September 13, 2010

Religion Losing Influence in America

67%

Two-thirds of Americans say that religion is losing its influence on American life.

An increasing number of Americans believe that religion is losing its influence on American life. Today, fully two-thirds (67%) say religion is losing influence, compared with 59% who said this in 2006. Just a quarter of the public (23%) say religion is increasing its influence in American life, while 4% say its influence has not changed. As has been the case in past surveys, most of those who say that religion has less influence on American life see this as a bad thing; 53% of the total public says this is a bad thing while just 10% see it as a good thing. Republicans are notably more likely to say religion is losing influence than they were in 2006. Today, an overwhelming 82% of Republicans say religion is losing influence in American life; 61% said this four years ago. Independents are also more likely to say religion is losing influence in American life (65% now; 56% in 2006), while Democrats are less likely to say so, though, a majority still agrees (58% now; 60% in 2006). Majorities of Protestants (70%), Catholics (71%) and the religiously unaffiliated (62%) all agree that religion is losing influence on American life, with white evangelical Protestants (79%) the most likely to agree with the statement. Read More