Most ‘Nones’ Still Keep the Faith

Mar 31, 2021 by

by Ryan Burge, Christianity Today:

I pastor an American Baptist church in a small town in rural Illinois. When the current building was dedicated in 1968, there were more than 300 members. By the last 1990s, there were about a hundred. When I became the pastor in 2006, just 50. Now, on a good Sunday I can look out from the pulpit and see 20 souls in the seats.

Where did they all go? I became a social scientist, in part, to try to figure that out. In my forthcoming book, The Nones: Where They Came From, Who They Are, And Where They Are Going, I document in detail how and why so many Americans are now counted among the ranks of religiously unaffiliated in the United States.

What I discovered was that while many people have walked away from a religious affiliation, they haven’t left all aspects of religion and spirituality behind. So, while growing numbers of Americans may not readily identify as Christian any longer, they still show up to a worship service a few times a year or maintain their belief in God.

The reality is that many of the nones are really “somes.”

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