There is something to be said about religion, which can inspire the most savage, such as appalling acts of terrorism, as well as the noblest actions. Figures show a majority of young adults have no faith and do not follow a religion in the UK, and only 10% who categorize themselves as Catholic. The Muslim birthrate is higher and they have higher retention rates as well, but the new default setting is ‘no religion’, leaving mainstream churches smaller.
A report, Europe’s Young Adults and Religion, was made by a professor of theology at St Mary’s University, and is based on data from the European social survey 2014-16, shows that young adults are not identifying with religion, thus it seems as it Christianity as a norm, is gone, at least for the next 100 years. Attitudes to Christians and Christianity reveal a very large number of persons who choose to be indifferent in the matter. In the UK, between 56% and 60% said they never go to church, although many young people were baptized, showing thus that cultural religious identities aren’t being passed on.
Exploring the relationship between religion and violence, most Brits think that the teachings of religion are peaceful, but they tend to mingle with politics or foreign policy. However, young lonely people are particularly susceptible to cult recruitment, because they’re looking for family and something to make them feel secure. Cults aren’t always political groups, and there are between 500 and 1,000 cults in the UK and growing, only according to ex-cult members.
They share the features of enforcing a belief system, creating a surveillance system and living in terror, which seems rather an abusive relationship, isolating the victims and undermining their confidence. There are 16,000 Exclusive Brethren members in the UK, keeping separate from the world, sticking to a rigid set of codes of behavior, believing that they will be lifted from Earth before it plunges into chaos. Award-winning Rebecca Stott had no outside influences, as she sat through four hour-long meetings where men preached at the front.
There were 300 people in the Brighton assembly, who had no contact with people outside, and there were rules such as banning radios or TV. Like most Brethren children, she didn’t run away because she was scared of life outside, afraid that Satan would snatch here, and that she would be discovered. If you’ve been born into a cult such as the Brethren, the people outside seem strange.
There were forced confessions and suicides, and she used to get worried about what she would do when the grown-ups disappeared when the tidal waves came, so she began to steal tins of corned beef under her bed. She learned to read with the Bible, wore hats or headscarves to demonstrate her subjection to God and had to wear her hair down her back. Between meetings and readings, the children laughed just like other children, but she often seethed with frustration that she ought to be silently obedient and not asking any questions that would get her in trouble.