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Study: Longer life means less need for church
Al Webb, Religion News Service
April 19, 2011
2 MIN READ TIME

Study: Longer life means less need for church

Study: Longer life means less need for church
Al Webb, Religion News Service
April 19, 2011

Researchers at two of

Britain’s top universities claim that church attendance in many Western nations

is falling because people are living longer and therefore have less fear of

death.

The result, the studies say,

is a “graying church.” In Britain, one in four older adults (65 or older)

attends church, while just 11 percent of those between 16 and 44 are regular churchgoers.

The project was conducted by

researchers at St. Andrews University in Scotland and the University of East

Anglia in England and published in the International Journal of Social

Economics.

East Anglia’s Elissaios

Papyrakis wrote that younger people question the benefits of going to church

year after year, whereas the elderly are far more apt to consider religion’s

promise of life after death.

Some critics, however, say

the theory is a harder match for the U.S., which leads other industrialized

nations in church attendance.

Papyrakis said churches

should concentrate more on the good things religion can offer, starting early.

That, he added, “can counterbalance the negative impact of life expectancy on

religiosity — which in effect reduces concern about life after death.”

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