Belief in religion has reduced over time.
A Gallup poll conducted over a period of 10 days (December 3 to December 12) revealed 72 percent of Americans claim religion to be an important component of their lives. The number includes the 51 percent who claim religion to be an integral part of their life. Approximately 62 percent believe religion is vital when it comes to their existence. These numbers, however, cannot hide the fact that the belief system has suffered a long-term decline in importance among most Americans. Gallup has collated compelling evidence on shrinking church attendance and the issue of self-identification with any specific religion.
When asked, Americans are more likely to reply that religion in its empirical form is decreasing in influence on an average American’s life. More than 50 percent of U.S. citizens have viewed religion of minimal consequence in the fabric of life. At present, 78 percent of U.S. citizens claim that religion has lost its influence. The data matches the historical high of May 2016.
The numbers say it all. In 1952, about 75 percent of Americans said religion is extremely important and 20 percent said it was important. The data stayed the same in 1965, but dropped to 52 percent and 32 percent respectively in 1978. From then on, the religiously oriented percentage has fluctuated, rising above 60 percent rarely. The only swings were seen in 2001 with 64 percent post the 9/11 attacks and about 65 percent in 2012. The lowest reading was 49 percent in May 2015.
It was observed that religious views of Americans were independent of church attendance frequency or their religious preference. Most religious majorities say the belief system is fast losing influence. The same trend is observed in the case of religion being important in one's life and influence on the lives of most Americans. Only 46 percent of United States citizens now believe that religion can solve all or the majority of most problems besetting their lives or the country in the present time. The American public is now more divided compared to the past in its views as religion being the “cure-all” to every problem which troubles present-day society.
It was observed that religious influence has more than a tenuous link to church attendance frequency. To weekly church attendees, 81 percent claim that religion can solve a majority of the problems. This number can be contrasted with the 58 percent who attends every week and a low of 27 percent among people who visit only a few times a year.