What is the religious climate in your part of the world?

Every other year I like to ask readers to talk about religious trends in their parts of the world. These posts always lead to the most fascinating discussion, so I’m excited to do it once again!

cathedral italy What is the religious climate in your part of the world?

Take a moment to answer the following questions. I’m especially interested to hear from folks who live outside of the United States:

  1. Where do you live? If you’re outside the U.S., PLEASE NOTE YOUR COUNTRY IN CAPITAL LETTERS.
  2. What is church attendance like in your area? Are there many churches? Do they seem to have active memberships?
  3. How appropriate would it be if a person were to acknowledge in casual conversation that he or she is a believing Christian? For example, if someone were having a conversation in an office break room and made a passing comment like, “I’ve been praying about that” or “our pastor talked about that at church on Sunday…”, would that seem odd?
  4. What belief system do the politicians in your area claim to practice? For example, in Texas almost all politicians at least claim to have some kind of belief in God, regardless of what they may think in private — to openly admit to being an atheist would be political suicide in most parts of the state. Is this the case in your area?
  5. How common would it be to see a family with more than three children? If a family with five children moved to your area, how would people react to their family size?
  6. What was the dominant belief system in your area 50 years ago? What is it now?
  7. Do the people where you live seem happy with their lives?

Please feel free to add any additional thoughts or comments as well. I can’t wait to read your answers!

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Here is an (optional) template for you to copy and paste into the comment form if that makes it easier for you to answer:

1. WHERE DO YOU LIVE?

Your answer here.

2. WHAT IS CHURCH ATTENDANCE LIKE? ARE THERE MANY CHURCHES?

Your answer here.

3. HOW APPROPRIATE WOULD IT BE FOR A PERSON TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT HE OR SHE IS A BELIEVING CHRISTIAN IN CASUAL CONVERSATION?

Your answer here.

4. WHAT KIND OF FAITH DO THE POLITICIANS CLAIM TO PRACTICE?

Your answer here.

5. HOW COMMON WOULD IT BE TO SEE A FAMILY WITH MORE THAN THREE KIDS? WHAT ARE THE ATTITUDES TOWARD FAMILY SIZE?

Your answer here.

6. WHAT WAS THE DOMINANT BELIEF SYSTEM IN YOUR AREA 50 YEARS AGO? WHAT IS IT NOW?

Your answer here.

7. DO THE PEOPLE WHERE YOU LIVE SEEM HAPPY WITH THEIR LIVES?

Your answer here.

(You’ll see text that says “See more at conversiondiary.com” when you paste. Just delete that.)

Also, last time around I had requests to post a linky list for people who preferred to write up their answers on their own blogs. If anyone would like to do that, here you go!

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Enter the Conversation...

121 Responses to “What is the religious climate in your part of the world?”
  1. Célia Costa says:

    1. WHERE DO YOU LIVE?
    PORTUGAL
    2. WHAT IS CHURCH ATTENDANCE LIKE? ARE THERE MANY CHURCHES?
    There are many churches and chapels but the attendance is weak. Only old people go to church, mainly
    3. HOW APPROPRIATE WOULD IT BE FOR A PERSON TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT HE OR SHE IS A BELIEVING CHRISTIAN IN CASUAL CONVERSATION?
    Depends on your age; if you are old, it’s pretty normal, but if you are young or middle age it’s odd
    4. WHAT KIND OF FAITH DO THE POLITICIANS CLAIM TO PRACTICE?
    Politicians don’t claim to practice any religion. It’s not even a subject
    5. HOW COMMON WOULD IT BE TO SEE A FAMILY WITH MORE THAN THREE KIDS? WHAT ARE THE ATTITUDES TOWARD FAMILY SIZE?
    Very very rare! It’s rare to see a children. We have a long-term demographic problem. Primary school are becoming empty
    6. WHAT WAS THE DOMINANT BELIEF SYSTEM IN YOUR AREA 50 YEARS AGO? WHAT IS IT NOW?
    My country is mainly Catholic.Other religions and even protestant church has a very low expression. Nowadays, Catholic faith is slowly daying, many people are baptized but don’t pratice their religion
    7. DO THE PEOPLE WHERE YOU LIVE SEEM HAPPY WITH THEIR LIVES?
    No because my country is in a economical and moral breakdown

  2. Kristine says:

    1. WHERE DO YOU LIVE?
    London, ENGLAND

    2. WHAT IS CHURCH ATTENDANCE LIKE? ARE THERE MANY CHURCHES?
    In inner city London there are a lot of churches built in the nineteenth century population boom, but not necessarily well attended. Churches that attract Afro-Caribbean background tend to be the best attended – often Pentecostal type.

    3. HOW APPROPRIATE WOULD IT BE FOR A PERSON TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT HE OR SHE IS A BELIEVING CHRISTIAN IN CASUAL CONVERSATION?
    If the topic came up naturally fine to say you’re a Christian or attend church. ‘So, let me tell you about my personal relationship with Jesus Christ …’ type conversations send people scuttling for cover! In fact, when I was in college we were told during an evangelism week that we couldn’t deliberately start an evangelistic conversation in the lunch hall as people would find this threatening. It was against college diversity rules. People had to bring the topic up themselves or choose to attend an organised event.

    4. WHAT KIND OF FAITH DO THE POLITICIANS CLAIM TO PRACTICE?
    It’s OK to attend Church, but mixing up politics and religion is political suicide. The only time politicians bring it up is when they say something like ‘I’m a church goer myself, and I think Christians should support gay marriage. Jesus believed in tolerance and love.’

    5. HOW COMMON WOULD IT BE TO SEE A FAMILY WITH MORE THAN THREE KIDS? WHAT ARE THE ATTITUDES TOWARD FAMILY SIZE?
    Three is normal. Four people make comments like ‘haven’t they figured out where they’re coming from yet?’ I think quite a lot of people have the third by accident! When family sizes are bigger, the children tend to be from different marriages. There’s increasing hostility towards families on benefits who have more than two or three children. Some people support a policy of capping people’s state benefits if they have more than 3 (ie. they won’t get any more money from the state if they go on to have four or more children).

    6. WHAT WAS THE DOMINANT BELIEF SYSTEM IN YOUR AREA 50 YEARS AGO? WHAT IS IT NOW?
    Church of England and Methodist. Not sure what it is now. Islam and agnosticism probably strongest in London.

    7. DO THE PEOPLE WHERE YOU LIVE SEEM HAPPY WITH THEIR LIVES?
    Difficult to say. There’s not really a strong sense of community in professional London. Maybe in the estates (government housing) there’s a stronger sense of neighbourliness. Prices are so high people find it difficult to live here. People work long hours and commuting to work can take up a lot of time and be tiring. People can be quite grumpy and stressed on public transport. On the other hand, there are a lot more opportunities in London than in other parts of the country so people are often motivated, at least at the beginning of their careers.

  3. Rebekka says:

    1. DENMARK

    2. Lots of churches (State religion is Lutheran.) Poor attendance. The Catholic Church we go to is often standing room only even on “regular” Sundays.

    3. Inappropriate, unless religion was being discussed.

    4. Not a political subject.

    5. Two kids is normal, three kids is not shocking. More than that raises an eyebrow, unless you’re Muslim. Lots of children in public, it’s a child-friendly country.

    6. 50 years ago: Christian. Now: non-practicing Christian, or Muslim (live in an immigrant area).

    7. People seem content enough but it’s a pretty materialistic society.

    • the other Becky says:

      There was some sort of large sociologic study done about happiness, and the conclusion was the Denmark is the happiest country.

      • Paula says:

        I saw an article about that on a news program that said it was because the Dutch have low expectations . . .Glad to hear ‘standing room only’ at mass!!!!

        • Anna says:

          Dutch people are from Holland; Danes are from Denmark. So hopefully they’re not too affected by the low expectations of the Dutch.

  4. Anne says:

    1. AUSTRIA
    2. Lots of Catholic churches, chapels and crosses. Fewer protestant churches. In big cities a few other churches or mosques. Only in a few big cities though….
    3. Everyone thinks they are Catholic but they are not practicing. Just for their wedding, baptism first communion or comfirmation. Otherwise we are almost always the only ( yes ONLY) family at mass.
    4. Many claim Catholic but again, not practicing.
    5. We have three boys and are expecting a fourth child. The fourth child is a shocker here. Muslims tend to have more than 3. I know of three families with four children in our entire school.
    6. roman Catholic is dominent but it used to be practiced by all. Now it is just a social custom. After first Communion there is at most one single child who comes to Mass the next week!
    7. People are content ans have by far LESS than Americans! Smaller flats, only one car ( if at all), people walk places, children hae fewer clothes and toys. A much simpler lifestyle here in general. No Suv s at all! It is very hard to find a car to fit 3 car seats let alone 4 or more. And no, there are no Honda Odysseys offered here.

    Hope that helps give you an idea about Austria!

  5. Christina says:

    1. WHERE DO YOU LIVE?
    Just north of Washington DC in Silver Spring, MD
    2. WHAT IS CHURCH ATTENDANCE LIKE? ARE THERE MANY CHURCHES?
    There are churches everywhere, at least I can’t drive anywhere without passing at least one or two or more. The majority in our area seem to be Catholic. Our church has strong attendance and if the parking lots and service times if other churches are to be believed, attendance in the area is very high.
    3. HOW APPROPRIATE WOULD IT BE FOR A PERSON TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT HE OR SHE IS A BELIEVING CHRISTIAN IN CASUAL CONVERSATION?
    No one would bat an eyelash. Same is also true if they said they didn’t.
    4. WHAT KIND OF FAITH DO THE POLITICIANS CLAIM TO PRACTICE?
    Mostly claim to be “generic” Christain or Catholic
    5. HOW COMMON WOULD IT BE TO SEE A FAMILY WITH MORE THAN THREE KIDS? WHAT ARE THE ATTITUDES TOWARD FAMILY SIZE?
    Quite common, but it does some raise eyebrows when more than four walk in.
    6. WHAT WAS THE DOMINANT BELIEF SYSTEM IN YOUR AREA 50 YEARS AGO? WHAT IS IT NOW?
    Same, I think. The churches here are pretty well established. I think more Protestant and non-Christain faiths have shown up over the years.
    7. DO THE PEOPLE WHERE YOU LIVE SEEM HAPPY WITH THEIR LIVES?
    It’s hard for me to say. I’m originally from the south so everyone up here seems grumpy. For the most part, I’d say there is an equal mix of happy and unhappy.

    • the other Becky says:

      Christina, I live in College Park! Hope I get to meet you some time.

    • Nina says:

      Wow. Im just south of DC in Arlington and I can say this isnt my experience at all. Just crazy that we have such different views of the people around us since we’re so close geographically.

      There are plenty of Churches and a decent number of people do attend each Sunday- but most of the Catholic churches are so luke-warm or even liberal they shouldnt even be considered Catholic in my opinion.
      Other than the Tridentine Masses at a couple of local Churches, its very abnormal to see a family with more than 2 children. A friend of mine was given all kinds of grief when she and her husband decided to have a third. We wont even go into the Hell another friend got when she announced she was pregnant with her 9th.
      Most people tend to be generic christian- but wont talk about religion at all, or the ever popular ‘agnostic’. I work in a very heavy science field and am constantly surrounded by people who say the worst things about the few politicians who stand up for moral truth, and they would be appalled if someone brought up religion as a good thing. When I mentioned that my fiancee and I were getting married in a Catholic Church they kinda laughed and made jokes about ‘hallowed ground’ in a cemetery and so forth.
      The only similar experience we have is the rudeness and constant grumpy mood people here seem to exude. People are so absorbed in themselves and their work that they hardly even acknowledge anyone around them.

  6. Mario says:

    1. WHERE DO YOU LIVE?
    SAUDI ARABIA

    2. WHAT IS CHURCH ATTENDANCE LIKE? ARE THERE MANY CHURCHES?
    There is no overt Christian Church in this country. Religious services are being conducted at home where a makeshift altar is mounted.

    3. HOW APPROPRIATE WOULD IT BE FOR A PERSON TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT HE OR SHE IS A BELIEVING CHRISTIAN IN CASUAL CONVERSATION?
    Local abhor any mention of religion other than Islam

    4. WHAT KIND OF FAITH DO THE POLITICIANS CLAIM TO PRACTICE?
    All Saudi citizen are 100% Muslim

    5. HOW COMMON WOULD IT BE TO SEE A FAMILY WITH MORE THAN THREE KIDS?
    WHAT ARE THE ATTITUDES TOWARD FAMILY SIZE?
    Saudis love large family, the more the merrier.

    6. WHAT WAS THE DOMINANT BELIEF SYSTEM IN YOUR AREA 50 YEARS AGO? WHAT IS IT NOW?
    Islam

    7. DO THE PEOPLE WHERE YOU LIVE SEEM HAPPY WITH THEIR LIVES?
    It depends on one’s status in life. The poor always whine about the lack of government’s initiative to alleviate their lives. The rich don’t have problem flaunting their possessions which I believe is the prime reason behind the divisiveness among the locals

  7. Makenzie says:

    1. WHERE DO YOU LIVE?

    Nashville, TN, USA

    2. WHAT IS CHURCH ATTENDANCE LIKE? ARE THERE MANY CHURCHES?

    Church on every corner. Mostly protestant. Church attendance is socially expected and atheism is viewed with suspicion. All age groups have high church attendance I would say.

    3. HOW APPROPRIATE WOULD IT BE FOR A PERSON TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT HE OR SHE IS A BELIEVING CHRISTIAN IN CASUAL CONVERSATION?

    It would be completely normal to talk about faith in a normal conversation.

    4. WHAT KIND OF FAITH DO THE POLITICIANS CLAIM TO PRACTICE?

    Politicians here must profess Christianity to have any chance of election.

    5. HOW COMMON WOULD IT BE TO SEE A FAMILY WITH MORE THAN THREE KIDS? WHAT ARE THE ATTITUDES TOWARD FAMILY SIZE?

    Families with 3-4 kids are the norm. 5+ kids are less common but still viewed in a positive light.

    6. WHAT WAS THE DOMINANT BELIEF SYSTEM IN YOUR AREA 50 YEARS AGO? WHAT IS IT NOW?

    50 years ago I would say this area was dominated by Southern Baptists. Now I would say it is a blend of many protestant traditions including a huge increase in non-denominational “mega churches”. There is a thriving Catholic community in the city but not so much in the outlying areas.

    7. DO THE PEOPLE WHERE YOU LIVE SEEM HAPPY WITH THEIR LIVES?

    I think most people seem happy. There is kind of a social expectation to “have it all together”, so most people seem generally happy all the time even if they aren’t.

    • Jenny says:

      Interesting to hear another person’s take on Nashville. I mostly agree with you except for #5. I would say that families with 2-3 kids are the norm. Four kids start to generate questions and more than that really raises eyebrows. I would not say that 5+ kids are viewed in a positive light around here. They may smile at you directly and bless your heart, but it produces gossip behind your back. I say this as someone who has just had a fourth baby and am a little shocked by the attention this has generated.

      6) The Southern Baptist dominated this area as recently as twenty years ago. Catholics in Tennessee are a small minority. Maybe 2%-3% of the population.

      • Makenzie says:

        Good to hear another opinion! I’m writing as a mom of 1, so I was just going by the attitudes I see on the surface. And on #6 I should have mentioned that “thriving Catholic population” was by no means a majority, but a few large parishes within the city. :) Thanks for correcting me!

  8. RosieB says:

    1. WHERE DO YOU LIVE? The United States – Ohio

    2. WHAT IS CHURCH ATTENDANCE LIKE? ARE THERE MANY CHURCHES?
    Churches are very popular here but mostly protestant churches. There is a Catholic church in every suburb in this area though.

    3. HOW APPROPRIATE WOULD IT BE FOR A PERSON TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT HE OR SHE IS A BELIEVING CHRISTIAN IN CASUAL CONVERSATION?
    Very common. People typically bring it up quickly in casual conversation.

    4. WHAT KIND OF FAITH DO THE POLITICIANS CLAIM TO PRACTICE?
    They are Christian but they don’t talk about which denomination.

    5. HOW COMMON WOULD IT BE TO SEE A FAMILY WITH MORE THAN THREE KIDS? WHAT ARE THE ATTITUDES TOWARD FAMILY SIZE?
    From my perspective, I see more 2 kids families than any larger families anymore. However, when we do see a larger family it is typically a Catholic or mormon family.

    6. WHAT WAS THE DOMINANT BELIEF SYSTEM IN YOUR AREA 50 YEARS AGO? WHAT IS IT NOW? I didn’t grow up here so I wouldn’t know for sure. But if I had to guess, it would be mainly protestant in central Ohio. In the Cleveland area it would have been predominantly catholic.

    7. DO THE PEOPLE WHERE YOU LIVE SEEM HAPPY WITH THEIR LIVES?
    Depends on the circle of friends I am around. If I’m around the anybody who is religious they do seem happier. If I’m around the non-religious type, they seem happy (because they have quite a bit of material things) but they can’t seem to have enough of material things. So they put a good front, but you can tell by their actions that they can’t seem to have enough material things.

  9. Paule says:

    1. WHERE DO YOU LIVE? Lithuania
    2. WHAT IS CHURCH ATTENDANCE LIKE? All catholic churches in the town.
    3. HOW APPROPRIATE WOULD IT BE FOR A PERSON TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT HE OR SHE IS A BELIEVING CHRISTIAN IN CASUAL CONVERSATION? medium hard
    4. WHAT KIND OF FAITH DO THE POLITICIANS CLAIM TO PRACTICE? christians, but a lot of non-believers
    5. HOW COMMON WOULD IT BE TO SEE A FAMILY WITH MORE THAN THREE KIDS? WHAT ARE THE ATTITUDES TOWARD FAMILY SIZE? I have got 4, ppl are telling that we are very smart (financial side of living in Lithuania is the hardest reason to have kids)

    6. WHAT WAS THE DOMINANT BELIEF SYSTEM IN YOUR AREA 50 YEARS AGO? WHAT IS IT NOW? Religion was forbidden, people could be jailed if they were practising christians.

    7. DO THE PEOPLE WHERE YOU LIVE SEEM HAPPY WITH THEIR LIVES? No no, to complain, and be grumpy is a virtue here. If you are happy, ppl may think you are not normal.

    • Paule, thank you for this! My grandfather was Lithuanian. My mom and dad went to visit a few years ago and loved it, but it’s a crime what the Communists did to the Catholics there. That evil legacy lingers. The Faith used to be so strong. God bless you all! This was so interesting to read. The last line made me laugh a little. :)
      Leila@LittleCatholicBubble recently posted..The myth of the arrogant Church

  10. juDY says:

    1. WHERE DO YOU LIVE? Alexandria, VA (just south of D.C.)
    2. WHAT IS CHURCH ATTENDANCE LIKE? ARE THERE MANY CHURCHES? Consistantly well-attended. There are many churches of many faiths in this area.
    3. HOW APPROPRIATE WOULD IT BE FOR A PERSON TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT HE OR SHE IS A BELIEVING CHRISTIAN IN CASUAL CONVERSATION? I know I do – I really don’t care if others find it inappropriate!
    4. WHAT KIND OF FAITH DO THE POLITICIANS CLAIM TO PRACTICE? I live just outside D.C – Nancy Pelosi claims to be Catholic – ’nuff said!!
    5. HOW COMMON WOULD IT BE TO SEE A FAMILY WITH MORE THAN THREE KIDS? WHAT ARE THE ATTITUDES TOWARD FAMILY SIZE? Very common – though not the majority!
    6. WHAT WAS THE DOMINANT BELIEF SYSTEM IN YOUR AREA 50 YEARS AGO? WHAT IS IT NOW? Christian and Jewish (I was actually reared Jewish and converted to Catholicism)
    7. DO THE PEOPLE WHERE YOU LIVE SEEM HAPPY WITH THEIR LIVES? Appearances are very important to many people in the DC area. The Catholics I know seem happy with their lives. We live in an area that is extremely competitive, expensive and has awful traffic – how happy could people be??

  11. Annie says:

    1. WHERE DO YOU LIVE?
    Lexington, Kentucky
    2. WHAT IS CHURCH ATTENDANCE LIKE? ARE THERE MANY CHURCHES?
    There are MANY churches. This is the bible belt. Being a town with 2 Universities there tends to be many people who do not attend any type of church either. The diocese is only about 3% Catholic. However being in a major city there are 8 Catholic parishes.
    3. HOW APPROPRIATE WOULD IT BE FOR A PERSON TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT HE OR SHE IS A BELIEVING CHRISTIAN IN CASUAL CONVERSATION?
    It depends who you are talking to. There are definitely circles I am in, where I am the weird one for being Christian and even among those who are Christians I am still considered an outsider (or Mary worshiping heathen if you ask my mother in law) for being Catholic. I work in a research lab and I feel that the percentage of those at work who are Christian is very low, there are a few people who are Muslim and most practice nothing.
    4. WHAT KIND OF FAITH DO THE POLITICIANS CLAIM TO PRACTICE?
    Christian, but to my knowledge it is never specified.
    5. HOW COMMON WOULD IT BE TO SEE A FAMILY WITH MORE THAN THREE KIDS? WHAT ARE THE ATTITUDES TOWARD FAMILY SIZE?
    At my parish, Yes. Other places in town – the attitude would be “those people with all the kids are crazy.” Anything beyond 3 kids seems to be judged as too many. I know many family’s with 3 kids and that seems to been the acceptable limit.
    6. WHAT WAS THE DOMINANT BELIEF SYSTEM IN YOUR AREA 50 YEARS AGO? WHAT IS IT NOW?
    Christianity, this is the Bible belt after all. Though I believe the influence of having two Universities in town there is a greater number of those “too intelligent to have faith” (I know all about that I was one of those for a while!) and this has led to the dominant belief system being much more diluted than it was 50 years ago or is in the rest of the state away from major cities.
    7. DO THE PEOPLE WHERE YOU LIVE SEEM HAPPY WITH THEIR LIVES?
    Yes, I think so. It is a friendly town. Though I do witness people who have endured hard ships (illness, death of family etc.) and have no belief system and I wonder how they deal with that without God and faith to turn to.

    • Chrissy says:

      It’s kinda the same in Georgia if you mention that you’re a Catholic to certain Christian groups (one Baptist preacher said I was going to hell in a hand basket for “worshiping” Mother Mary).

      Luckily they’re not all like that, but the few I have met were a bit out there.

