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Study predicts religion will be extinct in nine countries

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A study conducted by the American Physical Society (APS) found religion is becoming less and less relevant, and possibly even extinct, in nine different countries.
Read the rest here.
 

orthonorm

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Entscheidungsproblem said:
Glad to see Canada listed amongst the nine.
Our godless, communist 51st State. Turn your back on the Baby Jesus and we'll annex you proper like.
 

podkarpatska

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I once had a professor say that if the subject of traffic congestion in urban centers had been studied in 1875, the worlds' best scholars would have concluded that major cities would be knee deep in horse poop by 1950.  :)
 

Friul

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orthonorm said:
Entscheidungsproblem said:
Glad to see Canada listed amongst the nine.
Our godless, communist 51st State. Turn your back on the Baby Jesus and we'll annex you proper like.
:laugh:!  If you wanted to quell that, you should have invaded la belle province decades ago.
 

Shanghaiski

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No religious affiliation does not mean no religion. Self-worship is on the rise globally.
 

ialmisry

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Entscheidungsproblem said:
Glad to see Canada listed amongst the nine.
Emulated the shinning red star example of Hoxha's Albania.
 

Fr. George

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The death of religion, even Christianity, is over-stated.  While religious affiliation may be in decline, I think people are setting themselves up for a renewal of "older," more mainstream Christian groups.

Regardless of the above, Christianity has defied predictions many times before.  I frequently refer people to Stark's book (The Rise of Christianity) to see the trends that sprung out of the mid-3rd c. AD ministry to the sick and dying; Christians were ministering unto death itself, and Christianity exploded in size from that phenomenon.  It happened once, it can happen again.
 

sainthieu

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"It happened once, it can happen again."

I would agree with you on that, Father. Unfortunately, it's going to get a lot worse before it gets better. Our daily lives are flooded with secularist propaganda every minute of our lives--one great reason to throw out your tv immediately. Its destructive effects are inexorable, like drops of water on a stone. There comes a tipping point when those in the minority start to believe that they may, indeed, be wrong, or they just can't stand the social pressure to conform, and they give up. The only thing left is the remnant. It might take a major catastrophe to re-build the church in the face of the continued utilitarian onslaught.
 

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What's goin on in this here thread? :)
 

IsmiLiora

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I was expecting the Czech Republic  :-[

Maybe I should move there, have 300 Orthodox children, and try changing the statistic.  :D I think my Tato would be surprised at the very least...
 

Melodist

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I wonder what the questions and possible answers were for the survey.
 

PeterTheAleut

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podkarpatska said:
I once had a professor say that if the subject of traffic congestion in urban centers had been studied in 1875, the worlds' best scholars would have concluded that major cities would be knee deep in horse poop by 1950.  :)
We ARE knee deep in horse poop. ;)
 

Rdunbar123

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what are we worried about. I read the Book, Christ wins!!!
 

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I'm sure alot of this is just over exaggerated hype.  Many people today are confused and may be lax in general Church attendance or in belonging to a religious denomination, but the vast majority are still good people who believe in God and try to do whats right in their own lives.  I just can't believe that the majority of people in these countries are abandoning religion, despite what these hysterical surveys would have us believe.
 

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I don't think the study really accounts for the unforeseen, but it's interesting none the less.  Christianity is indeed an endangered species in all those locations.  The rapid change in Ireland is particularly astounding.
 

philip xavier

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dont mind the survey,the gospel stated it clearly: "Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold(Matthew 24:12),..remember...
 

MyMapleStory

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New Zealand? Really? I know that secularism is on the rise in NZ but there are literally churches everywhere in NZ and I can always hear the singing in it. If it were to happen its not going to happen soon and even then I doubt there will be absolutely no religion.
 

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Albania is an example of a country where religion became extinct. Think about it.

There may be a lessening of traditional religions - and that will include transition times - but it doesn't mean that the people will be without religion, though there may be little evidence of organized religion. I'm thinking of the decline of Roman Catholicism in Quebec. When you look at divorce and abortion rates there, it's hard to believe that any Québécois are Roman Catholic. However, when the dust settles, I'm sure people there will be open to evangelization. Let's just pray that it will be Christian.
 

