U.S. Decline of Christianity Continues at Rapid Pace

An update on America's changing religious landscape

By Thoth777 | 9 February 2020
Daily Kos

The religious landscape of the US continues to change at a rapid clip. (Photo by Tomáš Malík on Unsplash)

The number of Americans who believe in God continues a substantial decline. In their latest survey of religion, the Pew Research Center found, “In U.S., Decline of Christianity Continues at Rapid Pace.” (1) [All data quoted in this diary comes from this report].

Democrats tend to be less religious than Republicans. Pew found about six-in-ten people who identified with or lean toward the Democratic Party say they attend religious services no more than a few times a year. Fully one-third of Democrats make up religious “nones.” The ranks of religious “nones” and infrequent churchgoers also are growing within the Republican Party, though they make up smaller shares of Republicans than Democrats.

The number of Americans who call themselves Christian declined from 77% ten years ago to 65% in 2019. What is worse (or better), the absolute number of Christians declined. In 2019, the country had thirteen million fewer Christians at one hundred sixty-six million.

Protestants have nine million fewer members, two million less born-again’s, and seven million less non-born-again’s. Catholics are down by two million. Mormons were up slightly, but their % remained the same at 2%.

People who identified themselves as atheists, agnostics, or “nothing in particular” increased by twenty-seven million to sixty-seven million people. Today, 17% of Americans say they never attend religious services up from 11% a decade ago.

The data also shows a wide gap between older Americans and Millennials in their levels of religious affiliation and attendance. People born between 1928 and 1945 describe themselves as Christians 84% of the time. Baby Boomers only 76% of the time. In stark contrast, only 49% of Millenials describe themselves as Christian. Four-in-ten Millenials described themselves as “nones,” and one-in-ten identified with non-Christian faith.

Christians have declined, and “nones” have grown as a share of the adult population in all four major regions. Catholic losses were more pronounced in the Northeast, where 36% identified as Catholic in 2009, compared with 27% today. Among Protestants, declines were most significant in the South, where Protestants now account for 53% of the adult population, down from 64% in 2009.

Christians need to be asking themselves why they are becoming less relevant. Less Christian influence should bode well for Democrats.

(1) In the U.S., Decline of Christianity Continues at a Rapid Pace, Pew Research Center: pewforum.org/2019/10/17/in-u-s-decline-of-christianity-continues-at-rapid-pace/

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23 COMMENTS

    • I totally agree! This was never a Christian nation and the religious bigotry is actually helping the world wake up.

    • Why do you think that is? People find religious pomp and circumstance to be archaic, and not really relevant to their daily lives. As a former evangelical turned atheist, literally every aspect of my life improved when I walked away from religion. Education is the key. Smarter people=less religious

  1. 2. a. The Eastern Orthodox Church is growing within the United States.

    Krindatch, Alexei (2011). Atlas of American Orthodox Christian Churches. Brookline, MA: Holy Cross Orthodox Press. p. 143.

    b. The CIA World Factbook; the United States entry. Although there are about 300,000 worldwide Orthodox Christian, I wait for this Church within the U.S. not to be categorized in 'other Christian, 0.9%'

    ‘Religions:

    Protestant 46.5%, Roman Catholic 20.8%, Jewish 1.9%, Mormon 1.6%, other Christian 0.9%, Muslim 0.9%, Jehovah's Witness 0.8%, Buddhist 0.7%, Hindu 0.7%, other 1.8%, unaffiliated 22.8%, don't know/refused 0.6% (2014 est.)’

    _https://docs.google.com/document/d/1sNHbdxBOt82f3qITBzD3wRokIuRY36DYA9A5yJQDSf4/edit?usp=sharing; Chrys George

  2. Good. Looks like the US is finally waking up to what we non Christians-I'm a pagan-have always known-the Bible is a lot of nonsense.

  3. Honestly, the rise of the hateful Christian has turned off so many, and when you have a religion actively demonizing a group of people who lean to one political affiliation, is it any wonder that group have given it the heave ho?

  4. The above comments are heartbreaking! A nation turning away from GOD is exactly why their is so much hate and division in the world. While others are dying for the right to practice and live their religious beliefs we take that freedom and blessing for granted!
    Yes, the church and some who call themselves Christians have come up short but…there is NOTHING Perfect on the planet.
    These times are truly prophetic. Evil, Hatrid, Greed and Godliness all accelerates before the fall!

    • That's funny cuz the bible has been used for so much hate and division throughout history I thought the times we lived in where much safer now. Especially since I dont have to worry about being killed for my atheism like so many did before me. Go crusade against the injustices the Christian's have done before trying to fix us heathens that are trying to make all people equal. Unlike the Christian god who only saves one set of people and burns the rest in a put of fire for all eternity… but remember jesus loves you.

    • Hate to tell you, but religion is the divisive factor here. The bible is full of instructions on how to divide, segregate and demean others. The entire Old Testament is filled with God's will and his instructions on who to kill, how to own slaves, who to rape and make your concubines, what cities to destroy, and who is not worthy to address when spoken to. The bible continually degrades women throughout. The bible consistently demonizes pursuit of progressive knowledge and education.

      It might benefit you to actually read and understand the religion you follow. It might benefit you to read about the malevolent bronze-age war god you worship.

      And then it might benefit you to actually do some studying to understand that the countries with secular(without religious influence) governments are actually the ones that rank the highest in happiness, well being, prosperity and productiveness.
      Where the countries with religious based governments are the world leaders in death, disease, poverty, self-destruction, and greed.

      Then when you understand all of that, you can look at your own nation(I assume the USA) and see all the evil and greed and realize that your country is run by a majority of self-proclaimed Christian men.

      Maybe then you will realize that you are on the wrong side of a long-running mythical based con game designed to exact compliance from the masses. and is not really any kind of salvation like they say it is.

    • Religion is the catalyst behind a lot of the racist and sexist bigotry in the world. The Abrahamic Religions specifically were founded on the idea of the racial superiority of "god's chosen people"; directly sanctioning their taking of slaves "from their neighbors". The idea of "original sin" and blaming "Eve" for all of the suffering in the world has allowed organized misogyny for millinea. Some churches to this day still do not allow women to take leadership roles in the church.

      according to your scriptures: your "God" floods entire planets and destroys cities and turns terrified women into pillars of salt for the horrible crime of 'looking backwards' as she runs in terror from the massive explosions behind her and murdered jobs entire family, and his servants and tortured job over a juvenile bet that is beneath the dignity of most 5th graders; in those ten most important 'commandments' he used 4 of them to order you to kiss his pompous ^%#% but couldn't be bothered to prohibit rape, animal sacrifices or catholic priests molesting choir boys.

      We could do with a lot less evil hatred and "godliness" in this world. Good riddance!

    • Yes these are evil times but it is coming from the christians. Church people loving trump because he is godly. OMG. People would have to lower their standards to call themselves christians.

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