A recent survey and study by the acclaimed Pew Forum, just released on October 9th, shows many telling truths about where this country is, versus where it was just a few decades ago. The results are not promising for Christians- and many others- throughout the nation.
Amongst the data is the fact that 20% of all adults identify themselves as being atheist, agnostic, or having no religious affiliation. That number is the highest it has ever been, and has increased significantly over the past 10 years. Delving deeper in to the survey reveals that the majority of this specific group are younger people- those under thirty years old. That category leads us to believe that, if attitudes remain, our future will not be better.
Also of note is the fairly drastic decline in those who claim they are Protestants; those have gone down 18% over the past 40 years (from 62% to 51% of the U.S. population). Roman Catholics have remained steady, but this is misleading. American-born Catholics have declined in recent decades, but this has been made up by the large influx of immigrants from Mexico and Central and South America. All of these areas are almost exclusively Catholic.
Most readers do not need this recent professional survey to state the obvious: the United States is becoming less Christian, and more atheist, humanist, and other world religions (such as Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, etc). What does this mean? Is this a good thing for our society? What about our future?
If more people do not identify with religion, and Christianity specifically, where do they derive their moral compass from? What, or who, guides them? For many, pop culture guides them. For others, it is the national government. In either case, that is not a positive. Also, where at one point one’s parents were their main source of wisdom- today many families and homes are broken. Uninvolved fathers and other tragic circumstances have become the norm for many families over the past few decades.
That said, this is an era where we need God the most. The recent trends hurt us in many ways, and the timing could not be worse. Let us hope for a 21st Century version of a Great Awakening- soon.