The main methods for measuring American faith are flawed.
So thinks the Pew Research Center, which today released the second wave of a massive study designed to “fill the gap” left by the United States census (no questions on religion), the self-reporting of denominations (“widely differing criteria”), and smaller surveys (too few questions or people).
Scrutinizing the past seven years, Pew finds that, amid the rise of the “nones” and other popular talking points, the fate of evangelicals is proving much brighter than Christianity at large.
Here are highlights from the US Religious Landscape Study, conducted among more than 35,000 adults in English and Spanish, of how American religion has changed from 2007 to 2014:
1) Evangelicals have remained remarkably stable
Over the past seven years, evangelicals have lost less than 1 percent of their share of the population, holding steady at about 1 in 4 American adults (25.4% in 2014, vs. 26.3% ...1