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Thread: How is your local church doing?

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    Default How is your local church doing?

    I've been feeling that Christianity has recovered a bit from some past years of Atheists and new religious discovery by people in the West, especially in the Internet I don't see that mass of activist-type atheists that were everywhere.

    So that makes me curious. Roman, Eastern, Oriental, Protestant Christians and beyond: Has your church grown, stagnated or fallen recently? How do you feel the next generation will do in matters of faith?
    Hilderaldo Lus Bellini. Son of Italian immigrants, Vasco da Gama player, first Brazilian to ever lift the World Cup.
    "Coion el ozel chel ga s-chifo del so nido" (Stupid is the bird who despises its own nest)

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    Quote Originally Posted by rossa-slongo View Post
    Has your church grown, stagnated or fallen recently? How do you feel the next generation will do in matters of faith?
    Well, it's more or less stable and calm times, at the same time I like that here in Russia concious believers and "traditional" believers are separated, those who consider themselves to be Christians without Church do not try to dictate anything to concious Christians, who are like 3-5% depending on region.

    But really, it barely matters. Persecution is the best time for Church, if everything goes well and Church is good with society and World it means something is wrong. Persecutiions of Church happen since 33 AD and will always be until this World stands. Persecutions are needed to cleanse the Church of wolves in sheep skin and make faithful ones better and stronger, it's a kind of Lord's blessing which bring us lots of martyrs, when the deeds of evil ones were turned into good. Church and the Christians is a little flock and there's no Christian goal to dominate by some numbers or establish some "Christian caliphate".

    The most important to remember is that salvation is personal and Jesus saves everything else are just temporary conditions. Nobody's gonna be saved just for being baptised or for good deeds, or automatically, only those who want it, hope and believe that Jesus who sacrificed Himself, gonna save them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vandor View Post
    Well, it's more or less stable and calm times, at the same time I like that here in Russia concious believers and "traditional" believers are separated, those who consider themselves to be Christians without Church do not try to dictate anything to concious Christians, who are like 3-5% depending on region.
    Sorry for the ignorance, but I had never heard this terminology. What to you mean with conscious and traditional believers?
    Hilderaldo Lus Bellini. Son of Italian immigrants, Vasco da Gama player, first Brazilian to ever lift the World Cup.
    "Coion el ozel chel ga s-chifo del so nido" (Stupid is the bird who despises its own nest)

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    Quote Originally Posted by rossa-slongo View Post
    Sorry for the ignorance, but I had never heard this terminology. What to you mean with conscious and traditional believers?
    Those who consider themselves as "cultural Christians", those who were baptized in childhood, but don't attend Church (except for weddings, baptismals and funerals) and don't participate in Sacraments. That's majority of nowadays nominal Christians no matter the denomination. Even between those who attend Liturgy there are enough of those who consider Church to be a kind of local cultural/ethnic Sunday club (like some Greeks in USA in case of Orthodoxy).

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    I will add my take too:
    I am not Christian nor a staunch theist, but I will say what I've been seeing when it comes to the Roman Catholic parish where I'm baptized.

    Politics were the last nail in the coffin of classic (not traditionalist) Catholicism. My family stopped attending mass frequently in 2009, only one or two members will usually go to the most important dates of the year. Pope Francis gave the feeling of rebirth of some sort to the institution, but even his image has soured quite a bit.

    I say politics killed our church as an unified, centralized institution because the Bolsonarist worldview disregarded the types of clergy who hold the biggest internal power. Those are left-leaning, reformists and modern, even though not to the point of going overtly against church teaching. The mass of people who wanted modern, entertaining, uncompromised worship went to protestantism, while the upper classes still interested in the church are traditionalists and supporting of the current president, with Padre Paulo Ricardo being the biggest exponent of this community IMO.

    There was a time when the church manipulated the people, but now the people manipulate the church. I think this couldn't explain better how it has declined in this century.
    Here, an example of what I mean.

    Unless some paradigm shift happens in the next years, I think the Catholic Church will be dead and buried here. I challenge you to go to any town in Brazil and find a full temple. People in general have become either atheists, lapsed catholics or protestants.
    Hilderaldo Lus Bellini. Son of Italian immigrants, Vasco da Gama player, first Brazilian to ever lift the World Cup.
    "Coion el ozel chel ga s-chifo del so nido" (Stupid is the bird who despises its own nest)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vandor View Post
    Those who consider themselves as "cultural Christians", those who were baptized in childhood, but don't attend Church (except for weddings, baptismals and funerals) and don't participate in Sacraments. That's majority of nowadays nominal Christians no matter the denomination. Even between those who attend Liturgy there are enough of those who consider Church to be a kind of local cultural/ethnic Sunday club (like some Greeks in USA in case of Orthodoxy).
    Yup, that's right. My sister is a very funny type when it comes to this idea of "Cultural Christianism". She is Catholic, reads traditionalist literature, but I have gone to mass probably more often than her. I don't know how it is in Russia but here many of people are very Catholic but distrust a lot clergy, from the local priest to the Bishop of Rome.
    Hilderaldo Lus Bellini. Son of Italian immigrants, Vasco da Gama player, first Brazilian to ever lift the World Cup.
    "Coion el ozel chel ga s-chifo del so nido" (Stupid is the bird who despises its own nest)

