Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Losing our religion?

Source GazetteXtra.

Michael Gerson,a columnist for the Washington Post Writers Group, observes that:

According to Pew, 74 percent of the nones grew up in a religious tradition of some sort. Yet while conversion has increased the ranks of the nones, retention is not particularly good. Protestantism, for example, loses about 20 percent of those raised Protestants. Of those raised unaffiliated, 40 percent fall away from the nonfaith and rebel toward religion, making for a new generation of awkward Thanksgivings.

While I might fiddle with the numbers a bit, this certainly has been my experience in the Orthodox Church. The Church is also suffering from the “declining trust in religious institutions since the 1990s.” This isn’t limited to religion but

…has been accompanied by declining trust in most institutions (with the notable exception of the military). Confidence in government and big business has simultaneously fallen—and the public standing of both is lower than that of the church. Americans may be less affiliated with religious organizations because they have grown generally more individualistic and skeptical of authority.

If I were to hazard a guess, it’s because whatever it is they do, Christians typically don’t invite young people (or anyone else for that matter) to become friends of Jesus AND His disciples. Like the larger culture, the Orthodox Church seem to be raising the next generation of “nones” precisely because we have failed to foster friendship, much less discipleship, among in our own parishes.

In Christ,

+Fr Gregory

h/t: Mirror of Justice

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