Is Christianity dying? Are all religions losing adherents? Here is something new I'd never considered before.
As a percentage of the whole population, the Christian population is losing, but the trend is slow. The last time I wrote about this, Christians looking at the data could argue that the loss wasn't very important. So what if Christianity is down a few percent? A little proselytizing, a few revival meetings, and they'd be right back on top.
But it turns out it's much worse for the Christians than they thought.
A new report from the Pew Research Center shows that among "millenials" – those born after 1980 who became adults after 2000 – twenty five percent, one quarter of them, are not affiliated with any religion.
That's double the number of non-religious compared to the older generation!
And since religious beliefs are one the most constant aspects of personality, thirty years down the road when these young people are running the country, they'll still be non-Christian, non religious. And that generation's children will be even less religious.
I'm reminded of what happens to immigrants and their "mother tongue" when they come to America. The grandparents who immigrated still speak their native Italian, Spanish, German, Polish, and so on. Their kids learn English pretty well, but also speak their parents' language because that's what's spoken at home. But the grandchildren, the second generation, almost never learn the family's native tongue fluently, and often not at all. By the third generation, it's gone.
Sometimes statistics can hide what's really going on. Surveys that report on the overall trend of religious in America are burying the true trend by averaging young and old. But when you break it down by age group, it's obvious that Christianity, and religion in general, is on the way out.