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-Confidence in American Churches Declining?

by Dr. D ~ July 14th, 2012

gallup religion poll

There was a time in America when there was a great deal of respect and confidence in American churches and clergy. A number of things have happened over the years including the rise of secularism and the onslaught of clergy scandals particularly in the Catholic Church.

A recent Gallup poll shows that the opinion and confidence of Americans in churches and organized religion is definitely on the decline in America. However, it is not as bad as I expected. The main stream media and the entertainment industry is so secular and down right ignorant and even biased against Christians that it does leave one with the impression that it’s far worse than it actually is.

Nevertheless, today only 44 percent of Americans have "a great deal or quite a lot of confidence in ‘the church or organized religion.’"

Compare this to the fact that churches ranked at the top of the polls (60+%) of all American institutions when in came to confidence from 1973-1985. You can see that from a Christian perspective the opinion is going in the wrong direction. It also parallels what is happening in our society and reflects the decline of influence that religion and particularly Christianity now plays in defining the dominant American culture.            *Top

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2 Responses to -Confidence in American Churches Declining?

  1. Brian

    Two significant facts can be gleaned from the poll: (a) Protestants have 56% confidence, while Catholics have only a 44% confidence. A lot of the overall decline in confidence reflects a major collapse in Catholic confidence in their church. (b) Both Protestants and Catholics at 56% and 44% respectively have more confidence in religious organizations than the overall poll numbers – – while Gallop does not provide a further breakdown of its respondents’ positions, it would suggest that the non-churched/agnostic/secular wing of society dramatically lowered the results with virtually zero confidence in religious organizations.


  2. Dr. D

    All good observations. It is the un-churched that concerns me most. It would have been great to see a further breakdown of responders separating the un-churched and agnostics from the secularists and atheists.So many folks I run into out here have a negative view of the American Church though they have little direct basis for it except the clergy scandals particularly in the Catholic Church.

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