Tags: Religion | gallup | religion | church | membership | poll

Gallup: Church Membership Fell Below Majority in 2020

man kneels in church
People visit St. Patrick's Cathedral on November 27, 2020 in New York City. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 30 March 2021 10:33 AM

The majority of Americans do not belong to a church, synagogue, or mosque as of 2020 according to the latest poll from Gallup, which also found that most Americans do not consider religion to be very important to them.

Gallup polled Americans’ personal religiosity during 2020 and found that, despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, most Americans’ personal views on religion were unchanged during the year, and Pew Research Center found that Americans were more likely to say that the pandemic has improved their religious faith than people in other countries like Spain, Italy, and Canada. 

However, personal attendance of religious services did decline slightly. For the first time since Gallup began asking in 1937, the proportion of Americans who consider themselves a member of a church, synagogue, or mosque has fallen below 50%.

  • 47% of Americans said they belong to a church, synagogue, or mosque.
  • 48% of Americans said that religion is very important to them.
  • 66% of Americans age 75 or older are members of a church.
  • 58% of baby boomers belong to a church.
  • 50% of Generation X belong to a church.
  • 36% of millennials belong to a church.

Ryan Burge, who teaches political science at Eastern Illinois University and is a pastor in the American Baptist Church, told The Washington Post that although many Christians still attend church despite not considering their membership to be important, institutional religion is on the decline in the U.S.

"We have to start thinking about what the world looks like in terms of politics, policy, social service," Burge said. "How do we feed the hungry, clothe the naked when Christians are half of what it was. Who picks up the slack, especially if the government isn’t going to?"

Tara Isabella Burton, author of "Strange Rites: New Religions for a Godless World," told the Post that there are two major trends involving young Americans that help explain the decline. One is lack of trust young people have in institutions, including the recent child sexual abuse scandals involving the Catholic Church and the strong support former President Donald Trump received from the evangelical community.

The other trend that Burton points to is the increased intermixing of people from different religious backgrounds, which has created new religious traditions that don’t lineup with any preexisting institution.

"Why shouldn’t I pray or meditate or attend a liturgy, or perhaps I feel closer to the divine when I can do something privately rather than something that’s prescribed for me," she said. "It’s my own spin on it."

Burton added that thanks to the Internet, young Americans have a different relationship with things like hierarchy, texts and information in general.

"Existing trends in American religious life were exacerbated by generations that grew up in Internet culture that celebrates ownership — the idea that you can re-create a meme or narrative," she said. "You have ownership over curating your own experience."

© 2021 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


US
The majority of Americans do not belong to a church, synagogue, or mosque as of 2020 according to the latest poll from Gallup, which also found that most Americans do not consider religion to be very important to them...
gallup, religion, church, membership, poll
482
2021-33-30
Tuesday, 30 March 2021 10:33 AM
Newsmax Media, Inc.
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved