Christians in the United States of America could be reduced to being classified as religious minorities:
In fact, according to what can be seen by consulting a new Pew Research report , birth rates and migration patterns could influence the number of citizens of Christian faith even with a conversion to new (or old) religions. In a hypothetical first scenario – in which no one in the United States changes religion after 2020 – Christianity could reach a majority of 54 % of the population by 2070. However, non-believers would remain a substantial minority at 34 %. If the change of religion among young Americans were to continue at the current rate, Christians would fall below 50% of the population by 2060 , representing only the 46% of the population in 2070 (although they would still remain among the largest religious groups in the country). The second hypothetical scenario, on the other hand, assumes a disaffiliation and an increase in the exchange rate:
This would happen in view of the fact that many citizens prefer to change the religion they grew up with. In this case, the percentage of Christians in the United States could drop to between 35 and 39 percent by 2070. Even in Britain , the number of unaffiliated clerics has surpassed Christians to become the largest group in 2009, according to the British Social Attitudes Survey. The percentage of religiously unaffiliated Americans could rise to around 52 percent. The report states that current projections suggest that the United States could follow the path taken by many Western European countries in the second half of the 20th century:
“Although some scenarios are more plausible than others, the future is uncertain and it is possible that the religious composition of the United States in 2070 will fall outside the expected limits,” notes the report. “New patterns of religious change could emerge at any time. Armed conflicts, social movements, growing authoritarianism, natural disasters or worsening economic conditions are just some of the circumstances that sometimes trigger sudden social and religious upheavals, “ she notes.
The report unearthed a number of other interesting insights. As might be expected, the departure from religion tends to be associated with younger people. It is evident that people who became unaffiliated after being raised as Christians are somewhat more likely to have a college degree than those who remain Christian. They also found that in the United States men are more likely to drift away from Christianity, while women are more likely to retain their Christian identity. However, the researchers confirmed that many social trends can be largely unpredictable and that those currently feared in studies represent only hypotheses that could be confirmed or disproved over time.
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