Monday, December 31, 2007

American Christianity Remains Strong in 2007

More than 8 out of 10 Americans Identify with a Christian Religion:

About 82 percent of Americans have said they identify with a Christian faith during polls conducted by Gallup in 2007. Fifty-one percent said they were Protestant; 5 percent said they were “other Christian;” 23 percent, Roman Catholic; and 3 percent, another Christian faith. Gallup included Mormonism (2 percent) as part of the three percent listed under another Christian faith, but many Christians do not consider it part of the Christian tradition.

Additionally, 11 percent of Americans said they had no religious identity, while another 2 percent did not answer.

The percentage of those who have identified with a Christian religion this year is down compared to several decades ago. This is largely because many Americans have adopted no religious identity and not so much because they have shifted to other religions, according to Gallup.

Among self-described Christians in America, 62 percent said they are members of a church, down from 73 percent reported in the 1937 Gallup Poll. But the latest poll result was not significantly different compared to previous years. Since 2002, the self-reported church membership has been between 63 percent and 65 percent.

About a third of respondents have said they attend church once a week, and another 12 percent said they attend almost every week, according to a Gallup poll conducted Dec. 6-9. Overall, about 44 percent of Americans are currently described as frequent churchgoers, attending church at least almost every week.

While the number of American's identifying themselves as religious, what is more telling is to look at their revealed preferences.  American church attendance has remained relatively steady since it's founding in 1776.  What has seemed to change is the willingness of those who don't go to church to not identify themselves as religious.

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