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US Church Membership Drops Belows 50%

Discussion in 'Current News & Events (Articles Required)' started by bèlla, Mar 29, 2021.

  1. bèlla

    bèlla ❤️ Supporter

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    Church membership across United States drops below 50% for the first time in eight decades, poll finds

    [​IMG]
    • Membership at a church, synagogue or mosque across the United States reached an all-time low of 47 percent last year, the Gallup report shows
    • Prior to 2000, membership at places of worship had mostly stayed around the 70 percent mark
    • Gallup has been measuring the religious memberships since 1937 when it was about 73 percent
    • It has been steadily declining over the last decade
    [​IMG]

    The number of Americans who are members of a place of worship has dropped below 50 percent for the first time in eight decades, a new report shows.

    Membership at a church, synagogue or mosque across the United States reached an all-time low of 47 percent last year, the Gallup report shows.

    Prior to 2000, membership at places of worship had mostly stayed around the 70 percent mark.

    [​IMG]

    It has been steadily declining over the last decade.

    The decline is driven by the increasing number of Americans who now say they don't affiliate with a particular religion.

    The percentage of Americans who don't identify with a religion has grown to 21 percent in the last three years, compared to 8 percent between 1998 to 2000.

    The trend also appears to be tied to age with 66 percent of people born before 1946 saying they belong to a church or place of worship.

    In comparison, 36 percent of millennials said they belonged to a place of worship. Fifty-eight percent of baby boomer and 50 percent of Gen X belong to a church.

    'The US remains a religious nation, with more than seven in 10 affiliating with some type of organized religion,' the report says.

    'However, far fewer, now less than half, have a formal membership with a specific house of worship.

    [​IMG]

    'While it is possible that part of the decline seen in 2020 was temporary and related to the COVID-10 pandemic, continued decline in future decades seems inevitable, given the much lower levels of religiosity and church membership among younger versus older generations of adults.'

    [​IMG]

    Each generation has seen a decline in membership among those who do affiliate with a specific religion.
     
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  2. Basil the Great

    Basil the Great Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Yes, I have followed trends like this for sometime now. As bad as it is in the USA, you should check out rates of church/Mass attendance in Europe. Things are much worse in Europe than the USA. However, they may only be a few decades ahead of what could happen here by 2050 or 2075.
     
  3. DragonFox91

    DragonFox91 Well-Known Member

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    I thought I got banned from this section?

    I blame the church #1 for this problem. They didn't care if the youth fell astray. Now the youth aren't young anymore.

    But membership doesn't mean not going. I'm not a member but attend church consistently. I know other millennials who do the same.

    Also, I feel like those demographics could help the church out to find out where we're bleeding the most......

    And I'd like to see deeper research into this:
    'The US remains a religious nation, with more than seven in 10 affiliating with some type of organized religion,' the report says.
    I think you're right about Europe, but why is it worse there? Is there anyway we could avoid that happening here?
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2021
  4. PloverWing

    PloverWing Episcopalian

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    So, I find this interesting. You can't speak for all millennials, I suppose, but you can speak for yourself. If you attend church consistently, why have you not joined your church as an official member?
     
  5. Handmaid for Jesus

    Handmaid for Jesus You can't steal my joy Supporter

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    This is already written in prophecy.
     
  6. DragonFox91

    DragonFox91 Well-Known Member

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    For a while I was going to a few different churches, each for a different reason. One of the 3 I could see myself becoming a member. I've started favoring this one but want to make sure it really is the fit I think it is.
     
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  7. bèlla

    bèlla ❤️ Supporter

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    True. I’m heading to Europe for school and supported missionaries in the past. But the Eastern Europe church is growing (the last time I checked).

    ~bella
     
  8. bèlla

    bèlla ❤️ Supporter

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    This is the news section.

    Church hopping is a thing too. Membership implies commitment. Some people attend on major events and holiday.

    It would probably include religions outside of Christianity.
     
  9. Pioneer3mm

    Pioneer3mm Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Many 'committed' Christians have been leaving churches(established church)..for years.
    They are tired of church politics, money, status issue, etc..
    ---
    I remember reading an article..years ago.
    - It was about the 'decline of Christianity in Europe'.
    - He (author) wrote, "United States/North America is next.."
    ---
    I was involved in several churches..during my spiritual journey from 1970's.
     
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  10. paul1149

    paul1149 that your faith might rest in the power of God Supporter

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    Though there were big drops all around, what struck me was the precipitous fall off among Democrats over Republicans, Liberals over Conservatives, Catholics over Protestants, and non-college over college. That last category puzzles me.

    As for Europe, I believe the decline into the hell of WWII so soon after WWI, which was the purported "war to end all wars", quite fatally shook their faith in Christian institutions. They have since taken the lead in secularism, progressivism, and globalism.
     
  11. hislegacy

    hislegacy Respect to those who we lost

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    I'm wondering what the numbers look like if you factor in the thousands of churches that have been closed or at limited capacity over the last year.

    Overall, I tend to agree with this quote from Rick Renner

    HERE'S A THOUGHT: Pure preaching of doctrine has been so replaced by motivating, uplifting messages that the majority of people in the pews are ignorant of the most elementary aspects of New Testament doctrine. Often those who occupy the pulpits, while masterful communicators and rate highly among motivational messages, they themselves are not educated in basic bible principles or no longer preach it because it isn’t as popular as other types of messages. As a result, a drift from the bible continues unabated and doctrinal vacuum is being created in the church that is filled with exceptional business ideas, motivational messages, but not Word that the Holy Spirit is bound to confirm with signs and wonders. Some of what is preached is helpful, but the same help could be purchased in a book by a psychological guru. It isn’t the Bible – and when everything is said and done, only the Bible has the power to permanently transform.
    -- Rick Renner​
     
  12. PloverWing

    PloverWing Episcopalian

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    Exploring different churches to find a place where you belong makes sense. I hope you find a place that is good for you.
     
