(LibertySociety.com) – Although close to seventy-five percent of Americans believe that another life awaits them after death, less than fifty percent believe that God exists, which is down ten percent since 2008, according to a new NORC poll that was conducted in 2022. While the result of this poll is discouraging for people of faith, The Hill reported that America is still “a very religious country by world standards,” according to Mark Chaves, who is a sociology professor at Duke University. However, many believers are choosing not to align with any certain religion but instead identify as non-denominational.
A second report from the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) showed that white people are straying away from Christianity more than other races, with a nine percent decrease in white people who identify as evangelical Protestants, a four percent decrease in white Protestants, and a three percent decrease in white people claiming to be Catholic. Previous data from the Pew Research Center shows that fifteen percent more Republicans go to church than Democrats, and that of the seven percent of the population who claim to be atheists, most of them are Democrats. The data also shows that Hispanic and Black people attend church more frequently than white people.
Most non-denominational believers have shifted to attending megachurches, but overall church attendance is on the decline as well, with the NORC poll showing that 34% do not attend church services. However, The Hill reported that Thomas Groome, who is a professor at Boston College, stated, “Assuming that church attendance is the measure of faith, that notion is becoming obsolete.” Although Americans are choosing not to attend church, the spirituality of the population has not changed over the course of several decades.
Another poll from The Wall Street Journal/NORC released in March 2023 showed that religion and patriotism are not at the forefront of Americans’ minds, at least not as much as they historically have been. The poll also showed a twelve percent increase in the importance of money since 1998.
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