Growing fast and coming in third world wide is the section of non-adherents or unbelievers. This of course would be the most diverse group of all. I would also argue the only naturally occurring group that a person is able to reach without any outside influence. That is to say that being a unbeliever takes no more effort than just looking at how the world operates and rejecting what ever the dominate system of belief is.
As of this time, I am not aware of what could be called of a “Great Awakening” of unbelief or reason. I don't think it would be wrong to say that during the Cold War many Americans gained trust in the wonders of science. The space program and the build up of the military industrialized complex brought more Americans into the modern age with high skilled jobs. The idea of reaching the stars and using modern science and technology seemed to be the path for the future.
But with every great movement, there comes and end. With the age of science things such as the Vietnam War and The War on Poverty and Watergate began to turn people from anticipating what science would do next to, What is science going to do next?
In the 70's as people turned away from the marvels of science they turned to the old standards of religion again. Many of these new movements were away from the mainline denominations and more of the fundamentalist and or pentecostal type of movements. The movements generally brought the new adherents into new feel good churches where the preaching of people like Pat Roberts, Oral Roberts, Jimmy Swaggart, Jerry Falwell, was mirrored in the pulpits. Give to the cult of personality and God will provide all your needs. Thanks to the over the top antics of many of theses and other “evangelists” many of the followers stopped following them.
But in the mean time the religious center of America had been pulled to the right by these televangelist. So while the numbers of Americans that describe themselves as non-believers or agnostic or atheist has gone up in the past few years the center of America's religious identity has moved further to the right. What this shows is that while non-adherents are at an all time high, the believers are even more uneducated in their very own religion. Many of the people that are members of the Northern Oklahoma Freethinkers have stated that they were Christians until they began to read the Bible. So I always encourage people to study their Bible. It seems to be a good way for someone to leave their faith behind.
So worldwide adherents or non-adherents is about 1.1 billion people. Maybe that number will continue to grow in the United States and around the World.
Coming Next Time;
WRAPPING UP THE TOP TEAMS part thirty-four