Discipleship Defecit

Some work by Linda Woodhead that I want to be able to find again:

“It is easy to imagine the rise of ‘no religion’ being driven by personal crises of faith in which adults become disillusioned and abandon their religion, but in fact the rise of ‘no religion’ and the decline of ‘Christian’ have much more to do with transmission from parents to children than with adult (de)conversions. Adults do sometimes change their minds and switch from identifying with a religion to identifying with no religion, or the other way round, but the more important story has to do with children. The massive cultural shift from Christian to non-religious Britain has come about largely because of children ceasing to follow the religious commitments of their parents. Analysis of the British Social Attitudes survey, which asks a question about
religion of upbringing, reveals that children brought up Christian have a 45 per cent chance of ending up as ‘nones’, whereas those brought up ‘no religion’ have a 95 per cent probability of retaining that identification. Thus ‘no religion’ is proving ‘sticky’ in a way that Christianity is not. This means that not only are ‘none’ parents more likely to produce ‘none’ children’, but that those children will do the same. This ensures the continued growth of ‘no religion’ even if the birth rate is somewhat lower for nones than for religious people. As a result, more and more children are being raised in Britain with little or no first-hand knowledge of Christianity. Currently many will still have Christian grandparents, but in a generation or two that will have ceased to be the case”

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