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December 19, 2012 1:41 pm
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Judaism Shows Weakest Growth Prospects Among Major Religions

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Services at a reform synagogue.

Of all the major religious groups in the world, Judaism is the smallest. According to a new report from the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, Judaism’s 14 million Jews make up 0.2 percent of the world population. The study, which is based on analysis of more than 2,500 censuses, surveys and population registers, found that Christianity holds a comfortable lead (32% of the world’s population) over the 1.6 billion Muslims (23%) 1 billion Hindus (15%), and nearly 500 million Buddhists (7%). In third place were those who identify themselves as being unaffiliated with any religion (16.3%).

Jews have the highest median age at 36, which is 13 years older than the youngest group, Muslims, and 8 years older than the lowest median age of the global population, which is 28. This, in theory, means that Judaism has the weakest prospects for growth while Islam has the strongest.

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  • Jerry Hersch

    Many Jewish families are beset by the same problems and conflicts that effect everyone disease,divorce,economics..Yet to remain an integral part of the community requires “gelt”.
    How many synagogues and temple have I visitedwhere the brag-wearing of clothing and jewelry or the bragging of childrens success is the focal point of conversation outside the sanctuary.
    Many have children whose problems are overwhelming.
    Yes,Jews have been successful in America-But not as successful as the figures show..for they do not include the disaffected alienated lost who no longer have contact.
    Some High Schools show high SAT scores but noteveryone is encouraged to participate -in a few schools only a few take part..So it is with Jews there is bragging about what is in essence excluding.
    For millions in the upcoming generations entering fields that are not remunitive enough to be included in the present Jewish participation framework..How many of them will be lost??
    There has got to be a better way-There must be a better way

  • Jerry Hersch

    Nor do Jews feel accepted..the demographic speak is that there are about 6 1/2 million Jews in the USA.
    There are probably more than 8 million
    The lost are the disconnected..and yet not really assimilated.. nor do they wantto be -for most they really don’t have a home.
    There are communities in America that have what can be called an exclusion tax..Yes you can buy a home there -but can you afford to maintain it..
    Can you afford to maintain your Judaism when holiday tickets are like superbowls ?..Where membership is equal to tuition ??
    Assuming that the the cost can be met we encounter a religion becoming based on three issues.
    1- Israel 2-the Holocaust 3-Gastronomy

    It would be better if there were no fees–that the dress were jeans and sweats..a nd the discussions revolved around Talmud and Torah..No Israel,No Holocaust and let’s meet Thursday for dinner.
    Somewhere along the line Judaism ,for the most part here in America,lost its bearing..its emphasis.
    The Shul in many instances has evolved into
    a tax deductible Country Club.

  • I have to be honest with you, I can trace my family roots all the way back to the Maccabeans, I have also traced my wife’s family roots back to the maccabeans, and that was before I married her. I accept openly converts to Judaism, however in no way whatsoever would I ever have contemplated to marry a convert to Judaism.

  • Simon Salama

    I am not clear about this article and its objective. The conclusions are asinine. Median age people do not have children, real people do!So to extrapolate from the median age the fertility of a people is ridiculous to be kind.
    We were never a large part of the population of the world, remember 70 nations??? Teachers are not the largest part of the population, are they? That is our role- to bring G-dliness into the physical world. You don’t need a lot of people to carry out that task.
    Just look at our accomplishments, not just in this era of statistics and Guinness , but over the ages. That should tell you how many of us are needed.

  • It is difficult for Judaism to grow when Muslims keep slaughtering uinarmed Jews for Islamic orgiastic pleasure.

  • E Pluribus Beagle

    Among diaspora Jews the motto is “any -ism but Judaism”

    • Susan

      This is frightening. Where have you heard this comment?

  • David S

    How is this news? We don’t proselytize and even if we did, we make conversion into a harrowing ideal.

    • Martha

      So true, David. And even after conversion, converts often feel as though they’re never really accepted into the community. Very sad, even devastating for some, to be willing to go through a rigorous conversion due to the strength of their belief and commitment, and then never gain real acceptance.

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