  12. Kara says:

    WHERE DO YOU LIVE? Prague, CZECH REPUBLIC
    2. WHAT IS CHURCH ATTENDANCE LIKE? ARE THERE MANY CHURCHES? Many churches for historical reason, but the country is predominantly aethist, so low attendance. We attend mass in the English Community, and it is always full.
    3. HOW APPROPRIATE WOULD IT BE FOR A PERSON TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT HE OR SHE IS A BELIEVING CHRISTIAN IN CASUAL CONVERSATION? Not very, but it depends who you are talking to.
    4. WHAT KIND OF FAITH DO THE POLITICIANS CLAIM TO PRACTICE? none, though there is a Christian Democratic Party.
    5. HOW COMMON WOULD IT BE TO SEE A FAMILY WITH MORE THAN THREE KIDS? WHAT ARE THE ATTITUDES TOWARD FAMILY SIZE? Not very, unless in a Romani family. 6. WHAT WAS THE DOMINANT BELIEF SYSTEM IN YOUR AREA 50 YEARS AGO? WHAT IS IT NOW? Aethism, due to the many wars and then communism. The Czech Republic competes with Bulgaria in the highest number of aethists. I think it’s about 80% here now.
    7. DO THE PEOPLE WHERE YOU LIVE SEEM HAPPY WITH THEIR LIVES? hahahahah, no. It might be a cultural thing, and possibly economic, rather than for religious reasons. People in our English-speaking community seem content, but that is again probably more cultural and economic reasons.

  13. Anita Selvam says:

    1. WHERE DO YOU LIVE?
    Mumbai, INDIA
    2. WHAT IS CHURCH ATTENDANCE LIKE? ARE THERE MANY CHURCHES?
    Yes, Quite a few churches, Christmas, Easter, masses are held on open grounds and even daily mass attendance is good,not all but a good number of youngsters are religious, and are active in the churches.
    3. HOW APPROPRIATE WOULD IT BE FOR A PERSON TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT HE OR SHE IS A BELIEVING CHRISTIAN IN CASUAL CONVERSATION? Not too odd, spirituality and religion are openly and freely discussed .
    4. WHAT KIND OF FAITH DO THE POLITICIANS CLAIM TO PRACTICE? Hinduism mostly
    5. HOW COMMON WOULD IT BE TO SEE A FAMILY WITH MORE THAN THREE KIDS? WHAT ARE THE ATTITUDES TOWARD FAMILY SIZE? You will see government advertisements encouraging a smaller family, 2 kids per couple, off late it is more common to see couples with one child only
    6. WHAT WAS THE DOMINANT BELIEF SYSTEM IN YOUR AREA 50 YEARS AGO? WHAT IS IT NOW? Hinduism,
    7. DO THE PEOPLE WHERE YOU LIVE SEEM HAPPY WITH THEIR LIVES?
    seem happy because of the material things ,but stressed because of what it costs them,

  14. Laura Lopez says:

    1. WHERE DO YOU LIVE?

    Southern California

    2. WHAT IS CHURCH ATTENDANCE LIKE? ARE THERE MANY CHURCHES?

    We have 3 Catholic Churches in our area that are very well attended. One Church was recently built (was formerly held in a hall) and another parish is building a new church. There are many Protestant churches as well that have very high attendance.

    3. HOW APPROPRIATE WOULD IT BE FOR A PERSON TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT HE OR SHE IS A BELIEVING CHRISTIAN IN CASUAL CONVERSATION?

    Very likely. Teens & adults alike. The teenagers in our city are on fire about their faiths.

    4. WHAT KIND OF FAITH DO THE POLITICIANS CLAIM TO PRACTICE?

    California is a “blue” state, so I am not sure what the politicians claim to practice. If they claim Christianity, they need practice on practicing what they preach.

    5. HOW COMMON WOULD IT BE TO SEE A FAMILY WITH MORE THAN THREE KIDS? WHAT ARE THE ATTITUDES TOWARD FAMILY SIZE?

    Most families have about 2-4 kids. My friends who have 12, 10, 7, and 6 do get comments about them from others who are more career-focused than family focused. I think having larger families is a trend I see among my older friends.

    6. WHAT WAS THE DOMINANT BELIEF SYSTEM IN YOUR AREA 50 YEARS AGO? WHAT IS IT NOW?

    I have no idea. I’m only half that many years old! But I do believe most of the people were Christian.

    7. DO THE PEOPLE WHERE YOU LIVE SEEM HAPPY WITH THEIR LIVES?

    I think we have both ends of the spectrum. Some portray that their lives are perfect, but it’s almost too perfect to be real. I think they are trying to convince themselves that they are happy with their large, yet empty, houses. I can see joy shining out of others who serve the community and who don’t claim to have the perfect life.

  15. Isabelle says:

    1. WHERE DO YOU LIVE?
    Nottingham, United Kingdom ( but originally from Paris, France)
    2. WHAT IS CHURCH ATTENDANCE LIKE? ARE THERE MANY CHURCHES?
    There are many churches of all kinds,including some very obscure ones. In the Church of England churches, attendance is very poor, and it is mainly old people (a friend of ours sings in choirs so we have seen quite a few mainly empty C of E churches, even when they had such a beautiful choir programmed. Our (Catholic) church however, is very busy, packed all the time and full of families and children(well, not for daily mass, but there is still a good show then!). Which is quite different to what I experienced growing up in France. My theory is that catholicism being traditionally the religion of excluded immigrants, it has retained great power of cultural identification amongst the British catholics.
    3. HOW APPROPRIATE WOULD IT BE FOR A PERSON TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT HE OR SHE IS A BELIEVING CHRISTIAN IN CASUAL CONVERSATION?
    When I was teaching in a secondary school it would appear very odd to profess such things. You would be openly treated as a freak and people would be quite uncomfortable in your presence, watching what they say or openly challenging and dismissing you. Since starting a PhD however, people are a lot more open and accepting when I talk about it at uniersity.
    4. WHAT KIND OF FAITH DO THE POLITICIANS CLAIM TO PRACTICE?
    None, once again, it would make them look odd (Tony Blair was mostly mocked when he converted). Whereas in France, right-wing politicians would show themselves as (lukewarm) catholics, and left-wing as atheists.
    5. HOW COMMON WOULD IT BE TO SEE A FAMILY WITH MORE THAN THREE KIDS? WHAT ARE THE ATTITUDES TOWARD FAMILY SIZE?
    Very common if it is a re-married family. Having more than three children by the same father is very rare (in my experience) however.
    6. WHAT WAS THE DOMINANT BELIEF SYSTEM IN YOUR AREA 50 YEARS AGO? WHAT IS IT NOW?
    Mostly church of England protestantism. Since then, it a general atheism which is the norm, being religious is more associated with minority groups (Catholicism, Hinduism, Islam, Sikkism)
    7. DO THE PEOPLE WHERE YOU LIVE SEEM HAPPY WITH THEIR LIVES?
    They like to complain!

  16. K B says:

    1. WHERE DO YOU LIVE?

    I live in Laramie, Wyoming, USA

    2. WHAT IS CHURCH ATTENDANCE LIKE? ARE THERE MANY CHURCHES?

    I am not really great at guessing if the number of churches is high or low for the population here, but there are a good number of churches and many of them seem quite active, involved in the town, and well attended.

    3. HOW APPROPRIATE WOULD IT BE FOR A PERSON TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT HE OR SHE IS A BELIEVING CHRISTIAN IN CASUAL CONVERSATION?

    I think that would be fine. Not unheard of here at all.

    4. WHAT KIND OF FAITH DO THE POLITICIANS CLAIM TO PRACTICE?

    They usually claim to be Christians or at least moral/family oriented.

    5. HOW COMMON WOULD IT BE TO SEE A FAMILY WITH MORE THAN THREE KIDS? WHAT ARE THE ATTITUDES TOWARD FAMILY SIZE?

    One reason I feel at home in this town is that we are not looked at oddly for having 4 children. There are families here with more or fewer kids than we have, and as far as I can tell they all get along fine.

    6. WHAT WAS THE DOMINANT BELIEF SYSTEM IN YOUR AREA 50 YEARS AGO? WHAT IS IT NOW? I wasn’t here 50 years ago but I’m guessing Christian. And now still Christian but possibly to a lesser extent. The university brings some variety to this, but the majority of folks are probably from Christian backgrounds.

    7. DO THE PEOPLE WHERE YOU LIVE SEEM HAPPY WITH THEIR LIVES?

    I am happy here! I think a lot of people are. Not everyone– some people are just passing through here, because it’s a university town. But the overall sense of the town is that people are friendly and kind and upbeat. The weather sucks, though. Don’t everyone think they want to move here! You’d probably rather have your scorpions than the weather we get here, ha ha :)

  17. 1. WHERE DO YOU LIVE?
    Small Town USA, southeast CT

    2. WHAT IS CHURCH ATTENDANCE LIKE? ARE THERE MANY CHURCHES?
    In our small town (37 square miles) there are 6 churches in 6 denominations(Congregational, Conservative Congregational, Worship Center (charismatic-style), Catholic, Lutheran, Episcopalian) plus a small synagogue; we have GOD in our small town for sure. The Congregational church is thriving; the conservative Congregational Church is struggling, the Lutheran and Episcopal churches are small but active, the Catholic Church is large and extremely active, I don’t know much about the Worship Center or synagogue.

    3. HOW APPROPRIATE WOULD IT BE FOR A PERSON TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT HE OR SHE IS A BELIEVING CHRISTIAN IN CASUAL CONVERSATION?
    My experience has been it’s OK in town.

    4. WHAT KIND OF FAITH DO THE POLITICIANS CLAIM TO PRACTICE?
    I don’t know.

    5. HOW COMMON WOULD IT BE TO SEE A FAMILY WITH MORE THAN THREE KIDS? WHAT ARE THE ATTITUDES TOWARD FAMILY SIZE?
    Being that we attend the Catholic Church we are starting to see families with 3 or more children. Outside of our church it’s not that common.

    6. WHAT WAS THE DOMINANT BELIEF SYSTEM IN YOUR AREA 50 YEARS AGO? WHAT IS IT NOW?
    50 years ago our town was Christian; the dominant faiths were Congregational and Episcopalian. The Lutheran Church was built about 10 years ago; the Catholic Church was established 25 years ago with the actual church built about 20 years ago.

    7. DO THE PEOPLE WHERE YOU LIVE SEEM HAPPY WITH THEIR LIVES?
    It’s hard to say; I think my community has the same struggles that most do these days – unemployment, drugs, business issues. But on a scale that is equal to its geography. That said – we are blessed to be a relatively affluent community with, thanks be to God, a low crime rate. That said – we do have a drinking and drug problem among the youth that lead to the death of a 17 year old girl (from our parish) this past summer. It has torn the town apart and I suspect it will lead to lasting changes down the road.
    Kris, in New England recently posted..The Weekly Muse

  18. Mira says:

    1. WHERE DO YOU LIVE?

    Zagreb, CROATIA.

    2. WHAT IS CHURCH ATTENDANCE LIKE? ARE THERE MANY CHURCHES?

    There are many churches, chapels, cathedrals, places of pilgrimage, crosses etc. all over Croatia, but church attendance is very low, given that roughly 85% of the population are baptized Roman Catholics. People don’t practice their faith anymore (most people only go to church for something ‘important’, like wedding, baptism, first communion, confirmation, or Requiem Mass).

    3. HOW APPROPRIATE WOULD IT BE FOR A PERSON TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT HE OR SHE IS A BELIEVING CHRISTIAN IN CASUAL CONVERSATION?

    It’d be completely appropriate, no one would bat an eyelid if you’d say that you are a Christian – but people here don’t talk as much about faith or religion per se – Catholic Church is such an integral part of our national identity that it’s almost a given that one would be Catholic. (Things get interesting if you’re not.) Although, lately, some people think that Catholic Church shouldn’t receive state financial support and other benefits (established in concordats between the Government and the Vatican) – so that was something of a hot topic.

    4. WHAT KIND OF FAITH DO THE POLITICIANS CLAIM TO PRACTICE?

    Almost all claim to be Christians (although abortion and divorce are legal), but some of the more ‘progressive’ ones say they are agnostics. There aren’t many atheists in politics.

    5. HOW COMMON WOULD IT BE TO SEE A FAMILY WITH MORE THAN THREE KIDS? WHAT ARE THE ATTITUDES TOWARD FAMILY SIZE?

    It’s very rare to see it in big cities, and especially in families in which both parents have finished college. Bigger families are more prevalent among people with lower socioeconomic status. Most of times, those families are religious. We too, have a huge demographic problem.

    6. WHAT WAS THE DOMINANT BELIEF SYSTEM IN YOUR AREA 50 YEARS AGO? WHAT IS IT NOW?

    For almost fifty years, Croatia was part of communist Yugoslavia during which time there wasn’t any kind of religious freedom in the country: the communist regime officially banned all religious education in public schools, priests were murdered or sent to prison, and people weren’t allowed to discuss their faith or even say out loud that they go to church. Still, people went to church (even more than they do now!), celebrated religious festivals, kept Catholic publications going – our faith is glue that always kept us together in times of hardship.

    7. DO THE PEOPLE WHERE YOU LIVE SEEM HAPPY WITH THEIR LIVES?

    Unfortunately, no. Croatians do like to moan, though – sometimes it seems it’s our national hobby. I don’t think that it’s that bad here, but we are rapidly turning into a materialistic society in which God seems redundant.

    Finally, I’d like to add that I’m a practicing Catholic from birth but I’m so happy that I’ve found your blog (this one, and the one you write for NCR) – your intelligent opinions help me understand and deepen our faith. Congratulations on your book and I wish you and your family all the very best.

  19. Kathy B. says:

    1. WHERE DO YOU LIVE?

    McIntosh County, Oklahoma, USA.

    2. WHAT IS CHURCH ATTENDANCE LIKE? ARE THERE MANY CHURCHES?
    There is one Catholic Church in our county and we Catholics constitute a whopping 0.9% of the population of this county! Total % of population of the state of Oklahoma who are Catholic – 7% (sad)

    3. HOW APPROPRIATE WOULD IT BE FOR A PERSON TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT HE OR SHE IS A BELIEVING CHRISTIAN IN CASUAL CONVERSATION?

    This being “Bible Belt” territory, it’s common.

    4. WHAT KIND OF FAITH DO THE POLITICIANS CLAIM TO PRACTICE?

    Christian.

    5. HOW COMMON WOULD IT BE TO SEE A FAMILY WITH MORE THAN THREE KIDS? WHAT ARE THE ATTITUDES TOWARD FAMILY SIZE?

    It’s fairly common, maybe not huge families, but you will see a good number with 3 or 4 children.

    6. WHAT WAS THE DOMINANT BELIEF SYSTEM IN YOUR AREA 50 YEARS AGO? WHAT IS IT NOW?

    The same today as 50 years ago. This is an overwhelmingly Protestant area – Baptists, Church of Christ, Assembly of God… They have kept the Catholics run off pretty well.

    7. DO THE PEOPLE WHERE YOU LIVE SEEM HAPPY WITH THEIR LIVES?

    No, I don’t think most of the people here seem very happy with their lives. This question took the most thought to answer, I wrestled with it.

  20. Heather says:

    1. WHERE DO YOU LIVE?
    Toronto, Ontario, CANADA

    2. WHAT IS CHURCH ATTENDANCE LIKE? ARE THERE MANY CHURCHES?
    In a search by postal code on the archdiocesan website, I have 23 parishes within a 5 km radius of my home, and that’s just Latin Rite Catholic. The archdiocese as a whole has 225 parishes serving 1.7 million people who list “Catholic” on the census. At my parish attendance is good, with a lot of families and a mix of ages and ethnic backgrounds (though Italian and Filipino are probably the two most well represented). We have 5 well-attended masses per weekend (three English, two Italian).

    3. HOW APPROPRIATE WOULD IT BE FOR A PERSON TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT HE OR SHE IS A BELIEVING CHRISTIAN IN CASUAL CONVERSATION?
    Depends on the circumstances of the conversation and who one was speaking with, but saying “I had a thing at church” in response to “So what did you do this weekend” would not be considered shocking.

    4. WHAT KIND OF FAITH DO THE POLITICIANS CLAIM TO PRACTICE?
    They don’t generally make any particular claim one way or another – it’s not considered politically important.

    5. HOW COMMON WOULD IT BE TO SEE A FAMILY WITH MORE THAN THREE KIDS? WHAT ARE THE ATTITUDES TOWARD FAMILY SIZE?
    Three kids, not unusual at all. More that three is less common but not unheard of. Regarding attitudes, there are so many people here from such a large variety of backgrounds (literally half of the current population of Toronto was not born in Canada) that it would really depend on who are where you asked the question.

    6. WHAT WAS THE DOMINANT BELIEF SYSTEM IN YOUR AREA 50 YEARS AGO? WHAT IS IT NOW?
    In my particular area of the city, mostly a mix of Italian Catholic and Orthodox Jewish. The area has diversified somewhat but still retains a fair amount of that makeup. Non-practicing is of course more popular than it would have been 50 years ago. Other areas of the city with heavy immigration from other parts of the world would have much higher numbers of Muslims, Sikhs, Hindus, Buddhists, etc. than 50 years ago.

    7. DO THE PEOPLE WHERE YOU LIVE SEEM HAPPY WITH THEIR LIVES?
    More or less. Many people come here because they were much more unhappy in their country of origin, so whatever problems we have here seem smaller in comparison. The usual complaints of living in a big city, I suppose.

  21. 1. WHERE DO YOU LIVE?

    Perth, AUSTRALIA

    2. WHAT IS CHURCH ATTENDANCE LIKE? ARE THERE MANY CHURCHES?

    Probably 1 in 10 or 15 attend church regularly. There are quite a few churches, including 5 Catholic churches within a 10-minute drive from our house (we live in an old immigrant neighbourhood – our closest Catholic church has Masses in Polish, Italian, Spanish, and English weekly, and Philipino once a month).

    3. HOW APPROPRIATE WOULD IT BE FOR A PERSON TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT HE OR SHE IS A BELIEVING CHRISTIAN IN CASUAL CONVERSATION?

    It would be weird. The culture here is hostile to Christianity the way high schoolers are often hostile to each other.

    4. WHAT KIND OF FAITH DO THE POLITICIANS CLAIM TO PRACTICE?

    Our new Prime Minister is a Catholic. And I think my local Member of Parliament is Christian. The main religion of politicians seems to be “environmentalist”.

    5. HOW COMMON WOULD IT BE TO SEE A FAMILY WITH MORE THAN THREE KIDS? WHAT ARE THE ATTITUDES TOWARD FAMILY SIZE?

    Large families are uncommon. I feel like a trailblazer most places I go, with four kids. Deep down, people seem to feel that having babies is selfish and destroys our planet. I was delighted to see another family with four kids at Mass on Sunday.

    6. WHAT WAS THE DOMINANT BELIEF SYSTEM IN YOUR AREA 50 YEARS AGO? WHAT IS IT NOW?

    I don’t know what it was 50 years ago since I came here much more recently, and most of my friends here are also immigrants. Currently, atheism/indifference/environmentalism are prevalent.

    7. DO THE PEOPLE WHERE YOU LIVE SEEM HAPPY WITH THEIR LIVES?

    Yes. it’s a gorgeous city with impeccable weather, excellent health care and low unemployment. Unfortunately, most people here don’t think that God has much to do with any of that!
    Elisa | blissfulE recently posted..a new website is coming soon

    • Your responses are almost identical to what I would say about Austin. Interestingly, my friends from Austin who move to Australia report that they feel right at home there! :)

      • Julie says:

        I’m a little surprised that Elisa’s responses are so close to what your own would be, Jen. I guess I think of Texas as such a vocally Christian place that I figured your answers would be very different. But maybe that’s all down to your living in Austin? I suppose an Austin-area person would give markedly different answers from folks living in other parts of Texas. (And by the way — will you type up your own answers in a later post?)
        Julie recently posted..The Religious Climate In My Here And Now

        • Great idea – I should have added my answers. But yes, it has a lot to do with Austin. The other areas of Texas are much more conservative, but Austin is *extremely* liberal. I know people who have moved here from San Francisco, and they’ve all remarked that Austin has pretty much the same cultural climate as over there.

  22. Velvet says:

    1. WHERE DO YOU LIVE?

    Suburb of Houston, Texas USA

    2. WHAT IS CHURCH ATTENDANCE LIKE? ARE THERE MANY CHURCHES?

    Lots of Churches, lots of worship facilities in general, Christian and otherwise. Attendance is moderate to high, and denomination dependent (we have several mega churches in town, some of which are recently compressed versions of several smaller parishes/congregations)

    3. HOW APPROPRIATE WOULD IT BE FOR A PERSON TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT HE OR SHE IS A BELIEVING CHRISTIAN IN CASUAL CONVERSATION?

    I used to think it was normal in Texas to discuss faith, but not so much now. It seems people want to know that you attend Church, but then please shut up about it.

    4. WHAT KIND OF FAITH DO THE POLITICIANS CLAIM TO PRACTICE?

    Generic Christian, usually.

    5. HOW COMMON WOULD IT BE TO SEE A FAMILY WITH MORE THAN THREE KIDS? WHAT ARE THE ATTITUDES TOWARD FAMILY SIZE?

    Not very common. We’ve recently moved back from the Hill Country and have noticed that attitudes about family size vary quite significantly region to region.

    6. WHAT WAS THE DOMINANT BELIEF SYSTEM IN YOUR AREA 50 YEARS AGO? WHAT IS IT NOW?

    I wasn’t here, but I understand it was heavily Protestant. We live on what seems to be a cusp of a more Catholic influence, westward out past Harris County.

    7. DO THE PEOPLE WHERE YOU LIVE SEEM HAPPY WITH THEIR LIVES?

    It’s hard to say. Even when things are going objectively well for folks, there’s always a litany of complaints in a given conversation. I love Texas because traditionally we have a cautiously optimistic way of going, so maybe it’s the influence of more relocation here from other areas? Certainly people aren’t experiencing what I would consider joy. It’s a shame.
    Velvet recently posted..Respite in Routine, Day 5: Plan to Eat Real Food, Part 1

  23. Jo says:

    1. WHERE DO YOU LIVE?
    Arlington, VA (just outside of DC)

    2. WHAT IS CHURCH ATTENDANCE LIKE? ARE THERE MANY CHURCHES?
    Northern Virginia has a very healthy and vibrant Catholic population. There are churches everywhere, with very high attendance from every age group (lots of children & young adults). Methodist and Episcopal churches are also very numerous.

    3. HOW APPROPRIATE WOULD IT BE FOR A PERSON TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT HE OR SHE IS A BELIEVING CHRISTIAN IN CASUAL CONVERSATION?
    Pretty normal. Most people seem to have been raised Christian, even if they don’t still practice.

    4. WHAT KIND OF FAITH DO THE POLITICIANS CLAIM TO PRACTICE?
    Most Virginia politicians claim to Christian, if not Catholic. Both current gubernatorial candidates are Catholic, but espouse very different political views (the state is generally politically conservative). Many DC politicians claim to be Catholic, but don’t really practice or advocate politically for positions that resonate with Church teaching.

