About this blog: Discussing religion, spirituality and values. About the writers: Amy Umble is the religion reporter for The Free Lance-Star. Janet Marshall is the religion editor for The Free Lance-Star.
Shopping for Faith
Last year, a Pew poll found a lot of Americans changing faith. It seemed a new phenemenon and, for a while, you couldn’t go anywhere without seeing a story about America losing its faith. This was partly because of the survey’s findings that the ranks of the unaffiliated–those who claim no particular religion–were growing. Well, today, Pew released a follow up poll, exploring why these people are switching faith and where they’re going.
The study found that more than half of Americans change their religion in their lifetime–and many more than once. Adults are more likely to switch before the age of 24 and less likely after 50.
Interestingly, most switch simply because they "just drifted away." Another majority leave because their spiritual needs aren’t met.
When it comes to choosing a religion, many pick based on worship service or style, or clergy. And while the ranks of the unaffiliated may be growing, that group is also losing membership fast. Most people who were raised unaffiliated now belong to a religion.
Conversely, most people–79 percent–who are unaffiliated now belonged to a religion growing up.
And for those who think the rising ranks of unaffiliated means less faith in America: four-in-ten unaffiliated Americans say religion is important in their lives. So maybe the headlines about a godless America were a bit premature…
Find the full study here.