Can religion save?
After looking at current world events— war, murder, robberies, genocide in business and political arena, poverty, health, unemployment, hunger and homelessness just to name a few. I often hear people say “I’m so glad I’m Saved.” Saved from what I think after seconds pass and hearing some of the same ones moan and complain about the issues they face. After hearing this over and over I began a quest to find out if religion saves.
Let’s take a journey, what is religion? Wikipedia says Religion is an organized collection of belief systems, cultural systems, and world views that relate humanity to spirituality and, sometimes, to moral values. Hold on, before you start jumping to any conclusions and until we have researched the whole matter. How many religions are there in the world?
The table below and bullets are compiled from the relevant Wikipedia pages:
|Four largest religions||Adherents||Percentage of world population||Further information|
|World population||6.9 billion||Figure used by individual articles|
|Christianity||2,331,509,000||34%||Christianity by country|
|Islam||1,619,314,000||23%||Islam by country|
|No religion||1,100,000,000||16%||Irreligion by country|
|Hinduism||1,083,800,358||15%||Hinduism by country|
|Buddhism||690,847,214||10%||Buddhism by country|
- The CIA World Factbook gives the world population as 7,021,836,029 (July 2012 est.) and the distribution of religions as Christian 33.35% (of which Roman Catholic 16.83%, Protestant 6.08%, Orthodox 4.03%, Anglican 1.26%), Muslim 22.43%, Hindu 13.78%, Buddhist 7.13%, Sikh 0.36%, Jewish 0.21%, Baha’i 0.11%, other religions 11.17%, non-religious 9.42%, atheists 2.04% (2009 est.).
- The Proceedings of the 8th Hawaii International Conference on Arts and Humanities estimates the 2010 World Muslim Population as 1,148,173,347 and as 24% of the world population.
Okay, now the picture is coming together and there is still another step that needs to be sought out. What does it mean to save or be saved?
- Irreligion vs Atheism (martinspribble.com)
- The U.S. Ignores Decline in Global Religious Freedom (nationalreview.com)
- Ten Commandments of a Good Religion (ireport.cnn.com)