Coconut Generation

The Next Generation of Asian Indians

Changing Religious Landscape in USA February 26, 2008

Filed under: church,Events,Family,India,Leadership,News,Youth — Sam George @ 4:12 pm
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A new study is out on changing religious affliation in USA. It’s from Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life. It says that – U.S. Roman Catholics and Protestants are leaving the churches of their childhood and either choosing other faiths or no religion at all. Read the report in Chicago Tribune, TIME, and New York Times. See also the article in Christianity Today.

According to the findings, 28 percent, of American adults said they have left the faith in which they were raised. About 16 percent of Americans say they are not members of any religious group, making the “unaffiliated” group the fourth largest religious tradition in the United States. The Catholic Church has lost more members than any other religious group.

Hinduism exhibits the highest overall retention rate with 84 percent of adults who were raised as Hindus saying they were still Hindu. Ninety percent of Hindus marry within their own faith, and eight-in-ten Hindus who were raised Hindu remain so as adults. Eight in 10 Hindus are foreign-born may help explain the high retention rates. Buddhists struggle hardest to pass the faith from one generation to the next.

Other interesting findings – Mormons and Muslims are the groups with the largest families; more than one in five Mormon adults and 15 percent of Muslim adults in the U.S. have three or more children living at home. Black Americans are the most likely to report a formal religious affiliation.

There has been lots of talk of church drop outs lately. This study continues to proves some rumbling in the ground. Mega chruch and many immigrant church leaders are taking note.  Denominational head are reevaluating their church planting strategy and approaches toward the new generations. It is so scary and exciting to live in such changing times!

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Why Teens are Rebellious? February 25, 2008

Filed under: Family,News,Youth — Sam George @ 9:01 pm
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Teens and rebelliousness are synonyms (at least in most cases). I was …. how about you?There is something about being a teenager that they push the boundaries, frustrated with the way things are, feel caged in, sense their freedom curtailed, want to explore what is out there etc. Many mistakes are made, some lessons are learned.. but eventually they all grow up.

New reserach findings are out (also here). Rebelliousness among teens may stem from biology. Teen brains function differently from that of adults. The prefrontal cortex – the area that controls judgment, organization, emotions — is largely immature in a teenager’s head and if you don’t have the neural structure in place, the adolescent cannot really think things through at the same level as an adult.

Adding to the biological development of brains, there is a burst of hormones coursing through kids as they enter puberty. The hormones affect not only a teenager’s sex drive, but also lead to temporary aggressiveness and moodiness.

Next teens act weird, moms/dads/youth workers remember it is not just the teen-angust or rebelliousness, but blame it on their brains! It is a clearn sign that they need help. Although they quickly grow into adult bodies, they emotional and mental development lags behind. Of they need help in spiritual development as well.

 

Why Young People Stay in Church February 21, 2008

Filed under: church,Leadership,Ministries,Youth — Sam George @ 4:39 pm
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We all have seen many studies on young people who have dropped out of immigrant churches. Ever wonder if those of next generation who stay in the church, why they do? Or those who dropped out, if they ever join another church, what makes them stay there?

According to a recent study by LifeWay research, the most common reasons young people keep attending churches are:
a) Church is vital to a relationship with God(65%), b) They want church guidance in everyday life decisions (58%), c) It helps them become a betterperson (50%), d) They are committed to the purppose and work of the church (42%).

Two-thirds of the teens who stay in church as young adults describe the church as “a vital part of my relationship with God”–demonstrating the importance of each teen having a strong relationship with God, as well as the importance of church attendance.

 

Growing Indian population in Canada February 14, 2008

Filed under: Culture,News — Sam George @ 3:47 am

New census numbers now show a surge in immigration in Canada – nearly one in five people are foreign-born. Statistics Canada says the proportion of foreign-born people from Asian and Middle Eastern countries has outstripped those of European heritage. Between 2001 and last year, Canada’s foreign-born population increased by 13.6 per cent–four times faster than the overall population. See report and Canadian offical census site.

Of course, Asians are largest continental group and Filipinos formed the largest immigrant group. In some suburbs around Toronto and Vancouver, those with English as a mother tongue are now the minority compared with all other languages spoken. Australia (22%) is the only Western country with a higher proportion of immigrants than Canada (19.8%).

According to Statistics Canada in 2001, there were 713,330 people who consider themselves as being Indo-Canadians. Some believe it will soon reach a million. Nearly half of them live in Western coast around Vancouver and more than half of entire Indo canadian population is Sikh.

Some interesting numbers, I thought.

 

Teen brain – accelarator without breaks February 12, 2008

Filed under: church,Culture,Family,Leadership,News,Youth — Sam George @ 7:51 am
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Teen brain is is like a car with a good accelerator but a weak brake. With powerful impulses and without proper control, teens are likely to crash! Which is some of the findings of a new research on how adolescent brain works.

Parents and youth workers have always known this. Teenagers may grow into adult bodies, but mentally, emotionally and spiritually they may not be mature yet and might not exhibit any signs of responsible adulthood yet. Whether it be sexual experimentation, use of drugs, media consumption and gun culture, effect of accelarator without break can be seen.

Research confirmed that during mid teen years, kids are more impulsive and aggressive, emotionally volatile, likely to take risks, reactive to stress and vulnerable to peer pressure. They are also more prone to focus on and overestimate short-term payoffs and underplay longer-term consequences of what they do (no delayed gratification). They are less likely to explore alternative courses of action.

A safe and secure home environment is key to navigate them through this tumultous and potentially dangerous season of life. A healthy neighborhood and a community of faith is key to the adolescent development. Parents and youth leaders need to work together for the sake of kids. Each can do what the other cannot. In some circles the growing suscpion of each other turns out to be more harmful for healthy development of teens.

Check out these books – Family based youth ministry by Mark DeVries or God bearing Life by Kenda Dean.

 

40% divorce rate in Mumbai, India February 5, 2008

Filed under: Culture,Family,India,News — Sam George @ 4:57 am
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Three different friends of mine send me this report from TOI. It says that 2 out of 5 marriage are officially breaking up in Mumbai. No one know how many unofficial divorces takes place… those who sever the relationship and decided to separate without legal  hassles.

Sociologists have blamed it on the hyper-urban lifestyle. Often as a result of time-starved relationships. 8-10 hour work days plus 2-3 hrs of commute, leaves couples with very little quality time at their disposal in nurturing the  marraige. Other blame on extra marital relationships and some even on the influence of Bollywood culture in Mumbai. Whatever be the case, Mumbai is not financial and film industry capital, but continue to be trendsetter in new sociological upheavals.

Family is the most fundamental unit of the society. When families breakdown, there is weakening in the fabric of the society. It sure is indication of dilution of values and place of morality in the society. When a society grows weaker, soon it begins to show in the national character. Rise and fall  of nations can not be seen only in economic or military powers, but need to be seen inner moral courage of its people.