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The Vatican reports worldwide adherent percentages at:
19.2% Muslim
17.4% Catholic
33% all flavors of Christian

In the US we are supposedly 76.5% Christian.

Frankly, I'm not too surprised to hear about the increase is Islamism. We putative Christians have been the bad guys enough in the world to drive people to great lengths to disagree with us.

Surfing the web with my usual curiousity about isms, I found this blog which seems to be written by a Christian who sees western culture as being already dead. A few times in the blog, I found comments that really rang true to me, for example this statement in an article about euthanasia being now approved in supposedly Catholic Luxembourg "Radical individualism has replaced the notion that every human life has value and has the potential to become a vessel of God's grace." And in many entries I found issues slanted in simplistic ways, for example the insinuation that Barack Hussein Obama is a Muslim trying to sneak into our government.

I think our culture and our medicine are so bankrupt because most of us do not see anyone as a vessel of God's grace. But we all are.

In Under the Banner of Heaven Krakauer says that Mormonism is the fastest growing religion on the planet. I wonder how fast Mormonism, and Islam, are growing.

The Adherent site offers a breadth of slightly dated info about religions in the US. The writer there says that "in the U.S. no other group yields such a broad array of statistically significant sociological data using geographically-based sources." So the Mormon religion is actually INFLUENCING PEOPLE'S BEHAVIOR which isn't an easy thing to do. In the US Mormonism is the 4th largest religion.

Signs of Latter-day Saint influence in Utah:
--lowest child poverty rate
--lowest teen pregnancy rate
--highest school graduation rate
--lowest military recruitment rate
--highest bankruptcy rate since 2002 when it passed Tennessee
--large family size
--youngest average population
--higher than average home size
--higher than average number of vehilces per household
--fewest births to unwed mothers (in spite of that rate quadrupling in 29 years)
--very high fertility rate--live births per 1,000 women ages 15 to 44 -- was 93.1, 41 percent higher than the national average of 65.9 ((next highest fertility rate among the states 81.1 in Arizona where there are polygamist communities))
--Utah's fertility rate is "on a par" to that of women in their early 20's for the whole nation
--lots more interesting stats

I've been thinking about the top bankruptcy rate. Utah does not collect any information on the religions of people who are going bankrupt. Utah's increase in bankruptcy rate occurred when the non-LDS population was increasing. I theorize that the people who are moving in are being driven out. Quite intentionally. More than half the population of Utah is Mormon, and they don't make it easy on outsiders. Just judging from what my friends say who have lived there.

In the US, 76.5% count themselves as Christian. I wonder how many of those are in name only. At least the Mormons actually apply the instructions for living that their religion offers. That is admirable in so far as the outcomes are positive. The polygamists and nutcases that appeared in Krakauer's book are not representative of the entire religion.

Religions in the US in 2000, and % Change from 1990 to 2000:

Christianity 76.5% +5%
Nonreligious/Secular 13.2% +110%
Judaism 1.3% -10%
Islam 0.5% +109%
Buddhism 0.5% +170%
Agnostic 0.5% -16%
Atheist 0.4%
Hinduism 0.4% +237%
Unitarian Universalist 0.3% +25%
Wiccan/Pagan/Druid 0.1%
Spiritualist 0.05%
Native American Religion 0.05% +119%
Baha'i 0.04% +200%
New Age 0.03% +240%
Sikhism 0.03% +338%
Scientology 0.02% +22%
Humanist 0.02% +69%
Deity (Deist) 0.02% +717%
Taoist 0.02% +74%
Eckankar 0.01% +44%

Agnosticism down 16% in one year. I'm still agnostic. What's the difference between agnosticism and non-religious or secular? Perhaps those categories interchange. And there isn't a category for just "spiritual".

I wonder if religiousity is still increasing in the US, and if the rate of religiousity is increasing or decreasing? I think it is increasing. I think people are really looking for something to believe in and belong to.

I read yesterday that the Dalai Lama thinks homosexuality and masturbation are sins. So he's celibate and he won't masturbate.

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