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Modern social and technological influences (5) on religion and how they affect Christianity and Islam Predict the political, social, and cultural futures of each religion based on current trends, with examples
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Modern society and technology have significant impact on human beings which is reflective in terms of culture and tradition. The summative effect of these traditions are also visible in the form of religious beliefs. However, with the invention of modern technologies like smartphones, internet, and cloud services, people are getting diverted from religious backgrounds. Although some authors conclude that technology as a detrimental factor to the religious organizations, it also offers opportunities to improve the religious experience (Al-Hajla, Nguyen, Melewar, & Jayawardhena, 2018). Thus, it would not be inappropriate to state that improved communication and flow of information, the same is also useful for promoting religion and corresponding beliefs. In simpler words, technology provide new ways to reach a wider audience and promote religious messages. In the present report, the influence of technology on selective religious examples, viz. Christianity and Islam has been outlined. Furthermore, the cultural, social and political features of each religion have been predicted.
Technological and social influence on Christianity and Islam
Technology came with two faces, one as a blessing and another as curse, when considering from the religious perspectives. Considering Christianity, technology has given a platform to promote religious belief to the worldwide audience. With the extension in the use of the internet, it has been identified that the numbers of devotes (or believers) have increased from 8% to 18% from 1990 to 2010 (Ferré, 2018). This is because, the Christianity based religious organization have been using the internet for promotion of their belief. The mechanism of promotion is mediated through sharing the common interests by filtering society into the online communities. According to a recent research report by Google, people are using Google maps for 30000 dimes per month to find a nearby church service. Additionally, an online church facility has been created by two Britons, namely Steve Goddard and Simon Jenkins and was sponsored by the Methodist Church of Britain (Cheek, 2017). This online church was created by keeping in mind about the physically disabled people, who are finding it difficult to make a Church visit. Visitors represent themselves as avatars to enter into the virtual church where they can walk around, sit, socialize, pray, and hear lessons. Lesson lectures are given in regular schedules by ordained preachers. Many popular apps have been introduced to promote the Bible and sermons by religious leaders. These apps are also useful for the followers and believers to get details about the dietary plan, prayer time about their Christianity religion. Apart from internet facility, technology has also played an important role in creating a good transportation facility, which further motivates Christians from all community to visit different courses all over the world.
With the adoption of digital services, the economies of Islam countries are rapidly increasing. According to Al-Hajla et al (2018), technological power, especially mobile technology has been accepted by the Muslim population as a means to solve daily issues. The advancement of technologies has become a boon for the Muslim community as they are able to oppose the factors of extremism found in their religion. By playing Islamic games, Islam children are able to understand about the religion in a non-traditional way. With the invention of smartphones and applications, Islamic leaders have introduced the Salah 3D application to promote their Quran messages, and prayers to Muslims all over the world. The Muslim millennials are also promoting their religion by creating pages on Facebook and Twitter, which gives detailed information about Islam. Most of the Muftis (Sunni Muslim scholar) upload their lectures video on YouTube and are there social media networks (Fehige, 2016).
In addition to several advantages, technological advancement reduces attention and concentration among people. Thus, it becomes harder for religious followers to focus on the sermons or lectures and they cannot pray for a long duration. The constant availability of internet and smartphone drives people towards uploading status and downloading new apps. The use of video conferencing in churches and mosques reduces their devotion towards God. Social media is a platform, where people often post negative impression about any religion which instantly gets published and creates conflict.
Prediction of political, social, and cultural features of each religion
Based on the report of 2010, Christianity was the largest religion in the world comprising of 2.2 billion adherents, while Islam was on second a tank with 1.6 billion adherents. With the continuation of the current demographic trend, by the end of the 21st century, the Muslim followers are expected to increase by 73%, because of their high fertility rate (Tsai, 2015). On the other hand, Christianity is also expected to rise but slowly, that is, 35% of the total global population. According to the Pew Research Projections, it is expected that by 2050 the population of Muslims will become 2.8 billion, while the population of Christians we become 2.9 billion, thus creating a near parity for the first time in history. On the other hand, Hindu followers are expected to rise by 1.4 billion (Grzymala-Busse, 2016).
Considering the present trend in technological advancement, it is expected that online church will supplement the actual presence. The Gulf nations are expected to improve through all supply, which can further politically stabilize the Islam religion (Tsai, 2015). Moreover, technological usage with the right intention in Islamic religion will make life easier.
In summary, modern technology has proved to be a boon for the advancement of religion, when used in a positive direction. Modern technologies like video conferencing, email, and chat have a certain set of rules and protocols, which can be used by religious promoters. With the help of technology, they are able to expand religious life on social platforms make connections with adherents. However, the technological perspectives also account for negative side, such as by sharing message of heartedness for other religious, creating a platform for violence, and increasing the distance among community members based on religious-specific reasons. Overall, the technological perspective must be used for the benefit of mankind and raising harmony. This in turn will affect the quality of life for all religious associates.
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