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[339] Sociology of US Religiosity

George Barna and his Cultural Research Center has sounded the alarm bell with respect profound changes in the nation’s religious and cultural landscape. He notes a 30-year decline in Christianity and confidence in religion. “In its first 200 years, America could count on the consistency of its people’s faith commitments, and with that, common views about morality, purpose, family, lifestyle, citizenship, and values,” says Barna. “But as my recent worldview research clearly shows, the United States has become one of the largest and most important mission fields in the world.”

Here are some key shifts since 1991.

–86% of US adults held a biblical view of God; the number is 46% now

–Regarding the Bible as the “accurate word of God from 70% down to 41%

–Muslims have gone from 0.5% to 3%

–Percent of Nones among Hispanics has leaped from 3% to 31%  

–Eastern religion adherents are double what they were a decade ago

–36% self-identified Christians believe in the possibility of reincarnation

–Confidence in religion is now at 40%, down from 67% in the 1970s

Barna does not see a bright future. “Christian ministry as practiced [in America] for the last five decades will be ineffective in meeting these new challenges.” He believes churches need to focus on equipping parents and reaching children with “absolute moral truth,” reviewing current church services and practices, while generating “bold and creative leadership.”


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