STEYN: Even in a decaying Christendom, there is something heartening about Sunday service on Easter morn with the church pews packed as they rarely are, and …oh, wait, no, sorry, my mistake. That was the old Easter – before the state rolled the stone in front of the church door. So the hosannas were decidedly muted yesterday: Singing remains forbidden in California churches. In Spain, they’ve taken the additional precaution of banning hymnals. In Greece, they’ve banned loudspeakers, just in case you’re tempted to hold an outdoor service.
But really, why not just cut to the chase? In Ireland, ALL in-person services are illegal, and, like Father Hughes in Mullahoran who said mass to forty congregants, you’ll get a 500-euro fine if you’re minded to try it. And Pastor Cronin at the Abundant Grace Church in Dublin was arrested mid-service. In one of posterity’s little jests, an Irish Catholic is currently only free to practice his religion if he heads north across the border, where under the tyrannous British Protestant yoke the churches are open, unlike down south.
And saddest of all an unchurched year has seen church membership in the US fall for the first time below fifty per cent of Americans. Which is a pity. Because, when the churches fall silent, the only religion left is The State.