New polling has revealed that church membership is at an all-time low in America.
50% of Americans described themselves as members of a religious congregation in response to questioning from Gallup. The survey didn’t specify if individuals were members of Christian churches, including those who were members of synagogues, mosques and other religious organizations.
Although having half of its population connected to religious groups is high compared to other First World nations, the share of the United States’ population that has been members of church groups has declined significantly.
Similar polling in 1998 found that 70% of Americans belonged to churches and other groups, revealing a 20% decline in just as many years.
Gallup’s surveying revealed the biggest decline in institutional church membership among Catholics. 63% of Catholics described themselves as church members in 2016, compared to 76% in 1998.
Such a decline may be a sign of Catholicism in America experiencing similar demographic changes to mainline Protestantism, which lost a great deal of its practitioners to Evangelical Christianity and irreligion since 1990.
The polling implies that significant portions of self-described Christians and Catholics are willing to identify themselves with their religion without affiliating with an institutional church group.
This could be a sign that organized Christianity is facing a loss of credibility among Americans, likely in part due to a seemingly endless Catholic clergy pedophile scandals.
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