    5. HOW COMMON WOULD IT BE TO SEE A FAMILY WITH MORE THAN THREE KIDS? WHAT ARE THE ATTITUDES TOWARD FAMILY SIZE?
    Big families are very common in local parishes, but not quiet as common in the general population. Arlington is a big yuppie town, with lots of single young adults or young married couples without children. Within the Catholic community, people are very supportive of large families, but based on my interactions with other people at home and in the local community, it’s more common to see an aversion to having children period.

    6. WHAT WAS THE DOMINANT BELIEF SYSTEM IN YOUR AREA 50 YEARS AGO? WHAT IS IT NOW?
    I don’t really know, since I’m a transplant, but I believe NoVA has historically been a very Christian/Catholic area. I know a lot of older/middle-aged folks who were raised Catholic, but no longer practice. DC is a melting pot, so it’s very diverse, but I would say Christianity and Judaism are the dominant faiths in the area today.

    7. DO THE PEOPLE WHERE YOU LIVE SEEM HAPPY WITH THEIR LIVES?
    Somewhat. Like another commenter mentioned, DC harbors a lot of competitiveness, so it’s not uncommon to see over-educated and fairly successful people who aren’t happy. Between the area being the center of government and having an extremely high cost of living, it can be a hard place to live.

  24. Priscilla says:

    1. WHERE DO YOU LIVE? On the Arizona-Mexico border

    2. WHAT IS CHURCH ATTENDANCE LIKE? ARE THERE MANY CHURCHES? Church attendance is broken down by age/ethnic lines. Catholic parishes are equally mixed with Anglos and Mexicans. Older Anglos attend the mainline protestant churches. Younger Anglos tend to go to the non-denominational churches. Large number of Mormon families, too. Non-Catholic Mexicans go to spanish language pentecostal type churches, JW, or Mormon. We also have a mosque and Hindu temple to accommodate the many foreign born doctors in our town.

    3. HOW APPROPRIATE WOULD IT BE FOR A PERSON TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT HE OR SHE IS A BELIEVING CHRISTIAN IN CASUAL CONVERSATION? Somewhat normal

    4. WHAT KIND OF FAITH DO THE POLITICIANS CLAIM TO PRACTICE? Locally, it isn’t really an issue.

    5. HOW COMMON WOULD IT BE TO SEE A FAMILY WITH MORE THAN THREE KIDS? WHAT ARE THE ATTITUDES TOWARD FAMILY SIZE? Not unusual. Most Catholic families here are in the 2-4 child range and most Mormon families have 4-6 children. The only negative attitude towards larger families is when women on welfare keep having children with different men.

    6. WHAT WAS THE DOMINANT BELIEF SYSTEM IN YOUR AREA 50 YEARS AGO? WHAT IS IT NOW? Catholic/Protestant.

    7. DO THE PEOPLE WHERE YOU LIVE SEEM HAPPY WITH THEIR LIVES? Considering our city has the highest unemployment rate in the United States, most people are pretty happy. There isn’t the kind of materialism that you see in California where I’m from and that makes a huge difference.

  25. Sacramento says:

    1. WHERE DO YOU LIVE?
    I live in SPAIN

    2. WHAT IS CHURCH ATTENDANCE LIKE? ARE THERE MANY CHURCHES?
    There are a lot of catholic churches everywhere, but the people just come to church in weddings, baptisms and first communion events.
    The children goes to church till they do their first communion. Then they forget everything about God and live in a relativistic-living mood.
    Old people go to mass regularly but they are alone, mainly.

    3. HOW APPROPRIATE WOULD IT BE FOR A PERSON TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT HE OR SHE IS A BELIEVING CHRISTIAN IN CASUAL CONVERSATION?

    Be christian and catholic is really uncool. The cool is talk about how you hate nuns, presbyters and the church in general.

    4. WHAT KIND OF FAITH DO THE POLITICIANS CLAIM TO PRACTICE?

    Most of them are atheists or agnostic. The practicant catholic’re minority I’m afraid.

    5. HOW COMMON WOULD IT BE TO SEE A FAMILY WITH MORE THAN THREE KIDS? WHAT ARE THE ATTITUDES TOWARD FAMILY SIZE?
    Very very weird. Just the Opus Dei or Neocatechumenal Way followers have more of three children (or the muslims). Therefore it’s so expensive raise a large families without government helps like we have in Spain.

    6. WHAT WAS THE DOMINANT BELIEF SYSTEM IN YOUR AREA 50 YEARS AGO? WHAT IS IT NOW?

    50 years ago we lived inmersed in the dictatorship. They’re ultra-catholic minded.
    7. DO THE PEOPLE WHERE YOU LIVE SEEM HAPPY WITH THEIR LIVES?
    Today, people are immersed in the crisis and suffers greatly for it, but do not think it made ​​people rethink the existence of God.

  26. Amanda says:

    1. WHERE DO YOU LIVE?
    Northeast Ohio (45 mins south of Cleveland)
    2. WHAT IS CHURCH ATTENDANCE LIKE? ARE THERE MANY CHURCHES?
    My parish is very active. Although not standing room only every Sunday, it is usually packed.
    3. HOW APPROPRIATE WOULD IT BE FOR A PERSON TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT HE OR SHE IS A BELIEVING CHRISTIAN IN CASUAL CONVERSATION?
    Many people in the area were raised religious, so everyone assumes you are. But, also (especially among younger people) there wouldn’t be an uprising if you said you were an athiest.
    4. WHAT KIND OF FAITH DO THE POLITICIANS CLAIM TO PRACTICE?
    Christian
    5. HOW COMMON WOULD IT BE TO SEE A FAMILY WITH MORE THAN THREE KIDS? WHAT ARE THE ATTITUDES TOWARD FAMILY SIZE?
    Most people stop at three, but there are many in my parish who have four or more.
    6. WHAT WAS THE DOMINANT BELIEF SYSTEM IN YOUR AREA 50 YEARS AGO? WHAT IS IT NOW?
    Predominantly Catholic. Still quite Catholic- you can’t spit without hitting a Catholic Church ;-)
    7. DO THE PEOPLE WHERE YOU LIVE SEEM HAPPY WITH THEIR LIVES?
    It depends on where you are. Many of the bigger cities in the area have been hit very hard by the recession. But, those in the suburbs live like they haven’t. I would say that there are many who desperately want to be happy, and don’t show how unhappy they really are.

  27. JuanB says:

    1. WHERE DO YOU LIVE?
    Santiago, CHILE

    2. WHAT IS CHURCH ATTENDANCE LIKE? ARE THERE MANY CHURCHES?

    There are many churches. Attendance is down from before but a typical church has at least 3 Sunday masses all of them full (independent of church size, for example my parish has 4 masses with maybe 700 people per mass.) There are many youth movements as well.

    3. HOW APPROPRIATE WOULD IT BE FOR A PERSON TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT HE OR SHE IS A BELIEVING CHRISTIAN IN CASUAL CONVERSATION?

    It would not be strange but it isn’t typical either. It also depends where you are.

    4. WHAT KIND OF FAITH DO THE POLITICIANS CLAIM TO PRACTICE?

    Many catholics and many atheists. It depends in some degree on your political tendancy (right wings are catholic, left is atheists, center it depends)

    5. HOW COMMON WOULD IT BE TO SEE A FAMILY WITH MORE THAN THREE KIDS? WHAT ARE THE ATTITUDES TOWARD FAMILY SIZE?

    More than three is quite common. I would say 4, 5 or 6 is still common but family size has gone down. I my case I have 50 cousins so I do come from a large family.

    6. WHAT WAS THE DOMINANT BELIEF SYSTEM IN YOUR AREA 50 YEARS AGO? WHAT IS IT NOW?

    Catholicism and it continues to be Catholicism. In the youth there is more and more atheists.

    7. DO THE PEOPLE WHERE YOU LIVE SEEM HAPPY WITH THEIR LIVES?

    Yes.

  28. Kris says:

    I LOVED when you did this last year – I hope you write a re-cap again. Fascinating stuff. Here are my answers:
    1. WHERE DO YOU LIVE? Atlanta, Georgia
    2. WHAT IS CHURCH ATTENDANCE LIKE? Most people here belong to some sort of church, although I think attendance is hit or miss, especially in the Protestant churches. Our Catholic Church is fairly active with a mix of young families and older parishioners, but I think we’re missing out on the young single sin our parish. Other churches have better programs to attract them.

    ARE THERE MANY CHURCHES? Tons – we live in the South.

    APPROPRIATE WOULD IT BE FOR A PERSON TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT HE OR SHE IS A BELIEVING CHRISTIAN IN CASUAL CONVERSATION? Pretty appropriate. I think even if people don’t share your beliefs, because it the south, no one would say anything. The only places where I think people would be more careful would be in the university settings.

    4. WHAT KIND OF FAITH DO THE POLITICIANS CLAIM TO PRACTICE? I would say that most (especially conservatives) are open about their faith and their practice of their faith. Even liberals in the south talk about Christian faith in the context of social justice and “acceptance”.

    5. HOW COMMON WOULD IT BE TO SEE A FAMILY WITH MORE THAN THREE KIDS? WHAT ARE THE ATTITUDES TOWARD FAMILY SIZE? Not super common. In the south, it’s mostly Baptists and Presbyterians, so a larger family usually “tags” you as Catholic. Even Catholic families are getting smaller. We have 5 kids and when I tell people, I always get a “wow”! Usually followed by, “that’s great, but I don’t know if I could do it”.

    6. WHAT WAS THE DOMINANT BELIEF SYSTEM IN YOUR AREA 50 YEARS AGO? Not sure, but I would have to go with Baptist.

    WHAT IS IT NOW? There is a good mix in Atlanta, and our Catholic community is growing by leaps and bounds.

    7. DO THE PEOPLE WHERE YOU LIVE SEEM HAPPY WITH THEIR LIVES? I would say yes, for the most part. Although with the divisiveness in our government at the moment, I think people are dissatisfied with the way things are going right now.

  29. Terentia says:

    1. WHERE DO YOU LIVE?
    Bay City MI, 100 miles north of Detroit, on the Lake Huron bay formed by the mitton and thumb
    2. WHAT IS CHURCH ATTENDANCE LIKE? ARE THERE MANY CHURCHES?
    Many churches. In an area with about 50,00 people there are 13 Cathlic parishes, 1 Byzantine rite parish, a SSPX chapel, a half dozen or so each of Baptist, Lutheran, Methodist churches. also Episcapal, Congregational. Non-denominational churches are on almost every corner, ranging in size from 100′s of attnedies to some with no more than a doen members. There is also a synnagogue, 2 Morman churches, a Unity chapel. Orthodox and Muslim have to drive all of 15 miles to Saginaw. Attendence is still good but diminishing in all groups
    3. HOW APPROPRIATE WOULD IT BE FOR A PERSON TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT HE OR SHE IS A BELIEVING CHRISTIAN IN CASUAL CONVERSATION?
    It is still normal to discuss faith but admitting that one is a non believer doesn’t cause much fuss either.
    4. WHAT KIND OF FAITH DO THE POLITICIANS CLAIM TO PRACTICE?
    Cchristian mostly
    5. HOW COMMON WOULD IT BE TO SEE A FAMILY WITH MORE THAN THREE KIDS? WHAT ARE THE ATTITUDES TOWARD FAMILY SIZE?
    3- 4 children is pretty normal. Larger families are not unheard of. Most take a live and let live attitude toward family size.
    6. WHAT WAS THE DOMINANT BELIEF SYSTEM IN YOUR AREA 50 YEARS AGO? WHAT IS IT NOW? Christian, heavily weighted toward Catholic
    7. DO THE PEOPLE WHERE YOU LIVE SEEM HAPPY WITH THEIR LIVES?
    This is a relatively economically depressed area but most people seem content

  30. 1. WHERE DO YOU LIVE? Shreveport, LA
    2. WHAT IS CHURCH ATTENDANCE LIKE? ARE THERE MANY CHURCHES? Church attendance is HUGE. We moved to the area two years ago, and one of the first things (all of) our neighbors asked us was, “did you find a church yet?” In Christianity Today, Shreveport was #2 out of the top ten bible based US cities. So yes, there are many churches here, of many denominations!
    3. HOW APPROPRIATE WOULD IT BE FOR A PERSON TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT HE OR SHE IS A BELIEVING CHRISTIAN IN CASUAL CONVERSATION? Very appropriate, and fairly common.
    4. WHAT KIND OF FAITH DO THE POLITICIANS CLAIM TO PRACTICE? Almost all politicians claim to practice a Christian religion.
    5. HOW COMMON WOULD IT BE TO SEE A FAMILY WITH MORE THAN THREE KIDS? WHAT ARE THE ATTITUDES TOWARD FAMILY SIZE? It’s not that uncommon. We attend a fairly conservative Catholic church, and we see many families with 4+ kids at Mass every Sunday. I definitely think those parents still get the, “wow you have your hands full!” remarks, but generally people around here aren’t fazed by large families.
    6. WHAT WAS THE DOMINANT BELIEF SYSTEM IN YOUR AREA 50 YEARS AGO? WHAT IS IT NOW? Definitely Christianity. As far as denominations go, I would assume that like most of the South, Baptist and Methodist are the most common. However, Louisiana also has a large population of Catholics, due to the Spanish and French influence in New Orleans. Christianity is still the dominant belief system now.
    7. DO THE PEOPLE WHERE YOU LIVE SEEM HAPPY WITH THEIR LIVES? People here seem to be happy, or at least content, with their lives. I think many people in the South are unhappy with the political climate, though, and they feel that they need a leader of our country who is guided by God.
    Marisa@Mia Cucina, Mia Famiglia, Mia Vita recently posted..7 Quick Takes Friday-The Zombie Edition

  31. Cara says:

    1. WHERE DO YOU LIVE? Los Angeles. Trust me, that’s a foreign country.

    2. WHAT IS CHURCH ATTENDANCE LIKE? Very good, in some Catholic churches outside of hip areas; pitiful in ones in hip areas. As for the rest, megachurches and Reform synagogues seem popular. Kabbalah centers also doing well, along with Anglican parishes with mostly gay attendees (this also goes for the gay-positive and cheerily apostate “Catholic church” St. Monica’s in Santa Monica),

    ARE THERE MANY CHURCHES? Oodles. But the concept of a “parish” is somewhat fluid, even to the LA Archdiocese.

    3. HOW APPROPRIATE WOULD IT BE FOR A PERSON TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT HE OR SHE IS A BELIEVING CHRISTIAN IN CASUAL CONVERSATION? Does the person ever want to work again in Hollywood or politics?

    4. WHAT KIND OF FAITH DO THE POLITICIANS CLAIM TO PRACTICE? All over the place, but mostly Evangelical and Fundamentalist Liberalism.

    5. HOW COMMON WOULD IT BE TO SEE A FAMILY WITH MORE THAN THREE KIDS? WHAT ARE THE ATTITUDES TOWARD FAMILY SIZE? Not very outside of Latino neighborhoods, and that’s only because of recent illegal immigration (sorry, USCCB, but it’s true). Reactions? Shock, horror and possibly a call to Child & Family Services. Definitely social shunning.

    6. WHAT WAS THE DOMINANT BELIEF SYSTEM IN YOUR AREA 50 YEARS AGO? WHAT IS IT NOW? 50 years? Mainline Protestantism, Judaism and Catholicism. Now? We’re spiritual but not religious. Also lots of covert Robber-Baron-Style Capitalism, especially among the “spiritual but not religious” crowd.

    7. DO THE PEOPLE WHERE YOU LIVE SEEM HAPPY WITH THEIR LIVES? That’s complicated and depends on whom you’re asking. In the entertainment industry, overwhelmingly not. And if they say otherwise, they’re probably lying or high — or both.

    Sorry all this sounds cliche, but every cliche about LA is 70 percent true and 30 percent mostly true. That’s a law of some sort.

    • Jamie says:

      LOL. I enjoyed reading this. I’m 30 mins inland. Some family members live and work in LA and you really got this to a T.

  32. Margaret says:

    Where do you live? Everett, WA USA

    What is church attendance like in your area? Are there many churches? Do they seem to have active memberships?

    We have tons of churches. There is a thriving Catholic Church with lots of members in every town. There are many many Protestant congregations of all types. A recent phenomena is the growth of nondenominational protestant churches that rent and fill almost every middleschool and elementary school each Sunday. They seem really active and there are tons of them. We also have a significant atheist/secularist community as well as a large contingent of Wiccans and neo pagans.

    How appropriate would it be if a person were to acknowledge in casual conversation that he or she is a believing Christian?

    I think that no one would really blink or pay attention. It would generally be viewed positively unless you were talking about a contentious issue like Gay Marriage or Euthanasia. If you mention you’re Catholic when talking about poverty issues, people are supportive. If you mention you’re Christian or Catholic when talking about life or gay issues people typically get pretty grumpy.

    There is a marked difference in attitude between suburban Washington state, Eastern Washington, and Seattle proper. My husband who works in downtown Seattle has received some really negative comments about Christianity at times. He has been called a “hater” and a “bigot” just for mentioning he is a practicing Catholic. Practicing Christians in some circles are often automatically assumed to be “haters” for supporting traditional values. Most of the people he works with seem to be former Catholics or former fill in the blanks. Not many people are actively practicing anything where he works in Seattle.

    What belief system do the politicians in your area claim to practice?

    Most Republicans claim to be some sort of Christian. Most Democrats are silent on the issue. Our previous Governor Christine Gregoire and one of our Senators are Catholic. They previously made a big deal about their catholic roots until the Bishop told them they could no long publically call themselves catholic due to their extreme support for abortion. They seemed to find some sort of political capital in their catholic status however as they continued to remark on their families’ catholic faith.

    How common would it be to see a family with more than three children? If a family with five children moved to your area, how would people react to their family size?

    We have 5 kids. Where we live near Everett most people are pretty supportive and we seem to have lots of company. It is very common to see families with 3 kids, its not uncommon to see families of 4. More than 4 kids is unusual but not considered bad. We often get the comment “wow you must be busy”, but nothing worse than that. Another common question would be “Are you Mormon or Catholic” when people find out you have 5 kids.

    The atmosphere in Seattle is very very different. Having kids is some what odd and in the professional Community my husband works in more than one is unheard of. It seems acceptable to have one project child but more than that is weird. There are people in his office who proclaim to hate children. That attitude is supported and kids tend to be grouped into the same category as pets. Lots of people say that their pets are they kids, and consciously being childless is viewed as socially responsible. My husband has been called a “breeder” at work and also been told by many people outright that we are socially irresponsible at work. There were no reprocussion.

    What was the dominant belief system in your area 50 years ago? What is it now?

    I think think the dominant belief system was general Christian with a pretty influential Catholic community. Oregon and Washington however have long been the most “unchurched” states in the nation so there was a large group of people who practice nothing even 50 years ago.

    Do the people where you live seem happy with their lives?

    I really do notice a marked difference between people who go to church (any church ) and those who believe in nothing. The former tend to be happier and deal with lives issues more easily as they come up. Maybe they have a better support system, I also think their lives seem less in crisis. Those not practicing anything or who are Wiccan tend to be extremely depressed and to also have very turbulent lives.

    - See more at: http://www.conversiondiary.com/2013/10/what-is-the-religious-climate-in-your-part-of-the-world.html#sthash.Ij4UQuxI.dpuf

    • Jeanette says:

      Margaret, We live on the east side of the state, in Spokane, but visit the Seattle area frequently since a lot of our extended family lives there. I found myself nodding my head in agreement with a lot of what you describe regarding downtown Seattle. My husband and I always breathe a sigh of relief when we get back on the east side of the state. We have four kids and were actually shunned at a park in Seattle when we tried to strike up conversations with the other parents (no one there had more than one child) and were consistently glared at while doing the “touristy” things down on the pier (and our kids were being well behaved!). I too, was referred to as a “disgusting breeder”. This was while we were out at a downtown Seattle restaurant. In Spokane, we don’t raise too many eyebrows with our family size. Just the usual, “hands full”, which I don’t mind, or “Catholic or Mormon?” We receive a lot of positive comments as well, saying how beautiful our family is or how well mannered the children are. Our parish has a lot of families with 5+ kids, and most people have at least 3. The contrast between the two sides of the state is really interesting!

      • Tia says:

        Jeanette,
        I lived in Seattle for several years, and what you’re describing might at least be partly the “Seattle freeze.” People are polite but not really friendly. It takes AGES to make friends, and I can’t tell you how many people I had hung out with 20, 30 or even 50 times without feeling like I called them my friends. I’m glad I moved away, even though the scenery is gorgeous. People get suspicious if you smile at them in the street. It’s weird.
        And I definitely saw a lot of people who, usually for some environmental reason, saw child-bearing as irresponsible. I lived with several people who took that stance, but always thought it was strange and misguided, like human beings only exist to breathe air, gobble down lasagna, and drive their gas guzzlers around, without taking into account all the awesome things that people do and bring to the world as well.

        • Jeanette says:

          Tia, Thanks for sharing your experience of living in Seattle, and the “Seattle freeze”. I had never heard of that concept, and it really helps put experiences into context for me. I also had never considered how my actions and demeanor might be off-putting, since I view myself as a friendly person. I will definitely give people the benefit of the doubt on our next visit!

  33. Melissa says:

    1. WHERE DO YOU LIVE?

    Abu Dhabi, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

    2. WHAT IS CHURCH ATTENDANCE LIKE? ARE THERE MANY CHURCHES?

    There is 1 Catholic church in Abu Dhabi but a second Catholic church is being built. There are 3 other churches that I know of in Abu Dhabi (all on the same block) but many denominations share the use of two of those church buildings. The Catholic Church has 21 Masses each weekend, in a number of languages, but predominantly English. Many of the Masses are packed to overflowing every week. Most of the congregation are Indian and Filipino. There are very few Westerners at the English Masses, though the French Masses seem to have good attendance.

    There are mosques everywhere, so that people are usually within walking distance of a mosque. Attendance seems to be high. There are also prayer rooms in malls and the call to prayer is announced in the malls. People even stop their buses or cars at the side of the road to pray.

    3. HOW APPROPRIATE WOULD IT BE FOR A PERSON TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT HE OR SHE IS A BELIEVING CHRISTIAN IN CASUAL CONVERSATION?

    Quite appropriate. Religion is a very public thing here and to talk about God and prayer is quite normal. Belief in God gives people who are culturally very different a common ground.

    4. WHAT KIND OF FAITH DO THE POLITICIANS CLAIM TO PRACTICE?

    They are not really politicians as such (it’s a royal family) but it is the law that all Emiratis must be Muslim.

