A new survey by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life reports that Americans are changing religious affiliations at a rising rate.
The report shows, for example, that every religion is losing and gaining members, but that the Roman Catholic Church "has experienced the greatest net losses as a result of affiliation changes." The survey also indicates that the group that had the greatest net gain was the unaffiliated. More than 16 percent of American adults say they are not part of any organized faith, which makes the unaffiliated the country's fourth largest "religious group."
....While the unaffiliated have been growing, Protestantism has been declining, the survey found. In the 1970s, Protestants accounted for about two-thirds of the population. The Pew survey found they now make up about 51 percent. Evangelical Christians account for a slim majority of Protestants, and those who leave one evangelical denomination usually move to another, rather than to mainline churches.
...."Religion is the single most important factor that drives American belief attitudes and behaviors," said [Michael] Lindsay [assistant director of the Center on Race, Religion and Urban Life at Rice University], who had read the Pew report. "It is a powerful indicator of where America will end up on politics, culture, family life. If you want to understand America, you have to understand religion in America."
Learn more about Protestantism here.
Read more about Evangelicism here.
Read more about Roman Catholicism here.
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