Our Multi-Religious Culture
A Cultural Revolution is creeping across our country. We are in a fundamentally different religious environment from what our grandparents or even our parents encountered. No longer can we think and speak in terms of a Christian society. The United States is fast becoming a multi-religious culture. The world we live in has changed.
One reason is immigration. In 1998 there were about 22.5 million foreign-born people in America. While America has always been a nation of immigrants, today more than ever, they come from culturally non-Christian nations, and they bring with them the religions of the world. Our nation is becoming less and less a religiously homogeneous country. Islam will replace Judaism as America’s second-largest religion in about 10 years; already 3 to 5 million Buddhists live in America; and Hindu temples dot the landscapes not only of Chicago and New York, but also of Aurora, Illinois, and Springfield, Virginia. While mosques of Islam share the religious scene in many cities. Their minarets in Dearborn, Michigan, sound throughout the city calling Muslims to prayer five times a day.
These non-Christians live in your neighborhood. They actively support your school’s PTA. You see them at children’s sports leagues, piano recitals, the workplace, market and parks. They are often very friendly folk—morally upright, hard working and community-minded. Their children often excel academically and are among the most respectful and successful students in our schools. As professionals—doctors, researchers, educators and merchants—they do much to elevate our standard of living. We enjoy their company and their contributions to the society we live in.
Through this interaction we discover that people of other religious faiths are very much like us. In fact, Bible-believing Christians often find they have greater unanimity on moral issues with these non-Christian associates than with those of a liberal Christian orientation. The question naturally arises—do we all worship the same God? Are these various religions just different roads to the same God or are their adherents, and the vast non-Christian majority of earth’s people, in jeopardy of being eternally lost? Just what do some of our new associates and neighbors believe?