Notes: The Decline of the Church

The Light (Pakistan), 1st August 1922 Issue (Vol. 1, No. 16, p. 1)

That the religion expounded by the Christian Church is dying fast, and the people do not take any interest in it can be realised from the following extract of an article from the Review of Reviews:

“The decay of church-going is a frequent topic of discussion in the press at the present day. We are all familiar with such newspaper headings as ‘Why are our churches empty?’ and the like. That the complaint is so frequently made shows that the phenomenon is not merely local, but general. The fact must be admitted, but I think that, in fairness, it should be described as ‘the decay of conventional church-going.’

Attendance at divine worship is no longer one of the conveniences. To attend church has ceased to be something demanded of the respectable. Failure to perform this duty no longer carries with it the least shade of social disapproval.

On the other hand, when people do come, their coming means something. Under the old system, when the attendance of everybody was the established, regular, expected thing; when the worshipper met all the neighbours, heard all the gossip, saw all the new clothes; when it was like going to market; when, moreover, the labouring people were more or less both bribed and coerced into coming, I imagine that in the case of great numbers their presence was without any religious significance at all.”

Now it is high time for Muslims to present the natural religion of Islam to such Englishmen who are losing faith in Christianity.