Tag Archives: Religion


I had wondered how Gafcon, the conservatives who have been trying to remake the Anglican Communion in their own likeness, would respond to the call for reconciliation, and now I know.

Abp Suheil Dawani, June 20, 2018, to the Gafcon Conference: “the community needs to be able to celebrate the differences that it has, and accept each other through seeing Christ in each other, and not by imposing our own image of Christ on each other.”

Gafcon conference publication, June 22, 2018, “we urge Gafcon members to decline the invitation to attend Lambeth 2020 and all other meetings of the Instruments of Communion” unless the rest of the Communion comply with Gafcon’s image.


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No change

Τα εθνη γαρ, ακουοντα εκ του στοματος ‘ημων τα λογια του θεου, ‘ως καλα και μεγαλα θαυμαζει.  Επειτα καταμαθοντα τα εργα ‘ημων ‘οτι ουκ εστιν αξια των ‘ρηματων ‘ων λεγομεν, ενθεν εις βλασφημιαν τρεπονται, λεγοντες ειναι μυθον τινα και πλανην. ‘Οταν γαρ ακουσωσιν παρ ‘ημων ‘οτι λεγει ‘ο θεος. Ου χαρις ‘υμιν ει αγαπατε τους αγαπωντας ‘υμας αλλα καρις ‘υμιν ει αγαπατε τους εχθρους και τους μισουντας ‘υμας. Ταυτα ‘οταν ακουσωσιν, θαυμαζουσιν την ‘υπερβολην της αγαθοτητος.  ‘Οταν δε ιδωσιν ‘οτι ου μονον τους μισουντας ουκ αγαπωμεν, αλλ ‘οτι ουδε τους αγαπωντας, καταγελωσιν και βλασφημειται το ονομα.

For the non-Christians, on hearing from our mouths the words of G-d, wonder at the beauty and magnificence.  But, on learning that our acts do not match the words which we speak, they turn to blasphemy, calling it a myth and a deception.  For whenever they hear from us that G-d says, ‘It is of no merit to you if you love those who love you, but it is of merit to you if you love your enemies and those hating you’, whenever they hear such things, they wonder at this surpassing beneficence.  And when they see that not only do we not love the ones hating us, but that neither do we love the ones loving us, they mock us and blaspheme the Name. – 2 Clement 13 (prob. C2nd)

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The Distribution of Religious Persecution

The complications of statistical representation: Christians may face somewhere between 60% and 80% of the total religious persecution in the world, but only 78% of Christians live in countries which harass them, as compared with 97% of Muslims and 99% of Hindus and of Jews.

The apparent disparity is influenced by Christianity’s being far the world’s largest religion but also “Christians were actually harassed mostly in Christian-majority countries. In some of these countries, the Christian majority was itself harassed, often by the government.”

Notably, Pew’s list of countries which proscribe religious freedoms includes France, Austria, Germany, the United States, Iceland, Denmark, the United Kingdom, Spain, and Italy, ranked from higher to lower within the “moderately restrictive” category.

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Scientists and Faith

A 2016 Ipsos Mori survey of 3000 scientists in the UK, France, and Germany found that about as many (c.43%) are “spiritual” or “religious” as are non-religious.  Meanwhile, a 2009 Pew survey in the USA found that 41% of chemists, 32% of biologists, 30% of geologists, and 29% of physicists and astronomers are religious, and a worldwide study found that 47% of scientists are “spiritual” or “religious”.

What I find most curious, however, is that the Pew survey demonstrates a greater tendency towards religion amongst young scientists, a tendency which is directly opposite to the trend in the general population worldwide. It is also notable that fewer scientists in the US than in the UK, France, or Germany are religious, and yet the US has by far the most religious general population. In addition, the worldwide study shows that, while 44% of the general population of Taiwan identify as religious, 54% of Taiwanese scientists do. In Hong Kong, those figures are 20% and 39%.
I wonder, then, what the correlation between scientists and cultural divergence is, and whether the probability of a scientist’s being religious is inversely proportional to the probability of the average citizen’s being so.


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The Economics of Sectarianism

Peter Leeson and Jacob Russ (George Mason University, Virginia, USA): “Europe’s witch trials reflected non-price competition between the Catholic and Protestant churches for religious market share in confessionally contested parts of Christendom. By leveraging popular belief in witchcraft, witch-prosecutors advertised their confessional brands’ commitment and power to protect”.

The paper also discusses the difference between “coercive exclusion” (i.e. monopolistic) tactics, and how those are only successful in areas where “brand loyalty is strong”.  In more-contested markets, churches had to “make their brands more attractive to religious consumers”.  That is a lesson which many churches today need to learn, especially the ones who imagine that fear is the only motivator towards religion.

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Evangelical scientists, on climate change


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Filed under Environment, Religion

The projected development of world religious trends


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