Manage episode 263045420 series 1105654
So that we establish a basis for this Podcast, the data sets are from the Barna Group’s study dating back to 2000. This is a 20-year research to measure national trends. YES, these trends may look different in your location, but when taken as a national view, these figures do not lie.
So let’s understand the magnitude of this research. Barna Group has been gathering survey data on the long-term shifts that have occurred in the United States over the last several decades. In this report, we explore data collected among 96,171 surveys over more than 20 years, giving us powerful insight.
Consider the categories that were determined as a result of this study.
Let’s start by looking at how Americans relate to Christianity, using three segments: practicing Christians, non-practicing Christians and those who are not Christians.
Practicing Christians identify as Christian, agree strongly that faith is very important in their lives and have attended church within the past month.
Non-practicing Christians are self-identified Christians who do not qualify as practicing.
Non-Christians are U.S. adults who do not identify as Christian.
The first and perhaps most significant change is that practicing Christians are a shrinking segment of the entire population. In 2000, 45 percent of all those sampled qualified as practicing Christians. That share has consistently declined over the past 19 years. Now, just one in four Americans (25%) is a practicing Christian. In essence, the share of practicing Christians has dropped by nearly half since 2000.
It is interesting to note that the declining numbers split between being a Christian but not attending Church and dropping our totally – attendance and identifying as a Christian. This shift in part is what is giving rise to atheism and agnostics in the American belief systems.
Another interesting reality that cannot be blamed on Covid-19 is that one-third fewer people are attending church than in 1993. Church attendance apexed in 2009-2010 and has been in decline since that time. When you examine this fact closely you see a rise of Millennials and Gen-Zers, along with church scandals, and what role does politics play in the church.
If church attendance trends are analyzed by generation, interesting patterns emerge. Declines in church attendance took place among Elders (14 %) and Boomers (13 %), especially after 2012. That’s remarkable considering it’s a common assumption that people become more religiously active as they age. While health ailments could impair the ability of some Elders to make it to weekly services, that is less likely to be the case with Boomers.
Consistency of Bible-Reading Has Remained Steady for Nearly a Decade
Those who are committed to the spiritual practice of reading the Bible have stayed extremely consistent over the decades. Despite some ups and downs over the years, nearly the same percentage of U.S. adults today.
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