According to new research conducted by Pew Research Center, around 90% of American adults identified as Christian in the 1990s. Fast forward to 2020. About 64% of Americans, including children, identified as Christian. Individuals who do not affiliate with any religion made up for 30% of the population.
By 2070, Pew Research Center projects that the percentage of Christians will decrease between 35% and 54%, while non-affiliates will increase somewhere between 34% and 52%. While this is only a projection, the Center believes that this could happen, given recent trends.
One of these trends includes Americans switching their religious identities, which the Center has been observing from recent decades through 2019. Based on these observations, the Center estimates that 31% of Americans raised as Christians will become unaffiliated between the ages of 15 and 29, a time when religion switching is common.
The trends also show that older Americans have the highest percentage of being Christian, and that percentage decreases as newer generations arrive.
When looking at Americans in their 30s, the Center determined that only 66% of those who were raised in a Christian household were still Christians today. This number is significantly lower than Americans 40 and over, who rank in at 80%.
Why are so many Americans abandoning their Christian faith?
The Center concludes that education, politics, and geography are the culprits. When examining Americans with college degrees, it was determined that 35% of graduates leave their Christian affiliation, while 31% maintain their Christian identity. In all, the research concludes that the higher an American’s educational level, the less religious they tend to be.
When reviewing political affiliations, the Center concludes that 7 out of 10 American adults who were raised Christian and have abandoned that identity tend to be “Democrats or Democratic-left leaning independents, compared with 43% of those who remained Christian and 51% of U.S. adults overall.”
Studying the geographical components, the Center determined that those who live in the Western part of the country were more likely to be unaffiliated with Christianity, while those in the Southern U.S. tended to be more religious than the West and Northeast.
Why is discipleship important?
As Christian values have decreased over the years, sin has increased. This fact makes one thing certain; the world needs Jesus.
As Christians, it is important for us to follow Jesus’ message in Matthew 28:19, ESV: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”
When you look at the Gospels, Jesus did not choose the most righteous of individuals to be disciples. He called ordinary men, sinners, people like you and I to be part of the Great Commission. It is our duty and joy as believers.
Being a disciple means making sacrifices for Christ. Luke 9:23, ESV, states: “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” This means not giving in to life’s temptations, no matter how fulfilling.
As His disciples, we are commanded to spread the Gospel boldly. There are various ways of spreading the Word; through writing, social media, verbally, by ones actions, etc. Whichever way is chosen, it is important that we put on the full armor of God and be unafraid to do God’s work.
At the end of the day, we as disciples must stand tall and share the Good News that Jesus died on the cross for all of our sins and that He alone is the way, the truth, and the life, for the sake of our country and the world.