Fewer Americans believe in God, pray daily and regularly go to church than in 2007, a poll says.
More than 35,000 Americans were polled about their religious beliefs over four months in 2014 by the Pew Research Center. The study, called the 2014 ReligiousLandscape, was released Tuesday. It updatesresearch done seven years ago.The Pew Research center said the percentage of Americans who are “absolutely certain” God exists fell to 63 percent from 71 percent.
One reason for this, the center says, is the large population of young adults – called Millennials – who say they don’t belong to any religion.
The other reason is that older, more religiousAmericans, are dying.
The people who don’t belong to a religion are called“nones” by the survey’s writers.
“Nones” made up 16 percent of the adult population in 2007. This time around, the number is 23 percent.
Among the “nones,” about 61 percent said theybelieved in God.
But the research center said there is a “great deal of stability in the U.S.religious landscape” in spite of the lower numbers.
Within the category of people who are affiliated with a religion, the numbersstayed mostly stable.
Seventy-seven percent of the people surveyed said they were connected to areligion, down from 83 percent in 2007.
In that group, 89 percent of those surveyed said they believe in God, whichwas only a small change from the last time the survey came out.
Alan Cooperman, the Pew center’s director of religious research, says thosewho identify as “religious” are as observant as ever.
“On some measures, there are even small increases in their levels of religiouspractice.”
The survey asked Americans about a number of hot-button issues related toreligion.
The survey looked at Americans’ views on homosexuality, abortion andevolution.
People who identified as Christian were about 10 percent more accepting ofhomosexuality than they were seven years ago. Most Christian institutionsofficially oppose homosexuality.
Views about abortion were mostly unchanged compared with the surveyseven years ago. Fifty-three percent of Americans said abortion should belegal in most cases.
About evolution, 62 percent of Americans said they believed humans evolvedover time. Thirty-four percent said they did not believe in that theory.
I’m Kelly Jean Kelly.
Words in This Story
abortion – n. a medical procedure used to end a pregnancy and cause thedeath of the fetus
affiliate– v. to closely connect (something or yourself) with or to something(such as a program or organization) as a member or partner
capture – v. to get and put (information) into a form that can be read or usedby a computer
homosexual – adj. sexually attracted to people of the same sex
hot button – n. an issue that causes people to feel strong emotions (such asanger) and to argue with each other
millennial – n. an idiomatic term used to describe the generation of peopleborn between the early 1980s and early 2000s
observant – adj. careful to follow religious teachings or customs