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Fading Faith: The Rise of the Secular Age

James A. Haught


A historic transition is occurring, barely noticed. Slowly, imperceptibly, religion is shriveling. Pope Benedict XVI laments that "Europe has developed a culture that, in a manner unknown before now to humanity, excludes God from the public conscience." In Denmark and Sweden, fewer than 5% of adults are in church on a typical Sunday. In Catholic France, fewer than 7% of adults go to Mass. In Europe in general, only 15% go to church, and attendance at cathedrals consists of a few old women and many tourists. The mighty Archdiocese of Dublin graduated only one priest in 2004, and ordained none in 2005. Although over half of British children attended Sunday school in 1900, by 2000 the rate was down to 4%.

In Canada church attendance has dropped dramatically over the past fifteen years. A 2001 survey found that 43% of adults had not gone to church during the previous year. In the Canadian census, 20% chose the religious preference option of "no religion."

But what about America? Pat Robertson's Christian Broadcasting Network has swelled to a $240-million-per-year industry. The far-flung Campus Crusade for Christ raised an astounding $484 million in 2008. The Left Behind novels have passed sixty million sales, and the evangelical book market approaches $2 billion. But James Dobson's Focus on the Family, after rising to a $150 million budget, suffered a financial setback in 2008 and had to lay off 200 employees. Moreover, despite the superficial success of the noisier religious groups, surveys since 1990 have shown that the godless fraction of Americans has doubled from one-tenth to one-fifth of the adult population. Around 45 million Americans live apart from churchgoing.

Fading Faith chronicles the decline of faith world-wide as well as in America and predicts that America is traveling the same path to secularism that has been traveled by all the other developed nations of the world.


7 Fading Faith
35 Clergy Who Quit
49 It's All About Honesty
55 Agog Over Gog And Magog
59 My God, How The Money Rolls In
65 The Cristero War
71 Everyone's A Doubter — Of Other Religions
77 Unitarian Skeptics Feel Marginalized
81 The Story Behind Waco's Tragedy
85 A Freethinker's Testimony
89 The Solar Temple
93 Faith-Based Killing
107 Seekers, Not Finders
111 Assault Guns For Jesus
115 Era Of The Holy Human Bomb
121 Right And Wrong — A Daily Dilemma
127 Yitzhak Rabin: Victim Of Zealotry
131 Lyin' Lyons
135 Moyers And Religious Gore
139 Science Reveals Real Miracles
147 Bible Belt Battle
151 The Forest Is My Church
155 Secular Surge
165 Previous Books James A. Haught
167 Biography

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  Christianity, Secular Web Authors, Secularism

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