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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    • Just like you are going to regret not following Muhammads teachings and believing in Allah. Oh wait there is just as much evidence for his religion as yours.

    • I do respect your right to believe in nonsense. However I don`t respect your assumption that any one who doesn`t believe what you do will be sorry. :(

    • That sounds like a threat.

      How Christian and loving.

      "Do what I do or you'll be sorry."

      Who worships such a monster that has these type of rules? Only other monsters.

    • The Jews didn't have anything like this bizarre christian concept of "Hell" with it's 'burning forever in a lake of fire' nonsense. That wasn't even adopted as church dogma until the 4th century. Most early christians believed in either Universalism (with a LIMITED purgatory where everyone atones for their sins and then enters heaven) OR a view of Anihilism (where the wicked cease to exist) – The "second death" being the "Death of the Soul" .

      Very little in the original texts supports this "eternal suffering in a lake of fire" claim.

      Curious that the same people that used to sell indulgences to profit from the frightened masses might have chosen the most frightening interpretation of scriptures that they could fabricate.

  1. Most comments are confusing the trueChristian nature w the historical record and general nature of man. And Inget it. The church as a whole, has done what man tends to do w any system, especially if given 2000 years. It’s been a comfort in my lifetime to see young people who actually understand scripture more than any other time in history and live it. It never was and never will be a numbers game or a dualistic team sporting event. They understand it’s a way of life and it’s love. Some of my best Christian friends are Atheist or Agnostic….if one must use labels. They live the way of the 50 odd parables and allegorical examples of the Gospel. That’s speaks far more to me than someone who wears it like the Emperor’s Robe.

  2. 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.

  3. It’s silly to say that religion is the source of evil and division in the world. That would be a really uneducated position to take. What can clearly be seen by any unbiased inquiry on the subject is that human attrocities are a human problem that crosses all social spectrums. Lots of groups are committing hateful acts against the very people they claim to be speaking for every day around the world including two of the biggest society destroyers at work in the US. People assaulted, businesses burned to the ground, murders committed against people who have done no crimes and all excused and promoted by many who say that religion is the world’s problem.

    The truth is that mankind is sinful. Mankind often won’t do the inward searching that they should to to root out the bitterness, anger, resentment, etc that they have that is toxic to them and others around them. There is no human eutopia. Secular power regimes have committed some of the most terrible attrocities of human history but humanists and pagans will often not call a spade a spade and tell the truth about that.

    Are the people that call themselves Christians all living in accordance with the righteous commandments of God, no. If they were, they would be a better witness to the world. Regardless of that fact, the teachings of Jesus and the example He provided of self-sacrifice even for those who hate you is life changing when you allow that truth to get a hold of you.

    All I can say is that every one of you, even the ones on here spewing anti-Christian malice and self-deluded and self-interested historical revisionism were made for a good purpose you have yet to fully realize. Everyone of you has the capacity to forgive, and to love others, even those you don’t agree with rather than to spread hate and more division. Every one of you was created in the image and likeness of the Creator of the universe.

    I pray that you soften your hearts and to take the words of the Lord to heart to love God with all your heart, for then He will heal your heart and help you to do the next thing he commanded; for you to love your neighbor as yourself.

    Thanks for taking the time to read my comment. If you only want to respond to my comment with more malice, division, and hate you will prove my point.

    Take some time to think about what I said. There is a better way forward if you will humble yourselves and ask God for forgiveness. I know that some of you have been jaded or turned off by unloving people who have called themselves Christians, but since biblical love is God’s greatest commandment, they were not doing what the scriptures instruct, they were disobeying God.

    Telling people the Biblical truth that can set them free from their bondage and pain that is in their life as stains from sins they have committed is the way of true healing.

    Truly nobody is better than anyone else. We’ve all sinned and fallen short of God’s glory. All have strayed from the very good plan of God that brings peace, joy, love, healing, strong families, strong communities, etc.

    A hundred years ago you could leave everything unlocked, now everyone has to lock up their stuff and watch their backs for fear of God hating mobs wanting to attack them and kill them based on their own prejudices and assumptive judgements.

    The people of the world are being lied to. The question is, will any of you humble yourselves to be able to see the truth that can heal your hearts and set you free? Most of you won’t because you are closed minded, but I share this for the few who are truly open minded and really do want freedom from their broken lives and hopeless futures.

    If that’s you. If this message I just shared applies to you, then it’s simple to change your life starting today. Hope can be restored in your heart and your mind. God loved you so much, He sent His only Son to die so that you my dear fellow, or my dear lady, could be forgiven and set right with God.

    Call out to the Lord Jesus with sincerity asking for forgiveness, and asking for Him to lead you and He will.

  4. The question is, will any of you humble yourselves to be able to see the truth …

    Yes, the truth

    Gospel writers never saw Jesus. They reported what they have heard from hearsay… some 40 years after Jesus’s alleged death

    Just try to imagine something that might have occurred some 40 years ago, never recorded in writing, told by storytellers whose objective isn’t the truth but pleasing their listeners

    The truth: you won’t find any truth in the story of Jesus and you are deluded of you think you will

    There is no amount of wanting a story to be true that makes it true


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