By David Leonhardt
The rise of religious nonbelief is one of the most striking social trends in the United States. My colleague Nate Cohn discusses the trend, with a focus on the recent decline of Americans who identify as Christians, in an article this morning analyzing a large new survey by the Pew Research Center.
Pew asks Americans what their religion is and gives several choices for people who don’t identify as belonging to one. One choice is “atheist,” another is “agnostic” and a third is “nothing in particular.” Among people who give that last answer, Pew also asks whether religion is important in their lives.
To create a larger category of the nonreligious, I’ve combined atheists, agnostics and people who said both that they didn’t belong to a religion and that religion wasn’t important to them. This group made up 15.8 percent of the United States population in 2014, up from 10.3 percent only seven years earlier, according to Pew.
And the share seems likely to continue growing — because young people are much more likely to be secular than middle-aged and older adults.
A remarkable 25 percent of Americans born after 1980, the group often known as millennials, are not religious, compared with 11 percent of baby boomers and 7 percent of the generation born between 1928 and 1945.
It’s not clear that millennials will become much more religious as they age, either. Despite the cliché about people getting more religious as they get older, it hasn’t been happening recently. No generation has become more religious since 2007, according to the Pew data. Baby boomers and the so-called Generation X have become slightly less religious over that time, and millennials have become substantially less.
In 2007, only 16 percent of millennials said they were not religious — a sign that Americans born in the 1990s are probably even less religious than those born in the 1980s.
This article is from The Upshot which provides news, analysis and graphics about politics, policy and everyday life.
A new survey found the top "never churched" cities in the United States -- and West Palm Beach, Florida, topped the list.
According to the research firm, "never churched" adults "have never in their lives regularly attended a church." As a WPTV anchor put it, "The study found that 17 percent of us have never regularly attended church. Santa Barbara, California, and New York City are 2 and 3."
Research firm Barna Group, which conducted the survey, discovered four in 10 adults in the U.S. haven't attended a church service in the past half year.
This mirrors what the Hartford Institute for Religion Research has found over the past couple of years.
By Nicola Menzie , Christian Post Reporter
Dr. David Jeremiah, megachurch pastor, bestselling author and popular Bible teacher, believes the End Times began in 1948, when a nation that features prominently in the Bible was re-established as a state for the first time in 2,000 years. In fact, considering "the whole scope of world history," Jeremiah would have to conclude that "yes, we are in the End Times," or Earth's last days
“I personally believe that the End Times, in the sense of Bible prophecy, probably started for us in 1948 when Israel became a nation, because many of the prophecies in the New Testament especially, could not be fulfilled until Israel was at home in her nation," Jeremiah told The Christian Post.
The Shadow Mountain Community Church senior pastor, who took over that position from another prophecy buff, Dr. Tim LaHaye, examines perhaps one of the most intriguing books of the Bible in his latest work, Agents of the Apocalypse.
In Agents of the Apocalypse: A Riveting Look at the Key Players of the End Times, Jeremiah examines the Book of Revelation through 10 distinct characters or groups, including "The Exile," "The Martyrs," "The Two Witnesses," and "The Dragon." Each chapter opens with a "a fictional element," intended to help readers fully grasp the meaning of the apocalyptic work, explained Jeremiah.
Two Christian pastors and a deacon have each been given six-year sentences by an Iranian court. A persecution watchdog group has expressed concern over the development, noting that the prisons are isolated and will force the men's families to travel great distances to see them.
"We are deeply concerned by the six-year sentences given to pastors [Benham] Irani and [Matthias] Haghnejad and deacon Silas Rabbani, and the fact that they will serve these sentences so far from their families and home towns," said Christian Solidarity Worldwide Chief Operating Officer Andy Dipper.
"We are particularly appalled by the extra six years given to pastor Irani, who has already endured ill-treatment whilst in prison and now faces nearly a decade in prison on trumped-up charges. We urge the Iranian government to release without delay every person who is imprisoned for their faith. Their incarceration contravenes international covenants guaranteeing freedom of religion or belief, to which Iran is party."