It is a Sunday and time to look at the trends in our society.
I am always interested in how Americans choose to embrace their religious affiliations. Not because I am a religious person but rather how the times are changing and so is the religious beliefs of our people.
This is a study made along those lines….
A growing number of Americans are switching religions, Axios reports. According to a Public Religion Research Institute Poll, almost a quarter of Americans follow a different denomination or tradition than the one they grew up in, including those who switched to no religious affiliation. This trend is supported by a 2022 Pew Research Center study, which projects that religious switching will continue to reshape the American religious landscape in the years to come. With a variety of factors contributing to this shift, such as changing personal beliefs, dissatisfaction with religious institutions, and the influence of friends and family, the landscape of religious affiliation in the United States is transforming rapidly. As the Religion News Service reported in 2014, the reasons behind this trend are complex.
Certain elements in making such changes are common: People often change churches, switch faiths, or leave religion altogether due to personal experiences, evolving beliefs, or dissatisfaction with the way religious organizations handle social issues. And as individuals encounter new communities and ideas, their religious perspectives may adapt accordingly. This shift in religious affiliations has significant implications for faith-based organizations, as they must adapt to the changing needs and expectations of their congregations to remain relevant and maintain membership. As this trend continues to evolve, the American religious landscape will undoubtedly face new challenges and opportunities in the coming years.
It will be fascinating to see just how the major religions handle a changing climate for religion.
This survey could answer some of the questions…..
This is an interesting snapshot on the state of religion in America: As of 2022, not quite half of Americans have no doubt that God is watching over them, which is a little startling in that that number topped 60% in 2008, just 15 years ago. As the Hill reports, citing the General Social Survey conducted by the University of Chicago’s NORC research group, about a third of Americans—34%—never go to church, but about three-quarters of Americans classify themselves as spiritual and believe in things like life after death. Not surprisingly, churches, in terms of membership and attendance, took a hit during the pandemic—as did belief in a higher power. Findings from a recent study by the Public Religion Research Institute also add some interesting findings. Highlights:
- Most Americans are still Christian, and white Christians have stayed static at 42% over the last five years. It’s worth noting: that number was 54% in 2006 and 72% in 1990.
- Christians of color make up 25% of the nation’s population.
- Only 7% of Americans do not believe in God, per the Hill. “Belief is very stubborn in America today,” say Ryan Burge, who studies faith at Eastern Illinois University. Another 7% are agnostic, meaning they think the answer is unknowable. The remainder believe but have doubts to some degree.
- Mainline Protestantism is “collapsing,” says Burge. Nondenominational Protestants, however, clock in at nearly 15% of Americans and “are the second-largest religious group in America today, after Catholics.”
- The percentage of those who are religiously unaffiliated has risen to 27% from 16% in 2006.
- The number of Americans who worship in other houses—including Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, or Unitarian Universalist—has held pretty steady at 6%.
Check out the full NORC survey here, or the PRRI study here.
Let’s not forget the massive sexual abuse report on the Catholic Church….
In 2018, a grand jury report was released in Pennsylvania naming 300-plus “predator priests” in the state accused of sexually abusing more than 1,000 children over a period of seven decades. Partly inspired by those revelations, then-Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan started a probe in her own state, releasing what the AP calls a “blistering” partial report on the matter before she left office in early 2019. Now Kwame Raoul, who took over for Madigan and continued the investigation, has released the numbers his office uncovered, revealing more than 450 Catholic clergy across Illinois’ six dioceses, including the Archdiocese of Chicago, sexually abused 1,197 children between 1950 and 2019.
The 696-page report released Tuesday was compiled by 25 staffers based on more than 100,000 pages of diocese documents, as well as 600 confidential interactions with survivors. The report added 149 names of accused clergy to lists of child sex abusers that the dioceses themselves had already IDed either before or during the AG’s investigation, reports the New York Times. The paper notes that none of the total 451 accused are currently in active ministry, and at least 330 of them are thought to now be dead.
Have a good Sunday and a safe Memorial Day
I Read, I Write, You Know
“lego ergo scribo”