The Largest Religion in America in 2037

The rise of the "nones" (those claiming no religious affiliation) has been well documented in general, and also here on this blog.  Assuming the shift away from religious affiliation continues, when might the largest "religious group" in America become those without a religious affiliation? Rise of the Nones Allen Downey, Professor of Computer Science at Olin College, recently shared on his blog an extended version of an article he initially published in Scientific American titled "The Read More …

Fewer and Fewer Christians (& Even Fewer Mainline Protestants)

In 2007 the Pew Research Center conducted their initial U.S. Religious Landscape Study.  The 2014 edition, published earlier today, shows Christianity declined by 8% in America over the last seven years (78.4% to 70.6%).  Allowing for the margin of error, this means the number of Christian adults in the U.S. has shrunk by somewhere between 2.8 million and 7.8 million. Decline Impacts All Christian Traditions Mainline Protestants and Catholics top the list for experiencing the greatest Read More …

Review of God is Alive And Well

Meet the Author Frank Newport is Editor in Chief at Gallup.  Before joining Gallup, Newport taught sociology at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, was news director and talk show host at KTRH Radio in Houston, and was a partner at a market research and public opinion research firm in Houston.  He is the co-author of two books and the author of  Polling Matters: Why Leaders Must Listen to the Wisdom of the People (2004) and God is Alive and Well: The Future of Religion in America (2012). Read More …

American Religion from 1970 to 2010

America is a rather religious country.  The chart below (Religions of the World, p. 3002) provides an overview of American religion in 1970 and in 2010 alongside data about what percentage of the population each group comprised in 2010 and the annual growth rate for each during the most recent decade.   So What? Despite the increases in religious pluralism, more than 4 in 5 Americans were Christian in 2010. Are you surprised to learn that Protestants declined in total Read More …

American Faith at an All-Time High

Joel Osteen is truly unique.  He is Pastor of America's largest congregation; Preacher of happiness (above all else); and an Accidental popular author and preacher ("inherited" his dad's congregation and has no formal training - e.g. seminary). Cheryl Wetzstein's article in the Washington Post provides a look into his latest claim: "I see faith in America at an all-time high."   So What? Of course, Osteen bases this lofty assertion on nothing more than his own incredibly Read More …

Why Religion is Needed

Oliver Thomas recently wrote an interesting opinion piece for USA Today: Why Do We Need Religion?  In the article, Thomas suggests that religion's greatest contribution to society is that it "makes us want to live."   He continues: Alas, many of us have discovered purpose for our lives through religion. Inside America's churches, synagogues, temples, mosques and ashrams, we wrestle with the great questions of life. And with due respect to my atheist and left-leaning friends, most of those Read More …