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America's Christian majority is on track to end


JAHS

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America's Christian majority is on track to end

Eliza Campbell had spent her entire life as a practicing member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
She was born in Utah, a state in which the majority of residents belong to the church, and attended Brigham Young University, a private institution owned and operated by the church.
"It's part of your whole professional network, your whole emotional community," she said. "Basically, it touches every facet of your life."
Then, two years ago, after nearly three decades, Campbell left the church.
She is one of a growing number of Americans who were raised Christian but are disaffiliating from the religion.

Christianity remains the majority religion in the United States, as it has been since the country's founding, but it's on the decline.
A new study from the Pew Research Center shows that America's Christian majority has been shrinking for years, and if recent trends continue, Christians could make up less than half the U.S. population within a few decades.
The study found that Christians accounted for about 90% of the population 50 years ago, but as of 2020 that figure had slumped to about 64%.

"If recent trends in switching [changing one's religious affiliation] hold, we projected that Christians could make up between 35% and 46% of the U.S. population in 2070," said Stephanie Kramer, the senior researcher who led the study.

The study modeled four scenarios for how religious affiliation could change, and in every case it found a sharp drop in Christianity.
While the study does not grapple with the question of why Christians are disaffiliating from their religion, Kramer said there are some theories that could help explain this phenomenon.
"Some scholars say that it's just an inevitable consequence of development for societies to secularize. Once there are strong secular institutions, once people's basic needs are met, there's less need for religion," Kramer said.
"Other people point out that affiliation really started to drop in the '90s. And it may not be a coincidence that this coincides with the rise of the religious right and more associations between Christianity and conservative political ideology."
For Campbell, conflict between the teachings of her faith and her own personal identity and values were at the core of her decision to leave.
"For me, especially, when I started to come out as queer, it became impossible for me to reconcile this church that was basically admitting that they wanted kids like me dead or suicidal," she said. "I decided I had to choose myself and choose my well-being."
"Religiously unaffiliated" could become the majority
Alongside Christian numbers in the U.S. trending down, the Pew study also found that the percentage of people who identify as "religiously unaffiliated" is rising and could one day become a majority.
"That's where the majority of the movement is going," Kramer said. "We don't see a lot of people leaving Christianity for a non-Christian religion."
Importantly, Kramer said, "religiously unaffiliated" is not synonymous with atheist, as the term also includes those who identify as "agnostic," "spiritual" or "nothing in particular."
In the four scenarios that Pew modeled, Americans who were religiously unaffiliated were projected to approach or overtake Christians in number by 2070. At the same time, the percentage of those following other religions was expected to double.

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I see this as a fulfilment of one of the signs of the time.

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I think a pretty big portion of American Christianity deserves to die. Specifically a lot of the specifically American takes on Christianity.

I am kind of surprised it has taken this long if God is really actually serious about the whole not taking his name in vain thing.

Edited by The Nehor
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25 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

I think a pretty big portion of American Christianity deserves to die. Specifically a lot of the specifically American takes on Christianity.

I am kind of surprised it has taken this long if God is really actually serious about the whole not taking his name in vain thing.

Christians like I've seen in the last several years, give Christ a bad name. 

Edited by Tacenda
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7 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

Christians like I've seen in the last several years, give Christ a bad name. 

Many of the people that I've spoken with that identify as atheists tend to list bad examples of (supposed) Christianity (both doctrinal and behavioral) as some of their reasons for not believing there is a God.  And I can't really blame them for that, because I have also seen the bad examples and bad doctrines, and I wouldn't want to believe in that version of God myself.

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1 hour ago, JAHS said:

Alongside Christian numbers in the U.S. trending down, the Pew study also found that the percentage of people who identify as "religiously unaffiliated" is rising and could one day become a majority.

According to the following chart from the Pew research right now those in their 80s are about 80% Christian while people in their 20s are only 50% Christian.
Over time those 20 year olds will probable still be at 50% or less when they are in their 80s.

poll.jpg.9830c549e20f7cc4ad62d7828171a033.jpg

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2 hours ago, JAHS said:

America's Christian majority is on track to end

Eliza Campbell had spent her entire life as a practicing member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
She was born in Utah, a state in which the majority of residents belong to the church, and attended Brigham Young University, a private institution owned and operated by the church.
"It's part of your whole professional network, your whole emotional community," she said. "Basically, it touches every facet of your life."
Then, two years ago, after nearly three decades, Campbell left the church.
She is one of a growing number of Americans who were raised Christian but are disaffiliating from the religion.