Achronos

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Robb said:
I'm sure alot of this is just over exaggerated hype.  Many people today are confused and may be lax in general Church attendance or in belonging to a religious denomination, but the vast majority are still good people who believe in God and try to do whats right in their own lives.  I just can't believe that the majority of people in these countries are abandoning religion, despite what these hysterical surveys would have us believe.
Agreed
 

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Altar Server said:
I can't see Ireland becoming religiousless. 
I think there's a context for what's happened in all of these countries:
The Czechs have always been caught between struggles, most recently under the communist yoke, without the sort of strong tradition that defined places like Russia or Bulgaria to fend off the evils of modernism that have an open door in a capitalist environment (I'm no anti-capitalist, mind you, but living in Russia or NY, there are some very clear temptations...)

The Irish are like a spouse who has discovered his/her husband or wife has been cheating for years. The Roman church was so dear and so close to Ireland, for so long, and now they find themselves on the end of years of religious violence, only to find that that very institution was harboring some of the most unthinkable atrocities one could imagine. I'm also not one to harp too hard on the abuse scandal, but the reports in Ireland were remarkably shocking. On top of this, I get the sense that dating back to St. Patrick, the Irish church, though quite faithful to Rome, was never real big on ultramontanism, or things like Fatima, etc., and the developments since Vatican I have slowly hurt the church there. I've said before that I think Ireland is ripe for Orthodoxy.

Canada and Australia funny; Dostoevsky's predictions about the sorts of well-meaning liberals who would show up in the future come to mind. I also think that anti-American pride doesn't hurt the Canadian atheistic cause.

I think that the various contexts underlie the statistics, and that some of these places maybe among the ripest for Christian growth in the future.

On another note, that cartoon is great.
 

Achronos

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JimCBrooklyn said:
The Irish are like a spouse who has discovered his/her husband or wife has been cheating for years. The Roman church was so dear and so close to Ireland, for so long, and now they find themselves on the end of years of religious violence, only to find that that very institution was harboring some of the most unthinkable atrocities one could imagine.
:D Wonderfully stated.
 

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Where are the Scandinavian countries on this list?  That's what makes me really skeptical about this report.

From what I understand, about 3% of Swedes go to Mass (yes, it's called massa) on Sunday.  3%.  Most Norwegians go to church once a year, if that.

Canada I can understand.  There are still believers in English Canada, but the Catholic Church is already done for in Quebec. 

Still, where are the Nordic countries on this list?
 

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JimCBrooklyn said:
The Irish are like a spouse who has discovered his/her husband or wife has been cheating for years. The Roman church was so dear and so close to Ireland, for so long, and now they find themselves on the end of years of religious violence, only to find that that very institution was harboring some of the most unthinkable atrocities one could imagine. I'm also not one to harp too hard on the abuse scandal, but the reports in Ireland were remarkably shocking. On top of this, I get the sense that dating back to St. Patrick, the Irish church, though quite faithful to Rome, was never real big on ultramontanism, or things like Fatima, etc., and the developments since Vatican I have slowly hurt the church there.
Mass attendance had been dropping in the Republic since the mid 70's.  There was an offsetting of that with the arrival of Polish and Lithuanian migrant workers, but they have largely gone home.  There were changes starting to appear that have affected all of Europe.  The crisis brought in to the light by the Ryan Commission and related reports, were not just an awakening to problems in the church or that it had committed grave crimes.  They have touched off a crisis in the conscience of the nation itself.  Like Orthodox countries, the church is not the hierarchy, it's part of the culture itself.  All of it has been thrown in to question.  How, why, etc.  Add to that the crash of the Celtic Tiger and now the reappearance of the specter of emigration.  Something people thought was gone forever. 

I've said before that I think Ireland is ripe for Orthodoxy.
I think that couldn't be further from the truth.  It is no more ripe for Protestantism.  What you may end up with is the Quebec effect, where the Crucifix stays on the wall in the legislature.  It may no longer be religious, but it will always be Catholic.
 

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AMM said:
What you may end up with is the Quebec effect, where the Crucifix stays on the wall in the legislature.  It may no longer be religious, but it will always be Catholic.
Let's hope that the Irish don't inherit the messe quebecois, which is pretty much every Roman-style liturgical abuse rolled into one Mass!  Yeah, the Quebecois are now heathen again, but the antics of the few priests left are reason enough to stay home on Sunday.

 

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What I think you'll get is a movement similar to Voice of the Faithful in the U.S. (i.e. Canada's lost provinces).
 

