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Why is there more christianity than others?


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#1 D.Chhetri   Members   -  Reputation: 181

Posted 31 July 2011 - 11:27 PM

Actually I have more than one question and they are

  • Why is christanity the most popular religion in US and possibly the world?
  • Why does it seem like the majority of christianity are black?

I'm not really sure as I haven't been around much nor had the patient to research. I'm not so sure about the first question, but for the second question, I'm assuming things from my experience. Christianity people in movies, churches, and random people I meet; mostly tend to be black. I don't know if there is actually some study done for this, but why are black people depicted overly verbosed spiritual character in the media?
I have a idea on why this could be and have been thinking about this for a few days randomly, and here it goes. Could it be that there is a inverse proportionality to one's overall well being with god. At least from my experience, people that are worse off( say financially for example) tend to be 'closer' to god'; or at least be more expressive about it. It could be that one looks for a higher way out just to feel comforted and possibly tricked into believing that everything will fall in place if one only places trust on god? From experience all of my friends that are black have rather a hard life financially, and all of them are christians. In contrast, most of my white friends are well off financially, but doesn't seem to be too heavily into god as my black friends. I'm not saying that christians aren't a diverse group, but all I'm saying is that from my experience, it seems like the majority of christians are african americans, and most of them are poor.

Any thoughts?
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#2 Roots   Members   -  Reputation: 657

Posted 31 July 2011 - 11:56 PM

There's no simple answer to your first question. Its a subject that has to be studied and spans 2000 years of history. You need to find the time to do the research yourself, or at the very least google the question and go from there. I'll give you a head start by telling you to read about Constantine the Great, who was a Roman emperor who converted to Christianity and propelled Christianity to going "main stream" throughout the Roman Empire around the year 313AD, where previously Christians were often persecuted.


I'm skeptical that your second question has any merit to it. Just because the majority of Christians you meet happen to be black, does not mean that most Christians are black (I'd suspect that most are Caucasian myself). I think your experience has more to do with the present environment that you live in and engage with.
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#3 AndrewBC   Members   -  Reputation: 280

Posted 01 August 2011 - 12:00 AM

I'm not going to talk about the second question.

With the first, however, I can speak a bit about why Christianity spread.

Before christianity monogamy was a lot more rare of a cultural attribute, and wealth was transferred down lines of powerful families who were able to maintain their power by being rather promiscuous enough to mostly ensure they had successors. Once christianity came along, and preached monogamy and other chaste attributes like getting the church's approval to marry and procreate, the church naturally gained a foothold into the wealth and power of royal and elite families as they followed along. Soon it became commonplace for the church to inherit the wealth of a family when it ended since the monogamy resulted in the occasional lack of male heirs. With the faith teaching its servants to have nothing and give the church everything, what would the church spend this on if not further spreading of the faith?

The church isn't the only player by a long shot, since government has in most cases split off into a separate power, and likes to direct public policy to similar practices in most western-like cases.

Whether this was purposeful or not, I don't know, but the feedback loop is pretty evident, I think.

#4 Hodgman   Moderators   -  Reputation: 30424

Posted 01 August 2011 - 12:01 AM

http://www.adherents.com/Religions_By_Adherents.html

"Why is christanity the most popular religion in US and possibly the world?"
It was founded by people from a mostly Christian nation. They brought it with them.

Europe, which was/is mostly christian, was a very colonial group of nations. When building colonies, you want the locals to assimilate into your culture, which includes your religion. When spreading their empires, they also spread their religions.

"Why does it seem like the majority of christianity are black?"
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#5 way2lazy2care   Members   -  Reputation: 782

Posted 01 August 2011 - 12:03 AM

"Why does it seem like the majority of christianity are black?"
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I thought the same about the second question.

#6 D.Chhetri   Members   -  Reputation: 181

Posted 01 August 2011 - 12:25 AM

Yea idk, the second question might be stupid, but it bothers me for some reason.
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#7 RedPin   Banned   -  Reputation: 36

Posted 01 August 2011 - 12:27 AM

a lot of Christians in the middle east and Asia now. If you bothered to look up anything, you would see that Islam is on the decline in the Middle East. How is the decline of Islam relevant to this post? Middle East or "Indians" are now being saved. If anything, African Americans are largely converting to Islam in the jails. So your theory has a hole the size of the earth in it right now. If you are basing your assumptions off you area, you simply can not. As with any other thing, research before you post. It wouldn't hurt to know a little bit about a subject. Seems to be common around here for people to assume and jump on the bandwagon when they know little to nothing about such topics. If it isn't on the local news or CNN your lost right? Bandwagon posters ftw around here?
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#8 ChurchSkiz   Members   -  Reputation: 450

Posted 01 August 2011 - 01:46 AM

Around 70% of the US defines itself as christian. 13% of the US population is black. So even if 100% of black people are christians, they are still nowhere close to the majority of christians in the US.

I think the reason it's easy to infer that poorer people (not black people) are more often "christian" is that people that are overtly outspoken on certain issues are often overcompensating for something. At least, according to my own experiences. For example, at my home church in CO, I hardly ever heard anyone discuss God and finances. The church had a pretty high giving rate and many of the members were upper-middle class. When I moved to Tulsa, I heard people talk about how they were constantly being blessed and that God was solving all their problems. The majority of those people were in severe financial crisis.

I'm not debating the theology, but from what I have noticed, the more people overly condemn a subject or appear to have complete mastery of an area, the more they struggle with it internally. ie the preacher who is radically outspoken on alcoholism or pornography or adultery, is probably struggling with those things in their own life. The people who brag about how awesome their life is thanks to God, in my experience, are the people who are struggling the most.

So it's easy to think that the people who have the crappiest lives, are uneducated, or poor, are the majority of christians. The truth is, there are milliions of christians that you walk by every day and don't associate with christianity because they aren't outspoken about it.

#9 JoeCooper   Members   -  Reputation: 338

Posted 01 August 2011 - 02:26 AM

It surprises me that anyone'd actually ask the second question. Not because "it's racist!", but just because it's such a local question.

When I lived in Oregon, I saw very few black people period. I remember non-religious blacks and I remember black Muslims. I remember plenty of white Christians. When I went to Georgia, there were a lot more black people and, generally speaking, a hell of a lot more Christians overall.

This is going to vary state-by-state, town-by-town, neighborhood-by-neighborhood.

If there is indeed a higher prevalence of Christianity among blacks in your state (Connecticut, according to your profile), it may be due to historical accident. Lemme explain...

The so-called Bible Belt consists of states that used to have black majorities. Often around 2/3 black. This is no longer the case; many decided to head north. This migration happened very recently compared to migrations from Europe and Africa many centuries ago... Connecticut has an entrenched culture that's been there for many centuries.

Stats vary from state to state, so if you want to really know, you'll have to hit the books, but I would suggest there may be a higher prevalence among blacks in the north of having families that immigrated from the "bible belt" region in recent history (<100 years). They aren't going to self identify as "southerners" like someone talking about their "irish heritage", and they might not look like Rick Perry, but this is part of their cultural background. The influence of that culture will be there for multiple generations, passed from parent to child.

While there's plenty of northern Christians, the book you have is not the whole story. Cultures vary wildly in how they treat their religion, interpret the truths, the social mores, strategies and tactic of religious expression, treatment of religion in arts, etc. etc. etc.

So you might be seeing that.

Don't miss the word "prevalence" there. There are blacks whose family's history in Connecticut goes back many centuries.

Taking the "historical accident" line of thought a little further, the vast majority of black Christians on the continent had ancestors who were brought there by force and adopted the religion under force. You're seeing this too.

There's no intrinsic reason that Christianity would appeal more to people with darker skin.

There will be a story to it, as there is for everything, but, if so happens that most Christians in your immediate vicinity are black, you would have to do the legwork to get an understanding of the story behind that. And it's going to be a sensitive topic.

#10 alnite   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2112

Posted 01 August 2011 - 02:57 AM

What a DUMB subject! We should limit religious discussion to one active topic at a time.

1) Because it's 2000 years old, and it's everywhere.
2) Get out more, and prove yourself wrong.

Really!

#11 D.Chhetri   Members   -  Reputation: 181

Posted 01 August 2011 - 06:37 PM

What a DUMB subject! We should limit religious discussion to one active topic at a time.

1) Because it's 2000 years old, and it's everywhere.
2) Get out more, and prove yourself wrong.

Really!


In defense on why I ask the question, I asked question 1 because surely other religion have been around since Christianity has been around, so I wondered why it got so wide spread than others. As for the second question, I ask because of personal experience, but I realize how 'local' that question is. Anyways, sorry for the trouble guys.

And btw, if one is tired of threads like these, then why not just ignore it and carry on with your business? It isn't mandatory to stop by 'threads like these' and comment on it. Sorry for the trouble again.
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#12 A Brain in a Vat   Members   -  Reputation: 313

Posted 01 August 2011 - 08:02 PM

Christianity is popular due to a combination of a few factors.
  • It's a very inclusive religion. It preaches that all people are one under god, despite the fact that many Christians may not act as if that's the case.
  • It spread with European colonialism. Europe's colonial ambitions brought Christianity to many places, whether by force, coercion, or simple proselytism.
  • It's a very happy religion. God is good, god loves you unconditionally, god wants you to live forever in paradise with him, and (depending on your brand on Christianity) it's often very easy to assure that you will. People like to believe in things that make them feel good.


