TIME magazine asked 40 years ago, 'Is God Dead?' It was more wishful thinking than anything else, but it appears that God has made a remarkable comeback:
This comes as the world indeed becomes more modern: It enjoys more political freedom, more democracy and more education than perhaps at any time in history.
It is also wealthier. The average share of people in developing countries living on less than a dollar a day fell from 28 percent to 22 percent between 1990 and 2002, according to World Bank estimates.
But this has not led to people becoming more secular. In fact, the period in which economic and political modernization has been most intense - the past 30 to 40 years - has witnessed a jump in religious vitality around the world.
According to the World Christian Encyclopedia, a greater proportion of the world's population adhered to the major religious systems in 2000 - Christianity's Catholicism and Protestanism, Islam and Hinduism - than a century earlier.
At the beginning of the 20th century, a bare majority of the world's people, precisely 50 percent, were Catholic, Protestant, Muslim or Hindu. At the beginning of the 21st century, nearly 64 percent were. The proportion may be close to 70 percent by 2025.
A century ago godless ideologies were on the march--Communism, then Fascism--but they were soon found to solve nothing, their policies leading to tens of millions of deaths in the name of history's progress. Of course, the renewed surge in religion has its own problems, primarily the issue of militant Islam. For those interested in the great direction of history, however, this serves to show that history is unpredictable with no 'march to progress'(or imagined 'Progress'). For those interested in God as well, we cannot be unaware of His own hand in the affairs of men.