Half of Adults Say Religious Nones Are Bad for America

Even the unaffiliated don't see declining religiosity as a good thing.

As more Americans identify as religiously unaffiliated, almost half of all adults say the so-called rise of the nones is a bad thing for society.

That's according to new data from the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, which indicates that 48 percent of adults consider the decline in religious committment to be bad for America. Though another 39 percent said it "doesn't make much difference," only 11 percent of people said the decline is good.

Among white evangelical Protestants, more than 3 in 4 (78 percent) say the trend is harmful. Only 4 percent see it as a good thing.

The data do not specify what "bad" entails, but Pew highlights a surprising finding in its analysis:

Even among adults who do not identify with any religion, only about a quarter (24 percent) say the trend is good, while nearly as many say it is bad (19 percent); a majority (55 percent) of the unaffiliated say it does not make much difference for society.

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