Excerpts from the
April 25, 2018 edition of
The FOSTER Letter—Religious
Jews Returning to Israel
After being spread
throughout the world for 2,000 years, and just 70 years after the
rebirth of Israel as a nation, tens of thousands of Jews are
returning to their homeland, as prophesied in the Bible. 27,000 new
Jewish immigrants moved to Israel last year, with more than 3,600 of
them coming from the U.S. States alone. Biblical prophets Isaiah,
Jeremiah and Ezekiel, among others, all spoke of a time when God
would bring the Jewish people back to the Land of Israel.
(One News Now 4/16/18)
Fewer Women in Church
In the mid-80s, 38% of
women and 25% of men attended church at least once a week in the
U.S., a 13-point gender gap, according to Pew Research analysis of
General Social Survey data. By ’12, that gap had shrunk by
more than half, to 6 points. The gap shrank because women’s church
attendance dropped. While men experienced a 3-point drop in weekly
church attendance, from 25 to 22%, women’s regular attendance fell
from 38 to 28%.
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is made up of the 70 million kids born between ’99 and ’15. According to
Gallup, only 4.1% of Americans and 7.3% of millennials identify as
LGBT, Barna found 12% of Gen Z teens described their sexual
orientation as something other than heterosexual, with 7%
identifying as bisexual. 37% of Gen-Z say their gender and sexuality
is “very important” to their sense of self, compared to 28% of their
Gen X parents. About a third of teens know someone who is
transgender, and 69% say it’s acceptable to be born one gender and
to feel like another. Among Gen Z members 13 to 18, 13% consider
themselves atheists vs. just 6% of adults overall. 59% of Gen Z
identifies as Christian vs. 68% of adults. Only 1 in 11 teens is
considered by Barna to be an “engaged Christian.” 20% of teens in
the Barna study imagine Christianity as negative and judgmental.
Some of the biggest barriers to belief are the problem of evil
(29%), perceived hypocrisy among Christians (23%), and the conflict
between science and Scripture (20%).
Europe’s March Toward a
has been starkly illustrated by research showing a majority of young
people in a dozen countries do not follow a religion. The survey of
16 to 29-year-olds found the Czech Republic is the least religious
country in Europe, with
91% of that age group saying they have no religious affiliation.
Between 70% and 80% of young adults in Estonia, Sweden and the
Netherlands also identify themselves as non-religious. The most
religious country is Poland, where 17% of young adults identify as
non-religious, followed by Lithuania with 25%. In the UK, only 7% of
young adults identify as Anglican, while 10% say they are Catholic.
Young Muslims, at 6%, are on the brink of overtaking those who
consider themselves part of the country’s established church.
Young Adults and
by Stephen Bullivant, St Mary’s University, London)
Church Diversity Improving
81% of U.S.
Protestant pastors say their congregations are predominantly made up
of one racial or ethnic group. That’s down from 86% in ’13, reports
LifeWay Research. Pastors of churches with 250 or more congregants
were less likely (74%) to say their churches are mostly one racial
or ethnic group. Denominationally, Pentecostal pastors were least
likely (68%) to say their churches are made up of predominantly one
race or ethnicity. Lutheran pastors were most likely (89%) to report
a lack of diversity.
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