America is experiencing a Great Decline in religious affiliation. The General Social Survey has found that people are leaving religion at record rates.
There have been numerous studies into the religious nature of the United States to supplement information that is gathered during census years. One trend that has been seen in recent years is the decline in the number of people who say that they are religious. Now, the United States is in the midst of what is being called the Great Decline, where more and more people are leaving organized religion every year.
General Social Survey
One of the most prominent and respected social studies, the General Social Survey, has found that the Great Decline has accelerated since the topic of religion was last examined in 2012. According to their study, they found that 7.5 million adult Americans have turned away from religion in favor of a more secularized lifestyle. This number has rapidly increased, especially over the last twenty years. In the 1990’s the overall percentage of Americans who did not have faith, called the “nones,” accounted for less than 10 percent of the individuals in the nation. Now that number has risen to just about 20 percent, with a small margin of error.
While the number of non-religious Americans is down, so is the number of faithful Americans who do not go to church anymore. This number now sits at around 30 percent, a three point increase from the last time the survey was administered in 2012. Along with the decrease in churchgoers is the number of Americans who take time to pray, with just about one in six Americans not taking the time to pray.
What Is Happening?
There are many possible reasons why people in the United States are not finding happiness and satisfaction in religion. One possible reason is that society is becoming more liberal as opposed to years ago on issues that conflict with organized religion ideologies. Rather than compromise their religious feelings on the topic, they choose to depart from it so that they can avoid turmoil.
The political climate that has crept into many churches has left some other people feeling marginalized within their own faith. From pastors to priests, religious officials have been coaxing members of their church to vote along lines that would support them the best. However, this has left many churchgoers feeling that their faith should not invade the realm of politics.
There are many reasons for the losses of the churchgoers in the United States. One fact that appears to be certain is that the nation is secularizing at a rate that has never been seen before, and churches have to figure out how to appeal to the masses in new and innovative ways.