A declining interest in religion has been well documented, but a recent survey by the Pew Forum signals the trend is accelerating. For the first time, less than half of the U.S. population considers itself Protestant. Just 40 years ago, Protestants could boast an affiliation with two- thirds of the country.
The number of those who don't identify with any faith tradition has also skyrocketed. Forty years ago only 7 percent of the country reported no religious affiliation. That number rose to 15 percent five years ago, and today almost 20 percent of Americans declare they are unaffiliated with any religion.
The culture, however, is not as secularized as we might conclude. Of those who don't claim any religious tradition, two-thirds believe in God, one-fifth pray every day and over half think of themselves as religious or spiritual. What is going on? How do we make sense of a trend toward religious disaffiliation while living in a highly spiritual culture?
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