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Weekly Worship / Life Expectancy

August 2019

Below is an excerpt from the Pew Research Center. While I understand many will not take the time to read the short excerpts I've put below, I believe the pictures tell the story effectively. If you would like to see the full report click here. Where perceived need is the greatest, the desire for the Lord is paramount. Let us not forget to rely upon Him daily for our needs and not trust in the passing treasures of this life.

1 Thessalonians 5:1-3 (NKJV)
"But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they say, "Peace and safety!" then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. "

As the map to the left shows, the countries with the highest shares of people who say religion is very important in their lives are in Africa, the Middle East, South Asia and Latin America, while those with the lowest shares are in Europe, North America, East Asia and Australia.This has led many researchers to observe that people in poorer parts of the world are, on average, more religious than those in societies with advanced economies. Other indicators of economic development – such as education, life expectancy and income equality – also tend to align with measures of religious commitment.

Pew Research Center data show, for example, a clear correlation between life expectancy at birth in a country and the percentage of its people who attend religious services weekly. That is, the higher the life expectancy in a country, the less likely people are to attend services frequently. As their theory goes, in places where people face a constant threat of premature death due to hunger, war or disease, feelings of vulnerability tend to drive people to religion, which in turn provides hope and reduces anxiety. In countries with advanced economies, meanwhile, people are more likely to feel safe – in part because technology and infrastructure investments in these societies have helped people overcome many common health problems, cope with severe weather, and deal with other types of emergencies that can cause existential anxiety. Norris and Inglehart contend that people in these countries rely less on religion for emotional support or for explanations of the unknown.

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