Influence

 the shape of leadership

Fewer Americans Look to Religion for Answers

‘Nones’ are helping drive the trends

Influence Magazine on January 15, 2019

For the first time in more than six decades, less than half of U.S. adults (46 percent) say religion can answer today’s problems, according to a new Gallup poll. And a record share of Americans (39 percent) now say religion is old-fashioned and out of date — up from just 7 percent when polling began on the question in 1957.

The growing population of religiously unaffiliated adults are helping drive the trend, with nearly three-quarters of “nones” (73 percent) discounting religion’s relevance.

While churchgoers are most likely to say religion holds answers to modern problems, 11 percent of weekly attenders, 22 percent of those attending at least monthly, and 58 percent of occasional attenders say religion is old-fashioned and out of date.

A slim majority of all Americans (51 percent) — and 62 percent of those identifying as Christian — still say religion is “very important” in their lives. However, these findings reveal a significant decline since 1957, when 75 percent of Americans overall said religion was “very important” in their lives.

Nearly 8 in 10 (78 percent) respondents say religion is losing its influence on society, compared to 14 percent who said this in 1957.

Today’s churchgoers are no less pessimistic, with 76 percent of weekly attenders and 79 percent of monthly attenders saying religious influence is waning.

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