On Thursday, Pew Research Center released the results of telephone surveys conducted in 2018 and 2019. The numbers do not look good for Christians.
65% of adults in the United States now identify as Christian, which is down from 77% in 2009, a drop of 12 percentage points over ten years! In that same period, the percentage of adults who identify as atheist, agnostic, or "nothing in particular" grew from 17% in 2009 to 26% today.
As outlined in the survey results, "all subsets of the religiously unaffiliated population – a group also known as religious 'nones' – have seen their numbers swell. Self-described atheists now account for 4% of U.S. adults, up modestly but significantly from 2% in 2009; agnostics make up 5% of U.S. adults, up from 3% a decade ago; and 17% of Americans now describe their religion as “nothing in particular,” up from 12% in 2009."
The number of adults identifying as Protestant dropped from 51% down to 43% over the decade, and the number of Catholics dropped from 23% to 20% of the population.
Church attendance is likewise down as well. In 2009, 52% of adults attended worship service once or twice a month, versus 47% who attended occasionally or not at all. Now, 45% of adults attend monthly, and 54% attend occasionally or not at all.
Non-Christian religions held steady. Jews make up 2% of the population and Muslims are 1%.
Unsurprisingly, the differences are even more stark when looking at certain demographics. Among the younger generations, religiosity has declined even more.
76% of Baby Boomers (born between 1946-1964) identify as Christian and 17% are "nones". Among Millennials (born between 1981-1996), only 49% identified as Christian and 40% identified as "nones"!
As the religious landscape of the United States changes, it makes it more and more important to keep fighting the Religious Right's attempts to undermine the separation of church and state. More and more, the country is less Christian, which means we should not be subjected to ludicrous attempts to write laws based on Christian ideas.
Hopefully, the trends that the Pew Research Center has found here will only keep going. As more young people use the internet to learn about the ways religion has been fabricated, and the way it manipulates people, they will keep turning away from the church.