What the Plummeting Fertility Rate Means for Churches

Jun 8, 2021 by

by Philip Jenkins, The Gospel Coalition:

The New York Times recently published a major article addressing one of the most significant developments in the modern world. The story, by Damien Cave, Emma Bubola, and Choe Sang-Hun, was titled “Long Slide Looms for World Population, With Sweeping Ramifications” (May 22), and it reports on the sharp global decline in fertility rates.

By mid-century, most societies worldwide—and not just in Europe—will have far fewer children, and their age profiles will be rising steeply. Populations will contract, with far-reaching implications for all aspects of life, including politics, economics, and culture. As the Times reporters note, without hyperbole, this is “a dizzying reversal unmatched in recorded history.” That’s not recent history; that’s all history.

As I described in my 2020 book Fertility and Faith, that change has epochal implications for all the world faiths, and especially for Christianity. The change foreshadows a precipitous decline in organized and institutional religion of all kinds, since fertility rates correlate so closely with religious practice and affiliation. It also decides where the largest Christian populations will be found in future decades (mainly in high-fertility, high-faith Africa).

Read here

See also: Does the birth dearth signal the end of our civilisation? by Louis T. March, MercatorNet


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