Monday, December 28, 2009

Wrapping up 2009 and Looking Toward 2010

Time to wrap up the 2009 year with some big religion stories.
  1. The Pew Forum released this month a big study on religious regulations around the world. Here is the executive summary. The big item was that an estimated 70% of the world's population live under high or very high religious regulations.
  2. For the fifth year in a row, the United Nations passed a resolution against religious defamation, yet support for this is declining each year. The main criticism of the resolution is that it can be used to support the suppression of some minority religious groups whose members speak out against persecutions enacted by member of other religious groups.
  3. These two stories are mentioned in this Economist Magazine article.
  4. Another Pew Forum study on trends in American's religiosity. In short, there is a lot of switching and mixing. Here's a Wall Street Journal article on it.
Putting the year in perspective is Religion & Ethics Newsweekly, which posted online their annual roundtable on the major religion stories during the past year, and Howard Friedman of, who gives his Top-10 Religious Liberty Developments of 2009.

Religion & Ethics Newsweekly also gives a look ahead to 2010.

1 comment:

  1. On the 4th point, I think the psychology behind the "swingers" and "switchers" in American society is that we have far too many choices in the religious market, and this causes unhappiness. A famous study, proven by repetitive trials and acurate statistics was to ask people if they would be more happy if offered a trip to Hawaii or a trip to Hawaii or Paris. Most said the former because when given more choices, we always start to think and worry about what we are missing if we don't take the other option. While walking on Champs d'Elysee, one would probably start thinking about North Shore and the great surf, thus wishing to have taken the Hawaii trip. This is parallel to the many opportunities in religion and all of the 'fish in the sea', as the saying goes with love. It makes sense that Americans are losing fidelity to religious groups and spouses. It is harder to be happy when everyday we are tempted with something better or different.


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