American Religious Trends: Decline of Non-Christian Faiths?

THE percentage of Americans who identify as “Christian” declined between 2007 and 2014. What’s happened with other religions? Have they declined as well?

This week, we’ve examined the end-of-religion theme that has accompanied the release of Pew’s report on the American Religious Landscape. We considered whether there’s a seismic shift in the landscape, or the headlines are just journalistic hyperbole, the fact that some Christian groups are growing, how most of the religiously unaffiliated say “nothing in particular” when asked to describe their religion, and that many of the unaffiliated actually do have religious and spiritual beliefs. Today, we consider the fates of non-Christian religions.

Click this Pew graphic to read the entire report.

Click this Pew graphic to read the entire report.

Non-Christian faiths are small minorities in America. But many grew during the same period that Christian faiths declined.

About 1.7% of the American population identified as Jewish in 2007, growing to 1.9% in 2007. Not a big change, but it’s statistically significant.

Muslims, Buddhists, and Hindus are even smaller minority religions. But Muslims and Hindus increased as percentages of the American population between 2007 and 2014. Buddhists were stable.

Overall, minority faiths increased from 4.7% of the American population in 2007 to 5.9% now. Pew notes that they may have underestimated this numbers, since their survey was conducted only in English and Spanish.

Are you surprised at the growth of non-Christian religions?

Does the decline in Christians as a percentage of the American population signal the end of Christianity?

What’s your conclusion about the changing American religious landscape?

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