Jamaicans turn away from ritual, boring worship
Boring, predictable and a ritualistic style of worship have been noted by one Pentecostal pastor as the main reasons why people are moving away from traditional churches in droves.
According to the Population and Housing Census 2011, membership in the traditional churches was experiencing a drastic decline as persons head to more charismatic, vibrant denominations, with the Church of God, Seventh-day Adventist and Pentecostal denominations claiming the higher numbers.
"Persons are no longer interested in ritual, boring worship that does not connect with them. They want a church where they can connect with themselves on a spiritual level and feel alive and vibrant. The Pentecostal Church offers them that," stated Pastor Charles Francis of the Faith United Church of God International.
"The baptism of the spirit being practised in the Pentecostal churches, which deals with the spiritual man and allows him to be more connected to one's self, is one of the major things that draw a lot of persons."
In the 2011 census report released last week, 2,050,771 persons were spread across 21 various religious associations. The combined Church of God denominations had 689,868 members, Seventh-day Adventists claimed a membership of 322,228, while Pentecostals followed with 295,195.
In contrast, the Anglican Church recorded a membership of 74,891, Roman Catholic had 57,946, Methodist numbered 43,336, and Moravian noted a figure of 18,351.“We are now living in a time when persons are searching, and they are searching for a doctrine that is more realistic. The Holy Mary Mother of God thing seems to be out of style and people are now realising that confessing your sin to Mary or a priest is not scriptural,” said Francis.