A Gallup poll finds that fewer protestants identify as being part of a particular denomination.
According to a recent Gallup poll, more Americans are starting to identify less with a particular religion or its denominations. The most significant drop has been observed among Christian Protestants. Back in 2000, around 50% identified themselves as belonging to a particular Protestant denomination. In 2016, only 30% were able to do so. The drop has been attributed to two primary factors.
Firstly, a growing number of Americans identify themselves as not being part of any religious community or background. The number of people identifying as “none” went from 10% in 2000 to 20% in 2016. On the whole, what this means is that there are fewer Protestants and within specific denominations, the numbers are even lower.
However, the numbers for those identifying as Catholic or Mormon has been the same. Secondly, American Christians who do not identify as Mormon or Catholic prefer to remain nondenominational, rather than labeling themselves as Lutheran, Methodist, Baptist or Episcopalian, etc. Then, there are those simply prefer to call to identify as Christians in general. The abovementioned trends are exactly what have led to the drop in the number of people identifying as members of a particular Protestant denomination.
The Gallup poll is based on a collection of surveys where Protestants are questioned on their denominational backgrounds. The questions range from asking about religious preference to what denomination the respondent belongs to. With regard to the current scenario, figuring out religious identification is complex. To begin with, there are several Protestant denominations in the US alone. The diverse options provide Christians with an option to constantly switch back and forth.
As for Protestant Christians who do identify themselves with a particular denomination, Baptists were the largest with 10% saying they were affiliated with the Baptist Church. Another 3% specified that they were a part of the Southern Baptist denomination, which dropped significantly from 8% in 2000. On the whole, 13% of the Protestant respondents identified as Baptist. The shift away from formal religion is a growing trend in America and it has been the case for the past 10 years. Around one out of five Americans state that they have no formal religious affiliations and for Protestantism, that number is even smaller.
In fact, the trend reflects the rise of non-denominational churches in America and also, the reluctance of modern church leaders to discuss their own denominational affiliations. On the whole, the Gallup poll tells us that, though Americans are still largely religious, they are more open to the idea of informal worship.