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    dp
    Hilderaldo Lus Bellini. Son of Italian immigrants, Vasco da Gama player, first Brazilian to ever lift the World Cup.
    "Coion el ozel chel ga s-chifo del so nido" (Stupid is the bird who despises its own nest)

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    We have a few churches in my town. They're all pretty much solely attended by old people, except the main church in the centre of town, which is Anglican. There's quite a few young people and families there.

    The nearby city is pretty much the same. The main church, a Catholic cathedral, is pretty packed most of the time. Some young families too, which is nice to see. I went with a friend to a Christmas service at a United church a few years ago. My friend's younger sister was leading the service, so we went to go give support. The three of us were the only people there under the age of 60. That was pretty depressing to witness.

    Orthodox and Ukrainian Catholic churches I've been to in nearby towns and cities usually have a lot of young families and university students. It still surprises me sometimes how many young people I see, considering what you hear about "educated" people and young people not going to church these days.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chron View Post
    Orthodox and Ukrainian Catholic churches I've been to in nearby towns and cities usually have a lot of young families and university students. It still surprises me sometimes how many young people I see, considering what you hear about "educated" people and young people not going to church these days.
    The Orthodox church seems to have grown quite a bit the last years, in the internet conservative/antisystem sphere, guys like Roosh Valizadeh and Luke Smith have found it to be their faith and have converted. In my area, churches have tried to attract young people with reform and have failed big time with it, only the pentecostal ones were slightly successful because gospel music is a big market around here.

    As a Roman Catholic who has gone through Baptism, first communion and chrism, it honestly disappoints me a bit to see the state of the local church. As I said earlier OTT, clergy is absolutely despised (with reasons for such that I won't go on unless you want lol). I feel like they've tried to dumb down and reproduce what the prots have tried to do with people, when the thing people look for in Catholicism is the tradition and authority in matters of faith that is so lacking elsewhere. That's why a great deal have turned into the trad-cath LARP like my own sister.

    Coming back from the tangent, that is why I think that Orthodox and Eastern Catholics are receiving more young people. They are the ones that did not subject to the whims of modernity and haven't tried to look hip. If some day I feel really touched and convinced by Christian faith, I'll be going to one of these two. There's a ROCOR parish in Buenos Aires and it seems like there is an Eastern Catholic around too.

    We have a few churches in my town. They're all pretty much solely attended by old people, except the main church in the centre of town, which is Anglican. There's quite a few young people and families there.

    The nearby city is pretty much the same. The main church, a Catholic cathedral, is pretty packed most of the time. Some young families too, which is nice to see. I went with a friend to a Christmas service at a United church a few years ago. My friend's younger sister was leading the service, so we went to go give support. The three of us were the only people there under the age of 60. That was pretty depressing to witness.
    The Catholic parish from my former 2000-inhabitant town is only attended by the typical nonnas and nonnos too, other than the most important days and when kids go through their sacraments. There's an Assembly of God that has a significant following, pretty cool people tbh, and one of those ̶s̶a̶t̶a̶n̶i̶c̶ televangelist churches that the only reason it is in my town is due to the cheap rent, most people are from elsewhere and the place has no windows, no one really knows what goes on in there.

    I find it really good that there are young families going to church around there, doesn't seem to be the case in Brazil unfortunately. Even though it has good reasons to have happened, I think the downfall of the Catholic Church here was a disgrace to our society, as divorce became banal and people turn into heterodoxy, cults and plain degeneracy.
    Hilderaldo Lus Bellini. Son of Italian immigrants, Vasco da Gama player, first Brazilian to ever lift the World Cup.
    "Coion el ozel chel ga s-chifo del so nido" (Stupid is the bird who despises its own nest)

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    That's exactly it. The best way to tell if a church is dying or not is to see if they have a pride flag flying outside, or a safe space sticker on the door. If young people want a hip and fun place to hang out, the church is the last place they'd go. The people who want to go to church because, well, they want to go to church, see this weird modernist stuff and get put off by it.

    My girlfriend's grandparents go to a Pentecostal church, and we've gone with them a few times. It was very modern, but not modern in the same sense as these other dying churches. It was fairly populated too, mostly with old people, but quite a few middle aged people and some young families. They even had what looked like university or highschool students running the projectors and sound system.

    Your situation sounds pretty similar to mine. I wanted to start going to church because I'm not a fan of the normalized degeneracy all around me, and the only ones around here who didn't bow to modernism were Orthodox and a few different Protestant denominations. I liked the aesthetics of the Ortho churches more, so that's the one I chose.


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