the black churchAccording to a new survey by the Pew Research Center, 20 percent of Americans now report that they are not affiliated with any religion. The numbers indicate a shift in the American spiritual identity, which was once dominated by those participating in organized religion.

Although the numbers indicate that a growing number of people are eschewing traditional religion, the majority of them still believe in God.

The Washington Post reports:

…According to the study released Tuesday. About 19.6 percent of Americans say they are “nothing in particular,” agnostic or atheist, up from about 8 percent in 1990. One-third of adults under 30 say the same. Pew offered people a list of more than a dozen possible affiliations, including “Protestant,” “Catholic,” “something else” and “nothing in particular.”

Despite the increasing numbers of Americans no longer identifying with an established faith, the U.S. is still one of the most religious countries in the world, with 79 percent of the populace identifying with a religious group.

The growing divide in religion also breaks down along political lines. Most of those sidestepping traditional religions lean toward the Democratic Party (about 68%), while white evangelical Christians make up nearly 34 percent of the Republican base.

While many worry that America will turn into Europe, with its institutionalized secularism, Harvard political scientist Robert Putnam says the faithful shouldn’t worry.

“Religion as a whole in America has been astonishingly resilient. That’s because we have really entrepreneurial leaders,” he told the Washington Post. “I think it would be bad to bet against the creativity of American religion.”

Do you identify with an organized religion? 

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  • Mina

    I was agnostic. Christian Agnostic. That means you believe Jesus is the son of God and that he is your lord and savior and that he rose from the dead to die for your sins. You already confessed this with your heart, mouth, and mind but you got lost along the way, drifted from Jesus and God, didn’t really understand all this religious stuff and wanted to live the way you thought was best.

    I was raised up religiously but didn’t understand anything being taught or preached in the church until I got lost in the world of sin. I thought going to church and believing in Jesus was enough to get saved but it’s not. And a lot of churches don’t teach this, which is sad. I had to learn the hard way and thankfully God had mercy on me because there were a lot of times where I should have been dead now. Now I’m a Christian trying to live a Christian, spiritual life. I believe in God and Jesus but I’m still trying to understand and grasp the information being taught. Luckily, God sends miracles and understanding my way sometimes so it makes me believe in him even more. But I’m a spiritual Christian. I want to do my best to find the right path, to learn the real truth, use good judgement, and to learn about the history of Christianity. So I like reading from Jewish and Muslim texts. I also read from Buddhist texts to see if anything beneficial can be learned from them. But I only worship and praise God and I pray to Jesus so I can get through God

  • I sincerely wonder what the real percentage would be if they factored in the portion of the “afflicted”, I mean “affiliated” who fake the funk?

  • I’m an atheist.

  • Fola

    I practice Ifa

  • Cee Cee

    I love the Great Spirit and try to live my life in a peaceful and loving manner. I follow the teachings of Jesus. It is rather simple for me. Love the Great I Am (comes in so many forms), love myself, love others, and love peace, Religious institutions are messing it up and missing the point and I an not surprised so many report no religious affiliation.