Restrictions on religion

Religion

Social Science

Date: April 13, 2017

Source: Pew Research

Brazil and Japan Least Restrictive Towards Religions; Russia and Egypt Most Restrictive

In a study by Pew Research Centers among the 25 most populous countries in the world, Brazil, Japan, South Africa, Ethiopia and the Philippines were the countries with the least restrictions and social hostilities towards religions. The survey was based on 2015 data. Russia, Egypt, India, Pakistan and Nigeria on the other hand, had the most restrictions and social hostilities.

“In India, for example, some state governments restricted religious conversion and others ban cow slaughter,” says the report.

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Source: Pew Research Center, April 13, 2017; http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/04/13/religious-restrictions-vary-significantly-in-the-worlds-most-populous-countries/

More Americans say they are spiritual but not religious

Religion

Social Science

Date: September,  2017

Source: Pew Research

In a survey conducted April 4-June 4, 2017, The Pew Research Center found that there are more Americans who consider themselves spiritual but not religious. 27% regarded themselves this way as compared to 19% in 2012. 48% think of themselves as both religious and spiritual, this group decreased from 59% in 2012. 18% consider themselves neither religious nor spiritual, Up from 16% in 2012.

Source: Pew Research, Sept. 6, 2017; href=”http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/09/06/more-americans-now-say-theyre-spiritual-but-not-religious/

Pope Says Even Atheists Can Go to Heaven

Religion

Date: May 29, 2013

Source: National Public Radio (NPR); New York Daily News

Pope Francis stated that even atheists can go to Heaven so long as they are good people. The Pope stated this in a letter to La Reppublica as well as in a homily through Radio Vatican.

“The Lord has redeemed all of us, all of us, with the Blood of Christ: all of us, not just Catholics. Everyone! ‘Father, the atheists?’ Even the atheists. Everyone! . . .  And we all have a duty to do good. And this commandment for everyone to do good, I think, is a beautiful path towards peace. . . . We must meet one another doing good. ‘But I don’t believe, Father, I am an atheist!’ But do good: We will meet one another there.”

These statements have serious implications on whether people need to be converted to Catholicism before they are saved. The view of the Catholic Church for centuries was that “outside the Church there is no salvation.”

In a letter to La Reppublica, the Pope wrote: “God’s mercy has no limits, if you go to him with a sincere and repentant heart, the issue for those who do not believe in God is to obey their conscience.”

Sources: National Public Radio (NPR); https://www.npr.org/sections/parallels/2013/05/29/187009384/Pope-Francis-Even-Atheists-Can-Be-Redeemed

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/pope-francis-atheists-heaven-article-1.1354151

https://religionnews.com/2013/09/11/pope-francis-tells-atheists-to-obey-their-conscience/

Pope Reported to Have Said that There is No Hell

Religion

Date: March 30 2018

Source: The Guardian; New York Times

The founder of Italian newspaper La Repubblica, Eugenio Scalfari, 93, wrote in an article that the Pope said during their conversation that hell does not exist. Unrepentant souls just disappear. The Vatican quickly clarified that the article was “the fruit of his reconstruction” and not “a faithful transcription of the Holy Father’s words”.

In the article, Scalfari wrote asked the Pope where “bad souls” go. The Pope, he said, replied: “They are not punished. Those who repent obtain God’s forgiveness and take their place among the ranks of those who contemplate him, but those who do not repent and cannot be forgiven disappear. A hell doesn’t exist, the disappearance of sinning souls exists.”

Such a view contradicts the standard doctrine of the Catholic Church that hell exists.

Sources: The Guardian, March 30, 2018; https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/mar/30/vatican-scrambles-to-clarify-popes-denial-that-hell-exists

New York Times, March 30, 2018; https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/30/world/europe/pope-francis-hell-scalfari.html

More Europeans Becoming Non-Religious

Religion
Date: March, 2018
Source: The Guardian

A recent report published by Prof. Stephen Bullivant Of St. Mary’s University in London showed that more and more Europeans consider themselves as without religion. “Christianity as a default, as a norm, is gone, and probably gone for good – or at least for the next 100 years,” Bullivant said. His report is based on a social survey in 2014-16 among European countries.

Czech Republic is the least religious country in Europe, with 91% of people ages 16-29 having no religious affiliation. The figures in Sweden, Netherlands and Estonia are between 80-90%. UK follows with 70%. The most religious country is Poland, but still with 17% of young adults considering themselves as non-religious.

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