Religion has existed for as long as history has existed, and probably even longer. It's deeply ingrained in some cultures and societies, and it still plays a major role in world conflicts today. But, from my point of view, it seems that religion has declined over the years.
Out of all the things I learned in high school, one of them was that America was founded because a group of people wanted to practice their religion, Protestantism, safely. And eventually, Protestantism evolved into Christianity, the dominant world religion today.
I know from movies and learning about history and such, that religion was an important part of American life, but now, not so much. People used to make going to church a large social event, but now, it's sort of, optional. I have a few friends who would consider themselves religious even though they stopped going to church or they stopped doing certain religious practices.
This doesn't necessarily mean that religion will go away, but I definitely think that since there's already a large difference from when the Mayflower first made landfall to today, that religion will continue to live on, but in a more subdued sense.
I think part of the reason why religion is dying out is that there's really no need for it anymore. Religion provides people with faith, hope and answers. It's comforting knowing that there's a life after the one that you're living and that someone or something or multiple someones and somethings are watching over us and affecting our day to day lives; That everything that happens isn't all random and there are reasons behind everything and that all the events play into some sort of plan. I'll admit, the idea of that sounds nice because it makes me feel like I have a purpose (which is always a nice thing to have), but again, I also feel that more and more people these days aren't looking to religion to find a purpose, but more so themselves.
There's also science and reasoning now. Science in a sense makes religion dated. Science has become the new "God" of today's society. People turn to science and technology to find answers and solve problems instead of turning to religion.
Personally, I'm not religious. I'm not really sure why. My dad was raised roman catholic by deeply religious parents and my mom was also raised Roman Catholic but her parents weren't as religious as my father's. When my sister and I grew up, my father never forced us to go to church, and he himself phased out of the religion at an early age. My sister was baptized, but I think that's the most religious thing she's ever done in her life. I went to church a few times with my friends, but I just remember falling asleep. I've also never thought of giving religion a try because I just felt like it wasn't something I needed.
In June, someone messaged me on Facebook (a person I had never talked to before) and started to ask me about religion. They asked about whether I believed in God, if I considered myself to be agnostic, what I thought the purpose of life is, how important family is to me, and how can I ensure that I would be with them "after this life." These were all good questions of course and I answered them as any teen would, "I don't know," "maybe," and "I don't really know." I was already solidified in my belief that I don't need religion in my life because I have other things that I can do the same jobs that religion can. Maybe that will change in the future, maybe it won't.
Whenever I travel, I love visiting different religious monuments or places. When my family visits Italy, we are bound to visit at least one church. We'll go in, dip our fingers in the holy water and cross ourselves. We might light a candle for someone in our family and we'll walk around and appreciate the overall beauty of the church, the frescoes, the statues, the architecture. I know that if I ever get the chance to visit Jerusalem and Mecca, I would. They're places filled with history and it's interesting observing people and their religious practices.
Without an extensive study, I feel like I can say that my generation isn't as religious as past generations. Why is that? I can't really answer, but I definitely feel like a few would have the same views as me. I don't have anything against religion and I don't have anything against the people who practice a religion, I just chose not to really practice it myself.