Pew report: Older US Christians being quickly replaced by young 'nones' -


This is getting old @patrick. How many repeats of the same story do you want to post?

It is not getting old. It is a current look at what is going on in American society. The rapid decline in US Christians is going to have a tremendous impact on elections, laws, education, healthcare, and general US society. Surveys like these show graphically the impact of PS, YEC, ID, and Biologos are having on society and especially the Millennials. I am surprise about the lack of discussion here about it as its impact is going to be far reaching.


Maybe you can have a discussion with @BigGaloot, who liked the posts. Is @BigGaloot someone’s alt account? Never commented but liked thousands of posts, usually from atheists regardless of the quality of the posts themselves.


Yes would like to discuss with @BigGaloot whoever she is. :sunglasses:

For the 100th time, those statistics are misleading, conservative Christians are holding strong, even growing, as liberal Christians slide into the Nones. Consequently, these statistics do not support your narrative.

Conservative Christians are not holding strong. Show some data backing up your claims.

From Pew Survey

White evangelicals are declining and now constitute about 16% of the U.S. population, down from 19% a decade ago.

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White evangelicals are not he only conservative Christians. To be clear, I do not mean conservative in a political sense. We’ve covered this ad nauseam in the past. Perhaps use the search function of the forum?

So who are these conservative Christians who are holding strong? How old are they? Certainly not millennial’s

“It’s quite shocking,” said Scott Thumma, a sociologist of religion at Hartford Seminary. “This rapid shift is about generational replacement. The most religious folks are the ones who are dying and the least religious folks are the ones coming in.”

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It’s not just white Evangelicals, Patrick:

The data shows that both Protestants who describe themselves as born-again or evangelical Christians and Protestants who are not born-again or evangelical have declined as a share of the overall U.S. adult population, reflecting the country’s broader shift away from Christianity as a whole. – In U.S., Decline of Christianity Continues at Rapid Pace | Pew Research Center

The attached graphs show a drop from 28% to 25% for “born-again or evangelical” over the last decade.

And whilst this group might not be the only group of “conservative Christians”, they are by far the most easily distinguishable conservative Christians at the aggregate level (as most surveys would not differentiate within denominations by theological conservatism).

Like Patrick, I would be interested in seeing hard statistical evidence that “conservative Christians are holding strong”. Searching on the ‘Society’ tag yields a vast number of irrelevant threads. Maybe a more specialised ‘Demographics’ tag would help.

Addendum: looking back on the thread associated with the article I cited above, it’s possible that Joshua was misled by the following comment (from Jordan) into believing that the article supported growth in this group:

the percentage of born-again/evangelical Protestants went up quite a bit. To my mind this seems to be a “melt” amongst those primarily involved with Christianity socially and not because of core beliefs. It makes sense that when a religion dominates a society that some percentage are not “true believers”.

(Jordan may have been mistaken due to the fact that although “born-again or evangelical” may have fallen in absolute terms, its share of Protestantism increased slightly, from 56% to 59%.)


It seemed clear in my head but maybe was less clear in my words. That 56% → 59% change was what I was looking at. I wasn’t trying to address absolute numbers, but rather looking at shifts within the Christian population. In other words, born-again/Evangelical Christians seem more resistant to the decrease. I don’t know how significant those numbers are, but I don’t think it supports conservative theology being the “problem” necessarily.

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It might be argued that the relative resistance of Evangelicals to apostasy may be at least partially due to social factors. The social cost of apostasy among more conservative Christians is likely to be higher than among more liberal, on average, as the latter group seems to be more tolerant of atheists in their midst (I don’t have hard statistical data to back this up, though I have seen considerable anecdotal evidence supporting this).

Regardless, a 10% (28->25%) decrease in absolute Evangelicalism seems more likely to be statistically significant, and noteworthy, than a 5% (56->59%) increase in share-of-Protestantism.


As a parent of sons and daughters in this camp, I’ve certainly noticed that there is are more gals than dudes represented in church activities and events; quite different from my day. Sometimes it’s near parity, but more often it is two or even three to one. Not a rigorous poll, but along with the Pew, I do think something is going on there.

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Yes the Pew survey did address the sex and age of respondents. Woman tend to be more religious than men, an older people tend to be more religious than younger people. But in terms of absolute numbers the tend is towards a more secular America at an accelerating pace like has already occurred in Western Europe, Canada, and Australia.

A key question for those who hold on to religious beliefs is how will you function in a more and more secular society?

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Mainstream Christians in North America have made the Bible impossible, and made Christians look ignorant. I won’t even start on the gutter level morality of the North American Christian Right. The decline of Christianity in North America is very much case of sowing the wind and reaping the whirlwind.

Historically women have always been over-represented in religion, and Christianity is a prime example.

Speaking as someone who has always believed extremely strongly in the complete separation of church and state, and who lives in a nation in which Christianity is represented by a mere 5% of the population, I’ll function perfectly well.


Hello @Tim, and welcome to Peaceful Science. :slight_smile:

If you would like to introduce yourself, use the Introductions tag - or a Moderator can add the tag for you.

Meh. This is quite possibly nothing more that the effect of the reduction of the stigma in America of declaring oneself anything other than Christian. Since the start of the church there has been a distinction between the visible church, made up of self-identifying Christians, and the invisible church, made up of the saints. I think everyone agrees that there has always been a large “cultural Christian” component of the visible church. If that is what is being reduced–good for those who no longer feel the need to pretend to be Christians and good for the church when they stop wasting space in the pews. It’s a win-win.


However it has always been the large “cultural Christian” would gave the money that keep the lights on at the church and paid the ministers’ salary. Once these cultural Christians leave, the money will dry up. Then we will see churches up for sale and reuse in more secular purposes.

What kind of distorted view of Christianity do you have? Are you equating the church with the church building? The former does not depend on the latter.

Besides, conservative churches are growing. In atheist terms, we are indeed seeing the Talibanization of Christianity. My church, and others like it, are a) young (present company excluded) and b) financially healthy.


I have a realistic view of what I see in the churches in Central New Jersey. Membership is dwindling and those that remain are older. In richer areas, the older donors keep the congregation going. In the poorer areas, the church building itself is not well maintained, and the money problems are severe.
This may not be happening in your area but in the urban Northeast, the mainline Protestant and Catholic Churches are decaying away. Parochial schools are all but gone.

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