The Washington Post has an interesting story about the declining role of religion in America as reflected in the growing numbers of young people who no longer list a church affiliation.
WASHINGTON — A growing tide of young Americans is drifting away from the religions of their childhood — and most of them are ending up in no religion at all.We are now in a post-Christian America. No longer are people familar with bible stories or scripture. So many young people are completely "unchurched" and have no concept of apologetics or why sin is sin. God is a myth and all religions are equal in that all religions are inconsequential. And we wonder why the youth of our nation lack a moral compass. As does our President.
One in four young adults choose “unaffiliated” when asked about their religion, according to a new report from the Public Religion Research Institute and Georgetown University’s Berkley Center for Religion, Peace & World Affairs.
But most within this unaffiliated group — 55 percent — identified with a religious group when they were younger.
“These younger unaffiliated adults are very nonreligious,” said Daniel Cox, PRRI’s research director. “They demonstrate much lower levels of religiosity than we see in the general population,” including participation in religious rituals or worship services.
Some of them will return to their faiths as they age, “but there’s not a lot of evidence that most will come back,” added Cox, who said the trend away from organized religion dates back to the early 1990s.
The study of 2,013 Americans ages 18-24 focused on the younger end of the cohort commonly known as the “Millennials” or “Generation Y,” which generally includes young adults as old as 29. Interviews were conducted between March 7 and 20.
Across denominations, the net losses were uneven, with Catholics losing the highest proportion of childhood adherents — nearly 8 percent — followed by white mainline Protestant traditions, which lost 5 percent.
H/T to Wintery Knight
Total church membership reported in the National Council of Churches 2011 Yearbook is 145,838,339 members, down 1.05 percent over 2010.
The top 25 churches reported in the 2011 Yearbook are in order of size:
1. The Catholic Church, 68,503,456 members, up .57 percent.
2. Southern Baptist Convention, 16,160,088 members, down .42 percent.
3. The United Methodist Church, 7,774,931 members, down 1.01 percent.
4. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 6,058,907 members, up 1.42 percent.
5. The Church of God in Christ, 5,499,875 members, no membership updates reported.
6. National Baptist Convention, U.S.A., Inc, 5,000,000 members, no membership updates reported.
7. Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, 4,542,868 members, down 1.96 percent.
8. National Baptist Convention of America, Inc., 3,500,000 members, no membership updates reported.
9. Assemblies of God, 2,914,669 members, up .52 percent.
10. Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), 2,770,730 members, down 2.61 percent.
11. African Methodist Episcopal Church, 2,500,000 members, no membership updates reported.
12. National Missionary Baptist Convention of America, 2,500,000 members, no membership updates reported.
13. The Lutheran Church-- Missouri Synod (LCMS), 2,312,111 members, down 1.08 percent.
14. The Episcopal Church, 2,006,343 members, down 2.48 percent.
15. Churches of Christ, 1,639,495 members, no membership updates reported.
16. Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, 1,500,000 members, no membership updates reported.
17. Pentecostal Assemblies of the World, Inc., 1,500,000 members, no membership updates reported.
18. The African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, 1,400,000 members, members, no membership updates reported.
19. American Baptist Churches in the U.S.A., 1,310,505 members, down 1.55 percent.
20. Jehovah’s Witnesses, 1,162,686 members, up 4.37 percent.
21. United Church of Christ, 1,080,199 members, down 2.83 percent.
22. Church of God (Cleveland, Tennessee), 1,076,254 members, up .38 percent.
23. Christian Churches and Churches of Christ, 1,071,616 members, no membership updates reported.
24. Seventh-Day Adventist Church, 1,043,606 members, up 4.31 percent.
25. Progressive National Baptist Convention, Inc. 1,010,000 members, down 59.60 percent (due in part to a new methodology of counting members).