Thursday, March 20, 2008

    Pew Forum Survey on Religion & Public Life

    Have you seen the most recent findings of the Pew survey regarding religion in the U.S.? They don't paint a pretty picture:

    The survey finds that the number of people who say they are unaffiliated with any particular faith today (16.1%) is more than double the number who say they were not affiliated with any particular religion as children. Among Americans ages 18-29, one-in-four say they are not currently affiliated with any particular religion.
    And then there's this:

    In addition to detailing the current religious makeup of the U.S. and describing the dynamic changes in religious affiliation, the findings from the Landscape Survey also provide important clues about the future direction of religious affiliation in the U.S. By detailing the age distribution of different religious groups, for instance, the survey findings show that more than six-in-ten Americans age 70 and older (62%) are Protestant but that this number is only about four-in-ten (43%) among Americans ages 18-29. Conversely, young adults ages 18-29 are much more likely than those age 70 and older to say that they are not affiliated with any particular religion (25% vs. 8%). If these generational patterns persist, recent declines in the number of Protestants and growth in the size of the unaffiliated population may continue.
    We are certainly wading deep into the waters of post-denominationalism. Perhaps, like Europe, we are moving towards becoming a post-Christian nation as well. Maybe this is not such a bad development. Perhaps when we are no longer part of the dominant culture, we will be freed to embrace the radical path that we claim in our gospels. Perhaps then we will have something to lift up to our youth that really does propose a different way from what the world around them is offering. More findings from the survey here.