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More Non-Evangelicals Are Calling Themselves Born Again

A growing share of mainline Protestants and Catholics have taken on the once-distinctive label over the past three decades.
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More Non-Evangelicals Are Calling Themselves Born Again

Just as more Americans are becoming religiously unaffiliated (“nones”), there’s another major shift happening on the other side of the religious spectrum. More people today say they are “born again” than at any point in the past three decades.

It almost seems counterintuitive. While significant portions of the country jettison religion, others are increasingly identifying with a more devout expression of the faith. Across segments of Christianity—not just evangelical Protestants—Americans are heeding the scriptural call that “you must be born again” (John 3:7), even when the label has not historically been part of their faith traditions.

For decades, demographers have measured born-again identity. The General Social Survey (GSS), asks respondents, “Would you say you have been ‘born again’ or have had a ‘born again’ experience—that is, a turning point in your life when you committed yourself to Christ?” ...

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May/June
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