“The extent of decline of religious faith is exposed in new research suggesting that British people no longer turn to God even in the face of death” (The Telegraph, May 18, 2015). “The findings emerge from research carried out by ‘Dying Matters,’ a coalition of 16,000 hospices, charities, care homes and others working with people facing their end of life. (ibid.). “When asked to choose what would be the most important factor in ensuring they had a ‘good death’, from a list of options, only five per cent selected having their religious or spiritual needs met. By contrast 33 per cent said they would like to be “pain free” and 17 per cent said it was most important to have their friends and family with them…Strikingly, 60 per cent of those surveyed ranked religious or spiritual needs last of the six options they were given.” (ibid.).
As God becomes less important in the daily lives of people, it should be no surprise that He is also less important in death. At a time when the meaning of life should permeate the minds of the dying, it is sobering to see that cares of the flesh (comfort, having friends around) supersede the need to connect to God in a meaningful way (Mark 4:18-19).
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