Study suggests state support weakens Christianity

Support for the religion tends to speed its decline, while the lack thereof speeds its growth.

A peer-reviewed study published this month in the academic journal Sociology of Religion finds a paradoxical correlation between the growth of Christianity on the one hand and the support given to it by the state on the other.

As the study’s authors detail in a piece for Christianity Today, their “statistical analysis of a global sample of 166 countries from 2010 to 2020 [finds] that the most important determinant of Christian vitality is the extent to which governments give official support to Christianity through their laws and policies.”

But, they say, the relationship between the two is the opposite of what Christians might expect: “As governmental support for Christianity increases, the number of Christians declines significantly.”

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