Other Names: Dependence on religious apathy
Indifference to religion
Nature: Lack of religious conviction or activity may be marked by a lack of church attendance or other observance of religious customs, but does not necessarily mean that people leave their nominal church; they may remain within it but simply not practice religion in any particular form. Religious apathy may also be taken to mean an unquestioning attitude towards religious doctrine.
Incidence: Lack of outward religious conviction but nominal adherence to a religion is widespread in Western industrialized countries. An unquestioning acceptance of religious doctrine is found particularly among poor people in developing countries.
Claim: Great numbers are drifting little by little into religious indifferentism, or are continuing in danger of keeping the faith without the dynamism that is necessary, a faith without effective influence on their actual lives. The question now is not one of merely preserving traditional religious customs, but rather one of also fostering an appropriate re-evangelization of men, obtaining their reconversion, and giving them a deeper and more mature education in the faith. Many baptized persons have withdrawn so far from their religion that they profess a form of indifferentism or something close to atheism. (Sacred Congregation for the Clergy, General Cathechetical Directory, 1971).
Problem Type: C: Cross-sectoral problems
Date of last update 28.02.2000 – 00:00 CET