Christianity remains the majority religion in the United States, as it has been since the country's founding, but it's on the decline.
A new study from the Pew Research Center shows that America's Christian majority has been shrinking for years, and if recent trends continue, Christians could make up less than half the U.S. population within a few decades.
The study found that Christians accounted for about 90% of the population 50 years ago, but as of 2020 that figure had slumped to about 64%.

"If recent trends in switching [changing one's religious affiliation] hold, we projected that Christians could make up between 35% and 46% of the U.S. population in 2070," said Stephanie Kramer, the senior researcher who led the study.

The study modeled four scenarios for how religious affiliation could change, and in every case it found a sharp drop in Christianity.
While the study does not grapple with the question of why Christians are disaffiliating from their religion, Kramer said there are some theories that could help explain this phenomenon.
"Some scholars say that it's just an inevitable consequence of development for societies to secularize. Once there are strong secular institutions, once people's basic needs are met, there's less need for religion," Kramer said.
"Other people point out that affiliation really started to drop in the '90s. And it may not be a coincidence that this coincides with the rise of the religious right and more associations between Christianity and conservative political ideology."
For Campbell, conflict between the teachings of her faith and her own personal identity and values were at the core of her decision to leave.
"For me, especially, when I started to come out as queer, it became impossible for me to reconcile this church that was basically admitting that they wanted kids like me dead or suicidal," she said. "I decided I had to choose myself and choose my well-being."
"Religiously unaffiliated" could become the majority
Alongside Christian numbers in the U.S. trending down, the Pew study also found that the percentage of people who identify as "religiously unaffiliated" is rising and could one day become a majority.
"That's where the majority of the movement is going," Kramer said. "We don't see a lot of people leaving Christianity for a non-Christian religion."
Importantly, Kramer said, "religiously unaffiliated" is not synonymous with atheist, as the term also includes those who identify as "agnostic," "spiritual" or "nothing in particular."
In the four scenarios that Pew modeled, Americans who were religiously unaffiliated were projected to approach or overtake Christians in number by 2070. At the same time, the percentage of those following other religions was expected to double.

______________________________________

I see this as a fulfilment of one of the signs of the time.

I've heard that there has been a possible correlating Zoomer uptick in Spiritualism though. Got any data on that?

My Zoomer nephew was raised anti-God in his youth, but in college he seems to have evolved into a weird, ancient aliens/conspiracy theorist radio jockey religiosity. Like he uninterested when his Boomer grandpa tries to teach him basic Mormon beliefs, like about pre-mortality, that may have been successful reaching people if his own generation, but he seems to have a nice time when I talk to him about Noah's Flood and the relationship with the Deluge in the Epic of Gilgamesh and the Popah Vu, sounding like he's believer in that.

 We might be late to save Millennials, but maybe Zoomers would go for a "Bring Back the Magic" campaign, give out "Make Mormonism Magical Again" hats. Have those "Level 1" conversations; Is there a God/spiritual reality? Not a "Level 3", conversation; which Christian church is true?

Edited by Pyreaux
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6 hours ago, Pyreaux said:

I've heard that there has been a possible correlating Zoomer uptick in Spiritualism though. Got any data on that?

There's the whole "spiritual but not religious thing", then I've also heard of survey results with people believing in angels but not God. I think many surveys on the matter give results based on suppositions of the survey takers.

If I ask someone "Do you believe in God?", chances are they will assume I mean the bearded man in the sky Christian God. You really need to split it out a lot.

I think the latest Australian census split it out nicely https://www.abs.gov.au/articles/religious-affiliation-australia

 

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12 hours ago, JAHS said:

I see this as a fulfilment of one of the signs of the time.

