Thursday, December 27, 2007

More than half of Europe are "fuzzy believers"

"THIS WEEK church pews will be filled with those who turn up only for high days, holidays, hatches, matches and despatches.
But this group of uncommitted believers who are attached to no particular church but who have a real and genuine interest in spiritual matters have been classified into a new denomination called "Fuzzy Fidelity" by researchers.
The headache for the established churches is that this group now makes up more than half the European population.


"The fuzzy faithful have become so numerous because people are ceasing to be actively religious much more quickly than they are becoming wholly secular," said Voas.
"The sheer size of this group means that upon their attitudes and behaviour will hang the future role of religion in Britain.


Voas has divided this group into subgroups "Spiritual Seekers" and "Sheilaists". Spiritual Seekers have beliefs about the afterlife and fate that have nothing to do with organised religion.
The term Sheilaists derives from an interview with a woman called Sheila who defined her religious conviction as: "Sheilaism: I just have a little voice in my head.""

Sunday Herald, December 27, 2007
The fuzziness is silly, but preferable of course to literal interpretation. And in a purely Darwinian sense, I think it will win over other ways to be religious, simply because people don't necessarily need to compromise either faith or reason and say: "Look, my religion forbids me to use my head. I need to pretend we're still in the bronze age". Plus, there's the added bonus of no religious bosses so there's not going to be powerful churches to mess up education and what not.

See also:
Every Fifth German Professes "Deep Religious" Convictions
"The study suggests that young people between 18 and 29 years of age in Germany have stronger religious convictions than their parents, though they don't necessarily act on them.


Nigeria, Brazil, India and Morocco reported with over 90 percent the highest rates of religiosity. In Europe, Germany ranks behind Italy and Poland, but ahead of Great Britain and France in terms of the number of practicing believers."

Deutsche Welle, 17.12.2007

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