As you may have heard, there is a brand new study out from Pew that has some interesting statistics about the state of American religion. Take a look at the graph:The death of the Protestant ascendancy in the United States has long been heralded, but now we have the facts to back up the claim. Protestants are no longer in the majority in our country. We also now know that a full 20% of Americans have no stated religious affiliation whatsoever.
A few thoughts:
- Secularization, a thesis that claimed modern societies almost inevitably headed towards a de-religionification within society, has in the past few decades perceived to be rather flawed. This study shows that the thesis might not be as dead as we thought.
- Alternately, this study may simply reveal a more static state of belief that has long existed in America, with current societal norms allowing people to be more honest than in the past.
- Of this 71% that self-identify as Christian, how many would either identify with or carry the characteristics of Pentecostal-Charismatic Movement? We know they constitute two of the top ten denominations in the US (Church of God in Christ and Assemblies of God) at 8.5 million…but how pervasive is their influence?
- I know we have a Mormon running for the highest office in the land, but it is, at some level, surprising that a full 2% of the American population is Mormon. That is a significant number.