The Dalai Lama explains how to restore religion with Larry King.
With many research studies including the latest by PEW Research Center in May 2015 showing an increase in the number of Americans being religiously unaffiliated, there have been questions on whether religion is failing. Indeed, American demographers, church officials, and other societal leaders have been concerned with the rise of the unaffiliated, also referred to as the “nones.” The 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, is also concerned about the trend and isn’t happy about it.
The Dalai Lama, who just turned 80 years old, made his views known in an interview on ORA TV with Larry King. The Dalai Lama said while all major religions have been of man’s help to humanity for over 2,000 years, religion has increasingly been inadequate especially now that of the seven billion people in the world one billion are non-believers.
The Dalai Lama has intriguing answers on how to restore religion’s relevancy. Regardless of the cause or consequence, better methods of instilling faith in new believers is needed. According to the Dalai Lama proper instruction is necessary for better spiritual formation. The Dalai Lama also stressed the importance of finding another way of educating people on the benefits of inner values.
The rise of non-believers is also a growing concern to other observers such as Andrew Chesnut a religious studies professor at Virginia Commonwealth University. This is attributed to the continuous secularization of the American society. LifeWay Research President Ed Stetzer believes that some of the non-believers are just non-denominational Christians given that American Christianity is becoming more evangelical as well as non-denominational.
While the Dalai Lama is the leader of a small Buddhist group, he has a great influence in America and is a public symbol of values Americans appreciate. He is set to be in United States in October to attend the Parliament of World Religions, an event to be held in Salt Lake City. Tickets for a lecture at the University of Utah sold out within fifteen minutes of going on sale.