#13 JoeCooper   Members   -  Reputation: 338

Posted 01 August 2011 - 08:08 PM

It wasn't necessarily trouble, posts like that are just usually a sign of impending trouble. But if you're really just curious - non-judgmentally - about how ideas get passed around and tied to group identities and all that monkey-business, that's totally fine.


You're also right that there were other religions; history is littered with dead religions and the American landscape is littered with live ones that don't quite catch.

If you'd like to know about religion in general, I suggest Introducing Religion by Robert Ellwood. It's a tightly written book I had to read in a college course. It would give some insights if you've got time to torch on it.

#14 Luckless   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1806

Posted 01 August 2011 - 09:23 PM

  • It's a very happy religion. God is good, god loves you unconditionally, god wants you to live forever in paradise with him, and (depending on your brand on Christianity) it's often very easy to assure that you will. People like to believe in things that make them feel good.


I think a better view of this point would go something like "It is a religion that can be whatever you want it to be". The fundamentals are sound, the whole peace, hope, helping others, etc, but you can flavour it however you please.

Are you into the wrathful eye for an eye, god is testing you and you'll burn in hell if do naughty things in the night? Well my friend, you'll want the Old Testament, and heap it on.

Want love, peace, and help thy neighbour? The New Testament is your friend.

Want a bit of both? Cherry pick as you please from all the different books and make it as you like. Christianity is an all you can eat, make your own Sundae Bar. They all have the same basic idea behind them, but some people just go with more nuts than others.

And of course, is the Christian Bible not enough for you to get what you really want in a religion? Then add your own extensions and traditions!


Christianity is like Linux in the Religious world. It comes in all sorts of flavours, some are more popular than others, and it is fairly easy to customize it to your own idea of what it should be. If you really know what you're doing then your version can take off. If you're bad at it, then you'll be labelled as a cult.
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#15 d000hg   Members   -  Reputation: 754

Posted 01 August 2011 - 10:44 PM

Actually I have more than one question and they are

  • Why is christanity the most popular religion in US and possibly the world?
  • Why does it seem like the majority of christianity are black?

What the hell are you on about? Those are the most un-researched and dumb questions ever.

#16 SeraphLance   Members   -  Reputation: 1421

Posted 01 August 2011 - 11:53 PM

Regarding the second question... It's probably true that more blacks are Christian than whites are in the US (Per Capita, obviously). Initially, this is because most blacks that came as slaves converted to Christianity wholesale. I suspect the reason it stayed that way is demographic. We can effectively ignore other religious backgrounds. The only things that really have a role to play are Christianity and Atheism.

I'm going to pull a statistic out of my ass and say that Atheism is predominant in the middle- and upper-class incomes in the United States. Blacks still predominantly lie in the lower incomes. I'm not trying to make any sort of chicken-or-egg argument here, but simply to note these things.

As someone also said, blacks tend to be more vocal about their religion, likely owing to a combination of location (a whole lot of them in religiously concentrated areas, like the South) and the same cause mentioned above.


Disclaimer: Nothing I've said should have any racial connotations or racist intentions, and there is absolutely no research backing anything I've said, just intuition and observation on my part.

#17 SteveDeFacto   Banned   -  Reputation: 109

Posted 02 August 2011 - 02:53 AM

1. You have to look at how human civilizations were formed. Basically religion was a way of grouping people and uniting them toward one goal. Every major nation was founded on a religion or ideology. The most powerful nation in the world, the US, was founded on Christianity so like wise it is also the most powerful religion in the world. Plus if you look at Christianity's history it was one of the most bloody and ruthless religions around.

2. African american people were brought here as slaves and forced to believe or die basically. They have continued to believe because they are in a lower economic bracket and therefore have lower standards of education. These two factors make them more susceptible to brain washing tactics. Also from conversations I've had with religious people I am quite sure most of them are very doubtful about their beliefs but feel that they have no choice because they face rejection by their pears and family if they express their doubt and so they suppress their thoughts. Basically African american culture was heavily religious since they had to believe or they would be hung and so this belief has stuck with them so strongly through their culture.

#18 rip-off   Moderators   -  Reputation: 8344

Posted 02 August 2011 - 03:29 AM

I'm not really sure as I haven't been around much nor had the patient to research.

You had better learn some patience, because for such emotionally laden questions you will get opinions more frequently than facts.

I'm not so sure about the first question, but for the second question, I'm assuming things from my experience....

Opinions and anecdotal evidence.




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