Sharp Decline in White Evangelicals in U.S.

The number of non-religious have increased over the last few years

It is a fact that there is an increase of Americans with no religious affiliation. It is obvious even to the lay observer the number of white conservative evangelicals is on the decline . Ironically, the same conservative evangelicals have repeatedly mocked their mainline Protestant brethren of diminishing numbers due to flexible moral strictures and rigorous theology. Protestants, however, continue to be the most dominant group in the United States.

Polls conducted by ABC News and The Washington Post revealed 36 percent of U.S. respondents in 2017 term themselves as Protestant faith members. A sharp drop from 2003's 50 percent. The statistics include a drop of eight points in evangelical white Protestant numbers. The number of Christians all in all has mirrored the predicament of Protestants. From the 83 percent of 2003 to 72 percent in 2017, the declining numbers are in stark contrast to the section of the U.S. population responding with “no religion” which have almost doubled to 21 percent.

Self-identification of Catholics at 22 percent remain constant during this time. The number of adults who identify with other strands of Christianity like Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses went up marginally, from 11 percent to 14 percent.

Trends are more pronounced among the American youth; only 19 percent of all adults under 30 years of age in 2003 claimed to have no religion. In 2017, that percent went up to 35 percent. These figures can be compared with the 22 percent who term themselves to be affiliated with any kind of Protestantism. These figures are significant as they denote a perceptible shift in power.

Four U.S. House of Representatives members have already created a “Freethought Caucus.” The latter is dedicated to defending non-religious persons, atheists, humanists, seekers, and even religious persons against any discrimination. Even now although the nonreligious have outnumbered the white evangelicals, both the Republicans and the Democrats pander to their views and wishes. There is also a perception of the religious representing the political base which voted the U.S. President to power. It is apparent that if the irreligious gets serious when it comes to flexing muscles on a political level, changes will happen, especially on separation issues concerning church and state.

This analysis was done by Langer Research Associates for ABC and included a large number of respondents, 174,485. The focus was primarily on data extracted from the 2003 and 2017 years.

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