Report Finds Christianity on Track to Become Minority Religion in America

A new report says that Christians could become a minority in America by 2045.

The report by Pew Research Center and the General Social Survey said that Christians are largely leaving religion behind to become atheists, agnostics or what the report calls “nothing in particular.”

Pew’s prediction that 2045 will see the end of Christianity as the practicing religion of a majority of Americans is based on an escalation of current trends.

“If the pace of switching before the age of 30 were to speed up throughout the projection period without any brakes, Christians would no longer be a majority by 2045,” Pew researchers wrote.

If this should take place, Christians would be 35 percent of the population, and religiously unaffiliated Americans would make up 52 percent of the population by the year 2070.

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Pew researcher Stephanie Kramer said a reversal of the trend away from Christianity is not likely, according to Christianity Today.

“We’ve never seen it, and we don’t have the data to model a religious reversal,” Kramer said.

“There are some who say that revival never happens in an advanced economy. After secularization, you can’t put toothpaste back in the tube. But we don’t know that. We just don’t have the data,” she said.

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Kramer said times have changed.

“Switching out has been happening steadily, which didn’t used to happen,” Kramer said. “It used to be that if you met someone on the street, and their father and mother were Christian, then they were Christian, too. That’s not always true anymore. For about a third of people, that’s not true anymore.”

The report noted that in the early 1990s, about 90 percent of Americans said they were Christian. By 2020, that had fallen to 64 percent.

Pew took the historical data and offered various scenarios of how that would play out in the future.

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Three scenarios “show Christians continuing to shrink as a share of the U.S. population, even under the counterfactual assumption that all switching came to a complete stop in 2020,” the report said.

One says that Christians can stay a majority by 2070 if no one walks away from Christianity after 2020, which the report noted was not realistic.

“Of course, it is possible that events outside the study’s model — such as war, economic depression, climate crisis, changing immigration patterns or religious innovations — could reverse current religious switching trends, leading to a revival of Christianity in the United States,” the report said. “But there are no current switching patterns in the U.S. that can be factored into the mathematical models to project such a result.”

“In terms of people considering themselves people of faith or not, that is changing, and we’re becoming a less religious country, a less Christian country,” said Peter Wehner, a former White House staffer who is now a vice president and senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, according to the Washington Times.



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