Counter-Evangelism: Home > Hardcore Christianity is GROWING
Hardcore Christianity is NOT dying. It's GROWING!
by Diane Vera
Copyright © 2003 by Diane Vera. All rights reserved.
"Hardcore Christianity" is my term for all the more dogmatic branches of Christianity, including the more conservative and dogmatic people within Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy, as well as Protestant fundamentalists, evangelicals, Pentecostalists, and charismatics.
A lot of people I've known, especially in and around New York, tend to assume that hardcore Christianity is dying. This notion is just plain wrong. Both hardcore Christianity and hardcore Islam have been gaining lots of converts around the world, especially in the Third World, but also here in the U.S.A. For a dose of reality, see the following Atlantic Monthly articles:
- The Next Christianity - About the kinds of Christianity that are gaining popularity in the Southern hemisphere: very hardcore, including a revival of witchhunts.
- Christianity's New Center - More about the rapid growth of hardcore Christianity (along with Islam) in the Southern hemisphere.
- Oh, Gods! - About worldwide religious trends in general, including new religious movements.
- Welcome to the Next Church - About the new American evangelical (not quite fundamentalist, but fundy-leaning) Christian megachurches, some with wealthy parishioners, although Christianity's primary appeal is to the poor.
Why do some people think hardcore Christianity is dying? For one thing, the number of athiests has been increasing recently. But so is the number of hardcore Christians. Why might be dying, if anything, are the liberal and middle-of-the-road forms of Christianity. Liberal and middle-of-the-road churches have been shrinking steadily over the past several decades. But not the hardcore Christian churches. And Christianity is still, by far, the world's most popular religion.
For more on religion statistics and analysis, see also:
- Mainline Churches: The Real Reason for Decline on First Things
- adherents.com -- huge colletion of statistical studies
- American Religion Data Archive
- Harvard Pluralism Project
- Online Religion Journalism -- links to religion sections or pages of major newspapers.
- Cults and Religion by Irving Hexham
And, for an example of how important developments in the fundamentalist/evangelical Christian scene are too often ignored by the mass media, see The Force Multiplier on the Weekly Standard website.
One good source of news, from a relatively moderate evangelical Christian viewpoint, is Christianity Today magazine, especially its Weblog.
Back to Counter-Evangelism Resource Page