Changing Landscape of Religion in America

by Steve Ray on March 3, 2008

Snapshot of Religion in America: Survey Reveals a Fluid Situation

By Father John Flynn, LC
ROME, MARCH 2, 2008 (Zenit.org).- More than one-quarter of American adults have left the faith in which they were brought up. This is one of the most important findings of a survey published last Monday by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life.

As always, polls have to be taken with a grain of salt, but the "U.S. Religious Landscape Survey" was based on interviews with more than 35,000 Americans aged 18 and up, giving it greater credibility than most opinion polls. Nevertheless, the Pew Forum did warn that they relied on people's self-description of their religious affiliation, regardless of specific beliefs or if they are active members of their churches.

Not only did the study find that 28% have changed their childhood religion, but if switching among different Protestant denominations is included, a hefty 44% of adults have changed their religious status in one form or another.

Another major finding of the survey was that Protestantism will soon lose its status as the majority religion. A bare 51% now declare they are members of one of the Protestant denominations. Other surveys in the 1970s and 1980s put the Protestant numbers at between 60-65%.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Jason March 3, 2008 at 11:30 AM

This particular article keeps coming up in my life. I know deep down that it’s God’s way of asking me to help evangelize our brothers and sisters sitting next to me every Sunday. I just want to say a special “Thank you” to Steve and all the work he does with apostolates like Relevant Radio, Catholic Answers and EWTN. Without them and the Grace of God I don’t know where I’d be.

I pray that I can be a light in the world for someone searching for the truth.

God Bless…

Vital Core March 3, 2008 at 12:14 PM

More than one-quarter of American adults have left the faith in which they were brought up. This is one of the most important findings of a survey published last Monday by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life.

Sheese. Catholics are leaving the faith 4 TIMES the rate we are gaining converts. Bluntly, Catholics are imploding, with immigration the only thing that is saving us. And Caholicism is imploding in those Hispanic areas as well right now.

And yet, the stories lead in a Caholic publication is “the general rate of American’s leaving their faith”? Can you say, whistling past the graveyard?

For a more realistic view of the situtation, here’s a good analysis of the Pew study from a Catholic perspective. It ain’t pretty.

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