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AMM said:
JimCBrooklyn said:
The Irish are like a spouse who has discovered his/her husband or wife has been cheating for years. The Roman church was so dear and so close to Ireland, for so long, and now they find themselves on the end of years of religious violence, only to find that that very institution was harboring some of the most unthinkable atrocities one could imagine. I'm also not one to harp too hard on the abuse scandal, but the reports in Ireland were remarkably shocking. On top of this, I get the sense that dating back to St. Patrick, the Irish church, though quite faithful to Rome, was never real big on ultramontanism, or things like Fatima, etc., and the developments since Vatican I have slowly hurt the church there.
Mass attendance had been dropping in the Republic since the mid 70's.  There was an offsetting of that with the arrival of Polish and Lithuanian migrant workers, but they have largely gone home.  There were changes starting to appear that have affected all of Europe.  The crisis brought in to the light by the Ryan Commission and related reports, were not just an awakening to problems in the church or that it had committed grave crimes.  They have touched off a crisis in the conscience of the nation itself.  Like Orthodox countries, the church is not the hierarchy, it's part of the culture itself.  All of it has been thrown in to question.  How, why, etc.  Add to that the crash of the Celtic Tiger and now the reappearance of the specter of emigration.  Something people thought was gone forever. 

I've said before that I think Ireland is ripe for Orthodoxy.
I think that couldn't be further from the truth.  It is no more ripe for Protestantism.  What you may end up with is the Quebec effect, where the Crucifix stays on the wall in the legislature.  It may no longer be religious, but it will always be Catholic.
The Irish Church was always noted for its puritanical, authoritarian sty;e with a strong Jansenist streak (Like the French Canadians).  After the  Vatican Council, when the RCC opened up and developed a more kindlier, gentiler concept of God and his relationship to man it seems like the countries with the more authoritarian approach to religion began to experience a spiritual decline.  Its almost as if these types of people were observant Catholics only when they felt that God was a cosmic dictator who was forcing their allegiance.  When things eased up, their faith eased as well.  This would raise a question about how much of the supposed strong devotion and faith groups like the Irish and Quebecois really had in the "good old days" and how much of it was just based on fear, repression, and/or nationalism?
I do know that other Catholic groups such as the Italians and Poles still have a more vibrant faith which has not ceased to be strong cultural factor even in today's secular world.  Could this have something to do with the way God and religion was viewed by these peoples (In a far less authoritarians and far more folksy manner)?  It seems like the peoples who had the more Jansenist view of God and faith were the first to fall into irreligious (Wasn't it Pope John XXIII who said that "The Irish fear God more the love him"). 

A good lesson to learn for those who want to bring back the more harsh, authoritarian model of religion for tomorrows world.
 

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JimCBrooklyn said:
Altar Server said:
I can't see Ireland becoming religiousless. 
I think there's a context for what's happened in all of these countries:
The Czechs have always been caught between struggles, most recently under the communist yoke, without the sort of strong tradition that defined places like Russia or Bulgaria to fend off the evils of modernism that have an open door in a capitalist environment (I'm no anti-capitalist, mind you, but living in Russia or NY, there are some very clear temptations...)

The Irish are like a spouse who has discovered his/her husband or wife has been cheating for years. The Roman church was so dear and so close to Ireland, for so long, and now they find themselves on the end of years of religious violence, only to find that that very institution was harboring some of the most unthinkable atrocities one could imagine. I'm also not one to harp too hard on the abuse scandal, but the reports in Ireland were remarkably shocking. On top of this, I get the sense that dating back to St. Patrick, the Irish church, though quite faithful to Rome, was never real big on ultramontanism, or things like Fatima, etc., and the developments since Vatican I have slowly hurt the church there. I've said before that I think Ireland is ripe for Orthodoxy.

Canada and Australia funny; Dostoevsky's predictions about the sorts of well-meaning liberals who would show up in the future come to mind. I also think that anti-American pride doesn't hurt the Canadian atheistic cause.

I think that the various contexts underlie the statistics, and that some of these places maybe among the ripest for Christian growth in the future.

On another note, that cartoon is great.
I don't know where your getting this about the Irish being less Ultramontanist.  Did you ever here of "Irish obedience" ("Rome gives and Ireland takes" was another well repeated phrase).  The Irish (Or maybe it was just the Irish Americans) Painted themselves as the worlds "super Catholics" and never ceased to beat all the non Irish Catholics over the heads with their concepts of obedience and authoritarianism, at least in America.  How many times were we Italian Catholics reminded growing up how lousy we were in the practice of our faith compared to those triumphant sons of Erin whom we had to try and emulate in all things, both spiritual and temporal ( Too much for me to recount)?

