On December 14, 2021, Pew published an exhaustive research report on Christianity in America. Below are some of the highlights.
- Those who identify as Christians have dropped from 75% in 2011 to 63% in 2021. To be clear, from my view of Biblical Christianity, it should be noted that Pew has included in this group of “Christians” false teachings such as Mormons.
- 29% of US adults consider themselves atheists, agnostics, or “nothing in particular”
- Those who identify as Protestants have experienced the greatest drop over the last ten years, from 50% to 40% of the population.
- Today, 60% of Protestants consider themselves “evangelical or born-again” while 24% of the general population identify with this designation.
- In 2007, 18% of the US population said they never prayed. Today that percentage has increased to 32%.
These results all point to a deterioration in American Christianity. Missing however is a deeper truth in that those who identify as “Christians” are not only a smaller percentage of the total population, they have become weaker in their core theology. This trend is evidenced through a 2020 poll by Ligonier Ministries offering the following statements:
“God counts a person as righteous not because of one’s works but only because of one’s faith in Jesus Christ.”
In 2020 only 84% of “Evangelicals” agreed with this statement, down from 91% in 2018. A somewhat more positive result (from 51% in 2018 down to 42% in 2020) came from the following statement:
“God accepts the worship of all religions, including Christianity, Judaism, and Islam.”
Of course, it is dangerous to extrapolate from these results. However, it would seem clear that fewer Americans consider themselves born-again. And even though most Evangelicals recognize their unique relationship with God, they are becoming less clear as to its foundational basis (faith vs. works).