Protestantism Declining, Catholicism Steady, and No Religious Affiliation Rising According to Pew Forum Report

Protestantism is on the decline, according to the Pew Forum’s U.S. Religious Landscape Survey released in February 2008. In fact, since the 1970’s, Protestant numbers have dramatically slipped from 65% to 51% of total U.S. Population as measured in 2006 by General Social Surveys.

Challenges for Catholics
Catholics, according to the Pew study, are losing members out the back door, but holding steady overall due to the influx of Catholic immigrants, especially from Latin America. The data further show 10% of American’s are now reported as being former Catholics.

Those expressing no religious affiliation have tripled from the 1970’s low of around 5% to over 15% of the U.S. population.

Organized Religions Taking Hit
According to a New York Times article, earlier this year, Americans Change Faiths at Rising Rate, Report Finds, by Neela Banerjee, many Americans are leaving organized religion. According to Professor Steven Prothero, quoted in the article, the winners in this shift are evangelical churches who are leading the move to more personal religion. The losers being impersonal religions.

In this blog I’ve previously observed, via my church visits, challenges various Anchorage area churches are having. It is easy to observe some of the challenges these religious trends create merely by visiting various area churches.

Wait, There’s Hope (coming post)
In a future blog post, I’ll further discuss how some progressive mainline Protestant churches, and upstart evangelicals have discovered a solution to this challenging dilemma. Bolded material in this blog represents, for the most part, clickable links to the source material. I urge blog readers to take a personal at these materials to form your own opinions.

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