Religion has been a part of human civilization for thousands of years, and it will continue to play a significant role in shaping the world for the foreseeable future. Despite the predictions of some that religion is on the decline and will eventually disappear, the data suggest otherwise. In fact, a recent study by the Pew Research Center indicates that almost every major religion is set to grow in the next 40 years.
The study shows that by the year 2050, the world’s total population will reach 9 billion, with Islam and Christianity having the most significant number of adherents. These two religions will account for two-thirds of the global population, while the remaining religions and atheism will make up the remaining third.
This growth is expected to continue despite the rapid advancement of technology and the predictions that robots will take over many of the tasks currently performed by humans. Some experts even suggest that robots will eventually stop and park at mosques and churches.
The idea that religion will eventually disappear is not a new one. Throughout history, there have been countless attempts to predict the end of religion, with some even suggesting that science and reason will replace it.
However, as the Pew study shows, religion is still an essential part of human life and will continue to be so for the foreseeable future.
One reason for this is that religion is hardwired into human DNA. We have evolved to be believers, and our brains are wired to seek meaning and purpose in the world around us. Even those who do not believe in a particular religion still seek answers to life’s big questions, such as why we are here and what our purpose is.
In addition, religion has played a significant role in shaping human civilization. Many of the world’s most influential figures have been religious leaders, from the Prophet Muhammad (may peace be upon him) and Jesus Christ (may peace be upon him) to Buddha and Confucius. Even today, religious leaders play a vital role in shaping global events and social movements.
Accordingly, Daniel Burke wrote the following commentary for CNN on the Pew study:
“If tech futurists are to be believed, by the year 2050, robots will do many of our errands and drive our cars. If a new study on religious trends is to be believed, many of those robot-controlled cars will stop and park at mosques and churches.
“Yes, despite predictions that religion will go the way of dinosaurs, the size of almost every major faith will increase in the next 40 years, according to a study released by the Pew Research Center.”
In sum, those who write the obituaries of religions are likely to die before the religions. Scientists interviewed by BigThink indeed believe that religion is in our DNA. We’re hardwired to be believers.
Furthermore, if we consider the list of the 100 most influential people who ever lived, according to Michael Hart, the top 10 segment is populated by religious figures:
Prophet Muhammad (may peace be upon him)
Jesus Christ (may peace be upon him)
Paul of Tarsus
You can see that half of the list is taken by religious leaders, leaving the other half for scientists and inventors. So religion has been with us for thousands of years, and it will continue to be here for a while.
Moreover, religion provides a sense of community and belonging that is essential to human well-being. It offers comfort in times of crisis and provides a framework for moral and ethical decision-making. For many people, religion is a source of inspiration and a way to connect with something greater than themselves.
Of course, many have used religion cause problems. It has been the cause of countless conflicts throughout history, and many people have been persecuted or discriminated against because of their beliefs. However, as society continues to evolve and become more inclusive, we can hope that religion will play a more positive role in the world.
In conclusion, the idea that religion is on the decline and will eventually disappear is not supported by the data. The Pew study shows that almost every major religion is set to grow in the next 40 years, with Islam and Christianity accounting for the most significant number of adherents. Religion is hardwired into human DNA and has played a significant role in shaping human civilization. While some use it for nefarious ends, religion provides a sense of community and belonging that is essential to human well-being. Therefore, it is likely that religion will continue to play a significant role in shaping the world for the foreseeable future.