    5. HOW COMMON WOULD IT BE TO SEE A FAMILY WITH MORE THAN THREE KIDS? WHAT ARE THE ATTITUDES TOWARD FAMILY SIZE?

    It is common to see local families with a lot of children. There are many Muslims from other countries living here and they don’t tend to have more than 2 children. Even at Mass, there are not many large families, but many people are working here while their families are back in their home countries, so it’s hard to tell. The attitude towards a larger family here is generally very positive. The attitude towards children in general is quite positive.

    6. WHAT WAS THE DOMINANT BELIEF SYSTEM IN YOUR AREA 50 YEARS AGO? WHAT IS IT NOW?

    Islam then and now.

    7. DO THE PEOPLE WHERE YOU LIVE SEEM HAPPY WITH THEIR LIVES?

    I think so. This is a place where people come from all over the world to work. Many, many people have left their families behind, so there can be much suffering in their lives and yet people seem to be happy and grateful to have a job and to be able to provide for their families, which they could not do in their own countries. There are also many people living here that come from politically unstable nations in the region, so they are grateful to be safe here.

  34. Veeda says:

    1. WHERE DO YOU LIVE?
    Bangalore, India

    2. WHAT IS CHURCH ATTENDANCE LIKE? ARE THERE MANY CHURCHES?
    Packed and most times, if you are 5 minutes late for Mass, there is no room to stand inside the Church.
    Yes, there are many Churches – both Catholic & Protestant

    3. HOW APPROPRIATE WOULD IT BE FOR A PERSON TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT HE OR SHE IS A BELIEVING CHRISTIAN IN CASUAL CONVERSATION?
    India being a (multi)religious and spiritual country, it is quite OK to express your faith. In fact, you will be respected for it.

    4. WHAT KIND OF FAITH DO THE POLITICIANS CLAIM TO PRACTICE?
    Hinduism

    5. HOW COMMON WOULD IT BE TO SEE A FAMILY WITH MORE THAN THREE KIDS? WHAT ARE THE ATTITUDES TOWARD FAMILY SIZE?
    In the cities, 2 kids is the accepted norm with the exception of Muslims. Any families that have more than 2 kids attract attention – not always negative but some amount of curiosity mixed with incomprehension of why anyone would want more than 2. Rural India is a different matter altogether. As rural areas are largely farmland; more kids (read, sons) one has the better.

    6. WHAT WAS THE DOMINANT BELIEF SYSTEM IN YOUR AREA 50 YEARS AGO? WHAT IS IT NOW?
    Hinduism

    7. DO THE PEOPLE WHERE YOU LIVE SEEM HAPPY WITH THEIR LIVES?
    Yes. The middle class and rich are definitely content with their lives. The poor suffer a lot but still manage to be cheerful.

  35. 1. WHERE DO YOU LIVE? Liberal Connecticut.

    2. WHAT IS CHURCH ATTENDANCE LIKE? ARE THERE MANY CHURCHES? My parish is ‘yoked’ to another parish in a nearby town, so our attendance is usually good because we are cramming 2 parishes into one.

    3. HOW APPROPRIATE WOULD IT BE FOR A PERSON TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT HE OR SHE IS A BELIEVING CHRISTIAN IN CASUAL CONVERSATION? That’s hard to answer because I am one of THOSE people who brings it up, but rarely have I had others bring it up to me.

    4. WHAT KIND OF FAITH DO THE POLITICIANS CLAIM TO PRACTICE? I never hear local politicians mention faith at all. Most seem to “check” their faith at the door of politics. That’s liberal Connecticut for you.

    5. HOW COMMON WOULD IT BE TO SEE A FAMILY WITH MORE THAN THREE KIDS? WHAT ARE THE ATTITUDES TOWARD FAMILY SIZE? In my parish we have several large families. Being a parent, I know from other parents that birth control is widely popular and used here to prevent more children- “they are so expensive” is the common reason, while those same parents are “keeping up with the Jones” buying new cars and bigger homes left and right. I don’t believe money has a thing to do with it- its just their excuse.

    6. WHAT WAS THE DOMINANT BELIEF SYSTEM IN YOUR AREA 50 YEARS AGO? WHAT IS IT NOW? Protestantism. We have several protestant churches in town, with only ONE Catholic parish.

    7. DO THE PEOPLE WHERE YOU LIVE SEEM HAPPY WITH THEIR LIVES? They often seem rushed and clueless to LIVING life, rather than just going THROUGH life. What a waste. :(
    Julie @ Connecticut Catholic Corner recently posted..Consecration? What consecration?

  36. Chrissy says:

    1. WHERE DO YOU LIVE?
    Woodstock, Georgia

    2. WHAT IS CHURCH ATTENDANCE LIKE? ARE THERE MANY CHURCHES?
    I’m in the middle of the bible belt, so there seems to be churches at every corner. My husband and I attend two churches alternating weekends (a Catholic one for me one weekend, and a nondenominational one for him the next weekend), and they both tend to be pretty full.

    3. HOW APPROPRIATE WOULD IT BE FOR A PERSON TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT HE OR SHE IS A BELIEVING CHRISTIAN IN CASUAL CONVERSATION?
    This is the weird part. Within Woodstock, it’s appropriate to acknowledge it in casual conversation but within Atlanta (about 40 minutes away), it’s not. It’s just that Atlanta (from what I’ve seen) tends to have a very large group of anti-Christianity,type people.

    4. WHAT KIND OF FAITH DO THE POLITICIANS CLAIM TO PRACTICE?
    The politicians here acknowledge that faith exists (I haven’t seen anyone actually claim to be a Christian yet), but work very hard to show that it doesn’t interfere with their politics.

    5. HOW COMMON WOULD IT BE TO SEE A FAMILY WITH MORE THAN THREE KIDS? WHAT ARE THE ATTITUDES TOWARD FAMILY SIZE?
    Pretty uncommon. Most people my age (late 20′s) are too busy working to pay off student loans. None of us can really afford to have kids right now. The common attitude for my age group tends to be that we want a family, but can’t have it yet.

    6. WHAT WAS THE DOMINANT BELIEF SYSTEM IN YOUR AREA 50 YEARS AGO? WHAT IS IT NOW?
    It’s pretty much the same as it was 50 years ago. Various branches of Christianity (Catholics, Protestants, Baptists, etc).

    7. DO THE PEOPLE WHERE YOU LIVE SEEM HAPPY WITH THEIR LIVES?
    They seem okay with their lives. I’ve noticed that the older ones tend to be happy, while the younger ones seem more stressed than anything.

  37. kate says:

    1. WHERE DO YOU LIVE? Pittsburgh, PA

    2. WHAT IS CHURCH ATTENDANCE LIKE? ARE THERE MANY CHURCHES? From my experience, attendance is pretty high as there are a lot of Catholics here. There are a lot of churches, but there are also a lot that have had to close since the 80s (steel mills closed, population rapidly declined)

    3. HOW APPROPRIATE WOULD IT BE FOR A PERSON TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT HE OR SHE IS A BELIEVING CHRISTIAN IN CASUAL CONVERSATION? Pretty appropriate. Typical blue collar God-loving people around here.

    4. WHAT KIND OF FAITH DO THE POLITICIANS CLAIM TO PRACTICE? Christianity of some sort

    5. HOW COMMON WOULD IT BE TO SEE A FAMILY WITH MORE THAN THREE KIDS? WHAT ARE THE ATTITUDES TOWARD FAMILY SIZE? At certain churches, very common. At your average, run-of-the-mill parish? Not as common. I think most people in the area would be apprehensive towards large families. The only ones that I know of are devout Catholics.

    6. WHAT WAS THE DOMINANT BELIEF SYSTEM IN YOUR AREA 50 YEARS AGO? WHAT IS IT NOW? Catholicism, for sure.

    7. DO THE PEOPLE WHERE YOU LIVE SEEM HAPPY WITH THEIR LIVES? Good question… hard to say. Pittsburghers are an interesting breed. There’s always something to complain about (including those steel mills closing 20+ years ago) but I think generally they are happy.
    kate recently posted..slipping

    • Silica says:

      I live in the Pittsburgh area as well and I agree for the most part. I would say that for many “young people” (20s-30s), you get a lot of non-practicing Catholics who will still identify as Catholic, and if you’re practicing, there can be a bit of an attitude of “really?” about it, but it’s less a negative than just an oddity. At a friend’s wedding this spring, when I was 9 months pregnant with my second, I had a lot of people ask if we were going to have more, and my husband and I generally respond to that question saying, “We don’t have a number, but biology makes it likely that we’ll have more” which can open up a lot of discussion, which has almost always gone much better than I expect at first.
      Silica recently posted..7 Quick Takes #39

    • victoria says:

      I also agree for the most part, except that in my neighborhood there are very few churches of any denomination — the only one I can think of within the neighborhood boundaries is Presbyterian — and a couple dozen temples (which I’m sure uniquely identifies my neighborhood!).

      Of all the families I know with more than three kids here, only one is Catholic. The others are Jewish or nonreligious.

  38. Catherine says:

    1. WHERE DO YOU LIVE?
    Northern California

    2. WHAT IS CHURCH ATTENDANCE LIKE? ARE THERE MANY CHURCHES?
    Church is FULL but not packed at all Masses and people love their faith; heavy attendance at DAILY Mass. Yes, there are MANY Churches, and none have closed. We are getting a good # of new, young PRIESTS!

    3. HOW APPROPRIATE WOULD IT BE FOR A PERSON TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT HE OR SHE IS A BELIEVING CHRISTIAN IN CASUAL CONVERSATION?
    In this mid-sized city and its large metro area, it would be JUST FINE to say this. No worries in really any situation!

    4. WHAT KIND OF FAITH DO THE POLITICIANS CLAIM TO PRACTICE?
    Christianity. A few are Jewish.

    5. HOW COMMON WOULD IT BE TO SEE A FAMILY WITH MORE THAN THREE KIDS? WHAT ARE THE ATTITUDES TOWARD FAMILY SIZE?
    Families with 4 or 5 kids are not unusual but neither are they the norm. Some people do remark about, “What a beautiful family you have”. People do not stare at large families here unless there are 10 children together in one place. But even then they tend to smile, wink, and NOT continue to stare or look amazed. In Catholic circles, very large families are accepted; noted, and accepted.

    6. WHAT WAS THE DOMINANT BELIEF SYSTEM IN YOUR AREA 50 YEARS AGO? WHAT IS IT NOW?
    Christianity, both Protestant and Catholic, 50 years ago and the same now. Now, there are more New Agey types, more Eastern religion types, and quite a few “former Catholics”. The latter category is an oxymoron: Catholicism is too deep to ever really “leave it forever”, even if one tries mightily, and everyone KNOWS this. LOL!

    7. DO THE PEOPLE WHERE YOU LIVE SEEM HAPPY WITH THEIR LIVES?
    Yes they do. Often people complain of being “too busy”, but many know this is a supposed status symbol (read: BS ;-)

  39. Claire says:

    1. WHERE DO YOU LIVE?
    Seattle-area, Washington

    2. WHAT IS CHURCH ATTENDANCE LIKE? ARE THERE MANY CHURCHES?
    There seem to be a lot of churches of all kinds, but Seattle is also known as one of the most “unchurched” areas in the country. I would call attendance “decent” – we happen to go to a very busy and thriving parish, but some churches don’t have that same active community. It is very splintered here – everything from small, independent churches to big mega-churches (Mars Hill is pretty well known), to Catholic churches (as well as other faith communities – Jewish, Muslim, etc.)

    3. HOW APPROPRIATE WOULD IT BE FOR A PERSON TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT HE OR SHE IS A BELIEVING CHRISTIAN IN CASUAL CONVERSATION?
    Not very. In a mixed group of people, it would likely be awkward.

    4. WHAT KIND OF FAITH DO THE POLITICIANS CLAIM TO PRACTICE?
    The fact that I don’t know what faith most of the local politicians claim is probably telling. I’d guess at least some would claim Christianity if asked, but it isn’t something they “use” to gain votes.

    5. HOW COMMON WOULD IT BE TO SEE A FAMILY WITH MORE THAN THREE KIDS? WHAT ARE THE ATTITUDES TOWARD FAMILY SIZE?
    Pretty rare in the general population. I only have three kids and I get “Woah, you have THREE?!?” comments. Even in the Catholic churches I have been to, you don’t see a lot of big families. Some, but it isn’t the norm. People here seem to think the ideal is one boy, one girl.

    6. WHAT WAS THE DOMINANT BELIEF SYSTEM IN YOUR AREA 50 YEARS AGO? WHAT IS IT NOW?
    Probably mostly Protestant Christianity, with a long standing Catholic community as well. Now I would say agnostic and lukewarm/non-practicing Christians are probably dominant here. Seattle is very politically and socially liberal and that climate doesn’t mix well with many traditional religious values and morals.

    7. DO THE PEOPLE WHERE YOU LIVE SEEM HAPPY WITH THEIR LIVES?
    Some do, some don’t. I don’t know that there’s a general sense either way.

  40. Hillery potter says:

    1. WHERE DO YOU LIVE?
    Kingsport, TN
    . 2. WHAT IS CHURCH ATTENDANCE LIKE? ARE THERE MANY CHURCHES?
    There are a lot of churches. our church is at the end of our street. we are in walking distance of about 5 churches, all different protestant denominations. i know that all of our immediate neighbors attend church and when we moved here we were invited by neighbors to their church. probably 30% of the community are regular attenders, maybe 70% for holidays.
    3. HOW APPROPRIATE WOULD IT BE FOR A PERSON TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT HE OR SHE IS A BELIEVING CHRISTIAN IN CASUAL CONVERSATION?
    Completely normal and appropriate. public schools still pray at football games and like having churches be involved in school activities.
    4. WHAT KIND OF FAITH DO THE POLITICIANS CLAIM TO PRACTICE?
    i would say if they do claim anything it would be protestant. dedinitely have to act like hou believe in God to be accepted by the general public.
    5. HOW COMMON WOULD IT BE TO SEE A FAMILY WITH MORE THAN THREE KIDS? WHAT ARE THE ATTITUDES TOWARD FAMILY SIZE? It is more common here than other places I have lived. A lot of families a generaton or two ago had a LOT of kids and they still see this as normal. I have a few comments about having four, while older people just want to know when we are having more. Many families at our church have six or more. Our church is baptist.
    . 6. WHAT WAS THE DOMINANT BELIEF SYSTEM IN YOUR AREA 50 YEARS AGO? WHAT IS IT NOW? Fifty hears ago i would say more than likely Baptist. now there is still a hevy Baptist influence, but also a lot of Pentecostals.
    7. DO THE PEOPLE WHERE YOU LIVE SEEM HAPPY WITH THEIR LIVES?
    I think it is like anywhere , aome are, aome arent. there is some extremem proverty present in the more rural areas. i know people are more friendly here and we have a church that is loving, supportive and real. the dirst we have experienced. i know i am happier here than other places i habe lived. but i know others cant wait to leave and go to a bigger city. See more at: http://www.conversiondiary.com/#sthash.6FsBgf6C.dpuf

  41. Lynne says:

    1. WHERE DO YOU LIVE?
    small town (<600)Minnesota

    2. WHAT IS CHURCH ATTENDANCE LIKE? ARE THERE MANY CHURCHES?
    many go to church; 4 churches in this tiny town, plus many other small Catholic parishes nearby

    3. HOW APPROPRIATE WOULD IT BE FOR A PERSON TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT HE OR SHE IS A BELIEVING CHRISTIAN IN CASUAL CONVERSATION?
    appropriate, though perhaps somewhat off-putting–depending on who you're talking to

    4. WHAT KIND OF FAITH DO THE POLITICIANS CLAIM TO PRACTICE?
    You mean like my senator, Al Franken? lol Generally not much religion mentioned unless they are lapsed/liberal proud Catholics

    5. HOW COMMON WOULD IT BE TO SEE A FAMILY WITH MORE THAN THREE KIDS? WHAT ARE THE ATTITUDES TOWARD FAMILY SIZE?
    This is one of my favorite things about this area of the country. It was originally heavily Catholic, and my husband (an 80's guy) grew up with families of 10+ being totally normal. Now the kids of those families have grown up and had smaller families, but still look upon large families without particular disdain. I don't feel this is the case in TX, where I grew up. There, people didn't have large families unless they were Mormon or unless each kid was from a different father.

    6. WHAT WAS THE DOMINANT BELIEF SYSTEM IN YOUR AREA 50 YEARS AGO? WHAT IS IT NOW?
    I kind of answered this above. Still very heavily Catholic/Lutheran, but obviously much more secular/modern than 50 years ago.

    7. DO THE PEOPLE WHERE YOU LIVE SEEM HAPPY WITH THEIR LIVES?
    Yes, they do.

  42. Paola says:

    1. WHERE DO YOU LIVE?
    Turin, Italy

    2. WHAT IS CHURCH ATTENDANCE LIKE? ARE THERE MANY CHURCHES?

    There are churches on every corner, and the attendance is pretty good. Youngest seem to be more at ease with movements (CL is particulary popular) – in the parish church, you’ll find older people (let’s say, 35-40 years more)

    3. HOW APPROPRIATE WOULD IT BE FOR A PERSON TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT HE OR SHE IS A BELIEVING CHRISTIAN IN CASUAL CONVERSATION?

    It would be rather odd, and even slightly unpopular, if you’re young (let’s say, under 25). With older people, it shouldn’t be inappropriate (maybe you could recive some strange look, questions about the sixht commandment and so on :P ). Here in Italy there are lots, LOTS of people that proclaims to be “non practising catholic”, and that’s normality.
    It wouldn’t be less appropriate to aknowledge you’re agnostic or atheist, however.

    4. WHAT KIND OF FAITH DO THE POLITICIANS CLAIM TO PRACTICE?

    Right-wings declare to be catholic. On the left wing (often in the same party) you’ll find lots of politicians who claim to catholic and others who declare to be agnostic or atheist.

    5. HOW COMMON WOULD IT BE TO SEE A FAMILY WITH MORE THAN THREE KIDS? WHAT ARE THE ATTITUDES TOWARD FAMILY SIZE?

    It’s very very VERY very uncommon, even in catholic families: 1 or 2 children are the norm. I personally know only two families with 3 kids, and I’ve never met parents who had 4 sons or more (of course they *exist*, but they are like gold dust :-D )

    6. WHAT WAS THE DOMINANT BELIEF SYSTEM IN YOUR AREA 50 YEARS AGO? WHAT IS IT NOW?

    It was catholic, and I’d say it still is.

    7. DO THE PEOPLE WHERE YOU LIVE SEEM HAPPY WITH THEIR LIVES?

    Mh. They like to complain!

  43. ElizabethD says:

    1. WHERE DO YOU LIVE?

    Cambridge, United Kingdom.

    2. WHAT IS CHURCH ATTENDANCE LIKE? ARE THERE MANY CHURCHES?

    There are many Anglican churches and churches of various other types of Protestants, many of which are using buildings that were originally Catholic churches. And there are a good number of Catholic churches as well, although they are all newer buildings. I’m sure that only a small proportion of people here attend mass, but from my experience the churches are quite full on Sundays for all age ranges, and the chaplaincy has a high attendance as well.

    3. HOW APPROPRIATE WOULD IT BE FOR A PERSON TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT HE OR SHE IS A BELIEVING CHRISTIAN IN CASUAL CONVERSATION?

    Within the university itself it would generally be appropriate, since people there, for the most part, are genuinely interested in what would otherwise be considered unusual ideas. I know many people who are practising Christians. Outside of university circles I think it might not be.

    . 4. WHAT KIND OF FAITH DO THE POLITICIANS CLAIM TO PRACTICE?

    Mostly none.

    5. HOW COMMON WOULD IT BE TO SEE A FAMILY WITH MORE THAN THREE KIDS? WHAT ARE THE ATTITUDES TOWARD FAMILY SIZE?

    In most circumstances it would not be common at all to see a family with more than three kids. An exception is at certain masses. I don’t know in general about attitudes, but the midwives don’t seem to be in favour of it.

    . 6. WHAT WAS THE DOMINAN BELIEF SYSTEM IN YOUR AREA 50 YEARS AGO?

    Anglicanism.

    WHAT IS IT NOW?

    Most people are now areligious.

    . 7. DO THE PEOPLE WHERE YOU LIVE SEEM HAPPY WITH THEIR LIVES?

    My husband says, ‘It’s not the sort of thing that people talk about.’

  44. Sara says:

    1. WHERE DO YOU LIVE? Copenhagen, Denmark
    2. WHAT IS CHURCH ATTENDANCE LIKE? ARE THERE MANY CHURCHES? Church attendance is very low. There are a great many churches throughout Copenhagen and the country in general, most of which are Lutheran, and most people visit them for cultural events like art exhibitions or debates, rather than for religious reasons.
    3. HOW APPROPRIATE WOULD IT BE FOR A PERSON TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT HE OR SHE IS A BELIEVING CHRISTIAN IN CASUAL CONVERSATION? People would be surprised, initially, but I doubt it would be a big issue after a while. It’s considered rude to speak about religion here, so the fact that someone was very forthcoming about it would be more strange than their religious beliefs.
    4. WHAT KIND OF FAITH DO THE POLITICIANS CLAIM TO PRACTICE? It’s mostly the nationalistic parties that speak a lot about faith, most people don’t like them and consider it irrelevant when they bring up religion. Usually, religion is not brought up by politicians.
    5. HOW COMMON WOULD IT BE TO SEE A FAMILY WITH MORE THAN THREE KIDS? WHAT ARE THE ATTITUDES TOWARD FAMILY SIZE? It’s not common. People are generally welcoming of large families when they see them, but would probably ask questions about how it economically makes sense. Most people have 2, maybe 3, kids, especially in Copenhagen, so you’re not confronted with large families often. I think people would be surprised but not unhappy if someone in their family for example had a lot of kids.
    6. WHAT WAS THE DOMINANT BELIEF SYSTEM IN YOUR AREA 50 YEARS AGO? WHAT IS IT NOW? Lutheranism. Still is, with Islam as the second-biggest religion.
    7. DO THE PEOPLE WHERE YOU LIVE SEEM HAPPY WITH THEIR LIVES? Yes, I think a lot of people are. Denmark has been judged to be the happiest country on earth a few times, I think it’s probably pretty accurate.

