We don't need to worry, since the prophet predicted all this. He said things will continually get worse. If anything we should be grateful to allah that he decided to test us by placing us in these end times.
Remember the hadith where the prophet said the muslims for the later times will get immensely more reward than those of his time.
أعوذ بالله من الشيطان الرجيم
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
A`ūdhu billāhi min ash-shaitāni r-rajīm
b-ismi-llāhi r-raḥmāni r-raḥīm
I seek refuge in Allah from Shaitan, the accursed one
In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful
I think everybody should watch this great lecture by him: http://video.google.com/videoplay?do...06620806849744
from a former KGB member: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IHgYP...&feature=share
Shirk is a form/type of Kufr. The one who rejects the existence of the Creator is worse in disbelief (Kufr) than a person who believes in a creator, but worships others besides him.
Imam Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullah) said:
مَن أنكر المعاد مع قوله بحدوث هذا العالم فقد كفَّرَه الله ، فمن أنكره مع قوله بقدم العالم فهو أعظم كفرا عند الله تعالى
The one who denies the Hereafter but believes that this universe is created is described by Allah as a kaafir. The one who denies it and says that this universe existed from eternity is a worse kaafir in the sight of Allah, may He be exalted.
Source: Majmu' al-Fatawa 17/291 (I took the translation from a fatwa of islamqa.)
(I'm sure other 'Ulama` said the same regarding atheism being a bigger sin.)
Ibn Taymiyah? Islamqa? really? you should stay away from wahabis and be a true hanbali brother. watch out for those who associate anthropomorphism with imam ahmad