The churches in Europe are mostly empty following two world wars. The peoples’ faith has been shaken as in the church they could not get the solace and guidance from its leaders. Moreover, the old system of collecting a tax for the churches continued and there was plenty of money. Since their congregations were dwindling, the churches directed these funds to Africa, Asia and Latin America to promote Christianity.
During the last thirty years, many people objected to paying this tax and stopped paying it despite the threats from the church that they would not get their birth, marriage and death certificates and other services. In the last decade, the church scandals especially child sex abuse have further rocked the church. More and more people are discovering new ways of relating to their consciousness through meditation, yoga, Buddhism and other ‘new age’ spiritual paths. So it is no wonder that churches are losing a thousand followers every week as in Finland and a new study projects that religion will die out in nine European countries.
This fading away of religion is exactly what Osho envisioned many decades ago when he said, ”In the future, a few things will disappear. Nations will have to disappear because the earth has become a small village; now they are meaningless. And the second thing to disappear with the nations is Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Judaism.“
What will replace religion? Religiousness, says Osho, “You have to understand what I mean by religiousness: by religiousness I mean a gratitude towards existence. It has given so much to you, and you cannot pay it back.”
“Man has not been allowed total access to his being. One has to be just a Muslim – a very narrow thing. One has to be just a Hindu – just a very narrow thing. Why? When you can have the whole heritage? When the whole past is yours and the whole future is yours, why should you divide? Why should I call myself ‘a Hindu or a Muslim or a Christian’? One should claim the total. By claiming the total you become total: you lose all narrow divisions, distinctions, you become whole. you become holy. That is going to happen, that is bound to happen. That HAS to happen. Otherwise man will not be able to grow any more,” says Osho in Tao: , Vol 1,Ch 10.
He adds, “This is very crucial that man has to drop all barriers, of nation and religion and church. That’s what I am doing here: trying to bring together all the fragrances released in different centuries by differing flowerings of human consciousness. Lao Tzu is a flower, so is Buddha, so is Jesus, so is Mohammed, but now we have to melt all their fragrances into one – a universal fragrance. Then, for the first time, man will be able to be religious and yet undivided. Then the church is yours and the mosque too and the temple too. Then the Gita is yours, and the Koran and the Vedas and the Bible – everything is yours. You become vast.”