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 U.S. Protestants lose majority status, says new study 
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Post U.S. Protestants lose majority status, says new study
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U.S. Protestants lose majority status, says new study

NEW YORK — For the first time in its history, the United States does not have a Protestant majority, according to a new study. One reason: The number of Americans with no religious affiliation is on the rise.

The percentage of Protestant adults in the U.S. has reached a low of 48 percent, the first time that Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life has reported with certainty that the number has fallen below 50 percent. The drop has long been anticipated and comes at a time when no Protestants are on the U.S. Supreme Court and the Republicans have their first presidential ticket with no Protestant nominees.

Among the reasons for the change are the growth in nondenominational Christians who can no longer be categorized as Protestant, and a spike in the number of American adults who say they have no religion. The Pew study, released Tuesday, found that about 20 percent of Americans say they have no religious affiliation, an increase from 15 percent in the last five years.

While the category as defined by Pew researchers includes atheists, it also encompasses majorities of people who say they believe in God, and a notable minority who pray daily or consider themselves "spiritual" but not "religious."

Pew found overall that most of the unaffiliated aren't actively seeking another religious home, indicating that their ties with organized religion are permanently broken.

American voters who describe themselves as having no religion vote overwhelmingly for Democrats. Pew found Americans with no religion support abortion rights and gay marriage at a much higher rate than the U.S. public at large.

These "nones" are an increasing segment of voters who are registered as Democrats or lean toward the party, growing from 17 to 24 percent over the last five years. The religiously unaffiliated are becoming as important a constituency to Democrats as evangelicals are to Republicans, Pew said.

The Pew analysis, conducted with PBS' "Religion & Ethics Newsweekly," is based on several surveys, including a poll of nearly 3,000 adults conducted June 28-July 9. The finding on the Protestant majority is based on responses from a larger group of more than 17,000 people and has a margin of error of plus or minus 0.9 percentage points, Pew researchers said.

Pew said it had also previously calculated a drop slightly below 50 percent among U.S. Protestants, but those findings had fallen within the margin of error; the General Social Survey, which is conducted by the University of Chicago's National Opinion Research Center, reported for 2010 that the percentage of U.S. Protestants was around 46.7 percent.

The Pew study has found the growth in unaffiliated Americans spans a broad range of groups: men and women, college graduates and those without a college degree, people earning less than $30,000 annually and those earning $75,000 or more. However, along ethnic lines, the largest jump in "nones" has been among whites. One-fifth of whites describe themselves as having no religion.

More growth in "nones" is expected. One-third of adults under age 30 have no religious affiliation, compared to 9 percent of people 65 and older. Pew researchers wrote that "young adults today are much more likely to be unaffiliated than previous generations were at a similar stage in their lives," and aren't expected to become more religiously active as they age.

Religion scholars say the decreased religiosity in the United States could reflect a change in how Americans describe their religious lives. In 2007, 60 percent of people who said they seldom or never attend religious services still identified themselves as part of a particular religious tradition. In 2012, that statistic fell to 50 percent, according to the Pew report.

"Part of what's going on here is that the stigma associated with not being part of any religious community has declined," said John Green, a specialist in religion and politics at the University of Akron, who advised Pew on the survey. "In some parts of the country, there is still a stigma. But overall, it's not the way it used to be."

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October 9th, 2012, 11:21 am
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Post Re: U.S. Protestants lose majority status, says new study
This doesn't surprise me, especially when very little is taught and modeled about a personal relationship with Christ. I would also like to see the statistics that show how many of said "protestants" actually read or know their Bible.

In my time of leadership within the Church, I asked people how many times a day do they eat, and when they eat does someone come and prepare it, dish it up and then feed it to them, or do they do that themselves? So why is it, we Christians believe one Spiritual meal a week is going to be enough to sustain us for all the trials and tribulations of life? The only answer is, it isn't going to!

It's like I've asked you and UK, Pablo: how do you get to know your spouses? By spending time with them, learning their likes and dislikes, romancing them if you will. The same applies to Jesus, you spend time in Scripture, learning to do as he did, and how to handle things as He handled them. When you walk with him, and talk with him, you begin to learn, and experience and see as He did, and it makes all the difference. To do anything else, is putting yourself of being in danger of hearing, "Get away from me you evildoers, I never knew you."

We are not known when God is nothing more than the man upstairs who we present our shopping lists of wants to. We are known when we ask him into our lives, and begin to walk as He walked, love as He loved, and do as He did. To do anything else, is a failure to communicate.

So in this age where truth is relevant to the situation only, it doesn't surprise me that many are falling away, or walking away. The cost is often too heavy for Christians to pay, let alone anyone else, but boy is it worth it to experience it first hand!!!

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October 9th, 2012, 2:11 pm
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