The Christian majority in America is about to disappear
THE CHRISTIAN | Eliza Campbell had been an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints her whole life. She was raised at Brigham Young University, a private university owned and run by the church, and was born in Utah, a state where the majority of the population is religious.
It’s a component of your entire professional network, she said, as well as your entire emotional community. In essence, it affects every aspect of your existence. Then, two years ago, Campbell quit the church after nearly three decades. She is one of many Americans who were reared as Christians but are now rejecting the faith.
America’s Christian majority is facing steep declines
As it has been since the nation’s establishment, Christianity continues to be the largest religion in the United States, although its numbers are dwindling.
According to a recent Pew Research Center survey, the number of Christians in America has been declining for many years. If current trends continue, Christians may make up fewer than half of the country’s population in a few decades.
According to the analysis, Christians made up nearly 90% of the population 50 years ago, but by 2020 that proportion had fallen to roughly 64%.
According to Stephanie Kramer, the lead researcher who oversaw the study, “If recent trends in switching [changing one’s religious affiliation] persist, we anticipated that Christians might make up between 35% and 46% of the U.S. population in 2070.”
The study simulated four possible changes in religious affiliation and discovered a dramatic decline in Christianity in each scenario.
Although Kramer stated there are several possibilities that might explain this phenomena, the study does not address the issue of why Christians are leaving their faith.
“Some academics contend that civilizations’ secularisation is only a natural byproduct of progress. There will be less need for religion if there are robust secular institutions and when people’s fundamental needs are addressed “said Kramer.
“Others have noted that the 1990s saw a significant decline in affiliation. And it might not be a coincidence that this is happening at the same time that the religious right is growing and more conservative political ideologies are being linked to Christianity.”
The foundation of Campbell’s decision to quit was a struggle between her religious beliefs and her own personal identity and ideals.
“It became hard for me to reconcile this church that was basically stating that they wanted kids like me dead or suicide,” she said. “For me, especially, when I started to come out as queer. “I made the decision that I had to pick myself and my wellbeing.”
The majority may eventually identify as “religiously unaffiliated.”
The Pew poll also discovered that the proportion of Americans who identify as “religiously unaffiliated” is increasing and may someday surpass the number of Christians in the U.S.
The majority of the trend is moving in that direction, according to Kramer. We don’t observe many individuals switching from Christianity to a non-Christian faith.
Religiously unaffiliated people do not necessarily identify as atheists, according to Kramer, who also noted that the word encompasses those who identify as “agnostic,” “spiritual,” or “nothing in particular.”
According to the Pew survey, the proportion of Americans who identify as “religiously unaffiliated” is increasing and may eventually overtake Christians since the number of Christians in the country is heading downward.
Kramer remarked, “That’s where the majority of the movement is headed. “We don’t see many people turning away from Christianity in favour of a non-Christian faith.”
Kramer emphasised that being “religiously unaffiliated” is not the same as being an atheist because it also includes those who identify as “agnostic,” “spiritual,” or as “nothing in particular.”