  13. RickardoHolmes

    RickardoHolmes Active Member

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    Sounds familiar my friend. I so tired of the garbage that went along with church membership that I said "No More" I enjoy my freedom too much to go back.

    I too though was involved in many different churches/religious organization/religious groups during my spiritual journey. What I learned long ago was that Christ is within us, and God is everywhere. Many churches have made the mistake of claiming "ownership" of God or even more deceptive, claiming to have "the truth here and here only" While I enjoy certain aspects of certain worship services at certain times, my name will not be on a formal membership roll because I have had way too many negative experiences trying that in the past. And I have learned from my mistakes (and the mistakes of others, too) .
     
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  14. hislegacy

    hislegacy Respect to those who we lost

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    Some Pentecostal and non denominational churches do not have membership per say.
     
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  15. lismore

    lismore Maranatha

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    Hello Bella,

    Interesting stats! As other posters have said, I think Europe and the UK are further down this road already.

    But overall I believe the result are skewed by two facts. 1) A lot of very committed born again Christians are not members of churches. 2) A lot of people who appear on church membership rolls are not practising Christians. What is the definition of 'membership?'.

    As to point 1 several contributors here have already shared their faith and that they are not currently church members. I have friends and relatives in this camp too.

    As to point 2, I have relatives still on membership rolls who haven't had meaningful contact in years, or who openly laugh at the teachings of their church. Some appear on the rolls as they were baptized as infants and go along for weddings etc, but have no real interaction with their church. There was also a controversy in this country where a state denomination were publishing figures according to 'the parish', 'we're a parish with 600 souls'. Including everyone in the locality as 'the parish'. A parish with 600 souls where regular attendance at services was 15. Another point of contention was some churches substituting association for membership. For example anyone who came along to the soup kitchen, youth club, or attended a group who hired a church hall for use were recorded as having a connection with the church.

    God Bless :)
     
  16. lismore

    lismore Maranatha

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    I encountered that in an AOG church and in Destiny Church, although it seemed to be a little ambiguous.
    Office bearers seemed to be ad hoc and changed quite regularly.

    The AOG pastor said that membership was 'too religious', so there wasn't a formal membership process. But he also complained about 'disgruntled ex members'. :scratch:

    Even churches with no formal membership process must be recording 'membership' in some way and passing it along.
     
  17. jgarden

    jgarden Senior Veteran

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    Roughly two-thirds of Germans were Protestant, almost all of the rest Catholic ... Just 1.5 percent of Germans identified themselves as unbelievers in a 1939 census ..."

    According to standard biographies, the principal Nazi leaders were all born, baptized, and raised Christian. Most grew up in strict, pious households where tolerance and democratic values were disparaged. Nazi leaders of Catholic background included Adolf Hitler, Heinrich Himmler, Reinhard Heydrich, and Joseph Goebbels.

    Hitler did well in monastery school. He sang in the choir, found High Mass and other ceremonies intoxicating, and idolized priests. Impressed by their power, he at one time considered entering the priesthood.

    Rudolf Hoess, who as commandant at Auschwitz-Birkinau pioneered the use of the Zyklon-B gas that killed half of all Holocaust victims, had strict Catholic parents.

    Hermann Goering had mixed Catholic-Protestant parentage, while Rudolf Hess, Martin Bormann, Albert Speer, and Adolf Eichmann had Protestant backgrounds.

    Not one of the top Nazi leaders was raised in a liberal or atheistic family—no doubt, the parents of any of them would have found such views scandalous.

    Traditionalists would never think to deprive their offspring of the faith-based moral foundations that they would need to grow into ethical adults.

    The Great Scandal: Christianity's Role in the Rise of the Nazis
    **********************************************************
    Stalin is unique among world communist leaders in at least one respect: he studied theology for five years at the Tiflis Spiritual Seminary, the training college for priests in the Russian Orthodox Church.

    He did so during a deeply formative time of his life, from the age of 15 to the verge of his 20th birthday (1894-1899). One of the best students, he was known for his intellect and phenomenal memory. And he was notably devout, attending all worship services and even leading the choir.

    Saint Iosif: Stalin and Religion | Political Theology Network
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2021
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  18. paul1149

    paul1149 that your faith might rest in the power of God Supporter

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    @jgarden I believe the failure of Christianity to prevent WWII, coming so soon after the devastation of the 'war to end all wars', WWI, was the reason Europe abandoned it and embraced secular globalism. It was an utter bow to blatant anti-Christ politicization of the church.
     
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  19. Bobber

    Bobber Well-Known Member

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    I'm not sure exactly what one can take away from this information except the one thing...church membership.

    Not sure one can consider it means people don't have a relationship or interest in God of a sort for a great many don't actually go to physical churches BUT.....they watch preaching through internet, youtube and reading books listening to Christian radio or any number of things. Technology in the minds of some has made things so very convenient not having to get up on a Sunday, drive to a place and with some just a service isn't appealing to them.

    Church mentality should go way beyond just thinking one has to sit through a Pastor's sermon, listening to a few songs, smile and go home. A healthy way of thinking about church should be get to meet some people, have your lives interact with them in fellowship, looking for ways that you can be a strength and blessing to their lives and they the same to you. God wants us to think of ourselves as the family coming together . For Christians not wanting to go to any church I think it saddens God in the same way if siblings of earthly parents won't come together for a family gathering. It just brings such joy at least to me when I see my adult kids want to come together to be a support encouragement and strength to each other. I think God wants us to think in this family way.
     
  20. lismore

    lismore Maranatha

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    The importance of Christian Community :)
     
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