According to a new survey conducted by the Public Religion Research Institute, even though the number of Americans for whom faith is most important, has declined, churchgoers remain happy. For 16% of Americans, faith is the most important thing as compared to 20% in 2013. Moreover, 29% expressed religion is not at all important to them, as compared to 19% in 2013. However, most churchgoers (59%) have attended their church for over 10 years thus showing outstanding stability. Further, a large percentage of regular church attendees (82%) are optimistic regarding their congregation’s future while 89% have expressed that they are proud to be part of their church.
Religion News Service reports:
(RNS) — For American religion, the story of decline just won’t let up.
A shrinking number of Americans — 16% — say religion is the most important thing in their lives, down from 20% in 2013. And nearly 3 in 10 — or 29% — say religion is not important to them at all, up from 19% 10 years ago. Those are among the findings in a new survey by the Public Religion Research Institute on religion and congregations fielded in 2022 and published Tuesday (May 16).
The survey of 5,872 American adults finds that 57% seldom or never attend religious services (compared with 45% in 2019). And some of those who do are restless. The survey finds that 24% of Americans said they now belong to a religious congregation other than the one they grew up in; that’s up from 16% in 2021.
But among those who remain churchgoers, there’s a happier story, too.
Most churchgoers across Christian traditions — 59% — have attended their current church for more than 10 years, revealing remarkable stability.
An overwhelming number of regular attenders — 82% — say they are optimistic about the future of their congregation. And a whopping 89% say they are proud to be associated with their church.
“What struck me about the findings is the paradox,” said Melissa Deckman, CEO of PRRI. “We see continued declines in the role of religion. But for those who attend regularly they seem pretty happy and satisfied, even proud of their congregations.”
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