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Modern USA is the country which comprises a lot of different cultures and nationalities. Many people have immigrated to the USA and now they consider themselves the part of American culture. Of course, the US religion has changed. Having suffered some particular changes, American religion presupposes to change in the future. The USA enumerates many religious groups and organizations which still affect the traditional American Catholic Church.
Looking at the part of the American religion, it is possible to say that this nation was and remains one of the most religious one. It is difficult to find a nation in this world who honors religion and God the same way as Americans do. Religion in the way how it is presented in the modern America has not been such all the period of time. It is essential to understand that the changes in all spheres of life as well as in the US religion are natural processes.
Life does not stand at one and the same place and religion in America develops as well. Of course, some specific visions and canons have remained the same, however, there are also changes in specifics of American life. It is difficult to find more religious country than America, and speaking about the future of American religion this fact is to be considered as well as the fact that other cultures have already affected the life of American citizens and they are going to affect it. The future of American religion is based on the notion of multiculturalism as this is one of the most important processes which takes place in the modern America.
History of American Religion
Considering the future of the religion in America, it is important to say a couple of words about its past. The future of any process and event in the world takes its beginning from the roots, therefore, the history of any process or the most important events are to be considered before dwelling upon the future of problem under consideration. The religion in the USA began in intolerant manner when each of the citizens of the country was imposed to go to church.
Many Native Americans were imposed to visit church due to political and social changes in the county. After making people support the state religion, the constitutional compromise took place where people were allowed to follow the religious views they wanted. This was the period when many smaller religious organizations were created. Even though these religions were based on the central state religion, pluralism in the field could not be avoided. The World War II changed much in the USA. The slavery was abolished many years ago and the specific Black church organizations began to emerge. It also supported the development of diversity in religion.
The Future of Religion in America
Thus, having considered the past of religion in America, it is possible to predict that the nearest future in the religious life of America is going to change. The changes have started many years ago and it is impossible to stop them. The presence of then state church, Black church and Native church has attracted other nationalities which immigrated to the USA for creating their own religious communities. Therefore, it is absolutely possible that a future of the American religion is going to be based on the small communities each of which is going to support personal religious views. There is one more idea which exists about the future of religion in America based on the notion of multiculturalism. There are a lot of different cultures and nationalities in the USA and each person brings his/her own ideas at each aspect of life.
Speaking about these people, some of them refused to enter a particular community and decided to attend state American church. But it is impossible to make people follow American traditions precisely. Therefore, they use some cultural traits while supporting American religion. So, these people bring something personal in the religion having changed it slightly. Being present in the multicultural society, American religion cannot remain pure and unspotted. Looking at the appearing situation, it is possible to see that the future of American religion lies in megachurch, a specific structure of the religious organization which has several significant features.
The Social Significance of the Megachurch
One of the main importances of the megachurch is the fact that it is visited by thousands and sometimes even by the millions of people a week. Comparing it to the present number of church visitors, the number is impressive. At the same time, the number of visitors is not a very important characteristic feature of the megachurch, it just gives the understanding of the scope of people who are involved in the process of worship. Social factor is the most important in this relation. Speaking of the megachurch, it should be mentioned that the unity of all religions under one roof is predicted, however, in this case, the conflicts are inevitable.
It is obvious that while being united, each religious community is going to express a desire to be the leading one. However, looking at the number of religious communities and the structure of the future megachurch the basic religious views of early American culture can dominate due to the fact that these features are present at each religious community on the territory of the USA. I am inclined to think that such future of the US religion is the best way out of the present social problems which occur on the basis of the religious theme. Globalization of the societies and multicultural vision of the situation also assist in creating megachurch (Johnstone, 2006).
Therefore, it may be concluded that the future of American religion takes its beginning in the middle of the 20th century when different religious communities began to emerge. It is essential to understand that multiculturalism in the USA is one of the main reasons for the changes which occur in the modern American society. The number of religious communities and organizations predict the increased number of various religious views.
However, the fact that the number of religion beliefs increases does not give people a chance to pursue one particular religious view. Therefore, the emergence of the megachurches is predicted. These churches are going to unite all the religions on the territory of the USA having made people the members of one religious community (Putnam, & Campbell, 2012). Besides, the conflicts are inevitable and many people are going to strive for making their own religion a dominating one, the number of religious views will not allow one particular view to take the leading positions.
Johnstone, R. L. (2006). Religion in society: a sociology of religion, London: Pearson/Prentice Hall.
Putnam, R. D. & Campbell, D. E. (2012). American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us, New York: Simon & Schuster.