  45. Amanda says:

    1. WHERE DO YOU LIVE? Dallas, TX
    2. WHAT IS CHURCH ATTENDANCE LIKE? ARE THERE MANY CHURCHES? Lots of people go to church, lots of people don’t too. There are lots of churches.
    3. HOW APPROPRIATE WOULD IT BE FOR A PERSON TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT HE OR SHE IS A BELIEVING CHRISTIAN IN CASUAL CONVERSATION? Totally normal
    4. WHAT KIND OF FAITH DO THE POLITICIANS CLAIM TO PRACTICE? Most claim to be Christian
    5. HOW COMMON WOULD IT BE TO SEE A FAMILY WITH MORE THAN THREE KIDS? WHAT ARE THE ATTITUDES TOWARD FAMILY SIZE? More than three is uncommon but not unheard of. 3-4 seems to be a “large” family but under 5 kids isn’t too noticeable as long as they’re not too close in age
    6. WHAT WAS THE DOMINANT BELIEF SYSTEM IN YOUR AREA 50 YEARS AGO? WHAT IS IT NOW? Protestant Christian for both
    7. DO THE PEOPLE WHERE YOU LIVE SEEM HAPPY WITH THEIR LIVES? Some do, some don’t. It doesn’t seem to be related to whether they’re in the church.

  46. Miranda says:

    1. WHERE DO YOU LIVE?
    Madison, Wisconsin
    2. WHAT IS CHURCH ATTENDANCE LIKE? ARE THERE MANY CHURCHES?
    There are a lot of Catholic and Protestant churches (the protestant churches include a number of more liberal groups). There is also a mosque. There seem to be a lot of people at church, but the percentage of the overall city population that attends should be considerably lower than the rest of the state. We are also home to the Freedom from Religion Society :(
    3. HOW APPROPRIATE WOULD IT BE FOR A PERSON TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT HE OR SHE IS A BELIEVING CHRISTIAN IN CASUAL CONVERSATION?
    Depends on where you work, but kind of awkward. At my previous job, I heard a lot more negative comments about Christianity and religion in general than others, but there were also a few good discussions.
    4. WHAT KIND OF FAITH DO THE POLITICIANS CLAIM TO PRACTICE?
    Republicans-Christian. Democrats-either Christian or nothing.
    5. HOW COMMON WOULD IT BE TO SEE A FAMILY WITH MORE THAN THREE KIDS?
    Two or three kids seems to be average. Among some groups there is hostility toward large families, but in general the atmosphere seems pretty friendly.
    6. WHAT WAS THE DOMINANT BELIEF SYSTEM IN YOUR AREA 50 YEARS AGO? WHAT IS IT NOW?
    Madison is known for being more liberal than the rest of the state, then and now. While there are a number of Christians, there are also a lot of liberal secularists and “progressives,” many of whom are pretty hostile toward religion. That being said, we are still considered friendly Mid-Westerners overall.
    7. DO THE PEOPLE WHERE YOU LIVE SEEM HAPPY WITH THEIR LIVES?
    In general, yes. Of course, it varies, but people here are usually friendly to each other, unless politics are brought up!

  47. Stephanie says:

    1. WHERE DO YOU LIVE?
    Auckland, New Zealand
    2. WHAT IS CHURCH ATTENDANCE LIKE? ARE THERE MANY CHURCHES?
    Many churches- pretty little wooden ones in country areas built in the rush of missionary zeal in the 1800s, and all types and sizes since. Nationally Christian affiliation is 46% (Catholics 14%, Protestants 32%), no religion 34% and Hindu, Moslem and Bhuddist around 1%. Apparently Sunday attendance is around 15%. Our parish church seats 300-400 and is fullish but not packed for the three Sunday Masses. The congregation used to be predominately Pakeha (European) thirty years ago and is now about 90% Pasifika, Asian, and Indian and10% Pakeha. To put this another way- NZ is increasingly secular and liberal with ‘no religion’ more common than any denomination. Our Catholic churches would be near empty but for the massive immigration since the 1980s.
    3. HOW APPROPRIATE WOULD IT BE FOR A PERSON TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT HE OR SHE IS A BELIEVING CHRISTIAN IN CASUAL CONVERSATION?
    Depends. Not that common in academic/professional contexts, less uncommon in ethnic communities. Being green is acceptable and cool.
    4. WHAT KIND OF FAITH DO THE POLITICIANS CLAIM TO PRACTICE?
    Leaders of main parties for some time now have been confidently atheist.
    5. HOW COMMON WOULD IT BE TO SEE A FAMILY WITH MORE THAN THREE KIDS? WHAT ARE THE ATTITUDES TOWARD FAMILY SIZE?
    Large families are not uncommon in Pasifika communities. Two or three is the national norm. Contraception is usual, including Catholics. Interestingly, the biggest Catholic families for generations are now occasional 30 somethings having five plus children… Is it pro-life inspiration/support provided via the internet?
    6. WHAT WAS THE DOMINANT BELIEF SYSTEM IN YOUR AREA 50 YEARS AGO? WHAT IS IT NOW?
    In 1960 heaps of Catholic churches were being built and Catholics were a small close sub-culture within a larger nation of Anglicans/Presbyterians/etc. Shared values were traditional and cohesive; NZ socioeconomically was middling- few rich or poor and only one TV channel for years. Since the 60s policy changes meant an opening of the economy, polarisation of wealth, massive immigration, cultural diversity. Also NZers travel a lot -doing your OE (overseas experience) is de rigueur around 20. NZers like to think they think for themselves and punch above their weight (pop 4.5 million) eg the nation going Nuclear Free in the 1980s. NZers generally are proud to be diverse and liberal. The pro-life movement has been tiny here.
    7. DO THE PEOPLE WHERE YOU LIVE SEEM HAPPY WITH THEIR LIVES?
    According to a recent international survey NZers are 5th happiest people in the world. Health care and education (including Catholic schools) are free-ish, most people live in a house with a garden, are outdoorsy- a beach or mountain is no more than two hours away… But life is also more stressful. House prices in Auckland are almost $600,000 on average, ($400,000 nationally, average wage $57,000pa). And there are fewer young people at church…
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  48. Heidi says:

    1. WHERE DO YOU LIVE? Just north of Portland, Maine

    2. WHAT IS CHURCH ATTENDANCE LIKE? ARE THERE MANY CHURCHES? There are quite a few churches – mostly Catholic and Protestant denominations, but attendance is slim. Some of the more “modern” Protestant churches have quite a large number in attendance, but it seems to be very hit-or-miss. As in, if your kid has a soccer game on Sunday morning it’s perfectly legitimate to miss church that week. Catholic attendance is WAY down.

    3. HOW APPROPRIATE WOULD IT BE FOR A PERSON TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT HE OR SHE IS A BELIEVING CHRISTIAN IN CASUAL CONVERSATION? Hmmm. It would be very awkward, depending on which community I was standing in. We’re in a weird position – exactly halfway between two major cities: Portland, which is very “spiritual but not religious” or non-religious completely, and Lewiston, which has a rich French Canadian Catholic heritage. If I was in Portland, people would look at me like I had six heads. Lewiston, no one would bat an eye.

    4. WHAT KIND OF FAITH DO THE POLITICIANS CLAIM TO PRACTICE? Very few claim membership in any particular church – it’s more of a general claim to Christianity and the golden rule

    5. HOW COMMON WOULD IT BE TO SEE A FAMILY WITH MORE THAN THREE KIDS? WHAT ARE THE ATTITUDES TOWARD FAMILY SIZE? It would be VERY uncommon in Portland (our third child was called our “luxury” child to my face when I was pregnant). In Lewiston, it would still be uncommon, but acceptable.

    6. WHAT WAS THE DOMINANT BELIEF SYSTEM IN YOUR AREA 50 YEARS AGO? WHAT IS IT NOW? I did not live here then, but my understanding was that the area was predominantly Christian, with the areas closer to Canada being very Catholic

    7. DO THE PEOPLE WHERE YOU LIVE SEEM HAPPY WITH THEIR LIVES? Not at all, except for the ones that we know who very much profess Christianity. Like someone said above, it’s almost like being grumpy or discontent is seen as a virtue here. The only acceptable answer to “how are you?” is to rattle off a long list of complaints and hardships.

  49. Hernan says:

    1. WHERE DO YOU LIVE?
    Buenos Aires, Argentina

    2. WHAT IS CHURCH ATTENDANCE LIKE? ARE THERE MANY CHURCHES?
    Quite may churches, specially in the old zones.
    I (average neighborhood, in every sense) have about 5 catholic churches
    in a radius of 1km. Bear in mind that this is densely populated city.
    Church attendance: churchs are moderately full on Sunday (3 to 6 masses typically)
    not so on week days.
    Though many people here identifies as catholic (about 90% some decades ago, about 75% now)
    only a small portion “practices”.

    3. HOW APPROPRIATE WOULD IT BE FOR A PERSON TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT HE OR SHE IS A BELIEVING CHRISTIAN IN CASUAL CONVERSATION?
    Quite rare, not terrible awkard. It would be less awkard to speak of “God” in general.
    Religious talk and zeal is more expected on evangelicals (as is typical on emerging minorities).

    4. WHAT KIND OF FAITH DO THE POLITICIANS CLAIM TO PRACTICE?
    Up till recently, it was required that the president were catholic, but that was a nominal thing.
    A slightly sad truth: the only “real” (I mean, devout, practising and vocal) catholic presidents we have had, were “de facto”, from the military (the last one, Videla, has a terribly bad name currently here).
    Today, religious affiliation is not seen as a relevant issue for a politician; some identify themselves
    as catholic (practically all non practising), some as atheist or agnostic, a few protestant or jew.

    5. HOW COMMON WOULD IT BE TO SEE A FAMILY WITH MORE THAN THREE KIDS?
    Two kids is the typical number (divorce after the second is also becoming typical, I fear;
    lately, it’s getting very common for couples to not even marry).
    More than three would be slighly rare, more than four very rare. The numerous catholic
    family is rare, even as an stereotype; there are some small tradional catholic “islands”(I know a family from there with 13 childs+1 adopted) but they are totally exceptional.
    It was different some years ago, of course, especially in the inner regions; my father, from 1929
    and the center of the country, were 11 brothers.

    6. WHAT WAS THE DOMINANT BELIEF SYSTEM IN YOUR AREA 50 YEARS AGO? WHAT IS IT NOW?
    Catholicism has been the dominant religion here always (that is, since colonization),
    but it has been rather squalid, I would’t call it “dominant belief system”, it has never
    played a relevant role in the culture. And we are a relatively sophisticated culture
    (via Europe mainly), in arts and intellect. But our catholic production (books, theologians,
    saints) has been dismal. Almost zero.
    In general people really don’t care much (for or against) religion (less heated ambient than other places as Spain). The news of the argentine pope was very well received, however, even by non-catholics (in general), and (I think) not totally in the frivolous way.

  50. Hernan says:

    (I forget the last question)

    7. DO THE PEOPLE WHERE YOU LIVE SEEM HAPPY WITH THEIR LIVES?
    I really don’t know how to answer that. I’d suppose we’re average on that.

  51. Stephanie says:

    1. WHERE DO YOU LIVE?

    New Orleans, LA

    2. WHAT IS CHURCH ATTENDANCE LIKE? ARE THERE MANY CHURCHES?

    There are many churches in our area, mostly Catholic. Attendance at my Parish is high and we have 5 masses each weekend. There are about 2,500 families in our parish. It’s the same in most parishes except in areas like downtown/cbd. We have one parish downtown that does a traditional latin mass.

    3. HOW APPROPRIATE WOULD IT BE FOR A PERSON TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT HE OR SHE IS A BELIEVING CHRISTIAN IN CASUAL CONVERSATION?

    Very appropriate.

    4. WHAT KIND OF FAITH DO THE POLITICIANS CLAIM TO PRACTICE?

    Catholicism. Our senator goes to my Parish and the Governor used to, before he became Governor and moved.

    5. HOW COMMON WOULD IT BE TO SEE A FAMILY WITH MORE THAN THREE KIDS? WHAT ARE THE ATTITUDES TOWARD FAMILY SIZE?

    Fairly common, although as time goes by, it’s more rare.

    6. WHAT WAS THE DOMINANT BELIEF SYSTEM IN YOUR AREA 50 YEARS AGO? WHAT IS IT NOW?

    Catholic & Catholic

    7. DO THE PEOPLE WHERE YOU LIVE SEEM HAPPY WITH THEIR LIVES?

    Very! I am so blessed to live here in this climate where Catholicism is accepted and thrives. It would be very hard for me to move somewhere else where it’s not that prevalent.

  52. Jenny says:

    1. WHERE DO YOU LIVE?

    Denver, Co

    2. WHAT IS CHURCH ATTENDANCE LIKE? ARE THERE MANY CHURCHES?

    There are many churches in the area, a good mix of non-dom, mega churches, Catholic churches, and a sprinkling of non-Christian or post-Christian denominations. Attendance in our parish is packed on Sundays for most of the 6 masses, but like somebody else mentioned, holidays are standing room/gymnasium overflow only, so there must be a whole lot more Catholics than are practicing. Also, more than half of the Archdiocese of Denver is made up of Hispanic Catholics, whose family sizes tend to be larger.

    3. HOW APPROPRIATE WOULD IT BE FOR A PERSON TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT HE OR SHE IS A BELIEVING CHRISTIAN IN CASUAL CONVERSATION?

    It would be odd, but not necessarily inappropriate. A trainer at my gym mentioned it to me earlier this month and it both surprised and comforted me that he was willing to do so.

    4. WHAT KIND OF FAITH DO THE POLITICIANS CLAIM TO PRACTICE?

    Ha.

    5. HOW COMMON WOULD IT BE TO SEE A FAMILY WITH MORE THAN THREE KIDS? WHAT ARE THE ATTITUDES TOWARD FAMILY SIZE?

    2 kids is the gold standard here, and I’ve gotten plenty of “you’re sure busy!” comments already with #3 cooking. I wouldn’t say there is open hostility toward larger families, but you will definitely get stares if you exceed the quota of the passenger section of a Costco cart.

    6. WHAT WAS THE DOMINANT BELIEF SYSTEM IN YOUR AREA 50 YEARS AGO? WHAT IS IT NOW?

    Probably Protestant, now I’m guessing Agnostic or, if “Green Tolerance” could be a religion, than definitely that.

    7. DO THE PEOPLE WHERE YOU LIVE SEEM HAPPY WITH THEIR LIVES?

    Denver is an extremely young city, so while this produces a ton of energy and culture, there is a distinct sense of “drift” and “searching for meaning” in a lot of the population, which can probably attest to some of Colorado’s more, ahem, interesting legislative decisions in the past decade.
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    • Katherine says:

      I lived in Denver for 25 years and have now lived in the foothills of the Rockies for 10 years and I would agree with you. Denver is a city of striking contrasts. We have been blessed with incredibly good Archbishops for the last 25 years and the parishes and Catholic Schools reflect that. We happen to have 2 priests who say 9 Masses every weekendand and for at least 2 of those Masses it is standing room only even in the overflow. Our Archdiocese has three seminaries that are turning out phenononal priests. For example one of our children was Baptized by a Deacon telling us parents it was or responsibility not only to teach our children their prayers but to teach them mental prayer. Another example is when we got a new priest at our parish, his first weekend he had all the young boys and men kneel down and say prayers in reperation for the objectification of women, and he has only gotten stronger in his language about what is and isn’t sin since then. The priests here also say Mass in front of Planned Parenthood almost every week, and our Christian churches here and in Colorado Springs are very consertative too.
      On the other hand we have legalization of recreational marijuana(and one Denver suburb is the meth producing capitol of the country), gay marriage, and some of the strictist gun laws in the country. We are also the first city in the country to have a park especially for trans-gender children. When I worked in the restuarant industry 15 years ago my gay co-workers used to say that San Francisco and New York had nothing on Denver.
      I sometimes think I am so lucky and blessed to live in this beautiful mini Garden of Eden where you really can be Catholic, and sometimes I feel like I am getting a glimsp of Hell. Oh, and by the way when you hear of mass murders and young girls being kidnapped/murdered here it isn’t just a coincidence. We have had 5 Jessica Ridgeway type murders here in neighborhoods close to me in the last 6 Octobers. One was a member of our own parish, and last Halloween we couldn’t begin to keep up with the trick-or-treaters who thought our neighborhood was a little safer than the neighborhood where poor Jessica had been killed. We were about 2 miles away.

  53. Caitlin says:

    1. WHERE DO YOU LIVE?
    Louisville, Kentucky

    2. WHAT IS CHURCH ATTENDANCE LIKE? ARE THERE MANY CHURCHES?
    I would say that church attendance is pretty strong. Louisville has a major Catholic population (we’re part of the US Holy Land and have the Abbey of Gethsemani right down the road) and there are also two major non-Catholic seminaries – The Presbyterian and the Southern Baptist. There is also a large Jewish population and a moderate Methodist and Episcopal population. We also have one of the biggest megachurches in the country (Southeast Christian) so there is a large nondenominational population as well. Overall, most people belong to one faith or another. There are churches everywhere and Louisville has become known for being so religiously diverse that the Festival of Faiths is held here every year (last year the Dali Lama came!). There is also a city sponsored Interfaith Coalition that runs a compassion campaign.

    3. HOW APPROPRIATE WOULD IT BE FOR A PERSON TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT HE OR SHE IS A BELIEVING CHRISTIAN IN CASUAL CONVERSATION?
    It wouldn’t be weird at all.

    4. WHAT KIND OF FAITH DO THE POLITICIANS CLAIM TO PRACTICE? Almost entirely Christian. It wouldn’t be political suicide to say otherwise unless you were a Republican.

    5. HOW COMMON WOULD IT BE TO SEE A FAMILY WITH MORE THAN THREE KIDS? WHAT ARE THE ATTITUDES TOWARD FAMILY SIZE?
    Fairly common. I would say most families cap out at 3ish but people won’t start to make comments until you hit 7 or so.

    6. WHAT WAS THE DOMINANT BELIEF SYSTEM IN YOUR AREA 50 YEARS AGO? WHAT IS IT NOW? 50 years ago it was Catholic. Now it is still Catholic but we do not have as strong of a foothold.

    7. DO THE PEOPLE WHERE YOU LIVE SEEM HAPPY WITH THEIR LIVES? Depending on the neighborhood. Most of the city is doing well – most people are comfortable. They are not rich, but they have access to things that are important to them (the arts, culture, parks, good food, places to go with friends) but there are several neighborhoods on the west side where the people do not have these same resources and are really struggling (I teach students from this neighborhood so I see it everyday) :(

  54. J says:

    1. WHERE DO YOU LIVE? NW Arkansas
    2. WHAT IS CHURCH ATTENDANCE LIKE? ARE THERE MANY CHURCHES? Most people are Christian, and church attendance is relatively high, with maybe 40% going to church regularly, and significantly more in rural areas. Families and older people are strong church goers. Students and young adults tend to go, too, but more sporadically. Typically, minority groups, like Catholics, Mormons, and “Northern Protestants” (Lutherans, Presbyterians, etc.) will either be faithful church goers, or eventually stop identifying with their church altogether.
    There are lots of churches, mainly protestant. One Catholic church will serve a medium or large city and any surrounding areas.
    3. HOW APPROPRIATE WOULD IT BE FOR A PERSON TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT HE OR SHE IS A BELIEVING CHRISTIAN IN CASUAL CONVERSATION? It’d be completely normal, although you’d definitely get some raised eyebrows (and maybe a few friendly questions) if you mentioned anything ‘Catholic’ like praying to Mary or the saints.
    4. WHAT KIND OF FAITH DO THE POLITICIANS CLAIM TO PRACTICE? Christians, usually Protestant.
    5. HOW COMMON WOULD IT BE TO SEE A FAMILY WITH MORE THAN THREE KIDS? WHAT ARE THE ATTITUDES TOWARD FAMILY SIZE? Three kids is about average here; it’s more common to see 3+ kids than an only child, but over five is rare, unless step-families are involved.
    6. WHAT WAS THE DOMINANT BELIEF SYSTEM IN YOUR AREA 50 YEARS AGO? WHAT IS IT NOW? Fifty years ago, probably nearly completely Protestant-Baptist, Evangelical, or Methodist mainly. Now, nondenominational churches have joined those as the norm. There are more Catholics (one of the fastest-growing Catholic areas in the state, although that’s not saying much) along with a growing population of Mormons and non-Christians (both other religions and nonreligious). Young people are more likely to be nonreligious, although few are blatantly atheist.
    7. DO THE PEOPLE WHERE YOU LIVE SEEM HAPPY WITH THEIR LIVES? Generally pretty happy, although many younger people can’t wait to leave our good ole backward state.

  55. 1. WHERE DO YOU LIVE?
    Manila, PHILIPPINES

    2. WHAT IS CHURCH ATTENDANCE LIKE? ARE THERE MANY CHURCHES?
    Being a predominant Christian country, we are full of churches in almost every place of the country.Also, the attendance is also remarkable, especially during Sundays, Holy Week and Christmas.

    3. HOW APPROPRIATE WOULD IT BE FOR A PERSON TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT HE OR SHE IS A BELIEVING CHRISTIAN IN CASUAL CONVERSATION?
    If he or she is able to give sound advice in the light of the Gospel, or give pertinent information about his/her faith and devotion.

    4. WHAT KIND OF FAITH DO THE POLITICIANS CLAIM TO PRACTICE?
    Most of the politicians are Christians (Protestant/Catholics), except in predominant Muslim places.

    5. HOW COMMON WOULD IT BE TO SEE A FAMILY WITH MORE THAN THREE KIDS? WHAT ARE THE ATTITUDES TOWARD FAMILY SIZE?
    Most of the families here have more than two children. No wonder, the government wants to lessen them by passing a reproductive health law.

    6. WHAT WAS THE DOMINANT BELIEF SYSTEM IN YOUR AREA 50 YEARS AGO? WHAT IS IT NOW?
    We are Catholics then, now most of us are Catholics by name.

    7. DO THE PEOPLE WHERE YOU LIVE SEEM HAPPY WITH THEIR LIVES?
    Materialistically speaking, yes. But not really.

  56. 1. WHERE DO YOU LIVE?

    Manila, Philippines

    2. WHAT IS CHURCH ATTENDANCE LIKE? ARE THERE MANY CHURCHES?

    SUNDAY CHURCH ATTENDANCE: Most, if not all, Churches are filled to the rafters on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation, which in the Philippines is just December 8, 25, and January 1. National and Diocesan Shrines, Basilicas, and Pilgrimage Sites even have every-hour Masses on these days. One can see similar attendance during Holy Week Liturgical services.

    WEEKDAY CHURCH ATTENDANCE: Most parishes have one to two Masses on a weekday; one in the morning, and one in the evening. The attendees of these Masses are usually those who have retired from work, or the students. Seldom does one see the ‘working class’ attend a weekday Mass EXCEPT on Wednesdays {which is dedicated to Our Mother of Perpetual Help} and First Fridays. This observation excludes the non-stop flow of the faithful to Churches designated to saints close to the Filipino.

    Aside from Wednesdays and {first} Friday’s, Thursday is likewise a ‘popular’ day to go to Mass in honour of St. Jude Thaddeus. His National Shrine is located near the Presidential Palace in Manila.

