This study shows that 23% of American adults now say they have no religion – that’s up almost seven points since we first did this study in 2007. That’s very rapid growth. – Gregory A. Smith, Ph.D.
The very large new study from the Pew Forum for Religion & Public Life is titled America’s Changing Religious Landscape: Christians Decline Sharply as Share of Population; Unaffiliated and Other Faiths Continue to Grow. Not surprisingly, findings pointing to a continued trend away from organized religion in America – regardless of geography, demographics, or even political affiliation – made plenty of headlines. Some questions have been raised about the findings – and even the methodologies – primarily by parties unhappy with this tend. But Pew’s long and respected history of studying American religion – and the fact that the trends they identify come from changes since Pew’s own wide-ranging 2007 Religious Landscape survey – underscore that we ought to be focusing on what is happening rather than trying to muddy the waters with unfounded challenges.
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