Western culture, throughout most of its history, has been nearly equivalent to Christian culture, and many of the population of the Western hemisphere could broadly be described as cultural Christians. The notion of “Europe” and the “Western World” has been intimately connected with the concept of “Christianity and Christendom” many even attribute Christianity for being the link that created a unified European identity.
Though Western culture contained several polytheistic religions during its early years under the Greek and Roman empires, as the centralized Roman power waned, the dominance of the Catholic Church was the only consistent force in Europe. Until the Age of Enlightenment, Christian culture guided the course of philosophy, literature, art, musicand science. Christian disciplines of the respective arts have subsequently developed into Christian philosophy,Christian art, Christian music, Christian literature etc.
Christianity had a significant impact on education and science and medicine as the church created the bases of the Western system of education, and was the sponsor of founding universities in the Western world as the university is generally regarded as an institution that has its origin in the Medieval Christian setting. Many clerics throughout history have made significant contributions to science and Jesuits in particular have made numerous significant contributions to the development of science. The Civilizing influence of Christianity includes social welfare,founding hospitals, economics (as the Protestant work ethic), politics, architecture, literature andfamily life.
Although the Protestant reformation was a religious movement, it also had a strong impact on all other aspects of European life: marriage and family, education, the humanities and sciences, the political and social order, the economy, and the arts.
The Gallup International, a self-reporting survey conducted via telephone, indicates that 37% of Americans report that they attend religious services weekly or near-weekly in 2013. However, self-reporting surveys conducted online indicate substantially lower attendance rates, and methods of measurement that don’t rely on self-reporting estimate even lower rates; for instance, a 2005 study published in the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion found that just 22% of Americans attend services weekly.). This compares to other countries claims such as 20% of Canadian Citizens, 15% of French citizens, 10% of UK citizens, 8.8% of Australian citizens and 5.6% of Dutch citizens. In the U.K., in 2011, an average once-a-week attendance in Anglican churches went down by 0.3% compared with 2012, thus exhibiting a stabilizing trend. Previously, starting from 2000, an average rate of weekly church attendance in Britain was dropping down 1% annually. In 2013, the Pew Research Center reported that 37% of all Americans attended church on a weekly basis. In its turn, Gallup estimated the once-a-week church attendance of the Americans in 2013 as 39%.