By ANTONIO COLINA IV
DAVAO City – More Dabawenyos are losing faith in a deity, according to a study conducted by the Institute of Popular Opinion (IPO) of the Davao City-based University of Mindanao.
The study dubbed “Dabawenyo family and faith” showed that the number of non-believers increased to 1.33 percent, a sharp rise compared to the 0.2 percent recorded in 2015.
The percentage, the UM-IPO said, translates to “equivalently 24,339 Dabawenyos are saying that they do not believe in God.”
Under the supervision of Dr. Adrian Tamayo, director for quantitative studies at the UM-IPO, the study was conducted on 1,200 respondents from April 13 to 22.
The reasons for the change of heart, the study showed, were the deteriorating family habit of going to church together and spending less time for prayer at home.
“The dramatic change in the faith levels is observed in the sharp dive for those who profess strong faith as compared to the 2015 results. An increase in the number of Dabawenyos who rated their faith as weak faith was noted, their number is estimated at 18,508 individuals,” the study found out.
The study also showed that female people possess the highest faith (with a rating of 9.10); followed by male people (8.79); and lastly, the lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders (8.57).
By age groups, people aged 61 and older manifest strong faith; the youth (18 to 30 years old) and the young adult (31 to 40 years old) groups maintain temporary faith or those individuals who readily switch sides when their doctrines are tested and challenged; and the middle-aged (41 to 60 years old) maintain active faith.
The study said the separated and the widowed are the most “faithful” with a rating of 6.44, compared with married couples with faith rating of 5.47, and living-in couples at 3.83 who readily leave their church when asked of their status.
“It has been told that the family as a basic structure of the society must stay strong and united, foremost in making this is the practice of faith and exercise of religion where parents can readily teach their children values and morals,” reads part of the study.
It added that when respondents were asked of their prayer activities as a family, 11 in 15 households were able to gather the family members to pray together, 10 households go to church together, and nine worship and exercise religious activities together.
“Hence, if the family is remiss in praying at home, it will become harder to convince the family to go to church, all the more to worship as one,” the study noted.
It added whether a dip in the number of households not becoming “faithful” is unacceptable may come as a debate.
But it pointed out that “values and morals are first taught at home, and more often the reference and stories used are those found in the Bible and the lives of the religious peoples.”
“If semblance of sacrifice, respect and care are barely inculcated in the family, then this is an area of interest,” it added.
The study pointed out that being poor does not make one “faithful.” Those in the income class A (with a rating of 6), income class B (8.89), and income class C (5.84) showed strong to active faith compared with those in income class D (4.43) and E (3.22), whose faith is classified as temporary.
“However, making it into the middle income allows a household to exercise religion and attend church activities making faith levels active,” the study noted.
“Too much of everything seems to be working also relative to having money and faith; the income class A, the very rich of the society, seems to experience a kink in their faith, bending backwards towards active faith,” it concluded.