Conspicuous Decline of Christianity in Developed Countries

( [email protected] ) Nov 08, 2003 08:15 AM EST

Studies have found that influence of Christianity on a country indirectly varies with the economic development of the country.

These facts were analyzed by Won Kyu Lee, a professor of Sociology of Religion in Methodist Theololgical Seminary(MTS) in Korea. He has studied 188 countries where christians were over 5% of its population.

Prof. Lee has studied the growth and decline of christianity of those countries and continents on the basis of statistics from the "World Christianity Enclopedia" published by the Oxford University Press in 2001.

He analyzed the church growth rate for past 100 years and 10 years and the constitutional rate of christians for the past 30 yrs until 2000.

According to his findings, diminution of Christianity is greater in the richer nations. For example, in the case of the church growth rate for the past 100 yrs, 7.7% of developed countries have experienced declination, and 67.3% a stagnation. However, none of developing, undevelped countries have undergone any decline or stagnation of church.

The variation between continents is also significant. The population of christians has decreased greatly in Europe, North America where countries are relatively rich on a global scale, whereas the number of Christians increased dramatically in Africa and Asia where there is a high concentration of poor countries.

"The theory that countries where people feel deprived socially and economically tend to be more dependent on religion proved true", said Prof. Lee. "This is the most serious crisis and task that world Christianity is facing in the 21st century."

Prof. Lee presented all his results by introducing his paper, "The problem of secularization with respect to deprivation-compensation theory", at a lecture meeting held by MTS on the 6th of November in Seoul, Korea.