By Christy Barritt
Atheists Have Lowest “Retention Rate”
A new study shows that only 30 percent of people who grow up in an atheist household remain atheists as adults. This number was the lowest among the 20 different categories of “religions” surveyed.
Georgetown University’s Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) interviewed 1,387 atheists for the study.
Dr. Mark Gray, one of the researchers, wrote, “What these findings reflect is that in the U.S. atheists are for the most part ‘made’ as adults after being raised in another faith. It appears to be much more challenging to raise one’s child as an atheist and have them maintain this identity in their life.”
He also noted that of those raised as atheists, 30 percent are now affiliated with a Protestant denomination, 10 percent are Catholic, 2 percent are Jewish, 1 percent Mormon, and 1 percent pagan.
Baptists had the highest retention rate among the Protestant religions (60 percent), followed by Lutherans (59 percent) and Pentecostals (50 percent).
Episcopal Church Okays Transgenders
Leaders in the Episcopal Church approved transgender ordination at the church’s Episcopal General Convention in July. The measure passed both the House of Bishops and the House of Deputies.
The legislation amended church laws to state, “No one shall be denied rights, status, or access to an equal place in life, worship, and governance of this church because of race, color, ethnic origin, national origin, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, disabilities, or age.”
Many people in the Episcopal Church have left the denomination in recent years because of new liberal legislations such as this one. They formed their own group, the Anglican Church in North America.
Minister Jailed Following Home Bible Study
An Arizona minister was jailed after holding a private Bible study on his property.
In July, Bible study leader Michael Salman of Phoenix was sentenced to 60 days in jail, three years probation, and received a $12,180 fine.
Salman’s wife, Suzanne, told Fox News her husband was arrested because the Bible study was at a private house and that, essentially, it was a church. Since the home wasn’t zoned for a church, the family was breaking the rules. They’d been hosting the Bible study for seven years on their property of 4.6 acres.
The city, however, said that the Salmans didn’t have the proper permits and zoning for such a large gathering which raised safety concerns.
Others have argued that, if this is the case, then football gatherings and parties at other houses should also be banned.
Group Urged Christians to Pray During Ramadan
Open Doors USA, a persecution watchdog group, launched a prayer campaign coinciding with Ramadan this past summer.
Ramadan is a holy month for Muslims, and took place this year from July 20 until August 18. As part of the observation, participants refrain from eating, drinking, sexual relations, and immoral activities from sunrise to sunset in order to focus on spiritual reflection.
Open Doors USA encouraged Christians to lift up Muslims in their prayers during this time period. They also encouraged Christians to pray for Christians in Islamic-dominated countries.
During Ramadan, Christians living in heavily Muslim countries are often persecuted because Christians do not observe this Islamic tradition.
Christy Barritt is an award-winning author, freelance writer, and speaker living in Chesapeake, Virginia. She and her husband Scott have two sons.