A quick Google search will tell you that there are more than six million Freemasons worldwide. That paints a pretty impressive picture of the fraternity, and would suggest it continues to thrive in the present day.
But we would hasten to add that it doesn’t necessarily offer a truthful representation of the current state of the fraternity. There’s little doubt that numbers have declined in recent years, but to what extent? And why are we seeing a decline in the number of men joining the Craft? Let’s take a look now.
The world has changed at an unparalleled rate in the last seventy years. The very fabric of our societies has changed dramatically, as has the way in which communities support one another.
For many aspects of their lives in the past, people relied on membership in religious or community groups. People would go to church on weekends and be professionally and socially connected with their congregation during the week.
The same may be said about Freemasonry brothers. They’d go to lodge meetings, talk business with their fellow Masons, and set up social gatherings with them and their wives. Our existence was woven into the very fabric of our existence, and membership in community and religious groups essentially dictated all critical areas of our lives.
Things began to change in the second half of the twentieth century and the early twenty-first century. As people became more focused on pursuing the capitalist dream and understanding the importance of individuality, civic duty and shared responsibility became less important.
Of course, the Internet arrived with the twenty-first century, completely revolutionizing how people communicate with one another. To form meaningful relationships, people no longer need to join societies or organizations. They can simply use social media and participate in online communities with people from all over the world.
Changes like these have contributed to the decline in Freemasonry’s membership, but it’s not just a Masonic issue. Church attendance, like that of many other communal groups around the world, has been steadily declining since the middle of the twentieth century.
Rather than avoiding the figures, it’s critical to comprehend how Freemasonry may contribute meaningfully in today’s environment. Brothers feel that Freemasonry continues to play an essential civic role in many towns around the world, which is why the Craft is so precious and must be preserved for future generations of Masons.
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Masonry is a university, teaching the liberal arts and sciences of the soul to all who will attend to its words. This FB Group was created so that Freemasons could converse, better understand Freemasonry and to educate those in the craft.