Tomorrow is Christmas day. But for the first 300 years of Christianity, it wasn’t so. December 25, 336, is the first recorded celebration of Christmas, but for the first three hundred years of the church’s existence, birthdays were not given much emphasis. However Christmas celebration is today the biggest event in the Christian world and a huge annual financial flagship for everyone.
But what is going to happen in the future? The percentage of religious people in the western world is steadily decreasing and it is starting to become socially acceptable to say, ‘I don’t have religion’ . In the USA alone (according to the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life), those who identify themselves as atheists or agnostics, or say they have no particular affiliation—now make up one in five adults, up from about 15% five years ago.
Even worst is the picture for religion, and Christianity, in Europe, where Just 51 percent of citizens in the EU’s 27 nations said they believed in God, when questioned for a 2010 survey. In Sweden, Estonia and the Czech Republic that number fell below 20 percent — although more said they believed in the existence of “some form of spirit or life force. At the same time Muslim population is steadily increasing in Europe and are expected to represent the 8% of the European population by 20301.
On the other hand, the global trend is completely different. Religion has become a more powerful force in the last 20 years in China and Africa and is likely to become even more in the next 20 years2 .
So are Christmas fading out? Maybe, they are gradually losing their religious glamour in the Western World, but globally Christmas are going to become an important festivity for more people in China and Africa.
- Pew Research, Religion and Public Life Program, http://www.pewforum.org/2011/01/27/future-of-the-global-muslim-population-regional-europe/
- “Nones on the Rise”, Pew Research, Religion and Public Life, Program, http://www.pewforum.org/2012/10/09/nones-on-the-rise/
- Peter Swartz, Learnings from the Long View, 2013