 

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Robb said:
JimCBrooklyn said:
Altar Server said:
I can't see Ireland becoming religiousless. 
I think there's a context for what's happened in all of these countries:
The Czechs have always been caught between struggles, most recently under the communist yoke, without the sort of strong tradition that defined places like Russia or Bulgaria to fend off the evils of modernism that have an open door in a capitalist environment (I'm no anti-capitalist, mind you, but living in Russia or NY, there are some very clear temptations...)

The Irish are like a spouse who has discovered his/her husband or wife has been cheating for years. The Roman church was so dear and so close to Ireland, for so long, and now they find themselves on the end of years of religious violence, only to find that that very institution was harboring some of the most unthinkable atrocities one could imagine. I'm also not one to harp too hard on the abuse scandal, but the reports in Ireland were remarkably shocking. On top of this, I get the sense that dating back to St. Patrick, the Irish church, though quite faithful to Rome, was never real big on ultramontanism, or things like Fatima, etc., and the developments since Vatican I have slowly hurt the church there. I've said before that I think Ireland is ripe for Orthodoxy.

Canada and Australia funny; Dostoevsky's predictions about the sorts of well-meaning liberals who would show up in the future come to mind. I also think that anti-American pride doesn't hurt the Canadian atheistic cause.

I think that the various contexts underlie the statistics, and that some of these places maybe among the ripest for Christian growth in the future.

On another note, that cartoon is great.
I don't know where your getting this about the Irish being less Ultramontanist.  Did you ever here of "Irish obedience" ("Rome gives and Ireland takes" was another well repeated phrase).  The Irish (Or maybe it was just the Irish Americans) Painted themselves as the worlds "super Catholics" and never ceased to beat all the non Irish Catholics over the heads with their concepts of obedience and authoritarianism, at least in America.  How many times were we Italian Catholics reminded growing up how lousy we were in the practice of our faith compared to those triumphant sons of Erin whom we had to try and emulate in all things, both spiritual and temporal ( Too much for me to recount)?
Indeed, as the Eastern Catholic immigrants learned the hard way when they came to America.
 

ozgeorge

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Good! The world needs to be rid of the neurotic illness of religion.
Religion is the creation of distressed human minds in the face of existential crises.
Christian Orthodoxy is God's revelation of Himself to humanity and is thus the cure for the sickness of religion.
 

JimCBrooklyn

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podkarpatska said:
Robb said:
JimCBrooklyn said:
Altar Server said:
I can't see Ireland becoming religiousless. 
I think there's a context for what's happened in all of these countries:
The Czechs have always been caught between struggles, most recently under the communist yoke, without the sort of strong tradition that defined places like Russia or Bulgaria to fend off the evils of modernism that have an open door in a capitalist environment (I'm no anti-capitalist, mind you, but living in Russia or NY, there are some very clear temptations...)

The Irish are like a spouse who has discovered his/her husband or wife has been cheating for years. The Roman church was so dear and so close to Ireland, for so long, and now they find themselves on the end of years of religious violence, only to find that that very institution was harboring some of the most unthinkable atrocities one could imagine. I'm also not one to harp too hard on the abuse scandal, but the reports in Ireland were remarkably shocking. On top of this, I get the sense that dating back to St. Patrick, the Irish church, though quite faithful to Rome, was never real big on ultramontanism, or things like Fatima, etc., and the developments since Vatican I have slowly hurt the church there. I've said before that I think Ireland is ripe for Orthodoxy.

Canada and Australia funny; Dostoevsky's predictions about the sorts of well-meaning liberals who would show up in the future come to mind. I also think that anti-American pride doesn't hurt the Canadian atheistic cause.

I think that the various contexts underlie the statistics, and that some of these places maybe among the ripest for Christian growth in the future.

