A recent article from VICE analyzes the potentially dark future for religion. After a tumultuous 2014, what will 2015 bring for the world’s religions?
A recent article by Martin Robbins posted on VICE paints a dark future for religion, bringing up the past year’s events to strengthen his negativity. From the recent polls in the UK that demonstrated mass amounts of antisemitism to the Charlie Hebdo attack, it has been a rough year for all of us. The starting of his sentence, however, breathed little more than negativity, particularly the beginning statement where he summarized religion in 2015 “as a single word: fear.” It comes off as biased by reporting only the worst of events in the past year.
Anti-Semitism is Prominent in the UK
Two studies were done in the UK, one by YouGov for Campaign Against Antisemitism (CCA) and one by CCA itself. The CCA study showed that over half of British Jews fear that Jews don’t have a future in the UK anymore. The YouGov poll found that well over half of Britons demonstrate anti-Semitic remarks or behaviors.
Steve Emerson appeared on Fox News to claim that “non-Muslims do not go to Birmingham.” He continued further to say that “parts of London, there are actually Muslim religious police that actually beat and actually wound seriously anyone who doesn’t dress according to religious Muslim attire.” David Cameron, the Prime Minister, responded that the news commentator is a “complete idiot.”
Charlie Hebdo Attack
At the beginning of 2015, gunmen stormed the Paris office of Charlie Hebdo, a French satire magazine, in an act of terrorism. Four of the cartoonists and two police officers were killed. It was the deadliest attack in France since the 1960s, when 28 people were killed in a bombing by right-wingers protesting events in Algeria.
Terrorism Connected to Religion
According to ThinkProgress, less than 2% of attacks in the EU are motivated by religion. Moreover, only 6% were terrorist attacks between 1980 and 2005 in the US. In 2013, the UK saw 152 terrorist attacks, 2 of which were religiously motivated. In 2012, 6 out of 219 attacks were spurred on by religion. None of the 174 attacks were considered terrorist attacks in 2011, and in 2010, 3 out of 249 attacks were religiously motivated. In 2009, only one out of 294 was religiously motivated. And yet, religion bears the brunt of criticism for the few attacks it does inspire.
Muslims are Assimilating
PEW posted an article detailing the lives of Muslim-Americans. Their research found that many Muslim-Americans are assimilated and middle-class, with full loyalties to their country. Though two-thirds of adult Muslims were born somewhere else, they are hardworking and have a “positive view of the larger society.”
Will Religion Go Extinct?
Atheists make up significant portions of economically developed countries, particularly European democracies. However, underdeveloped countries have very few who identify has atheists. Among developed countries, though, the trend indicates that religion is on the decline. A study that looked into nine countries reveals that atheism is on the rise and “religion is set for extinction.”
- The Guardian
- World Religion News
- Think Progress
- Pew Research
- Psychology Today
- BBC News – 2011