Doom and gloom in Europe
Although Europe is known for its good values, the continent has found itself in the line of fire in the recent times, particularly by its own people. They are not entirely wrong. It is indeed doom and gloom in Europe because of the worsening economic crisis, unfair practices toward refugees and growing racist tendencies. The underlying reason is that a part of the European population has gradually turned away from spirituality.
Churches in Germany, England and Northern European countries have been largely forced to be closed down in the recent past, while some of them are being turned into private property, which is a heartbreaking situation. According to the records of the German Protestant Church, a total of 82 churches were destroyed throughout Germany between the years of 1990-2011. More than 200 Protestant Churches passed into the hands of other persons. These churches were either turned into private property or terribly converted into restaurants, clubs, pizza houses, sculpture workshops or event centers.
According to statistics, 67,000 people left the Church of Sweden last year. It is reported that the number of those who left the Church reached one million in the last 15 years. The 1,000-person capacity Church of St. Joseph in the Netherlands was converted into a gym due to the lack of congregation, which has hit the religious sections hard. This is the case for England and Denmark as well. The most remarkable reason behind the closure of the churches is that people are leaning toward atheism.
A recent study in England presented the statistics of this nightmare-scenario that haunts Europe. Accordingly, 48.8 percent of the people in England do not embrace any religion, which is more than the number of Christians in the country. People defining themselves as Christians make up only 43.8 percent of the population. The statistics indicated that almost half of the population in England and Wales say they have no religion. This rate was found to be 25 percent in a study in 2014. It is remarkable that this rate doubled only in two years.
According to the report, four out of 10 adults raised as Anglican and Catholic now identify as having no religion. However, Scotland was omitted from the survey, but last month a separate report found 52 percent of the population said they were “nones,” compared with 40 percent in 1999. Generally, in Europe, the rate of those who define themselves as religious is 26 percent in the Netherlands, 23 percent in the Czech Republic, and only 19 percent in Sweden.
While the number of religious people is increasing worldwide, there are certainly important reasons that this is not the case for Europe and particularly the new generation is being raised as an atheist. Europe made several mistakes in defining its core values of democracy and secularism. Forgetting that secularism refers to freedom for all forms of belief, Europe considers secularism equal to “atheism.” In this regard, the belief that a higher level of secularism means a higher level of atheism has become widespread in the society. Democracy is considered as a freedom only for atheism. Those who feel anger for the “fanaticism practiced in the name of religion,” have not taken to resolving the issue through the true religion. They are filled with hatred for religions and the religious. This was the key reason behind the hatred against races and religions, now widespread throughout Europe.
The true concepts of human rights and freedom have largely sunk into oblivion. Terrorist organizations achieved to find a place in Europe under the umbrella of “freedom” while severe degeneration and sexual perversion found their way into the society in the name of “human rights.” All doom and gloom has caused intense lovelessness, loneliness, atheism and suicide attempts particularly among the European youth. It is hard to perceive the increasing suicide rate in Europe independently from this situation.
Well, what is the main reason that led to all of this? The reason is that Europe, particularly England, underlies materialist philosophies, that the materialist mindset is established in the societies under the guise of science, and particularly that the youth is raised based on such mindset. Europe may have initially failed in noticing that such materialist mindset would bring such harm to itself and would seclude the societies from their values. However, the divergence of the societies from religious values is the result of a severe ideological corruption, having the potential to bring about terrible issues. The societies, which are moving away from religions, would inevitably get further away from moral, humanitarian and social values. The materialist mindset has always made it easier for people to commit murders, to engage in violence and to massacre, further caused people to acknowledge the concepts of outrage such as racism and xenophobia, and led to the advent of the generations, detesting themselves, their families and the society.
Europe is of critical importance and value. It should deal with this matter seriously and take sound, rational, scientific measures to ensure the development of spirituality. The implications of atheism are apparent in Europe. This is not the desired situation. Once the communities become strengthened spiritually, they can achieve happiness and develop themselves. If Europe aspires to flourish, strengthen and lead the way in the field of democracy, it should first take notice of this fact.
The writer has authored more than 300 books translated into 73 languages on politics, religion and science. He tweets @harun_yahya.
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