Research + News | Topic: Nones

It’s OK to Call Yourself a Christian

In an article for Relevant Magazine, author and minister, Lillian Daniel, responds to Marcus Mumford’s (Mumford & Sons) comments about not liking the word “Christian.”

She writes, “In a culture of narcissism, the easiest way to follow Jesus is from a distance on a solo stroll to the beat of the same drummer you have listened to your whole life: your own personal preferences and already held beliefs. From a distance, you are safe from the assault of community. People will explain to me that without the Church, they are traveling light, without all that Christian baggage. But what exactly is this baggage? It’s people—who might actually be some of the best road companions there are.”

Read the full commentary here.

Studying Non-Belief: 6 Types of Non-Believers

Researchers from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga are taking a closer look at people who don’t identify with a religion (“nones”). From the researchers’ website: “In what we hope will become at least a modest crack in the monolithic ‘religious none’ category, we proudly present a very brief overview of our findings based on the diverse ‘types’ of non-belief that make up an important and growing sub-population of America today. A typology of six characteristics emerged within the data and is presented as follows.”

Read the full report here.

Growth of the Nonreligious: Bad for American Society?

A nationwide survey by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life asked Americans whether having “more people who are not religious” is a good thing, a bad thing, or doesn’t matter for American society.

According to the study “Many more say it is bad than good (48% versus 11%). But about four-in-ten (39%) say it does not make much difference. Even among adults who do not identify with any religion, only about a quarter (24%) say the trend is good, while nearly as many say it is bad (19%); a majority (55%) of the unaffiliated say it does not make much difference for society.”

Read the full report here.

Read a report from Christianity Today here.


Spiritual Journeys of Millennials

The Barna Group sheds light on the “nones on the rise” trend by examining those 18- to 29-year-olds who used to identify themselves closely with faith and the church, but who have since begun to wrestle with that identity. According to the study between high school and turning 30, 43% of these once-active Millennials drop out of regular church attendance, amounting to eight million twentysomethings who have, for various reasons, given up on church or Christianity.

Read the full report here.

How Post-Christian is the United States?

Barna Group research firm analyzed 42,855 interviews conducted in recent years, looking at 15 different measures of non-religiosity. The research explores the emerging post-Christian landscape of the nation. Currently, more than 7 out of 10 adults describe themselves as “Christian” and more than 6 out of 10 Americans say they are “deeply spiritual.” The Barna Report explores how deep these labels go.

Read the full report here.

Is America Losing Faith with Religion?

The Washington Post columnist, Michael Gerson, offers his thoughts on the rise of the “nones,” the growing number of people who have no religious affiliation (as in “none of the above”).

Gerson writes, “According to Pew, 74 percent of the nones grew up in a religious tradition of some sort. Yet while conversion has increased the ranks of the nones, retention is not particularly good. Protestantism, for example, loses about 20 percent of those raised Protestants.”

Read the full article here.

“Nones” on the Rise: Growth of the Religiously Unaffiliated

According to the Pew Research Center, the number of Americans who do not identify with any religion continues to grow at a rapid pace. One-fifth of the U.S. public – and a third of adults under 30 –are religiously unaffiliated today, the highest percentages ever in Pew Research Center polling.

Read the report here.

Download the full report (.pdf) here.

Listen to a report from NPR’s Morning Edition here.