On October 17, 2019, Pew Research Center research released a survey it conducted in 2018 and 2019 that asked Americans about their religious beliefs. The results were a bit shocking.
What People Are Saying
Out of the people surveyed by Pew, 65% identified as Christians, which is down 12% over the past 10 years. People who consider themselves “nothing in particular,” atheist or agnostic are up to 26%, almost a 10% increase from 2009.
There isn’t just one religion that is experiencing a loss, either. Catholicism and Protestantism are both in decline.
In 2009, 51% of Christians identified as being Protestant. Just 10 years later that number was down to 43%. Catholics fared slightly better, going from 23% in 2009 to 20% this year.
Not surprisingly, given the numbers above, rates of religious attendance have also declined over the past decade.
People who say that they attend church at least once a month dropped by 7%. In 2009, there were more people who regularly attended services than those who didn’t. That has now reversed. The percentage of Americans who attend services at least once a month is at 45% compared to 54% of people who say they attend “a few times a year or less.”
What has changed so much in the past decade to cause so many people to lose their religion?
One explanation may involve how often religious individuals are looked down on in our society. In a country that is supposed to have freedom of religion, we are quickly veering away from that. Sure, you can practice your religion without the government stepping in, but your neighbors, friends and even family might judge you.
Larry King hosted a round table of religious experts to discuss the matter.
Fewer Millennials Are Faithful
This sentiment is particularly relevant among millennials.
There are a couple of reasons for this. Unlike previous generations, millennials seem unable to separate corruption in churches with religion itself. So, it’s very easy for them to become disillusioned.
They’re also more likely to judge someone as being “bad” if they don’t agree with something that is widely accepted among their generation, like gay marriage.
Hopefully, as the younger members of our society mature, they will realize that religion isn’t something terrible that needs to be avoided at all costs.
Copyright 2019, TargetLiberty.org