Snapshots of Religious Life

What do the recent surveys tell us about the future of faith?

Snapshot: The recently released American Religious Identification Survey (ARIS) indicates that faith is going down across the board. The number of people who identify themselves as Christian has decreased by 11 percent in a generation. The single fastest-growing category when it comes to religious affiliation is "None," which grew from 8 percent to 15 percent since 1990.

The "Nones" are the single biggest group in the state of Vermont, at 34 percent of the state's population. And "None" was the only religious category to grow in all 50 states.

One of the other fastest growing categories is "Don't Know/confused." (You can supply your own mainline humor here. In fact, the "two-party system" of evangelical versus mainline Christianity that I grew up with is collapsing. In an ironic return to Reformation language, in the United States "evangelical" will soon be synonymous with "Protestant.")

Barry Kosmin, who co-authored the survey, commented that more than ever before "people are just making ...

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