In the middle of Chapter 14 now and having a ball. It’s a kind of snapshot chapter — lots of stats and facts about religious disbelief today, including the way it presents differently around the world. Like:
• China and India, where the environment for atheism has been relatively relaxed for thousands of years
• Norway (et al.), where most people are non-believing Lutherans and the state church just (mostly) disestablished itself voluntarily
• Québec, which in 40 years went from the most religious province in Canada (and 83 percent Catholic) to the least religious province in Canada…and still 83 percent Catholic
• California, which in 30 years went from part of the “Unchurched Belt” to the middle of the pack in religious identity, largely because of the influx of Catholic Hispanics
• The UK, of course, which underwent such a rapid secularization after WWII that they had to create a National Health Service to deal with all the whiplash
• The fact that urban-rural is overtaking all other variables in the secular-religious split
You get the picture. I’m trying to draw out these interesting narratives in short spurts. So
Q: Do you know of any interesting stories of the rise, fall, or other change in nonreligious identity at the national or local level, anywhere in the world?
Vermont, you went from 13% nonreligious to 34% in 20 years. Got to be a story there. Also wondering about Uganda for a half dozen reasons. I’m especially interested in the global South, but anything interesting will do. Just a few sentences and a link if appropriate. Thanks!