After reading the numerous posts and comments on the never-ending atheist/Christian war, I had the distinct impression that the atheists, in all probability, outnumber the Christians by at least 80% to 20%.
Judging from the intensity and severity of the insults, and the disdain and contempt with which the atheists regard the Christians, one would think that the Christians were an insignificant number of oddballs.
So I did what most people would do – I consulted the Oracle: Google.
I searched: “percentage Christians in South Africa,” and clicked on the little magnifying glass icon-thingy. I found some startling and strange facts.
The first answer came from wiki.answers.com. This site is a goldmine of information. Unfortunately, it is Fool’s gold. Their “Best Answer” is that Christians in the RSA make up 90% of the population. But on the same page:
Muslims make up 87% of the population; and: “South Africa is called South Africa because it is the southernmost land in Africa.” And: “Meet Black South African Christians. View Profiles Free!” And: “Meet Loads of Other Christians Looking For Love!” And: “Goat Cheese Stuffed Peppadews!”
That was when I decided to give wiki.answers.com a pass. I wasn’t looking for loving or stuffing – I only wanted to find out about the percentage of Christians, you see?
Then I found this:
“According to the 2001 census, Christians accounted for 79.7% of the population. This includes ZION(?) Christian (11.1%), Pentecostal (8.2%), Roman Catholic (7.1%), Methodist (6.8%), Dutch Reformed (6.7%), Anglican (3.8%), and other Christian churches (36%).”
(It’s OK, I checked – it DOES add up to 79.7%, I know you atheists don’t trust the Christians.)
“Muslims accounted for 1.5% of the population; Hindus about 1.3%, and Jews 0.2%. 15.1% had no religious affiliation; 2.3% were classified as “other,” and 1.4% were unspecified.”
(This not OK – I checked, and it all adds up to 101.5%. Now I understand why you Christians don’t trust these other guys!)
So – based purely on percentages – atheists are outnumbered.
But there is hope! This from Times Live, 10 August, 2012:
“The number of people in South Africa who consider themselves religious has dropped by 19 percent, an international survey has revealed. The survey was conducted during November 2011 and January 2012.
According to the latest polls released by the Win-Gallup International Religiosity and Atheism Index, which measures global self-perceptions on belief, religious South Africans dropped from 83 percent in 2005 to 64 percent in 2012.
According to the survey, 28 percent of South Africans do not consider themselves religious, four percent were atheists, and five percent did not respond to questions.
The survey also indicated that globally the number of people claiming to be religious dropped by nine percent, while atheism rose by three percent.”
By now, you’re probably wondering which side of the fence I’m sitting on. It’s like this:
On the day the atheists outnumber the Christians – or the DA outnumber the corrupt ANC – I’ll tell you. But don’t hold your collective breaths.
PS Just to be fair, I Googled: “Meet atheists in South Africa.”
I found (spelling mistakes included):
“My name is Philip Copeman. I *an an atheist in South Africa. I have **bene unable to find an active organised atheist group in South ***Afrinca...”
“A good ***freind of mine (now deceased and gone to ****heaven) told me that the key to activism is to ...”
*an an – speech impediment
**bene – from the Italian, meaning: “well,” or, “good”
***freind, Afrinca – disability, affecting his reading, writing and spelling
****heaven – dwelling place of the angels and the Throne of God
So, using my uncanny Sherlock Holmes-like powers of deduction, I submit that: Phillip Copeland, the atheist, is a dyslexic Italian with a bad stutter, who believes in God. And: It was Colonel Mustard in the kitchen with a rope.
Elementary my dear, Datsun!