Part of the difficulty is inherent when religion gets "organized." It is then in danger of becoming beaurocratic and centrally controlled, and "losing the phenomenon" (as Metacrock likes to say) around which it was originally organized-- namely, the experience (individual and group) of numinous contact with the Divine. I think the outer edges of organized religion are both in trouble-- both the outer edge of legalistic fundamentalism, which loses the phenomenon under all the rules and restrictions and authoritarianism-- and the outer edge of liberal religious beliefs, which loses the phenomenon by turning itself into a structure for social good only, ignoring or denying the spiritual/miraculous -- and with that denial, losing the phenomenon of Divine communion as well.I think organized religion will be in more trouble if it doesn't change.It's not dying out, it's not losing members. But its dying spiritually if it doesn't outgrow the fundie outlook.
the fundie segments are growing. It's actually the main line that's dying out. that's because it's not giving people enough infantile stimulation, not enough bread and circuses. people don't want to think. It's also not spiritual enough. people are hungry for the spiritual.
I don't think the "main line" of religion is dying out so much as trying to restructure itself in the light of these two outer edges. I think people are trying to figure out what this thing called "religion" is all about, and what it isn't really all about. And what they're finding is that you can't take the core out of it-- communion with God by God's grace through simple faith and surrender-- if you want to find life and strength, hope and peace there.
Through it all, God watches and waits, and sticks a Divine Finger into the pot now and then. But the real thing that religion is is about God, not us-- and it's not going away, no matter how distracted we get with the fake stuff.