A new study is out on changing religious affliation in USA. It’s from Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life. It says that – U.S. Roman Catholics and Protestants are leaving the churches of their childhood and either choosing other faiths or no religion at all. Read the report in Chicago Tribune, TIME, and New York Times. See also the article in Christianity Today.
According to the findings, 28 percent, of American adults said they have left the faith in which they were raised. About 16 percent of Americans say they are not members of any religious group, making the “unaffiliated” group the fourth largest religious tradition in the United States. The Catholic Church has lost more members than any other religious group.
Hinduism exhibits the highest overall retention rate with 84 percent of adults who were raised as Hindus saying they were still Hindu. Ninety percent of Hindus marry within their own faith, and eight-in-ten Hindus who were raised Hindu remain so as adults. Eight in 10 Hindus are foreign-born may help explain the high retention rates. Buddhists struggle hardest to pass the faith from one generation to the next.
Other interesting findings – Mormons and Muslims are the groups with the largest families; more than one in five Mormon adults and 15 percent of Muslim adults in the U.S. have three or more children living at home. Black Americans are the most likely to report a formal religious affiliation.
There has been lots of talk of church drop outs lately. This study continues to proves some rumbling in the ground. Mega chruch and many immigrant church leaders are taking note. Denominational head are reevaluating their church planting strategy and approaches toward the new generations. It is so scary and exciting to live in such changing times!