I respect what you have stated above and also what you posted.  There are many signs of the times.  I think many signs will be as the Moon turning to blood.  When this does occur as a sign it will be constant (I do not know how) but it will night after night for a long time no one who will have sight will be able to say they missed it.  So I am not disputing your post.  Rather I am seeking to point to a confirmation for all of us.  When this sign that you pointed out is ripe no one will need any survey to convince them.  We see signs coming but there will be confirmation for all who believe within the signs themselves.

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1 hour ago, Metis_LDS said:

When this does occur as a sign it will be constant (I do not know how)

Didn’t this happen when St. Helens blew for those close by and pretty far East?  Been awhile so I may be mistaken (some places apparently saw a blue moon afterwards due to ash).  Just saying multiple volcanoes getting triggered could make the sign pretty wide spread.  Widespread wildfires as well.  And since it would take time to dissipate, it would be for an extended time.

Edited by Calm
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13 hours ago, JAHS said:

According to the following chart from the Pew research right now those in their 80s are about 80% Christian while people in their 20s are only 50% Christian.
Over time those 20 year olds will probable still be at 50% or less when they are in their 80s.

poll.jpg.9830c549e20f7cc4ad62d7828171a033.jpg

Really curious how you determine 50% of 4 year olds are Christian, other than their parents beliefs I suppose.

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14 hours ago, JAHS said:

,"If recent trends in switching [changing one's religious affiliation] hold, we projected that Christians could make up between 35% and 46% of the U.S. population in 2070," said Stephanie Kramer, the senior researcher who led the study.


In the four scenarios that Pew modeled, Americans who were religiously unaffiliated were projected to approach or overtake Christians in number by 2070. 

Assuming we make it to 2070 before Christ makes everyone a Christian.

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1 hour ago, JLHPROF said:

Assuming we make it to 2070 before Christ makes everyone a Christian.

Many Prophets would disagree that Christ will compel anyone to worship him in the Millenium. In fact they outright said that idea was false. John Taylor, Joseph Fielding Smith, I suspect more have said it but those are the ones I remember off the top of my head.

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I think one of the potential problems with this kind of study is that groupings, title, identity, and affiliation may all be mixed and jumbled together. I think a lot depends on how the questions are asked as well. I just spent two hours in an LDS ward and will go back later today for choir practice. If I were asked with what church do I affiliate, I would say none - because right now I am a member of none. Would that make me a non-Christian in a pollster's mind? I often speak in non-denominational - non- aligned churches and groups. Are they not considered Christians? If my LDS friends had the chance to check a box that labeled them as "Christian." Would they check it? If I click non-affiliated, would I be counted as a Christian or an "other?" Some of the challenges of these kinds of polls are in the complexity of identity that transcends boxes.

 

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2 hours ago, JLHPROF said:

Really curious how you determine 50% of 4 year olds are Christian, other than their parents beliefs I suppose.

Sorry .I neglected to include the note at the end of the table
image.png.d9d7764da6e08b46b6f6f5a2e86c6f5b.png

In the body of the report it says:
For the purposes of the projections in this report, religious identities are considered to be “transmitted” when children are raised in their parents’ religion and identify with it as early adolescents. There are a variety of reasons why children of religiously affiliated parents may be raised without a religion and, therefore, that religion is not transmitted. For example, a child may have parents without strong religious commitment, or parents with different religions, or parents who have decided to let children explore and make decisions about religion on their own.

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5 hours ago, Teancum said:

So you support a totalitarian regime?  2070 will come and go and Jesus won't have come back.  

Sadly I won't be around in 2070, but we may know sooner.

4 hours ago, The Nehor said:

Many Prophets would disagree that Christ will compel anyone to worship him in the Millenium. In fact they outright said that idea was false. John Taylor, Joseph Fielding Smith, I suspect more have said it but those are the ones I remember off the top of my head.

Not to worship, but to accept that he IS Lord.  Every knee shall bow and every tongue confess.  What part of "every" allows for other options?  Even the devils believe without worship.

But everyone will accept that Jesus IS the Christ.

Edited by JLHPROF
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1 hour ago, JLHPROF said:

Sadly I won't be around in 2070, but we may know sooner.

Not to worship, but to accept that he IS Lord.  Every knee shall bow and every tongue confess.  What part of "every" allows for other options?  Even the devils believe without worship.

