Evangelicals Stay Strong as Christianity Crumbles in America
Christian News Hedlines The main methods for measuring American faith are flawed. So thinks the Pew Research Center, which today released the second wave of a massive study designed to “fill the gap” left by the United States census (no questions on religion), the self-reporting of denominations (“widely differing criteria”), and smaller surveys (too few questions or people). nones” and other popular talking points, the fate of evangelicals is proving much brighter than Christianity at large. Here are highlights from the US Religious Landscape Study, conducted among more than 35,000 adults in English and Spanish, of how American religion has changed from 2007 to 2014: 1) Evangelicals have remained remarkably stable
Over the past seven years, evangelicals have lost less than 1 percent of their share of the population, holding steady at about 1 in 4 American adults (25.4% in 2014, vs. 26.3% in 2007) and preserving their status as the nation’s largest religious group.
In contrast, mainline Protestants have lost almost 3.5 percent of their population share and are currently less than 15 percent of American adults, while Catholics lost about 3 percent of their population share and are currently about 21 percent of adults.
The declines have allowed the religiously unaffiliated, who gained nearly 7 percent in population share, to surge past Catholics and mainline Protestants to become America’s second-largest religious group (22.8% of adults). (Historically black Protestant denominations, tracked separately though nearly three-quarters of their members identify as evangelicals, were statistically unchanged.)