A Pew Study published in 2015 reported that the number of Americans who don’t affiliate
themselves with a religion jumped by almost 35% percent.
That’s about 72 million Americans who consider themselves irreligious – and may be atheist,
agnostic, or spiritual, but unaffiliated.
And worldwide, 13% of people considered themselves “convinced atheists”, according to a 2012
Gallup International poll.
So why is Atheism more popular than ever?
Well, first it’s important to understand that
atheists are distinct from the religiously unaffiliated.
Atheists firmly believe that there is no higher power.
This is not to be confused with agnostics,
who are uncertain of the existence of a higher power.
However, many people use the two terms interchangeably.
For much of history atheism has been considered a taboo around the world.
In medieval times, it wasn’t uncommon for
atheists and other free thinkers to be burned at the stake for heresy.
甚至在当今 非洲 亚洲 中东仍有
And even today, atheists can still be executed for their beliefs in about 13 countries in
Africa, Asia and the Middle East.
Despite their growing popularity, negative stigmas and stereotypes also continue to affect
atheists and the religiously unaffiliated,
even in developed countries like the United States.
However, there have been growing trends away from religion
in America and many other western nations.
Pew has attributed the change to the maturing millennial generation, of whom, more than
30% identify as non-religious.
Comparatively, about 11% of the silent generation,
born between 1928 and 1945, is non-religious.
Other news sources have noted that, for millennials, the rise in atheism has corresponded to increased
acceptance of things like gay marriage, and abortion.
Conversely, many religious institutions still do not accept these practices.
And this conflict of ideas could indicate that millennials are looking away from religions
which exclude themselves or their peers.
In the coming years the number of non-religious people are predicted to grow to over 1.2 billion
worldwide, compared to nearly 6 billion Christians and Muslims.
However, the total percentage of the non-religious is actually set to decline overall, as other,
religious populations grow faster.
So which religion is growing the fastest?
If you want to dive deeper, make sure you check out our video here.
Some estimates place the number from religions worldwide in the thousands, there are over 4000 Christian sects alone.
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