But everyone will accept that Jesus IS the Christ.

They will concede his temporal authority. How much of his spiritual authority the Baptists and Muslims and Hindus will concede I do not know.

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21 hours ago, JAHS said:

Those in their 80s are about 80% Christian while people in their 20s are only 50% Christian. Over time those 20 year olds will probable still be at 50% or less when they are in their 80s.

Only time will tell. Most of the the people I taught as a full-time missionary would have grown up without religion in their lives. There are dozens of people in my current ward who also had no religious background until they found the Church. Our most recent convert was raised by secular/culturally Buddhist parents and considered herself atheist before meeting a member at university. At first, she attended Church activities with him for purely 'anthropological' reasons. She will be sustained this coming Sunday as a ward missionary.

Beyond that, we have pretty clear historical data that religious fervour occurs in waves, waxing and waning over time. It can be tempting to project each historical moment forward, but if the past is any indicator, this is a sine wave, not a linear function.

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6 minutes ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

Only time will tell. Most of the the people I taught as a full-time missionary would have grown up without religion in their lives. There are dozens of people in my current ward who also had no religious background until they found the Church. Our most recent convert was raised by secular/culturally Buddhist parents and considered herself atheist before meeting a member at university. At first, she attended Church activities with him for purely 'anthropological' reasons. She will be sustained this coming Sunday as a ward missionary.

Beyond that, we have pretty clear historical data that religious fervour occurs in waves, waxing and waning over time. It can be tempting to project each historical moment forward, but if the past is any indicator, this is a sine wave, not a linear function.

We are in a weird state right now as the increase in crises should be upping religious activity but religion in general is also getting the blame for the crises.

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Here's something worthy of a little thought.  From 2019:

Quote

...73% of addiction treatment programs in the USA include a spirituality-based element, as embodied in the 12-step programs and fellowships initially popularized by Alcoholics Anonymous, the vast majority of which emphasize reliance on God or a Higher Power to stay sober.  ... more than 84% of scientific studies show that faith is a positive factor in addiction prevention or recovery and a risk in less than 2% of the studies reviewed, we conclude that the value of faith-oriented approaches to substance abuse prevention and recovery is indisputable. And, by extension, we also conclude that the decline in religious affiliation in the USA is not only a concern for religious organizations but constitutes a national health concern.

Journal of Religion and Health volume 58, pages 1713–1750

Edited by LoudmouthMormon
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53 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

We are in a weird state right now as the increase in crises should be upping religious activity but religion in general is also getting the blame for the crises.

Weird indeed.

In our EQ lesson last week, we discussed how we are seeing the determined and intentional undermining of every single institution that teaches sin, guilt, and repentance -- presumably to set people 'free' and make them 'happy'.

But no one has actually been able to eliminate the inescapable consequences of sin and guilt outside of repentance, so instead we are forging increasingly sick societies full of the walking dead.

Mental health experts can certainly help provide partial/temporary fixes, but no nation on this planet has the resources to fund the mental health professionals currently needed, and need appears to be growing unabated.

We can probably all name certain religious institutions that have been their own worst enemies in this regard, but joining or encouraging attacks on the religious enterprise in general, whilst clearly on-trend, amounts to a societal suicide pact.

Fun times!

Edited by Hamba Tuhan
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1 hour ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

Weird indeed.

In our EQ lesson last week, we discussed how we are seeing the determined and intentional undermining of every single institution that teaches sin, guilt, and repentance -- presumably to set people 'free' and make them 'happy'.

But no one has actually been able to eliminate the inescapable consequences of sin and guilt outside of repentance, so instead we are forging increasingly sick societies full of the walking dead.

Mental health experts can certainly help provide partial/temporary fixes, but no nation on this planet has the resources to fund the mental health professionals currently needed, and need appears to be growing unabated.

We can probably all name certain religious institutions that have been their own worst enemies in this regard, but joining or encouraging attacks on the religious enterprise in general, whilst clearly on-trend, amounts to a societal suicide pact.

Fun times!

Always the rising generation are the worst sinners and they aren’t just despairing and doomering because previous generations have trashed everything and are leaving them to clean up the mess.

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