Research Reveals Non-Believers Are Largest Group After Evangelicals

atheist-symbolReported by Evette D. Champion

According to research conducted by Pew Research Center, approximately 56 million Americans do not affiliate with any religion. The group has been dubbed the “nones,” and it is now the second largest group in the country; evangelicals take the title of being the largest religious group in the nation.

The research reports that the nones group is made up of 31 percent of atheists, which is an increase from 25 percent in 2007. The nones also include individuals who state they believe in God but simply do not associate with any particular religion. The group also includes individuals who consider themselves to be “spiritual,” but do not believe in God.

The research director, Greg Smith, said the findings of the study “point to substantive changes” for those who do not have any religious affiliation. Those who are not affiliated have become more organized as they continue efforts to keep religion separate from public life.

The research also states that Christianity continues to be the religion of choice in the U.S., with seven in 10 Americans choosing to identify as Christian. Be that as it may, Christianity is decreasing in the nation—in 2007, 78 percent of the population identified as Christian, but in 2014, only 71 percent claimed to be Christian.

The decline of the Christian population is mainly due to the decline of mainline Protestant and Catholics. Each of those large religious traditions have seen a decline by almost three percentage points since 2007. Also, the evangelical Protestant population has seen a decline, although at a slower rate of just one percentage point.
American Christians mirror the rest of the nation, as they are becoming more racially and ethnically diverse.

Non-Hispanic Whites account for a smaller portion of evangelical Protestant, mainline Protestant, and Catholic then they did seven years ago. Hispanics have grown as a share of all three religious groups. Today, racial and ethnic minorities make up 41 percent of Catholics, which is an increase from 35 percent in 2007. They also make up 24 percent of evangelical Protestants (up from 19 percent) and 14 percent of mainline Protestants (up from 9 percent).

By contrast, the historically Black Protestant tradition, which includes the National Baptist Convention, the Church of God in Christ, the African Methodist Episcopal Church, the Progressive Baptist Convention and others, continue to remain stable.



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