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-Pew Study on Religion in America: Now 20% are Atheist, Agnostic or Unaffiliated

by Dr. D ~ October 9th, 2012


A new study by Pew shows that nearly 20% (19.6) of Americans are now ‘nones’ -unaffiliated with any religion. Even more startling for the future, in the same study it shows that A third (32%) of the adults under 30 claim no religious affiliation.


The study also shows that Protestant Christianity is on the decline in the USA while Catholic affiliation has remained substantially the same as the ‘none category has risen in numbers and percentage.

There are all sorts of interesting facts considering the religious makeup and practices of Americans in 2012 in this study –read the whole article.

Response: One conclusion that can be drawn from the study is that the influence of religion and particularly protestant Christianity is on a decline in America –particularly among young adults. Christian leaders need to take a look at this data and plan for the future.

Americans donate all kinds of money to missions around the world and rightfully so. However, now we also need an all out effort to reach our own young people in this country before it is too late and America is changed forever.             *Top

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4 Responses to -Pew Study on Religion in America: Now 20% are Atheist, Agnostic or Unaffiliated

  1. Brian

    I submit that the study is misleading – while admittedly there are problems for Protestant Christianity, especially the Mainstream version, the real source of growth for the agnostic/unaffiliated category comes from Catholics.

    In the past few decades, and in particular in the past 20 years or so, we have had an inundation of (largely illegal) immigration from Latin America. The vast majority of these immigrants is at least nominally Catholic. The percentage of Catholics in the US should have soared – – instead, it has inched upwards. This influx of new Catholics into the country is skewing the results.

    The second thing wrong with the result is that a large percentage (but no one knows how much, because more probing questions were not asked) of the “unaffiliated” are actually Christians. They have not rejected Christ but do not and are not affiliated with any church at the present time. Many of these folks will marry, settle down, and start going to church again later.


  2. Dr. D

    Your observations on catholic growth in America are well taken.

    However if you read the chapter (beginning on page 41) on the ‘unaffiliated’ group and view the questions submitted to them it is clear that those who chose to be ‘nones’ decided that the ‘non-practicing Christian’ classification did not accurately describe their situation. Most of these were raised in a church (47% Protestant, 31% Catholic, 1% Orthodox, 2% Mormon, 4% ‘Christian’) but decided that they would rather not be classified as a ‘Christian.’

    Also, 88% said they were presently not looking for a particular religion. That does not mean that sometime in the future that they may not “marry, settle down, and start going to church again later.” But that is entirely uncertain and I believe a lot depends on how much actual real Christian ‘training’ they did receive as children.

    It is unsettling to me that 79% who chose this classification had some Christian experience in their past and yet go out of their way to reject their Christian identity and upbringing.


  3. -Albert Mohler on the End of America’s Protestant Majority and the Rise of the ‘Nones’ | ANSWERS For The Faith

    […] recently posted on the new Pew Study that showed an end to America’s protestant majority and a significant rise in th…. In our response we suggested that Christian leaders needed to take a look at the data with a view […]

  4. -Religious Americans More Likely to Vote? | ANSWERS For The Faith

    […] A new poll shows that religious people in America are more likely to vote in the upcoming election than the nonreligious or unaffiliated ‘nones’. […]

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