The Divine tragedy - Is religion losing its influence in the world?
By Kewal Ahluwalia
As the world becomes less ritualistic, with technological marvels replacing the mysteries of ancient rituals, religion could slowly be losing its allure. A Gallup poll shows that the world has become less religious. A small survey about Indians done by the Global Index of Religiosity and Atheism has found that Indians are losing faith in religion. In 2005, 87 per cent of those polled were believers; in 2013, it fell to 81 per cent. But even with this small drop India is rather high on the religiosity index, with only three per cent calling themselves “atheist” against 47 per cent in China, 30 per cent in France and 29 per cent in Japan.
But the number of unbelievers is climbing. Though the exact numbers of temples in India are unknown. In a country of 638,000 villages, 5,000 towns and 400 metros 108,000 temples are on record and more and more are cropping up not only in India but all over the world. It has to be significantly higher. Swaminarian temples for their grandeur and architecture have become a tourist attraction rather than a religious place. India has more than 300,000 mosques and over 16,000 churches as counted. That does not include Gurdwaras and other places of worship catering for other beliefs.
In India and in other countries most Hindu temples accrue significant wealth and have billions of dollars worth of wealth donated by devotees like gold and other precious objects and that has been the focus of the foreigner who have formed organizations such as Hare Krishana which has nothing to do with religion but is a front to take advantage of the tax free cash flow and channel the money to other causes such as Christianity.
Considering the statistics, one would guess religion is king. Apparently not. The number of unbelievers in the world itself is up by 13 per cent. A previous poll revealed that 16 per cent of the world’s population is non-religious. Religion is divine government. Faith doesn’t have parameters. The opinion poll also records that those who call themselves non-religious are not necessarily without faith—they believe in some God or the other.
The Chinese top the atheist charts. Communism triumphed over Confucius, only 14 per cent are religious. Americans seem to be giving up on religion as well. In 2005, 73 per cent were believers while in 2012 the number dropped to 60 per cent. In Pakistan, where the Taliban is knocking on the door 84 per cent are religious. Only 74 per cent of Muslims globally consider themselves religious, while 82 per cent of Hindus do, though the numbers would be overwhelming. Strangely where woman are jailed for driving, 25 per cent of Saudis do not believe in God.
Anxiety, desire for joy, or a fear of death rather than a pure love of the truth drives the Christian belief in God. This is true of other religions as well. The world is full of despair: thousands are getting blown to bits by suicide bombers. Civil wars are raging through continents. Epidemics are challenging modern science: 30 million have died of AIDS since its beginning. India tops the world murder list. Over 7,200 children are raped every year in the country. Dishonesty and corruption prevail in politics and sport and is big business. There are only two subsequent consequences to wavering faith—turn to God or turn your back on Him. As man loses faith in mankind, he loses faith in the power of rituals to save.
Original concept from Times of India June 1st
Om Tat Sat
(My humble Thankfulness to Sri Kewal Ahluwalia ji and Times of India for the collection)