The Fastest Growing Religion in America Is "Unaffiliated."


The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life released a new survey that finds that Americans switch religious affiliations a lot, and that more and more can't be bothered to join a church, synagogue, mosque or temple. As the Chicago Sun-Times reports:

A Pew Forum poll of 25,556 adult Americans released Monday found that 44 percent of Americans have either changed religious affiliations or claim no formal religion at all.

"People have always switched religions; that's part of what happens when you have a great deal of religious freedom," said Pew Senior Fellow John Green. "[But] America has become more diverse, and there are more places people can come from religiously and more places they can go."

About 16 percent said they are unaffiliated—a group that includes atheists and agnostics but also people who consider themselves believers but belong to no denomination.

In a survey last year, the Christian marketing consultancy, the Barna Research Group, found that youths are increasingly rejecting Christianity and secular beliefs are spreading. As the Ventura County Star reported:

Only 60 percent of 16- to 29-year-olds describe themselves as Christians, according to Barna Group President David Kinnaman. He believes that figure represents "a momentous shift," noting that 77 percent of Americans over age 60 consider themselves Christians.

"Each generation is becoming increasingly secular," said Kinnaman, who details the findings in his new book "unChristian" (Baker Books).

If you were a subscriber, you would already have my article "The New Age of Reason" in the April issue. In that article I explain how the last three decades of religio-political moralizing known as the 4th Great Awakening is now ending. Happily, what will follow is the dawning of new era of social tolerance. At only $19.97 for 11 issues, you can't afford not to subscribe.

Disclosure: I've been very religiously unaffiliated since my teens.