Sweden is a secular country. That’s not news. The more interesting question is why? There is of course no one single answer – there are lots of answers and each one is a part of the puzzle. But one big piece of the puzzle seems to be that secular Swedes seem to have concluded en masse that science has disproved religion. Which is charmingly naive but they seem to have swallowed that so thoroughly that it’s going to be really hard to shift.
So why do I say that? Consider these two charts from this research by Pew.
Sweden isn’t actually as bad as the UK but it’s not great reading. Here are the numbers in a bit more detail for the unaffiliated.
I can imagine there are a few main problems which are not all that surprising – age of the earth, Adam & Eve and a global flood in contrast to Einstein, evolution & geology. My guess is that European snobbery towards the most vocal or visible representatives for Christianity being American probably hasn’t helped.
Either way it’s clear that there is a huge public perception gap, a huge apologetics chasm that needs closing and a greater engagement in the public sphere. Churches need to engage the sciences more visibly and constructively than ever before.