From USA Today.
Recently a report from the Pew Forum showed an increase in the number of people answering ‘none’ on religious surveys and a decrease in the number of Protestants in the US, now under 50% for the first time. Is the sky falling?
Actually evangelical Christianity is growing world-wide at 2 ¼% per year. According to a report on the Status of Global Mission, that is 26% faster than Islam and 73% faster than all forms of Christianity are growing.
What about the United States? Many scholars put church membership at ten to fifteen percent (10-15%) at its founding. If we say church membership is bad now, it was really bad at a time when we were more identified as a “Christian nation.”
Where did the increased numbers of unaffiliated people come from? They have not immigrated to America from atheist countries; they have migrated out of churches that have watered down the gospel. The opportunity that we have is that the confusion that came from people with nominal faith has been replaced with the clarity that comes when people admit that they have no beliefs.
Let’s neither relax in comfort that evangelical Christianity is growing around the world nor fear the end of the world if some trends seem to be negative. Let’s get to work, living out the faith.