    There are many Churches in the Philippines, no doubt about it. However, despite the filled Churches every Sunday, latest statistics show that only a few Catholics go to Mass on a Sunday.

    3. HOW APPROPRIATE WOULD IT BE FOR A PERSON TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT HE OR SHE IS A BELIEVING CHRISTIAN IN CASUAL CONVERSATION?

    It is very appropriate, with no qualms or second-thoughts whatsoever. In the Philippines, one will usually hear the term ‘Catolico-Cerrado’ which means that he is a Catholic through and through. Albeit, it is worth noting that Christians of other sects are more ‘open’ to discuss their faith in the public square.

    4. WHAT KIND OF FAITH DO THE POLITICIANS CLAIM TO PRACTICE?

    I like the way you phrased this question. They ‘claim’ to be Catholic-Christians, but they do not live it out.

    5. HOW COMMON WOULD IT BE TO SEE A FAMILY WITH MORE THAN THREE KIDS? WHAT ARE THE ATTITUDES TOWARD FAMILY SIZE?

    Very common, across all social classes. However, mainstream media is drilling to the minds of society the “great good” of having a small family.

    6. WHAT WAS THE DOMINANT BELIEF SYSTEM IN YOUR AREA 50 YEARS AGO? WHAT IS IT NOW?

    Conservative Roman Catholic 50 years ago, Liberal Catholicism 50 years hence.

    7. DO THE PEOPLE WHERE YOU LIVE SEEM HAPPY WITH THEIR LIVES?

    Yes, they seem to be happy.

  57. Chris says:

    1. WHERE DO YOU LIVE?

    Anchorage, Alaska

    2. WHAT IS CHURCH ATTENDANCE LIKE? ARE THERE MANY CHURCHES?

    I’d guess about 50/50 attending vs. not. There are a lot of churches, but having only attended Catholic churches, I don’t know what attendance is like at other places.

    3. HOW APPROPRIATE WOULD IT BE FOR A PERSON TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT HE OR SHE IS A BELIEVING CHRISTIAN IN CASUAL CONVERSATION?

    It would be odd, and not likely to come up, outside of a specifically religious group.

    4. WHAT KIND OF FAITH DO THE POLITICIANS CLAIM TO PRACTICE?

    The “I’m Catholic/Christian but don’t legislate morality” type. Abortion is wrong for me, but I can’t legislate that type of thing.

    5. HOW COMMON WOULD IT BE TO SEE A FAMILY WITH MORE THAN THREE KIDS? WHAT ARE THE ATTITUDES TOWARD FAMILY SIZE?

    I have seven… I get comments when I am out with three of them, at the store, but usually nothing negative.

    6. WHAT WAS THE DOMINANT BELIEF SYSTEM IN YOUR AREA 50 YEARS AGO? WHAT IS IT NOW?

    Dominant… pioneer spirit and work-for-yourself with worship, or not. Pretty much the same now. There are a lot of happy, charitable agnostics and atheists I know.

    7. DO THE PEOPLE WHERE YOU LIVE SEEM HAPPY WITH THEIR LIVES?

    In general, yes.

  58. Claudette says:

    1. WHERE DO YOU LIVE? MALTA

    2. WHAT IS CHURCH ATTENDANCE LIKE? ARE THERE MANY CHURCHES? Churches are still well attended for Sunday mass although according to a recent census only some 50% of the population go to Sunday mass regularly nowadays. Daily mass is less well attended. But just to give you an idea in the village where I live there are some 4 or 5 daily masses to choose from.
    There are many many churches and chapels everywhere. We’re a small island with a population of around 400,000 and predominantly catholic. There is also one mosque and a few protestant churches including one Anglican cathedral. (We were ruled by the British until 1964).

    3. HOW APPROPRIATE WOULD IT BE FOR A PERSON TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT HE OR SHE IS A BELIEVING CHRISTIAN IN CASUAL CONVERSATION? Not inappropriate at all. Actually it’s in our constitution that Malta’s state religion is catholic. There are an increasing number of non practicing or non believers though, but people do discuss faith openly

    4. WHAT KIND OF FAITH DO THE POLITICIANS CLAIM TO PRACTICE? Most politicians claim to be catholic. A number of state commemorations include mass as part of the day

    5. HOW COMMON WOULD IT BE TO SEE A FAMILY WITH MORE THAN THREE KIDS? Not so common nowadaways but not rare either. I have many friends and relatives who have 3 or more kids.

    WHAT ARE THE ATTITUDES TOWARD FAMILY SIZE? I don’t think people care about family size, there’s such a mix. What I mean is no one is going to judge you whether you have 1 or 6 children. Birth rate is on the decline though and most families have 2 kids.

    6. WHAT WAS THE DOMINANT BELIEF SYSTEM IN YOUR AREA 50 YEARS AGO? WHAT IS IT NOW? 50 years ago it was very very catholic and the church had a strong say in state matters which eventually put it in a bad light. Today the majority are still catholic but the church is now more pastoral.

    7. DO THE PEOPLE WHERE YOU LIVE SEEM HAPPY WITH THEIR LIVES? Most people are. This is a very small island and so you get to see a spectrum of lives, happiness and problems. Most people do have a strong support network from their family, there is no distance issue to reach a relative. We still have problems such as poverty, drugs, crime etc but overall I would say the majority are happy with their life. Probably the climate helps too :)

    • Priscilla says:

      I spent five weeks in Malta ten years ago. I really enjoyed my time there and would love to return sometime in the future, though not in the summer. It was so hot. One Maltese tradition I loved was all the families walking along the promenade from Sliema up to St. Julian’s Bay every evening after dinner.

  59. Lesley says:

    1. WHERE DO YOU LIVE?
    London ENGLAND
    2. WHAT IS CHURCH ATTENDANCE LIKE? ARE THERE MANY CHURCHES?
    Within about 30 mins walk from my home there are four Catholic parishes plus a Polish Parish, at least five Church of England churches, and various other denominations. There is also a large Mosque. My parish is extremely well attended, we have a Saturday vigil mass and three Masses on Sunday, one of our neighbouring parishes has eight Sunday masses including an Ordinariate Rite Mass.
    3. HOW APPROPRIATE WOULD IT BE FOR A PERSON TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT HE OR SHE IS A BELIEVING CHRISTIAN IN CASUAL CONVERSATION?
    If it comes up as part of a normal conversation i.e. did you have a nice weekend? or what are you doing tonight, no problem. Have you asked Jesus into your heart type of conversation is not on, there are quite a lot of people in the street evangelising, usually Jehovah;s Witnesses or pentecostal churches.
    4. WHAT KIND OF FAITH DO THE POLITICIANS CLAIM TO PRACTICE?
    usually they say I am a churchgoer myself when they are voting for something that the Church would not approve of, Jesus is loving so he will tolerate anything!
    5. HOW COMMON WOULD IT BE TO SEE A FAMILY WITH MORE THAN THREE KIDS? WHAT ARE THE ATTITUDES TOWARD FAMILY SIZE. I have four children, most of my friends have four children, there are many families in my church with four or more children.
    6. WHAT WAS THE DOMINANT BELIEF SYSTEM IN YOUR AREA 50 YEARS AGO? WHAT IS IT NOW?
    Was Christian, now a lot of Muslim believers, also not sure of percentages, also Sikh presence. 100 years ago when our Church was built there was a lot of resistance to allowing the “Catholics” to build a Church. The main change, I think is when I first moved into the area the majority of residents were English/Irish descent, now a majority of residents are of African background, I think at our main 10:30am Mass on a Sunday around 90% of the congregation are African. We also have African “Missionary” Priests
    7. DO THE PEOPLE WHERE YOU LIVE SEEM HAPPY WITH THEIR LIVES?
    Those I know, yes. There are a lot of problems with lack of jobs etc and the area I live in is bordering the poorer part of the neighbourhood.

    • Lesley says:

      Forgot to say that the Church of England congregations are very much smaller than the Catholic ones, their Sunday congregations are probably smaller than our weekday ones (around 30-50).

  60. Kate Oduogi says:

    1. WHERE DO YOU LIVE?
    Nairobi, Kenya

    2. WHAT IS CHURCH ATTENDANCE LIKE? ARE THERE MANY CHURCHES?
    Everywhere you turn; there is a church a mosque, temple or a tent (Catholicism, Pentecostal, Lutheran, Baptist, Jews, Jehovah Witness, and Other custom made African churches). Most Catholics converted to Protestantism and hence the spread of all the other denominations.

    3. HOW APPROPRIATE WOULD IT BE FOR A PERSON TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT HE OR SHE IS A BELIEVING CHRISTIAN IN CASUAL CONVERSATION?
    Everyone does, and no one would find it odd or out of place. It’s only the younger generation who are now taking up atheism and other things to look cool. However, many people in my country still practice some African form of worship in secret; this means the traditional which doctor visits even when they are just from church. People talk about God at least in every conversation they have.

    4. WHAT KIND OF FAITH DO THE POLITICIANS CLAIM TO PRACTICE?
    Most of them claim they practice Christianity; we have few Catholic politicians though. The unfortunate thing is that they are normally caught on camera going at midnight to visit the other gods at specific witch doctors places. Sad.

    5. HOW COMMON WOULD IT BE TO SEE A FAMILY WITH MORE THAN THREE KIDS? WHAT ARE THE ATTITUDES TOWARD FAMILY SIZE?
    With the influx of contraceptives and constant bombardment of ads and funny chats that you can only give birth to children you are able to take care of, there has been a gradual reduction in the number of children being born in a family, especially in the urban areas. This means the number is from the normal 7 – 9, that was the norm down to 1-5.

    6. WHAT WAS THE DOMINANT BELIEF SYSTEM IN YOUR AREA 50 YEARS AGO? WHAT IS IT NOW?
    It was mostly traditional African beliefs and practices, although most churches had already begun through the missionaries.

    7. DO THE PEOPLE WHERE YOU LIVE SEEM HAPPY WITH THEIR LIVES?
    There is a big difference between the urban areas and the rural areas. Here in Nairobi, people are always worried. From the bad choices we make when voting politicians in, to insecurities, to the high cost of life, to traffic jam congestion. In fact some rule was made up recently that you must know atleast ten neighbors where you live. This is because of the last terrorism act, where we live in communities that don’t know their neighbors.
    In the rural areas though, life is slow and people are happier. Most people are farmers; both large and small scale and so are more concerned about their immediate families, farms and lives.

  61. Eva says:

    1. WHERE DO YOU LIVE? Australia
    . 2. WHAT IS CHURCH ATTENDANCE LIKE? ARE THERE MANY CHURCHES? Church attendance sun the norm, but there are about churches within 10minutes of my house
    3-HOW APPROPRIATE WOULD IT BE FOR A PERSON TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT HE OR SHE IS A BELIEVING CHRISTIAN IN CASUAL CONVERSATION? Weird. It’s just not done. Id probably back way slowly, even though I’m not anti- religious, because to acknowledge it probably means youre pretty hard core.
    4. WHAT KIND OF FAITH DO THE POLITICIANS CLAIM TO PRACTICE? Christian or atheist.
    . 5. HOW COMMON WOULD IT BE TO SEE A FAMILY WITH MORE THAN THREE KIDS? WHAT ARE THE ATTITUDES TOWARD FAMILY SIZE? Not uncommon to have up to 4- more than that is unusual.
    6. WHAT WAS THE DOMINANT BELIEF SYSTEM IN YOUR AREA 50 YEARS AGO? WHAT IS IT NOW? Catholic/ Anglican. Now Catholic/ Protestant/ no belief.
    7. DO THE PEOPLE WHERE YOU LIVE SEEM HAPPY WITH THEIR LIVES? In general, yes. We have a great health system, a robust democracy and good services.
    Eva recently posted..I don’t WANT to make money blogging.

  62. Justyna says:

    1. WHERE DO YOU LIVE?

    POLAND, Torun (over 2 thousands inhabitants)

    2. WHAT IS CHURCH ATTENDANCE LIKE? ARE THERE MANY CHURCHES?

    There are several gothic churches and a lot of modern ones, so you can choose the aesthetic surrounding for the service. The attendance is rather high on Sundays (sometimes, if you are just in time it’s hard to find a sitting place – my church is very big) but what I’ve noticed in my parish (about 3thousands people)there are less and less children at services such as, for example, rosary. In comparison with my childhood the church was full with kids! Now there are usually 50 children or less and these are the kids who are being prepared for their first communion whereas in May, in fact, about 200 children take their first communion!

    3. HOW APPROPRIATE WOULD IT BE FOR A PERSON TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT HE OR SHE IS A BELIEVING CHRISTIAN IN CASUAL CONVERSATION?

    Nobody would dare to say: Ok, I’ll pray for you, or over this problem. Usually catholics confess their faith when they give opinions on abortion, homosexualism, etc. But, you must remember that Polish society is considered catholic mainly, so it shouldn’t be a problem. In fact, a lot of people are church goers but their views on the above issues are not in accordance with the teaching of the Church. There are a lot of anticlericalists, even in my family. One day the main media anounce the date of JPII canonization and the next day they deliver news on pedofile among priests again.

    4. WHAT KIND OF FAITH DO THE POLITICIANS CLAIM TO PRACTICE?

    These from the right wing claim to be catholics, but it’s better not to show your religious affiliations. The Church is accused of interferring with politics. It is claimed it has power over conservative politicians.

    5. HOW COMMON WOULD IT BE TO SEE A FAMILY WITH MORE THAN THREE KIDS? WHAT ARE THE ATTITUDES TOWARD FAMILY SIZE?
    It’s not common to see a big family in Poland. We have four boys and are expecting a girl (shock for us and great luck for me!)A family with two kids is predominant. What I’ve noticed the big families are usually members of a small community within the parish, where they learn about being open to life. Schools tend to treat kids from big families as probable members of a pathological family.

    6. WHAT WAS THE DOMINANT BELIEF SYSTEM IN YOUR AREA 50 YEARS AGO? WHAT IS IT NOW?
    Catholicism from 966 A.D. The Catholic Church was persecuted in times of communism in Poland but it had strong position because of people’s faith. Actually, the communists didn’t ruin the fatih becuase it was our tradition. Further the east of Poland, it was worse. The church attendance was then very high and it was a place where you could hear the truth whereas the whole communist system was based on a big lie.You could go to church freely unless you were a policeman or a soldier or you wanted to make a political career. But there are also martyrs of the system, like st. Jerzy Popieluszko.

    7. DO THE PEOPLE WHERE YOU LIVE SEEM HAPPY WITH THEIR LIVES?

    Well, it’s hard to say. The corruption is high, the wages are low, our democracy is turning into South America or Russia style. The Polish people love to complain and criticise everything. These people who have real faith are happy, I think. Some behave as if they were happy. But, if it’s true happiness, it’s difficult to judge.
    - See more at: http://www.conversiondiary.com/2013/10/what-is-the-religious-climate-in-your-part-of-the-world.html#sthash.6uCbHUIp.dpuf

  63. Hevel says:

    I was going to post something very similar as part of the 31 days challenge on Judaism I do, so I posted my answers, but since I don’t expect readers to click over, here they are:
    1. WHERE DO YOU LIVE? In the Metro Tel Aviv Area, Israel, in a city of about 40 000 people

    2. WHAT IS CHURCH ATTENDANCE LIKE? ARE THERE MANY CHURCHES? In my town synagogue memberships /attendance are higher than in TA proper. Most families I know maintain membership in a synagogue, and most synagogues have a decent attendance. Even though TA is possibly the least religious area in Israel, there are many, many synagogues serving all people from all branches of Judaism. There is one synagogue every few blocks. There are several Mosques, and a few Christian churches in the city, with more, small Christian congregations that don’t have their own church buildings. There is one Roman Catholic church that I actually remember, in Yafo. There are Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormon presence in the Metro area as well.

    3. HOW APPROPRIATE WOULD IT BE FOR A PERSON TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT HE OR SHE IS A BELIEVING CHRISTIAN IN CASUAL CONVERSATION? As for Jews there are certain outward signs of one’s religiousness, and secular Jews using expressions such as “Baruch Hashem” without hesitation, it would be okay for someone to bring up their Christian faith, though it would be highly unusual, with about 1% of TA being Christian, and way, way, way less of the population of my city practicing any brand of Christianity. Any kinds of witnessing, however, would be considered tasteless and extremely rude.

    4. WHAT KIND OF FAITH DO THE POLITICIANS CLAIM TO PRACTICE? Most of the politicians in the country are Jewish or Muslim, with a couple of Arab Christians in various Arab parties. There are several religious parties, like Shas, an ultra-orthodox Sephardi party. Currently the coalition is made up of conservative/centrist, moderate Jews, who are, as far as I am aware, nominally Orthodox.

    5. HOW COMMON WOULD IT BE TO SEE A FAMILY WITH MORE THAN THREE KIDS? WHAT ARE THE ATTITUDES TOWARD FAMILY SIZE? It depends where you are. In Ultra-Orthodox and Arab neighbourhoods 3+ kids is the norm. In the upper-middle-class area where I live, 2 or 3 are common. The government provides a stipend after children, so you will find more children in families in the Ultra-Orthodox communities that largely depend on government assistance.

    6. WHAT WAS THE DOMINANT BELIEF SYSTEM IN YOUR AREA 50 YEARS AGO? WHAT IS IT NOW? Judaism and Judaism. Nominally Orthodox Judaism, mostly modern Orthodox/Religious Zionism in my immediate area. My town was established in 1923 by Polish Jews, and still has very little non-Jewish population, less than 2%, and that already includes the Russian Olim, who are not halakhially Jewish, but don’t practice any other religion, either.

    7. DO THE PEOPLE WHERE YOU LIVE SEEM HAPPY WITH THEIR LIVES? Tel Aviv is a bubble within Israel that has a lot of different attitudes from the rest of the country. It is the most (or really, the only) gay friendly city in the middle east. It is a business, educational and cultural centre in the country. Orthodoxy is not very strong here, and there is little ultra-orthodox presence. The expense of living, especially rent, is unrealistically high, so while people like living here, they can struggle with the burden of financial obligations. Generally, people seem happy, with or without religion.
    Hevel recently posted..31 Days in the Jewish Quarter Day 13 – Religious Climate… kinda

  64. Patty says:

    1. WHERE DO YOU LIVE? Kansas

    2. WHAT IS CHURCH ATTENDANCE LIKE? ARE THERE MANY CHURCHES? There are quite a few Catholic churches with good attendance, even more Protestant churches, and a few Orthodox Christian churches. There are a few Jews and Muslims in the area. Lots of church goers. It’s the Bible Belt! Our diocese is also known for having a large number of seminarians and also many perpetual adoration chapels.

    3. HOW APPROPRIATE WOULD IT BE FOR A PERSON TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT HE OR SHE IS A BELIEVING CHRISTIAN IN CASUAL CONVERSATION? Pretty common here. Not inappropriate.

    4. WHAT KIND OF FAITH DO THE POLITICIANS CLAIM TO PRACTICE? Some claim to be Christians and run for office being openly pro-life, pro traditional values. Others don’t talk about their own religious views (or lack of) much.

    5. HOW COMMON WOULD IT BE TO SEE A FAMILY WITH MORE THAN THREE KIDS? WHAT ARE THE ATTITUDES TOWARD FAMILY SIZE? Fairly common. I still got a few stares and comments but not many. We are friends with three different families who have ten kids each, in our small parish. I know some Baptists with large families also.

    6. WHAT WAS THE DOMINANT BELIEF SYSTEM IN YOUR AREA 50 YEARS AGO? WHAT IS IT NOW? Christian (both Protestant and Catholic) then and now

    7. DO THE PEOPLE WHERE YOU LIVE SEEM HAPPY WITH THEIR LIVES? For the most part yes, I think so. We do have our share of homeless and working poor, but we also have shelters, food banks, soup kitchens, and organizations that will help those who struggle to pay rent, utilities, etc. Midwesterners are generally known to be friendly and kind.

  65. Olivia says:

    1. WHERE DO YOU LIVE? Canada (rural, east coast)

    2. WHAT IS CHURCH ATTENDANCE LIKE? ARE THERE MANY CHURCHES? We have a lot of churches and most are fairly well attended although some are experiencing a decline. I am Catholic and the Catholic churches are well attended.

    3. HOW APPROPRIATE WOULD IT BE FOR A PERSON TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT HE OR SHE IS A BELIEVING CHRISTIAN IN CASUAL CONVERSATION?. Until very recently my little island was exclusively Christian. In the past few years we have had some immigration but it is quite normal and acceptable to acknowledge one’s Christian faith. We don’t change very quickly here.

    4. WHAT KIND OF FAITH DO THE POLITICIANS CLAIM TO PRACTICE? In my province I suppose most are Christian: I have not heard of any others. Since the entire population of our province is only 140,000 most everyone knows everyone else’s business, anyway. In fact, probably the majority of us are, in some way, related or otherwise connected to each other so, even if the politicians did not openly declare their church affiliation (or lack thereof), everyone would know, anyway. I can’t speak for the rest of the country.

    5. HOW COMMON WOULD IT BE TO SEE A FAMILY WITH MORE THAN THREE KIDS? WHAT ARE THE ATTITUDES TOWARD FAMILY SIZE? Back in the day HUGE families were the norm. It is not uncommon to see large families even today – four, five or more kids. I don’t think anyone has a problem with it.

    6. WHAT WAS THE DOMINANT BELIEF SYSTEM IN YOUR AREA 50 YEARS AGO? WHAT IS IT NOW? Christian then and now.

    7. DO THE PEOPLE WHERE YOU LIVE SEEM HAPPY WITH THEIR LIVES? Yes. Most of us are. We are a very faith/family and community focused society.

