A recent Pew survey found that an unprecedented one in five Americans now say they are not affiliated with any religious denomination. Or, looked at another way, nearly four out of five identify with an organized faith. Research also shows those Americans overstate how often they go to church by about half.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
Religion has come up less often in this year’s presidential campaign than in some others. But beneath the headlines, American religious practices are evolving.
A new study from the Pew Research Center showed that 79 percent of Americans identify with an organized faith group. By that measure, this is a deeply religious country – more so than many countries, for example, in Europe.
NPR’s science correspondent Shankar Vedantam has been looking more closely at that number.
Shankar, what are you looking for?
SHANKAR VEDANTAM, BYLINE: I wanted to know if it held up, Steve. You know, by any measure, as you point out, the United States is a significant outlier when it comes to how religious people say they are. You know, virtually alone in the developed world, large numbers of Americans report that they are indentified with a religious faith. Nearly half of all Americans report that they attend church every week – that’s every single week, compared to Western Europe, for example, where maybe about 20 percent of people say they attend church.
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Written By: Shankar Vedantam and Steve Inskeepcontinue to source article at npr.org