Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Pew Forum: In USA One-in-Five Adults Have No Religious Affiliation

source and Full pdf Report. My comments in blue.

Some of the religiously unaffiliated (excluding atheists and agnostics) are religious or spiritual in some way, pray each day, feel a deep connection with nature and the earth and are “spiritual” but not “religious”. A mixed bunch!
  • "The number of Americans who do not identify with any religion continues to grow at a rapid pace. One-fifth of the U.S. public – and a third of adults under 30 – are religiously unaffiliated today, the highest percentages ever in Pew Research Center polling."
  • "In the last five years alone, the Religiously Unaffiliated have increased from just over 15% to just under 20% of all U.S. adults. Their ranks now include more than 13 million self-described atheists and agnostics (nearly 6% of the U.S. public), as well as nearly 33 million people who say they have no particular religious affiliation (14%)"

  • "This large and growing group of Americans (the religiously unaffiliated) is less religious than the public at large on many conventional measures, including frequency of attendance at religious services and the degree of importance they attach to religion in their lives."
  • "many of the country’s 46 million unaffiliated adults are religious or spiritual in some way. Two-thirds of them say they believe in God (68%) though less than half say they are absolutely certain of God’s existence." ie these are NOT the Atheists & Agnostics. 
  • "More than half say they often feel a deep connection with nature and the earth (58%)"
  • "more than a third classify themselves as “spiritual” but not “religious” (37%)"
  • "one-in-five (21%) say they pray every day" (!!)

  • "The growth in the number of religiously unaffiliated Americans – sometimes called the rise of the “nones” – is largely driven by generational replacement, the gradual supplanting of older generations by newer ones. A third of adults under 30 have no religious affiliation (32%), compared with just one-in-ten who are 65 and older (9%). And young adults today are much more likely to be unaffiliated than previous generations were at a similar stage in their lives."

  • "most religiously unaffiliated Americans think that churches and other religious institutions benefit society by strengthening community bonds and aiding the poor"
  • "typically the unaffiliated say they are not looking for a religion that would be right for them"
  • "Overwhelmingly, they think that religious organizations are too concerned with money and power, too focused on rules and too involved in politics"

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