  66. NY Mom says:

    1. WHERE DO YOU LIVE? Upstate NY, Hudson Valley. 2. WHAT IS CHURCH ATTENDANCE LIKE? ARE THERE MANY CHURCHES? Many of the Catholic churches – which are either in rural areas or small towns – are undergoing consolidations, which greatly affect the availability of the priest and leave the faithful with a sense of being treated with benign neglect (at best). Attendance fluctuates but has been steadily declining. Unless the parish has a history of strong, dedicated clergy, there are only a tiny fraction of children/teens that regularly attend. Many churches seem to offer more in the way of community-minded ministries such as Food Pantries than devotional services or catechesis. 3. HOW APPROPRIATE WOULD IT BE FOR A PERSON TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT HE OR SHE IS A BELIEVING CHRISTIAN IN CASUAL CONVERSATION? Well…this is Woodstock country so people seem ok with admitting personal quirks and hangups. And Catholicism qualifies (but don’t ask what they think of it!) 4. WHAT KIND OF FAITH DO THE POLITICIANS CLAIM TO PRACTICE? Whatever their constituents want to hear. 5. HOW COMMON WOULD IT BE TO SEE A FAMILY WITH MORE THAN THREE KIDS? WHAT ARE THE ATTITUDES TOWARD FAMILY SIZE? It’s not uncommon, as the rural area seems to attract people who want to spread out and raise families. But there is a lack of appreciation for the size of those families that seems to prevail among people no matter where they live. 6. WHAT WAS THE DOMINANT BELIEF SYSTEM IN YOUR AREA 50 YEARS AGO? WHAT IS IT NOW? A lot of East Europeans settled here and established ethnic-based parishes. Today those parishes look nothing like they used to; the 2nd and 3rd generation of those founding immigrants all acclimated to modern life and religion is more a sentimental cultural touchstone. They show up for the wakes and maybe funerals. We also have more Muslims and Mennonites now than before. Not in the same neighborhood, mind you, but the variety is increasing. 7. DO THE PEOPLE WHERE YOU LIVE SEEM HAPPY WITH THEIR LIVES? Happy in the sense that they have materially surpassed what their parents had; as happy as the average middle-class American with our odd bundle of joys ond cares. See more at: http://www.conversiondiary.com/2013/10/what-is-the-religious-climate-in-your-part-of-the-world.html#comments

  67. Erica says:

    1. WHERE DO YOU LIVE? Sarasota/Bradenton, Florida

    2. WHAT IS CHURCH ATTENDANCE LIKE? ARE THERE MANY CHURCHES? There many churches of various faiths probably due to the fact that we have seasonal residents from all over the world. Mostly I’ve noticed that the Catholic churches are packed with retirees and the mega-churches are packed with more of the younger, year-round population.

    3. HOW APPROPRIATE WOULD IT BE FOR A PERSON TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT HE OR SHE IS A BELIEVING CHRISTIAN IN CASUAL CONVERSATION? Very common. After all, this is still the south.

    4. WHAT KIND OF FAITH DO THE POLITICIANS CLAIM TO PRACTICE? Mostly Christian. I have heard politicians make it known that their children attend Catholic school.

    5. HOW COMMON WOULD IT BE TO SEE A FAMILY WITH MORE THAN THREE KIDS? WHAT ARE THE ATTITUDES TOWARD FAMILY SIZE? Two-three kids are the norm. Four or more would attract attention. Even one would attract attention.

    6. WHAT WAS THE DOMINANT BELIEF SYSTEM IN YOUR AREA 50 YEARS AGO? WHAT IS IT NOW? Probably Catholic and Baptist. Those are two of the oldest churches that I know of in the area. Interesting fact, the first Catholic church in Sarasota was built using the funds raised by the circus families (think Ringling Bros) who settled here. Most circus families are Catholic and often a priest traveled with the circus.

    As for now, we have a little bit of everything because of all of the tourists and seasonal residents from all over the world.

    7. DO THE PEOPLE WHERE YOU LIVE SEEM HAPPY WITH THEIR LIVES? Yes, for the most part, people are happy. How could you not be with all this sunshine???

  68. Lauren says:

    1. WHERE DO YOU LIVE?
    Portland, OR
    2. WHAT IS CHURCH ATTENDANCE LIKE? ARE THERE MANY CHURCHES?
    My answers will be similar to those of Seattle, WA. Church attendance is very low when you get close to the city, but we live 30 minutes outside of it and happen to be in a quite conservative area, and there are lots of churches, of many different Christian denominations. Within the Catholic Church, I would say it is growing and getting better, though I am blessed to be part of a thriving parish, so it colors my perspective. I know that dead/dying parishes (and really liberal ones) exist, but I see pockets of thriving communities with real hope for the future.

    3. HOW APPROPRIATE WOULD IT BE FOR A PERSON TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT HE OR SHE IS A BELIEVING CHRISTIAN IN CASUAL CONVERSATION?
    If you were in Portland, it would be very awkward and may spark a conversation in which you would get “taken to task” on hot button issues. In my smaller town, a little less awkward, but the Pacific Northwest in general tends to be very leery about talking about personal things like that. It’s a very “PC” area (in contrast with my southern upbringing) to even joke around about differences. I have tried to do so before and the guy couldn’t understand that it was lighthearted bantering. He dropped the smile and started telling me why Catholicism is a boring and dead religion. The “Seattle freeze” previously referenced is very real in Portland as well. People don’t seem able to be genuinely warm with each other unless you’ve known them for 15 years.

    4. WHAT KIND OF FAITH DO THE POLITICIANS CLAIM TO PRACTICE? Politicians here would be careful to admit that they are practicing Christians. It better be the liberal kind. Seeing that Portland has an openly gay mayor who was caught having an affair with an underage boy and nothing happened, that should give you an idea.

    5. HOW COMMON WOULD IT BE TO SEE A FAMILY WITH MORE THAN THREE KIDS?
    Fairly rare. I have 4 and am visibly pregnant with #5, and I definitely get the curious stares.

    WHAT ARE THE ATTITUDES TOWARD FAMILY SIZE?
    Similar to Seattle, in Portland it is commonly considered irresponsible to have a large family, and I had a midwife once go out on a limb and tell me that she didn’t agree with couples having lots of kids (so much for choice!!). In the urban area, it is common to have 1-2 project/pet kids, and anything more is a pollutant. Pets sometimes get higher status than kids. In the more suburban/rural area, it’s not as bad, and people don’t care quite as much.

    6. WHAT WAS THE DOMINANT BELIEF SYSTEM IN YOUR AREA 50 YEARS AGO? WHAT IS IT NOW? I didn’t grow up here so it’s hard to say, but I don’t think that we’ve wavered much from the climate 50 years ago. The pacific NW has always been a liberal non-church going area.

    7. DO THE PEOPLE WHERE YOU LIVE SEEM HAPPY WITH THEIR LIVES? This is purely my anecdotal experience, but people without religion here tend to have lots of anxiety issues, whereas people who have faith exude far more joy and peace about their lives. Again, I’m making sweeping generalizations here, but the lack of emphasis on family bonds, combined with an atheistic worldview, as well as a cultural taboo on being physically affectionate or genuinely warm towards others makes people seem snobbish and unapproachable. I have seen far more people dealing with “family drama” here in contrast with my south Louisiana upbringing, where families are seen more as a resting place, a place to be yourself and rejuvenate.

    – See more at: http://www.conversiondiary.com/2013/10/what-is-the-religious-climate-in-your-part-of-the-world.html#comments

  69. Stacy says:

    1. Where do you live? Suburb of Detroit, MI
    2. What is church attendance like? Are there many churches? We have been members of our parish for almost 30 years. I definitely see the decrease over the years. Even with a large k-8 school, attendance is so-so, except for “sports” masses and Christmas/Easter. Our diocese (Detroit) has already closed some churches, shifting those folks to other churches, and they are now “clustering” the remaining parishes, with plans for future closures, as attendance/loss of priests comes into play. There are a LOT of churches in our town (pop. 100,000.) Pretty much every faith, and more than a few of each, including, Baptist, Episcopal, Lutheran, Byzantine and Antiochian Orthodox, Catholic (I think we are down to 6 now, but we also have a Felician order, with their beautiful Mother house/chapel,) Evangelical, Methodist, Presbyterian, and more.
    3. How appropriate would it be for a person to acknowledge that he or she is a believing Christian in casual conversation? That is just fine and appropriate.
    4. What kind of faith do the politicians claim to practice? In our city, assorted Christian faiths. When they run for office, their specific faith is usually mentioned within their bio.
    5. How common would it be to see a family with more than three kids? what are the attitudes toward family size? In just our neighborhood, we have a number of families with 5 or more. I’d say we run into a fair number of families with three or more (we know many with more than our six.) Maybe it’s where we go? Overall, I’d say folks are kind when they hear how many children we have. I’ve never gotten a negative remark, although I have heard from some moms-of-many that they get rude comments.
    What was the dominant belief system in your area 50 years ago? What is it now? Definitely Christian, with probably a majority Catholic (large Italian/Irish/Polish population.) Nowadays, still Christian, although there are a number of non-Catholic Christian faiths that probably outnumber the Catholics.
    7. Do the people where you live seem happy with their lives? Yes. We have a nice city, very friendly people, and plenty of amenities (parks/recreation/shopping/hospital. The economy here, though, is automotive-driven, and the downturn in jobs and economy have had an adverse effect since early 2000′s. People were getting laid off in 2001/2002, and it is only just now getting a tad better. So, stress about paying bills continues. Five years ago, we had foreclosures on every street. That has improved dramatically.

  70. Anaar says:

    1. WHERE DO YOU LIVE?

    Kabul, Afghanistan.

    2. WHAT IS CHURCH ATTENDANCE LIKE? ARE THERE MANY CHURCHES?

    There is one small chapel (Catholic) here, located inside an embassy. There are several Masses during the week, and the attendees are from countries all over the world (except Afghanistan). Attendance fluctuates as many people go on leave every couple months, and the security situation can at times mean certain organizations prohibit their emoloyees from leaving their compounds to attend Mass.

    3. HOW APPROPRIATE WOULD IT BE FOR A PERSON TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT HE OR SHE IS A BELIEVING CHRISTIAN IN CASUAL CONVERSATION?

    Afghanistan is an Islamic republic, and unlike other Muslim countries, Christianity has been almost nonexistent here. Many have little, if any, understanding of it and it’s not unusual to find that people don’t even know Christians believe in God. Its generally best not to casually discuss ones faith, if its not Islam, in passing conversation. That being said, i have found on occassion that some more open-minded people have greater respect for a foreigner when they learn they believe in God and practice their faith.

    4. WHAT KIND OF FAITH DO THE POLITICIANS CLAIM TO PRACTICE?

    Islam. There is also a very small Sikh/Hindu community here that have a legal representative in parliament.

    5. HOW COMMON WOULD IT BE TO SEE A FAMILY WITH MORE THAN THREE KIDS? WHAT ARE THE ATTITUDES TOWARD FAMILY SIZE?

    It would actually be uncommon to see a family with *less* than three kids. Most Afghans love children, calling them “namak-e-zendagee” (the salt of life). I have Afghan friends with more than 10 siblings, and this isn’t at all viewed as something strange. When people ask me how many sibling I have, they usually seem genuinely sorry for me when I say only one.

    6. WHAT WAS THE DOMINANT BELIEF SYSTEM IN YOUR AREA 50 YEARS AGO? WHAT IS IT NOW?

    Islam, then and now.

    7. DO THE PEOPLE WHERE YOU LIVE SEEM HAPPY WITH THEIR LIVES?

    This is a big difficult to answer. On the one hand, Afghanistan is one of the poorest countries on the world and the country is facing many problems related to war, security, unemployment, corruption and instability. Many people have been traumatized from witnessing more than three decades of conflict. On the other hand, I would say that people generally seem much happier here than they do in the West. Most, average Afghans are not materialistic and, despite their suffering, seem to find joy in being with their families as well as have an overall sense of peace from their belief in God.

  71. Anton says:

    1. WHERE DO YOU LIVE?

    Quezon City, Philippines, part of the Metro Manila capital region

    2. WHAT IS CHURCH ATTENDANCE LIKE? ARE THERE MANY CHURCHES?

    Church attendance is good but declining. Evangelicals/protestants and some atheist/agnostic groups are gaining ground especially in college campuses

    3. HOW APPROPRIATE WOULD IT BE FOR A PERSON TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT HE OR SHE IS A BELIEVING CHRISTIAN IN CASUAL CONVERSATION?

    Pretty normal, though that would usually be associated with evangelicals/protestants. Here when somebody says he’s “Christian” that means he’s part of an evangelical/protestant group. They don’t like to call Catholics as Christians and that has caused some confusion even among Catholics

    4. WHAT KIND OF FAITH DO THE POLITICIANS CLAIM TO PRACTICE?

    Typically Catholic

    5. HOW COMMON WOULD IT BE TO SEE A FAMILY WITH MORE THAN THREE KIDS? WHAT ARE THE ATTITUDES TOWARD FAMILY SIZE?

    For the educated middle to upper classes, one to three children is typical though more people are marrying at an older age now. For the lower middle class and below, three children or more is the norm

    6. WHAT WAS THE DOMINANT BELIEF SYSTEM IN YOUR AREA 50 YEARS AGO? WHAT IS IT NOW?

    Catholic. Nowadays Catholics still dominate but there are more protestants/evangelicals and atheists in the mix. Being atheist/agnostic is seen as countercultural and cool for some college kids, especially in major universities

    7. DO THE PEOPLE WHERE YOU LIVE SEEM HAPPY WITH THEIR LIVES?

    Filipinos are a fun-loving, easy-going people so yes, people are generally happy with their lives in spite of some challenges like poverty, government corruption and frequent natural disasters ie. typhoons, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions

    • Anton says:

      I forgot to mention that there are many Muslims here also. They’re starting to populate traditionally Christian areas like Manila via immigration from Mindanao (southern region with many Muslim-majority provinces) and even abroad

  72. Kat says:

    1. WHERE DO YOU LIVE?
    New York State–about an hour north of NYC

    2. WHAT IS CHURCH ATTENDANCE LIKE? ARE THERE MANY CHURCHES?
    Most people don’t attend church on a regular basis. However, there are several churches (Catholic & Protestant) around here that get packed every Sunday and offer multiple services. I attend the fastest growing church of New York State which also happens to be the second fastest growing in the Northeast so thousands attend every weekend. It’s a non-denominational Christian church. Young adults do not attend the Catholic churches on a regular basis.

    3. HOW APPROPRIATE WOULD IT BE FOR A PERSON TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT HE OR SHE IS A BELIEVING CHRISTIAN IN CASUAL CONVERSATION?
    It would be acceptable, but probably not expected.

    4. WHAT KIND OF FAITH DO THE POLITICIANS CLAIM TO PRACTICE?
    I don’t hear the Politicians mention faith very much at all.

    5. HOW COMMON WOULD IT BE TO SEE A FAMILY WITH MORE THAN THREE KIDS? WHAT ARE THE ATTITUDES TOWARD FAMILY SIZE?
    Anywhere from 2-4 kids is the norm. It’s not uncommon to see families with 5 or more children, though, especially at church.

    6. WHAT WAS THE DOMINANT BELIEF SYSTEM IN YOUR AREA 50 YEARS AGO? WHAT IS IT NOW?
    Catholic or Christian.

    7. DO THE PEOPLE WHERE YOU LIVE SEEM HAPPY WITH THEIR LIVES?
    I would say many *appear* to be getting by okay, but a lot of them would be much better with Jesus.

  73. KRK says:

    1. WHERE DO YOU LIVE? Lincoln, Nebraska

    2. WHAT IS CHURCH ATTENDANCE LIKE? ARE THERE MANY CHURCHES? packed churches; yes

    3. HOW APPROPRIATE WOULD IT BE FOR A PERSON TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT HE OR SHE IS A BELIEVING CHRISTIAN IN CASUAL CONVERSATION? fairly typical (except at the University–the profs laugh and cringe when I bring up Jesus or the Church)

    4. WHAT KIND OF FAITH DO THE POLITICIANS CLAIM TO PRACTICE? Christianity; quite a few Catholic

    5. HOW COMMON WOULD IT BE TO SEE A FAMILY WITH MORE THAN THREE KIDS? WHAT ARE THE ATTITUDES TOWARD FAMILY SIZE? many large families in our Lincoln diocese; so inspiring!

    6. WHAT WAS THE DOMINANT BELIEF SYSTEM IN YOUR AREA 50 YEARS AGO? WHAT IS IT NOW? Christian

    7. DO THE PEOPLE WHERE YOU LIVE SEEM HAPPY WITH THEIR LIVES? beautiful Catholic community here in Lincoln…one of the best dioceses in which I have lived that protects, preaches, and inspires the Catholic faith. Happiness abounds!

  74. Kathleen says:

    1. WHERE DO YOU LIVE? a small town in northwest Arkansas.

    2. WHAT IS CHURCH ATTENDANCE LIKE? ARE THERE MANY CHURCHES?
    There are MANY churches. Most common are Baptist, Pentecostal, Assembly of God, Church of Christ, and “Bible” churches/non-denominational. I think a large majority of all age groups goes to church every Sunday, and many also go Wednesday nights. There are very few Catholics here, around 5%.

    3. HOW APPROPRIATE WOULD IT BE FOR A PERSON TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT HE OR SHE IS A BELIEVING CHRISTIAN IN CASUAL CONVERSATION? Very normal. However, anything Catholic related would be answered with an attempt to save your soul. I assume atheists get the same treatment.

    4. WHAT KIND OF FAITH DO THE POLITICIANS CLAIM TO PRACTICE? Christian, at least in name.

    5. HOW COMMON WOULD IT BE TO SEE A FAMILY WITH MORE THAN THREE KIDS? WHAT ARE THE ATTITUDES TOWARD FAMILY SIZE? It is not common to see more than three children in a family, but not unheard of. Generally people see children as blessings, but still a lot of people try to limit these “blessings”.

    6. WHAT WAS THE DOMINANT BELIEF SYSTEM IN YOUR AREA 50 YEARS AGO? WHAT IS IT NOW? Same as now I imagine – 95% protestant.

    7. DO THE PEOPLE WHERE YOU LIVE SEEM HAPPY WITH THEIR LIVES? I would say mostly yes, not joyous, but content.

  75. Eleanor says:

    1. WHERE DO YOU LIVE?
    Liverpool, UK
    2. WHAT IS CHURCH ATTENDANCE LIKE?
    Not very good. Some Catholic parishes are busy as are some non-denominational churches. Other Catholic churches and Church of England parishes have very small congregations.

    ARE THERE MANY CHURCHES?
    Crumbling churches on every corner – many empty or literally falling apart, with trees growing out of the roof.

    3. HOW APPROPRIATE WOULD IT BE FOR A PERSON TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT HE OR SHE IS A BELIEVING CHRISTIAN IN CASUAL CONVERSATION?
    It is not unheard of but might be seen as ‘eccentric’ or as if you are trying to make a point. That said, Christians often admit it to each other – we find each other out which is kind of nice!
    4. WHAT KIND OF FAITH DO THE POLITICIANS CLAIM TO PRACTICE?
    None at all except love of money!
    5. HOW COMMON WOULD IT BE TO SEE A FAMILY WITH MORE THAN THREE KIDS?
    We do exist but more than 4 is very, very rare.
    WHAT ARE THE ATTITUDES TOWARD FAMILY SIZE?
    The attitudes: children cost money, children must always have the best and new material things such as clothes, computers, holidays (therefore they are too expensive to have more than 2 of), family discounts rarely accept more than 2 adults and 2 children, even the rail card caps the limit of children at 4 (luckily our railway station staff let me bring on our 5 kids still at discount, but they are breaking the rules), there is an idea that only immigrants have large families and that they are a drain on resources, that benefits (such as child benefit or housing benefits) go unfairly to ‘irresponsible people who have tons of kids’
    6. WHAT WAS THE DOMINANT BELIEF SYSTEM IN YOUR AREA 50 YEARS AGO? WHAT IS IT NOW? 50 years ago I believe England was seen as a Christian country, but I did not live there then :) Now I would have to say the most faithful people are Muslims. Believing Christians are a minority.
    7. DO THE PEOPLE WHERE YOU LIVE SEEM HAPPY WITH THEIR LIVES?
    Many people here are very close to their extended families and they seem genuinely happy.

  76. JUD says:

    c1. WHERE DO YOU LIVE? THE NETHERLANDS.

    2. WHAT IS CHURCH ATTENDANCE LIKE? ARE THERE MANY CHURCHES?
    Less and less. For example: at the time I got baptised in 2000 there was one parish with four churches in my village. A few years later the parish had one church left. In 2011, my village and six other villages joined to one parish (yet another new name!) with at least one eucharist on any sunday but usually more. Probably the amount of sermons will go down even more due to a lack of pastors. We have one pastor (and some priest and emerite pastors). There will be 150 people but it varies, because of the weather and because not everyone likes every priest… too strict or not strict enough…

    3. ACKNOWLEDGE SHE IS A BELIEVING CHRISTIAN IN CASUAL CONVERSATION?
    Awkward. But, it is even more awkward if you do not mention it and then somebody begins to lash out at the catholic faith/ christian faith in general/ the ‘dictatorship’ of the pope and so on. It seems to be very normal here for people to do that. Buddhism, eastern stuff and New Age are very popular. I am studying the art of apologetics so I do not have to become a closet-catholic!

    4. FAITH POLITICIANS
    It is usually not discussed. Unless you are a member of a religious, christian political party, everybody assumes you are a christian.

    5. HOW COMMON WOULD IT BE TO SEE A FAMILY WITH MORE THAN THREE KIDS? WHAT ARE THE ATTITUDES TOWARD FAMILY SIZE?
    Uncommon. When my sun did his first communion, there was one (joined) family that needed two benches, each bench containing max. 8. They were excused for taking up that much space (never seen them again…)

    6. WHAT WAS THE DOMINANT BELIEF SYSTEM IN YOUR AREA 50 YEARS AGO? WHAT IS IT NOW?
    Protestant and protestant

    7. DO THE PEOPLE WHERE YOU LIVE SEEM HAPPY WITH THEIR LIVES? We like to complain, but I’d say reasonably happy but the recession has hit here also.

  77. Katie says:

    1. WHERE DO YOU LIVE?
    Rural NW Iowa (Is anything in Iowa not rural?)

    2. WHAT IS CHURCH ATTENDANCE LIKE? ARE THERE MANY CHURCHES?
    Almost everyone goes to some sort of Christian church. The largest group of non-attenders would probably be Young Adults, but most start coming again when they start families. We have more churches than most I would say.

    My particular Catholic parish is thriving. Small town of about 3,000 people serves 700 households. We have 3 packed Masses in the winter and 5 in the summer (tourist driven)

    3. HOW APPROPRIATE WOULD IT BE FOR A PERSON TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT HE OR SHE IS A BELIEVING CHRISTIAN IN CASUAL CONVERSATION? I think it is assumed here. To say otherwise is scandal. I also find it interesting that a lot of the “big” names in town are Catholic.

    4. WHAT KIND OF FAITH DO THE POLITICIANS CLAIM TO PRACTICE? I don’t really know, or pay much attention

    5. HOW COMMON WOULD IT BE TO SEE A FAMILY WITH MORE THAN THREE KIDS? WHAT ARE THE ATTITUDES TOWARD FAMILY SIZE? I’d say 2 is acceptable. I have 3 and people will comment that “my hands are full” Bigger than that and people would start to gossip. In our church though 3-4 is commonplace. 5-6 is the largest I’ve seen. I’ve heard some “Look at that good Catholic family.” I’m not sure if that was meant positively or negatively.

