One of the key findings of the 2020 Religion Census – that white, conservative, Evangelical denominations had plateaued and were declining, while Mainline denominations have stabilized and begun a slight uptick – almost precisely parallels what we predicted in our earlier publication, The Religion Singularity.** Published in early 2017, in the International Journal of Religion and Spirituality in Society, the paper projected that the number of Christians per Worship Center was entering a period of increasingly rapid decline driven in large part by defections from conservative Evangelical denominations, most to join the ranks of the Nones (meaning “none of the above” or unaffiliated).
According to the Religion Census the number of white Evangelical has dropped precipitously from 23% in 2016 to 14.5% in 2020, a decline of more than one-third in 14 years. The decline appears to be driven by an exodus of Millennials and GenZ-ers, some of whom are joining (or returning) to Mainline denominations, but the vast majority of whom, while still considering themselves to be Christians, are choosing not to affiliate with a denomination.[Read more…]