The religion topic is one that is widely discussed in the context of Maltese society. There was a time where religion was heavily ingrained in the fibre of Maltese society and was an integral part of daily life. Is it still the same today? One might argue that the influence of religion has diminished today, with a more modern way of thinking. In this article, we will discuss if religion still has a role to play in today’s lifestyle.
The declining number of church attendees
There was a time when not attending church on Sundays and feasts was considered as blasphemy. Going to church was one of the mandatory routines each family underwent at least once a week. Recent reports, however, highlight that less and less people are going to mass, which indicates that engagement with the church has decreased over the years.
More people getting married in a civil fashion
There was a time when marriage meant having a church ceremony before the wedding event. This was the normal, conventional approach. In recent years, however, people are getting married via civil ceremonies, where their marriage is solely acknowledged by the state and not the church. In the past this was frowned upon, however now it seems to be the norm.
The church was/is on least popular sides
Over the past years, the church had expressed its position and stand over a number of issues. In most cases it was found that it took the least popular side, thus losing followers as people felt that the church was not reflecting their values. Such an example includes the fact that the church expressed its view against divorce, which led to a terrible blow as the majority of people wanted it. The same can also be said for civil unions, where the church expressed its concern at this new legislation, losing points with people who wanted to be united in civil unions. This also reflected poorly on the church considering that many thought of this stand as an archaic one, and a failure to adapt to new times.
With that said, although the Catholic church’s influence has diminished, it still holds a very strong position. To start off, the overwhelming majority of people living in Malta still identify themselves as Catholics and no other religions realistically compete within the country. Very few would identify themselves as atheists or as having a different religion.