    6. WHAT WAS THE DOMINANT BELIEF SYSTEM IN YOUR AREA 50 YEARS AGO? WHAT IS IT NOW? I don’t know about Denominations but Christian, still is. My dad was an elementary school teacher for a long time and he only ever came across 2 children who weren’t.

    7. DO THE PEOPLE WHERE YOU LIVE SEEM HAPPY WITH THEIR LIVES?
    Simply, Yes.

  78. Elizabeth says:

    1. WHERE DO YOU LIVE?
    Rural Southern Kentucky

    2. WHAT IS CHURCH ATTENDANCE LIKE? ARE THERE MANY CHURCHES?
    In the city, attendance is high at some, not so good at others. Many of the rural churches are dying out with my generation, attendance is good but most are over the age of 50.

    3. HOW APPROPRIATE WOULD IT BE FOR A PERSON TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT HE OR SHE IS A BELIEVING CHRISTIAN IN CASUAL CONVERSATION?
    Very common and appropriate. I think the absence of faith in casual conversation would be more noted.

    4. WHAT KIND OF FAITH DO THE POLITICIANS CLAIM TO PRACTICE?
    Christian – not Catholic, generally some version of Baptist or evangelical Christian.

    5. HOW COMMON WOULD IT BE TO SEE A FAMILY WITH MORE THAN THREE KIDS? WHAT ARE THE ATTITUDES TOWARD FAMILY SIZE?
    In my rural community, it’s uncommon, but I haven’t heard anything negative said about those who have more. In our broader homeschool community, it’s very common and we are the oddballs with “only” three.

    6. WHAT WAS THE DOMINANT BELIEF SYSTEM IN YOUR AREA 50 YEARS AGO? WHAT IS IT NOW?
    Baptist, and while their affiliation has changed, the churches haven’t changed all that much.

    7. DO THE PEOPLE WHERE YOU LIVE SEEM HAPPY WITH THEIR LIVES?
    Yes, I think so.

  79. GirlinAus says:

    1. WHERE DO YOU LIVE? Sydney, Australia.

    2. WHAT IS CHURCH ATTENDANCE LIKE? ARE THERE MANY CHURCHES? Church attendance is statistically low in Australia. For Catholics – from memory, out of +5 million Catholics (in a population of 22 million), about 700,000 are Sunday mass-goers. Sydney has a higher than average practising population, I would guess. There are lots of churches in this city.

    3. HOW APPROPRIATE WOULD IT BE FOR A PERSON TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT HE OR SHE IS A BELIEVING CHRISTIAN IN CASUAL CONVERSATION? Fairly appropriate, although before I came back to the faith five years ago I had never heard many say that.

    4. WHAT KIND OF FAITH DO THE POLITICIANS CLAIM TO PRACTICE? Not much … very few Christian politicians and the ones who are seem mostly relativistic.

    5. HOW COMMON WOULD IT BE TO SEE A FAMILY WITH MORE THAN THREE KIDS? WHAT ARE THE ATTITUDES TOWARD FAMILY SIZE? Your answer here.

    6. WHAT WAS THE DOMINANT BELIEF SYSTEM IN YOUR AREA 50 YEARS AGO? WHAT IS IT NOW? Christianity (Catholicism). Now it is secularism …

    7. DO THE PEOPLE WHERE YOU LIVE SEEM HAPPY WITH THEIR LIVES? In general, I would say not really. Australia is very materialistic, and people often seem stressed, worried, busy. It’s different in the Christian community, of course, but that general feeling of being overwhelmed by everything does pervade.

  80. GirlinAus says:

    I missed the question about family size … sorry!

    5. HOW COMMON WOULD IT BE TO SEE A FAMILY WITH MORE THAN THREE KIDS? WHAT ARE THE ATTITUDES TOWARD FAMILY SIZE? Very unusual! I know quite a few of them through church, but if I was walking down the street and I saw someone with more than three kids (actually, even with three kids!), I would take notice. People here are very conscious of keeping the family small for financial reasons (often times this means being able to travel, send them to expensive schools etc – in Australia we have a very high percentage of kids being sent to expensive private schools, so that’s an added burden).

  81. Emma says:

    1. WHERE DO YOU LIVE?

    Sydney, AUSTRALIA

    2. WHAT IS CHURCH ATTENDANCE LIKE? ARE THERE MANY CHURCHES?

    Church attendance is low, other than at Christmas or Easter. We send our children to the local Catholic school and I would say about a third of the families regularly attend mass. Of the people who do go to church, a high proportion are migrants – Filipino, Samoan , Tongan , Lebanese, Vietnamese, Italian, Croation

    . 3. HOW APPROPRIATE WOULD IT BE FOR A PERSON TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT HE OR SHE IS A BELIEVING CHRISTIAN IN CASUAL CONVERSATION?

    You just don’t! If you’re at work and someone asks you what you did on the weekend, you don’t mention going to Church! Australians are very indifferent to religion, and kind of view it with suspicion.

    4. WHAT KIND OF FAITH DO THE POLITICIANS CLAIM TO PRACTICE?

    A politicians’ faith is not really a big issue in Australian politics. It’s seen as more of a personal thing, best kept to oneself. I think a previous blogger noted that our current Prime Minister is Catholic, which is true, but our previous Prime Minister was an atheist. Votes are not one or lost on professed religious practice, although raising an issue like abortion (which is legal in Australia ) would be political suicide. So it’s a bit of a double standard. All well and good to have your own religious beliefs in private so long as you don’t rock the boat!

    5. HOW COMMON WOULD IT BE TO SEE A FAMILY WITH MORE THAN THREE KIDS? WHAT ARE THE ATTITUDES TOWARD FAMILY SIZE?

    Very uncommon. We have 4 children and a family up the road have 5 (incidentally they are not religious), but most people stick to 2 or 3. A common question mums at school ask is: ‘when is your husband getting a vasectomy?’ (Lol! – gives you an idea of what it’s like!)

    6. WHAT WAS THE DOMINANT BELIEF SYSTEM IN YOUR AREA 50 YEARS AGO? WHAT IS IT NOW?

    The dominant belief systems were Protestant and catholic but now it’s indifference – people just don’t think about it, other than to choose whether to have a church wedding or park wedding.

    7. DO THE PEOPLE WHERE YOU LIVE SEEM HAPPY WITH THEIR LIVES?

    On the surface, Australians are a happy lot – we are blessed materially, have great weather, beautiful beaches etc, but I think a lot of people are searching for something more -they just don’t know where to find it! We are told that all of this material wealth is supposed to make us happy, but I think a lot of people experience an emptiness they can’t quite explain.

  82. Emma says:

    1. WHERE DO YOU LIVE?
    Edinburgh, SCOTLAND

    2. WHAT IS CHURCH ATTENDANCE LIKE? ARE THERE MANY CHURCHES? Church attendance is much higher amongst older generations, but it is definitely evening out. There’s quite a high number of students in our city so many churches have above-average attendance of 18-25s. Families are also more common than single people in their 20s and 30s. There are LOADS of churches across many denominations, ranging from attendances in the hundreds, down to those with only 30 or so.

    3. HOW APPROPRIATE WOULD IT BE FOR A PERSON TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT HE OR SHE IS A BELIEVING CHRISTIAN IN CASUAL CONVERSATION?
    Totally normal, although, being British, it just doesn’t come up very often. Many Christians here are shy of saying “I went to church” when asked about their weekend, but I’ve never had anything more than “oh, that’s nice” as a response. My colleagues know I’m Christian, and they probably mention it more than I do!

    4. WHAT KIND OF FAITH DO THE POLITICIANS CLAIM TO PRACTICE?
    Generic, non-descript christianity. I use the small “c” because the kind of faith they profess is more like a vague spirituality that’s not hippieish, and has ethical alignment. I think there is a general suspicion of politicians who are outspokenly atheist because I think we still associate morality with faith (and so an atheist would be questionable in their morality).

    5. HOW COMMON WOULD IT BE TO SEE A FAMILY WITH MORE THAN THREE KIDS? WHAT ARE THE ATTITUDES TOWARD FAMILY SIZE?
    Very rare. The economic system in Britian is set up to encourage small families with two working parents. One or two seems to be average, with a few having a third. I don’t know any families right now with more than three.

    6. WHAT WAS THE DOMINANT BELIEF SYSTEM IN YOUR AREA 50 YEARS AGO? WHAT IS IT NOW?
    Generic, institutional Church of Scotland christianity. And frankly, it’s still much the same, but people don’t attend church as much. I’m inclined to think the levels of actual belief haven’t changed much, but the custom of church attendance has definitely declined.

    7. DO THE PEOPLE WHERE YOU LIVE SEEM HAPPY WITH THEIR LIVES?
    Largely, I feel people are resigned to their lives, but then that’s the Scots attitude all over. Scottish people are naturally quite dour (pessimistic/realistic), and it’s seen as odd to be outspokenly content about anything! I do think there’s a genuine sense of a lack of meaning to life underneath it (capitalism does prove hollow for everyone eventually), but this is assumed to be normal here.

  83. Emma says:

    I realised I didn’t expand on attitudes to family size, although what others have said about families in England is similar. Being able to limit your family is a class issue – there’s an assumption that “poor people have big families” (unless you’re openly Catholic, which is a different issue). It’s got long historical routes, but ultimately having two children is the conceptual ideal – siblings are seen as a good thing, but more than three is almost seen as a consumerist choice. Obviously multiple births are an exception to this. Large families are penalised by many discount schemes and there is a social prejudice against state money supporting large families.

  84. Carole Greco says:

    1. WHERE DO YOU LIVE?
    Cape Town, South Africa.
    2. WHAT IS CHURCH ATTENDANCE LIKE? ARE THERE MANY CHURCHES?
    Attendance is quite good in our parish – predominantly older people and a handful of young families. There are quite a few churches, but mainly protestant ones.
    3. HOW APPROPRIATE WOULD IT BE FOR A PERSON TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT HE OR SHE IS A BELIEVING CHRISTIAN IN CASUAL CONVERSATION?
    Very unusual in certain social circles and the workplace in general. It would probably be followed by an awkward silence where people wouldn’t know what to say. Religion is generally seen as something that isn’t talked about here.
    4. WHAT KIND OF FAITH DO THE POLITICIANS CLAIM TO PRACTICE?
    No particular faith at all. I suspect they’re embarrassed to talk about faith with the amount of corruption present in the government.
    5. HOW COMMON WOULD IT BE TO SEE A FAMILY WITH MORE THAN THREE KIDS? WHAT ARE THE ATTITUDES TOWARD FAMILY SIZE?
    It is not uncommon to see a family of more than three kids among the poorer people. But it is becoming less popular as abortion is made freely available here. People seem to stop at two kids.
    6. WHAT WAS THE DOMINANT BELIEF SYSTEM IN YOUR AREA 50 YEARS AGO? WHAT IS IT NOW?
    Not too sure. I think there has always been a Christian slant but this has changed over the last 30 years or so. Church isn’t seen as being a “cool” thing to do. Attendance of teens and younger adults is not common.
    7. DO THE PEOPLE WHERE YOU LIVE SEEM HAPPY WITH THEIR LIVES?
    On the whole, no. People generally have lots of complaints about everything from local issues to government. There is lots of unhappiness about the high crime rate and corruption. People don’t feel very safe.

  85. Angela says:

    1. WHERE DO YOU LIVE?
    Johannesburg, South Africa

    2. WHAT IS CHURCH ATTENDANCE LIKE? ARE THERE MANY CHURCHES?
    Church attendance is not bad at weekend services but poor at weekday masses (as well as confession, adoration etc). The many churches we have are no where near capacity.

    3. HOW APPROPRIATE WOULD IT BE FOR A PERSON TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT HE OR SHE IS A BELIEVING CHRISTIAN IN CASUAL CONVERSATION?
    It would probably be a comment that you would only make amongst people you knew fairly well, otherwise it would likely be ignored and the topic quickly changed. In fact, people may even pity you for needing faith in your life. Unless you explicitly said you were Catholic, it would be assumed you must belong to one of the many pop-up/trendy churches.

    4. WHAT KIND OF FAITH DO THE POLITICIANS CLAIM TO PRACTICE?
    This is never really discussed.

    5. HOW COMMON WOULD IT BE TO SEE A FAMILY WITH MORE THAN THREE KIDS? WHAT ARE THE ATTITUDES TOWARD FAMILY SIZE?
    Large families are scarce in middle-upper class suburbs, in lower-class suburbs the children would be seen as “unplanned”. The Jewish community on the other hand values large families.

    6. WHAT WAS THE DOMINANT BELIEF SYSTEM IN YOUR AREA 50 YEARS AGO? WHAT IS IT NOW?
    Catholic due to all the European immigrants. Now people would rather be seen as “spiritual” – the general attitude is: I believe but I don’t need the sacraments or to continue learning about my faith.

    7. DO THE PEOPLE WHERE YOU LIVE SEEM HAPPY WITH THEIR LIVES?
    They are until whatever goal they were pursuing is achieved and they need to find the next big thing – a new hobby, a new car, electronic gadget etc. There is a lot of emphasis on “wholesome” living and being “balanced” but religion plays almost no role in this empty lifestyle.

  86. Allison says:

    1. WHERE DO YOU LIVE?

    GHANA, AFRICA

    2. WHAT IS CHURCH ATTENDANCE LIKE? ARE THERE MANY CHURCHES?
    Almost every Ghanaian I’ve met attends church at LEAST once a week. Anyone who is not Muslim (a small part of the population) identifies as Christian.

    3. HOW APPROPRIATE WOULD IT BE FOR A PERSON TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT HE OR SHE IS A BELIEVING CHRISTIAN IN CASUAL CONVERSATION?
    Ghanaians bring up church, religion, God, Jesus, etc. frequently in all conversations. It is not uncommon to be told “God bless you” “I will pray for you” etc.

    4. WHAT KIND OF FAITH DO THE POLITICIANS CLAIM TO PRACTICE?
    Christian

    5. HOW COMMON WOULD IT BE TO SEE A FAMILY WITH MORE THAN THREE KIDS? WHAT ARE THE ATTITUDES TOWARD FAMILY SIZE?
    Many Ghanaians have large families, but I have also heard many say more than 2-3 is too many, so I think it is a mixed bag.

    6. WHAT WAS THE DOMINANT BELIEF SYSTEM IN YOUR AREA 50 YEARS AGO? WHAT IS IT NOW?
    Christian now and Christian then! I have talked to some Catholics, though, and some are leaving the Catholic church for the larger, exciting, evangelical mega churches here.

    7. DO THE PEOPLE WHERE YOU LIVE SEEM HAPPY WITH THEIR LIVES?
    Yes, for the most part. They have little here, but love a lot.

  87. Rivan says:

    1. WHERE DO YOU LIVE?

    Manado, Indonesia.

    2. WHAT IS CHURCH ATTENDANCE LIKE? ARE THERE MANY CHURCHES?

    Here’s majority Protestant, but Catholic is respectably well known (for good). Church attendance is good in general. Catholic churches is full on Sunday Mass. But many are not really catholic (or understand the faith).

    3. HOW APPROPRIATE WOULD IT BE FOR A PERSON TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT HE OR SHE IS A BELIEVING CHRISTIAN IN CASUAL CONVERSATION?

    Very Appropriate. I don’t know people who’s embarrassed to tell about his/her belief.

    4. WHAT KIND OF FAITH DO THE POLITICIANS CLAIM TO PRACTICE?

    Islam.

    5. HOW COMMON WOULD IT BE TO SEE A FAMILY WITH MORE THAN THREE KIDS? WHAT ARE THE ATTITUDES TOWARD FAMILY SIZE?

    not common, people will raise eyebrows if you have 3 or more kids.

    6. WHAT WAS THE DOMINANT BELIEF SYSTEM IN YOUR AREA 50 YEARS AGO? WHAT IS IT NOW?

    Christians Protestant(s). and still is. but Muslim immigrants (from neighboring provinces) are coming (and quite booming)

    7. DO THE PEOPLE WHERE YOU LIVE SEEM HAPPY WITH THEIR LIVES?

    I do think we are quite happy, people are not grumpy, and facing life with laughs and jokes.

  88. Karen says:

    1. WHERE DO YOU LIVE?

    Oriskany Falls, Upstate New York
    2. WHAT IS CHURCH ATTENDANCE LIKE? ARE THERE MANY CHURCHES?

    Not packing the pews. In my small village there is 3 churches. Catholic, Methodist, Baptist.

    3. HOW APPROPRIATE WOULD IT BE FOR A PERSON TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT HE OR SHE IS A BELIEVING CHRISTIAN IN CASUAL CONVERSATION?

    Depends on the people. Not a good idea around young people.

    4. WHAT KIND OF FAITH DO THE POLITICIANS CLAIM TO PRACTICE?

    Touchy subject to most politicians here.
    5. HOW COMMON WOULD IT BE TO SEE A FAMILY WITH MORE THAN THREE KIDS? WHAT ARE THE ATTITUDES TOWARD FAMILY SIZE?

    Its not completely uncommon, but not the norm. I have 3 children only because my husband had a vasectomy before we went back to our faith. I carry guilt with that and often feel like Im missing something. My husband and I have dedicated our time to the church.He is head of the council and we are working on free lunches for our community along with other things, to save our small church and help others in need. We are usually the youngest people there and we are in our early 40′s. Within a decade or less our church could be gone. We are trying to change that.

    6. WHAT WAS THE DOMINANT BELIEF SYSTEM IN YOUR AREA 50 YEARS AGO? WHAT IS IT NOW?

    Catholic

    7. DO THE PEOPLE WHERE YOU LIVE SEEM HAPPY WITH THEIR LIVES?

    I know happy people within our church, but most here look in all the wrong places for happiness.
    Your answer here.
    - See more at: http://www.conversiondiary.com/2013/10/what-is-the-religious-climate-in-your-part-of-the-world.html#sthash.0capSTP1.dpuf

  89. I wasn’t able to make it to the deadline for the links list, but I wrote a post anyway, so here it is: http://trulyrichmom.com/the-religious-climate-in-the-philippines/ :)
    Tina @ Truly Rich Mom recently posted..The Religious Climate in the Philippines

  90. Jeffrey says:

    1. WHERE DO YOU LIVE? Manila Philippines 2. WHAT IS CHURCH ATTENDANCE LIKE? ARE THERE MANY CHURCHES? As a predominantly Catholic country (80%) and the third country with the largest catholic population there are so many churches here. Some our centuries old churches. In Manila you will find the Saint Agustine church, the oldest church in the country and a UNESCO Heritage site. sunday mass are always well attended, specially the mass on famous churches. families going to mass is very common here. groups of friend attending mass is also a common sight. Church is very alive here. 3. HOW APPROPRIATE WOULD IT BE FOR A PERSON TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT HE OR SHE IS A BELIEVING CHRISTIAN IN CASUAL CONVERSATION? People will assume that you are catholic that is why we do not actually ask. And I dont think people do not care about your religion. Just do not insult anyone’s belief and you will be fine. 4. WHAT KIND OF FAITH DO THE POLITICIANS CLAIM TO PRACTICE? Most politicians are catholic. Even non catholic and not so religious politicians go to mass in time of elections. 5. HOW COMMON WOULD IT BE TO SEE A FAMILY WITH MORE THAN THREE KIDS? WHAT ARE THE ATTITUDES TOWARD FAMILY SIZE? Philippines is the 12th most populous country in the world. So it is normal to see family with a lot of children. Mostly poor families. But now they passed a controversial bill that the main aim is to slow the population growth of the Philippines by giving free contraceptives. This law was opposed by the church for more than 10 years. Sadly it was now a law. 6. WHAT WAS THE DOMINANT BELIEF SYSTEM IN YOUR AREA 50 YEARS AGO? WHAT IS IT NOW? Since the Spanish colonization of the Philippines (more than 400 years ago) until now we are Catholic. It is something rooted deep within our bones. 7. DO THE PEOPLE WHERE YOU LIVE SEEM HAPPY WITH THEIR LIVES? Yes. Even poor families are always happy. Of course maybe that is just the outside. But still we manage to smile in time of difficulties. sorry for my English..

  91. James says:

    1. WHERE DO YOU LIVE? South Carolina (upstate)

    2. WHAT IS CHURCH ATTENDANCE LIKE? ARE THERE MANY CHURCHES?
    Many churches. Few Catholic parishes. Attendance varies. Everything from microchurches to one of the largest Churches in America

    3. HOW APPROPRIATE WOULD IT BE FOR A PERSON TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT HE OR SHE IS A BELIEVING CHRISTIAN IN CASUAL CONVERSATION?

    Very

    4. WHAT KIND OF FAITH DO THE POLITICIANS CLAIM TO PRACTICE? Some form of Christianity. Conservative Mainline, Baptist, and Evangelical Protestant are most common.

    5. HOW COMMON WOULD IT BE TO SEE A FAMILY WITH MORE THAN THREE KIDS? WHAT ARE THE ATTITUDES TOWARD FAMILY SIZE?

    Uncommon but not unusual. About 2-4 kids seems to be the ideal family size. Large families aren’t looked down on, it’s more of a “not for me” attitude.

    6. WHAT WAS THE DOMINANT BELIEF SYSTEM IN YOUR AREA 50 YEARS AGO? WHAT IS IT NOW?

    50 years ago – Southern Baptist.
    Now – Non-denominational Evangelical (with strong Baptist influence)

    7. DO THE PEOPLE WHERE YOU LIVE SEEM HAPPY WITH THEIR LIVES?

    Overall, yes.

  92. Jana says:

    1. WHERE DO YOU LIVE?
    Small Town, Iowa

    2. WHAT IS CHURCH ATTENDANCE LIKE? ARE THERE MANY CHURCHES?
    Several churches in our town, 80-40 attendees at any given church in the town. We travel elsewhere to attend church.

    3. HOW APPROPRIATE WOULD IT BE FOR A PERSON TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT HE OR SHE IS A BELIEVING CHRISTIAN IN CASUAL CONVERSATION?
    It would not be eyebrow raising.

    4. WHAT KIND OF FAITH DO THE POLITICIANS CLAIM TO PRACTICE?
    All profess at least a generic Christan faith as far as I am aware. Not any specific denomination.

    5. HOW COMMON WOULD IT BE TO SEE A FAMILY WITH MORE THAN THREE KIDS? WHAT ARE THE ATTITUDES TOWARD FAMILY SIZE?
    Pretty common. No one cares how many kids you have as long as you can care for them adequately.

    6. WHAT WAS THE DOMINANT BELIEF SYSTEM IN YOUR AREA 50 YEARS AGO? WHAT IS IT NOW?
    Protestant Christian, still Christian – but less than prior. Lots of people don’t go to church anymore.

    7. DO THE PEOPLE WHERE YOU LIVE SEEM HAPPY WITH THEIR LIVES?
    It would seem so. It’s a friendly community.