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Sat Sep 29, 2012, 07:05 AM

What's the Least Religious Place in the World and What's Its Secret?


The Guardian / By Peter Thompson

What's the Least Religious Place in the World and What's Its Secret?
A survey taken in this country could not find a single religious person under 28.

September 26, 2012 |


They are sending missionaries to eastern Germany . A recent study called Beliefs About God Across Time and Countries found that 52.1% of people asked whether they believed in God identified themselves as atheists. This compared with only 10.3% in western Germany. Indeed, the survey was unable to find a single person under the age of 28 in eastern Germany who believed in God. Obviously there are some – I think I may have even met some once – but the survey was unable to find them. On the face of it this is an extraordinary finding and it is something that needs some careful explanation.

Different reasons are adduced for the absence of religion in the east. The first one that is usually brought out is the fact that that area was run by the Communist party from 1945 to 1990 and that its explicit hostility to religion meant that it was largely stamped out. However, this is not entirely the case. In fact, after initial hostilities in the first years of the GDR, the SED came to a relatively comfortable accommodation with what was called the Church in Socialism. The churches in the GDR were given a high degree of autonomy by SED standards and indeed became the organisational focus of the dissident movement of the 1990s, which was to some extent led by Protestant pastors.

In addition to an accommodation with religion, the party also deliberately created alternative poles of integration for the population. Young people were brought up in a highly ideological atmosphere and were required to undergo a so-called Jugendweihe – a sort of atheist confirmation. Interestingly, this ceremony has survived the end of communism and many young people still voluntarily enter into it. Equally, especially under Eric Honecker in the 1970s and 80s, an attempt was made to create a sort of "GDR patriotism", in which figures from Prussian history such as Frederick the Great were put back on their plinths in East Berlin and integrated into the Communist narrative of the forward march of history. Martin Luther, Thomas Münzer and other figures from the Reformation were also recruited into the party.

Another factor is that religion in eastern Germany is also overwhelmingly Protestant, both historically and in contemporary terms. Of the 25% who do identify themselves as religious, 21% of them are Protestants. The other 4% is made up of a small number of Catholics as well as Muslims and adherents of other new evangelical groups, new-age sects or alternative religions. The Protestant church is in steep decline with twice as many people leaving it every year as joining. ................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.alternet.org/whats-least-religious-place-world-and-whats-its-secret



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Reply What's the Least Religious Place in the World and What's Its Secret? (Original post)
marmar Sep 2012 OP
xchrom Sep 2012 #1
Atman Sep 2012 #2
BlueMTexpat Sep 2012 #5
AlbertCat Sep 2012 #6
eggplant Sep 2012 #8
Voice for Peace Sep 2012 #10
RKP5637 Sep 2012 #3
alterfurz Sep 2012 #7
RKP5637 Sep 2012 #13
avebury Sep 2012 #4
formercia Sep 2012 #9
bvar22 Sep 2012 #11
RKP5637 Sep 2012 #14
VPStoltz Sep 2012 #12
RKP5637 Sep 2012 #15

Response to marmar (Original post)

Sat Sep 29, 2012, 07:06 AM

1. du rec. Nt

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Sat Sep 29, 2012, 07:10 AM

2. My house.

The secret: I was raised by a Catholic dad and Protestant mom...I learned early that it was all bullshit.

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Response to Atman (Reply #2)

Sat Sep 29, 2012, 08:13 AM

5. Same here -

my dad's religion kept telling me that my mom and all her relatives were going to Hell and my mom's side of the family kept telling me that those of us who were Catholics were all going to Hell.

Either way, I was damned. So I finally decided to tune them all out. I have seen/learned nothing about any man-created religion (which is what they all are) to make me change my mind.

If there is truly a Hell, I may still go there, but those I love and value most will likely be there with me because they believe as I do: try to treat others as you yourself would wish to be treated; be true to yourself; and believe in/do nothing to excess - this whether they still belong to/believe in a "religion" as such.

