Discuss the Idea That Religion Is on the Decline

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Discuss the idea that religion is on the decline in society (40 marks) It has been proven throughout the 20th century that religion is on the decline in society this is because less people are able to attend, possibly due to work and/or family commitments, although the decline rate seems to be slowing. According to the 2005 church census there are two major reasons as to why there is a slowing decline, which are the growing number of churches and the fact that there is a considerable increase in ethnic minority church goers. In 1851, fewer than 40% of the population attended church, whereas in 2005, an average of 6.6% of the adult population would attend church. This dramatic decline could be because in 1851, Sunday was known as the day of rest, where everyone would go to church as a family and there would be no shops open whereas today, businesses are open as usual and so more people are going to work or spending time with their families after having had a hard week at work instead of going to church. The decline in church attendance in Britain can be interpreted in a number of different ways. In 1969, Martin said that in the 19th Century church-going was a sign of middle class respectability to a greater extent than it is today. Religion today may be expressed in other ways and may have become privatised. Although not everyone goes to church, people can still worship in their own homes and they can still have strong beliefs about certain religions without actually going to their place of worship. They may feel more comfortable worshipping on their own in their own home. People are more entitled to their own beliefs and they also may see religious institutions as less important. As there is an increase in New Religious Movements, post modernists say that there is more choice of beliefs for people to follow, however, this means that religion as a whole
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