On another note, that cartoon is great.
I don't know where your getting this about the Irish being less Ultramontanist.  Did you ever here of "Irish obedience" ("Rome gives and Ireland takes" was another well repeated phrase).  The Irish (Or maybe it was just the Irish Americans) Painted themselves as the worlds "super Catholics" and never ceased to beat all the non Irish Catholics over the heads with their concepts of obedience and authoritarianism, at least in America.  How many times were we Italian Catholics reminded growing up how lousy we were in the practice of our faith compared to those triumphant sons of Erin whom we had to try and emulate in all things, both spiritual and temporal ( Too much for me to recount)?
Indeed, as the Eastern Catholic immigrants learned the hard way when they came to America.
I'm referring less to Irish Catholic immigrants, or partisans during the Troubles, as both, feeling persecuted specifically for their Roman Catholicism became much more loyal to Rome. I'm referring more to general, ancient Irish Catholicism, which to me (I don't have an awful lot of experience outside of some study, and my mother living in Ireland for a few years) always felt like it sat in its own corner, away from many of the Rome-based politics. I think that the culture of obedience was more about obedience to "orthodoxy" (in the little o sense, that is, orthodoxy insofar as they understood it) rather than direct obedience to the Pontiff.

The reason I view it as ripe for Orthodoxy is just that: classic Irish Catholicism has an Orthodox feel to it, to me, in a very hunch-y sort of way. Very mystical, distinctly local in its cultural practice (both in good ways and bad, often like many of the national Orthodox churches), very rooted in tradition. The exposure of mcuh of what is wrong with Rome, to me, seems like something that could bring some Irish back to Orthodoxy, as their cultural heritage, in the south, would find itself very alien to contemporary protestantism. I might be way off.

I also recall hearing that the EOC is growing there, and has just recently become the 4th largest religious organization on the island...

On an unrelated note, I was also immediately skeptical of this study when I didn't see Finland, Norway, Sweden, Holland or Denmark on that list. One can be hard-pressed to find any evidence that people believe in God in those places.
 

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Robb said:
The Irish Church was always noted for its puritanical, authoritarian sty;e with a strong Jansenist streak (Like the French Canadians).
I'm assuming you're familiar enough with Jansenism to understand that statement doesn't make any sense.  Jansenism was "anti-authoritarian" when you actually look at their underlying beliefs, and that is what brought it in to the conflict with the hierarchy.

This article pretty much debunks the Irish link to Jansenism.

http://www.ignatiusinsight.com/features2010/bvanhove_jansenism_jan2010.asp

A good lesson to learn for those who want to bring back the more harsh, authoritarian model of religion for tomorrows world.
Personally, I find the idea that the Orthodox hierarchy is less authoritarian (now or in the past) to be laughable.  They just currently agree that ruling with an iron hand should be kept in ones own church and synod.  I know the idea of Orthodoxy as some "folksy" church of mutual harmony will continue to fuel straw man constuction well in to the future though.
 

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That person said:
I love xkcd! Nice post.

I think what the world calls "no religion" is the religion of self and satan. May the Lord have mercy and save us sinners.
 

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ozgeorge said:
Good! The world needs to be rid of the neurotic illness of religion.
Religion is the creation of distressed human minds in the face of existential crises.
Christian Orthodoxy is God's revelation of Himself to humanity and is thus the cure for the sickness of religion.
I've heard this line of reasoning frequently in various Protestant settings and from time-to-time on this forum, and I've never really understood it. Would you care to explain?
 

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That person said:
ozgeorge said:
Good! The world needs to be rid of the neurotic illness of religion.
Religion is the creation of distressed human minds in the face of existential crises.
Christian Orthodoxy is God's revelation of Himself to humanity and is thus the cure for the sickness of religion.
I've heard this line of reasoning frequently in various Protestant settings and from time-to-time on this forum, and I've never really understood it. Would you care to explain?
Fwiw, he tries to explain what he means in this thread.
 

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jordanz said:
Where are the Scandinavian countries on this list?  That's what makes me really skeptical about this report.

From what I understand, about 3% of Swedes go to Mass (yes, it's called massa) on Sunday.  3%.  Most Norwegians go to church once a year, if that.

Canada I can understand.  There are still believers in English Canada, but the Catholic Church is already done for in Quebec. 

Still, where are the Nordic countries on this list?
I looked at the actual study (linked in the article), and I think the article's author was a little economical with the truth, was sensationalizing the study, or was just sloppy.

The study used those nine countries to extrapolate the curve (and maybe because they fit the best, who knows), but I did not get from it that they were predicting the downfall of religion throughout the world, and those are the nine most likely to fall into atheism—which is what the tone of the article suggests.

As is always the case with studies, it's not as cut-and-dried as it seems.
 

Ortho_cat

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Hm Vermont has the highest % of nonreligious? interesting.

One thing that is for sure, the amount of Christians in the US who associate themselves with a particular denomination is on the decline. More and more christians seem to be going the 'non-denominational' route, whatever that means I guess.
 
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