Throughout my fairly long and varied life, I have indeed met many people of different religions (Christian and non-Christian alike) who embody the best tenets of the religion they practice. So I also try to respect their beliefs even when I don't share them.

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Response to Atman (Reply #2)

Sat Sep 29, 2012, 09:10 AM

6. Interesting....

 

.... these folks "rebelling" against oppressive and just downright confusing religious crap.

My parents were not religious, but would insist my sister and I went to church (Presbyterians) and would DROP US OFF at church on Sunday morning, but not go themselves. (I know... weird) I just came away with the notion that it really wasn't that important. And as Sunday School was a big bore, I would just play hooky.

It was obviously just another social playacting exercise. I was genuinely taken aback when I found out adults really believed in all that mythology. (about age 8)

Then when it became obvious I was gay to everyone, I really got ostracized and was obviously unwelcome in society....so I didn't care about stupid hypocritical religion at all.

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Response to AlbertCat (Reply #6)

Sat Sep 29, 2012, 09:49 AM

8. With four siblings growing up, it wasn't hard to figure out.

Sunday morning was the rare time during the week when my folks could get freaky without anyone else in the house. It was impressive the level of calm that pervaded the house Sunday afternoon.

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Response to Atman (Reply #2)

Sat Sep 29, 2012, 10:11 AM

10. a friend raised by a Catholic mom and Jewish dad

 

realized it was nonsense on account of the hats.

In one of god's houses, god wanted him to wear a hat,
but in the other, god wanted him to take his hat off.
He was about 5 when he figured out something was
fishy.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Sat Sep 29, 2012, 07:22 AM

3. There is hope. I've always considered religion to be one of the great dividers of mankind,

creating hostilities.

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Response to RKP5637 (Reply #3)

Sat Sep 29, 2012, 09:28 AM

7. There's hope, and then there's religious hope...

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Response to alterfurz (Reply #7)

Sat Sep 29, 2012, 02:53 PM

13. Yep, it's a conundrum! n/t

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Sat Sep 29, 2012, 08:11 AM

4. Interesting. K&R nt

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Sat Sep 29, 2012, 09:59 AM

9. I recently met a Christian Young Lady from East Germany

She was here on a student Visa and staying with some friends, one of whom is a Congregational Pastor.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Sat Sep 29, 2012, 10:30 AM

11. The leadership of the Western World, especially the USA have a NEW Religion.

This new religion demands absolute Blind Faith Devotion to an invisible Deity for which
no concrete evidence exists.
In fact, all real world evidence contradicts the existence of this new deity, yet our leadership uses this deity to justify Economic Policy that negatively affects Billions of people,
but enhances the fortunes of the privileged handful who sit on the gilded thrones of the 1%.




[font size=4]The Graven Image on the altar
of the new Church of the Invisible Hand.[/font]


Sorry, Virginia,
but there is NO Invisible Hand,
and no such thing as "Free Trade" or "Free Markets".
Like other religions with invisible deities,
this new religion is a SCAM invented by The RICH to get more money for themselves,
and sold to the gullible by Smooth Talking Con Men.

If you Work for a Living,
do NOT trust any politician who espouses a belief in an Invisible Hand,
Free Trade, or Free Markets.
NONE of those exist, and that politician is not your friend.


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Response to bvar22 (Reply #11)

Sat Sep 29, 2012, 02:55 PM

14. Well said!!! n/t

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Sat Sep 29, 2012, 11:32 AM

12. That would be my address.

Not to offend, but I find basing your life identity on a book written by a group of unknows (or even knows) a thousand years ago, or even yesterday, without any critical analysis on your part to be suspect. You WERE not born that way - it was imposed upon you.

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Response to VPStoltz (Reply #12)

Sat Sep 29, 2012, 03:02 PM

15. IMO much as a herd of sheep, a school of fish, a flock of birds ... there by default, not by

critical analysis and choice, for the most part. As you said, not to offend, just my analysis of it all too. ... it was imposed on them for many.

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