Where is Faith in the Modern World?
In some parts of the world, religion is growing rapidly. Christianity has been spreading through Africa at a rapid rate, yet where is religion in the modern world? Are educated and wealthy nations seeking something else?
Statistics say that over 33% of the world is Christian (across multiple disciplines and doctrines), while nearly 20% is Islamic and just over 13% are Hindu. These are the three mainstream religions of our world today, yet it is hard to believe so much of the world has a spiritual and faith filled understanding to go with these statistics.
With figures like these (nearly two thirds of the world belonging to a faith community) we should expect to be living in a utopian society. But we know we are not. People are hungry, domestic violence is rife, wars continue and heck most of us probably don’t even know the names of all our neighbours.
So what are the world religions teaching?
Contrary to popular belief, the basis of these three major religions have more similarities than differences. All believe in the divinity of one God, creator of all. They all understand cause and effect, although they teach it in different ways. There is some understanding of life after death in all three and they all teach compassion, love and respect amongst humanity. I know this is over simplifying the teachings, but you get my point.
If over 60% of the worlds population really believed what they were being taught. If it was taught in a child like manner, with basic understanding rather than the complexities of religion we could be living in a very different world.
Why isn’t it working?
Power and corruption are prevalent in religion as much as they are in political circles. Religious understanding is at the centre of the media’s fear and sensationalism champaign; all for the advertising dollar.
Seth Godin in his book We are all Weird discusses the concept of a cultural change in understanding in the modern world. We are no longer all so similar (the bell curve has changed). We can’t simply reach the masses with one methodology or idea. Religious institutions are struggling to make their message clear to a modern, post industrial society.
Can we stick with the basics?
Can we love each other, warts and all?
Can we respect other people’s beliefs, even when we don’t understand them?
Can we find a religious culture which can stick to the basics; allowing people to understand their spiritual journey of faith in a child like way; simple and easy to get the gist of without all the legalistic additions?
Micro Religion – Small ‘tribes’ of people talking faith and spirituality in a micro culture with the same basic understanding as the larger religions, but different ways of living it.
If you have ideas on this concept I would love to hear from you.
Seth Godin: We are all Weird – TEDX talk – Stop Stealing Dreams