RSS
Religion’s lost ground
What's happening to organized religion in America?

“When it comes to religion,” said Cathy Lynn Grossman in USA Today, “the USA is now land of the freelancers.” In every part of the country, traditional religious groups are losing ground—the Bible Belt is becoming less Baptist, the Rust Belt less Catholic, according to the new American Religious Identification Survey. More and more people seem to be "exploring spiritual frontiers—or falling off the faith map completely."

One of the most shocking findings of this "blockbuster" survey, said Steven Waldman in BeliefNet, is that the only "faith group" whose ranks seem to be growing is the one claiming "no religion."

The biggest increase for that group came in the Northeast, said Tom Bevan in RealClearPolitics. That's probably because of both the region's increasingly liberal politics and the "fallout from the disastrous revelations of the Catholic church."

The nation's growing nonreligious minority is just part of the news, said Michelle Boorstein in The Washington Post. The survey also complicated a question that stumps demographers: Who makes up the growing group of evangelicals? With 44 percent of America's 77 million Christians identifying themselves as evangelicals, the researchers said, defining evangelicals is harder than ever.

EDITORS' PICKS

THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER

Subscribe to the Week