Wither Religion?

In 2020, the number of Americans claiming to be a member of an organized church fell below 50% for the first time in eight decades of surveys according to Gallup.

As can be seen from the graph, religious membership is falling off a cliff in an accelerated curve.

“Church membership is strongly correlated with age, as 66% of traditionalists — U.S. adults born before 1946 — belong to a church, compared with 58% of baby boomers, 50% of those in Generation X and 36% of millennials. The limited data Gallup has on church membership among the portion of Generation Z that has reached adulthood are so far showing church membership rates similar to those for millennials.

The decline in church membership, then, appears largely tied to population change, with those in older generations who were likely to be church members being replaced in the U.S. adult population with people in younger generations who are less likely to belong.”

At some point soon, this trend will force us to face the issue of “churches” serving less than half the population and declining rapidly, as non-taxpaying entities. They should be obliged to turn themselves into legitimate businesses, with all the rights and responsibilities of any other corporate organization. They could organize themselves into NGOs or co-ops or for-profit groups; whatever they felt best.

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