of a Scandinavian “cultural Christian” protestant and a southern European catholic.

All that said, the more I think about it, maybe it’s just me misreading the infographics. But I do think that these kind of studies are hard to make, because you are trying to fit something very complex - what people think - into some small bars representing one simple sentence. Or maybe it’s just me splitting hairs and being to anal about semantics. Could be.
 
All that said, the more I think about it, maybe it’s just me misreading the infographics. But I do think that these kind of studies are hard to make, because you are trying to fit something very complex - what people think - into some small bars representing one simple sentence. Or maybe it’s just me splitting hairs and being to anal about semantics. Could be.

It's not you. The studies are bad.

Concerning the EVS study, I have to say that someone 1) can believe in a personal god and 2) be culturally Christian but act as a de facto religiously indifferent person. That is very common here.
 
I am not sure why it is not decreasing in other countries as well.

Because religiosity is to some extent genetically determined (just like any other behavioural trait).

In the past everyone was religious, even people with no genetic propensity to religiosity, due to circumstances (there was no religious freedom). When societies became secular, people were free to choose what they wanted or didn't want to believe in, so the share of religious people started declining. But only these individuals who are not genetically inclined to be religious are becoming unaffiliated.

I think that there are hard-coded genetic limits to atheism, different depending on population.

Unless you abolish religious freedom and force everyone to be atheist. I think that Germans became so atheistic under Communism because they tend to be conformists and obedient to authority (unlike Poles who tend to be nonconformists and rebellious, so Communist pressure to make the society more atheistic had effects opposite to expected - even more people started attending churches).

Another issue is that religious people are having more children on average than atheists.
 
Also note that White Americans are largely descended from people who escaped religious persecutions in Europe. Their ancestors felt such strong ties with their religious beliefs, that they would rather risk everything and emigrate to an unknown land located on the other side of the ocean, than abandon their faith and convert to whatever the "mainstream" religious denomination in their kingdom was. I would not be surprised at all if it turns out that White Americans have on average a higher genetic propensity to religiosity than Europeans, due to that self-selection caused by emigration of deeply religious (and persecuted for their faith in their home countries) individuals.
 
If you have experienced the trauma of religious brainwashing and proselytism it is hard to hold positive views of religion.

Some people are more susceptible to brainwashing, or more obedient to authority (in this case religious authority), than others. But what you described - experiencing the trauma of brainwashing - applies not just to religious brainwashing, but to any kind of brainwashing, and to any attempts of depriving you of the freedom to reason on your own, and to decide for yourself. North Koreans have been experiencing Communist anti-religious and anti-spiritual brainwashing, and after the fall of their Communist regime, it is quite likely that they will become more religious and/or spiritual again. Simply due to the fact that they will be disgusted by attempts to impose a certain worldview on them. It is not about religion per se, but about any kind of brainwashing in general.
 
Also note that White Americans are largely descended from people who escaped religious persecutions in Europe. Their ancestors felt such strong ties with their religious beliefs, that they would rather risk everything and emigrate to an unknown land located on the other side of the ocean, than abandon their faith and convert to whatever the "mainstream" religious denomination in their kingdom was. I would not be surprised at all if it turns out that White Americans have on average a higher genetic propensity to religiosity than Europeans, due to that self-selection caused by emigration of deeply religious (and persecuted for their faith in their home countries) individuals.

That is probably one reason why Americans are more religious than Europeans. That would apply especially to the part of the population descended from the emigrants who fled religious persecutions, so mostly the early settlers of the 17th century and who settled in the original 13 colonies and later expanded in what is now the Bible Belt. The descendants of these 17th-century settlers are the most likely to describe themselves as 'Americans' in the race and ethnicity survey.


800px-Census-2000-Data-Top-US-Ancestries-by-County.svg.png


The map below shows the percentage of people who describes their ancestry as 'American' (because they have been there for centuries and in many cases lost track of their genealogical roots). It matches the extend of the Bible Belt.

American1346.gif


New York received many later emigrants (Irish, Italian, Jewish, Polish, etc.) who did not come because of religious persecutions, and indeed today New York and surrounding states are considerably more liberal and less religious than other eastern states that kept a higher proportion of original settlers.

The West Coast was settled by adventurers who were generally less religious, and since the latter half of the 20th century has attracted immigrants from all over the world who were interested in the more liberal aspects of American culture and the "self-image" and Hollywood culture of California, which often clashes with conservative Christian values of the Bible Belt.

Northern Midwest states were settled mostly by Scandinavians, Germans, Dutch and Belgians, who were religiously moderate and also did not migrate for religious reasons.
 
That can't be it, gentlemen.

The only part of the U.S. settled primarily by people fleeing religious persecution were the New England states, which are among the most irreligious in the U.S., and to some extent places like Pennsylvania (Quakers, who barely exist any more, and the ones who exist are extremely liberal), and Maryland (Catholics for the most part, and there weren't very many of them).

The only exception would be Utah, settled by persecuted Mormons.

The southern states were settled by people predominantly of the established religion, and they came for economic reasons, political persecution (Jacobites from Scotland), poor Brits from the Borders, because they were indentured servants, or criminals (Georgia, which was a penal colony like Australia).

The Baptists and Methodists, who had a very small presence in the south originally, exploded in terms of numbers after the Second Great Revival (there were three of them). Preachers from New England toured the south holding large meetings. The "revival" has a long history in the U.S.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Great_Awakening

As for why it lingered longer, part of it may be that there has been less immigration to the southern states. They're not confronted as much with different points of view. It's also become part of their identity.

Southerners are more conservative altogether, not just in terms of religion. They're more patriotic, make up a very disproportionately large percentage of the armed forces.

Even in terms of manners, they're much more old-fashioned imo, more deferential to their parents, their elders, address people as ma'am or sir. It's a whole constellation of behavior.
 

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