This week the Pew Research Center released its latest study on America’s changing religious landscape.
The survey polled Americans in 2007 and 2014, asking them their religious affiliations along with questions about the importance of religion in their lives. The survey is making headlines primarily because it shows an increase in unaffiliated Americans (what some call the “nones”—people who do not identify with any religion) alongside a decrease in Christianity.
But are the stats really that simple? And what does this survey reveal about religion in America?
Not as Simple as it Seems
There is no doubt Pew’s survey is extensive. There is also no doubt the findings are troubling; Christians ought to be troubled by any evidence that people are leaving the faith. However, many are portraying these findings in very simple terms—as if people are simply ceasing to go to church and are turning to atheism. The truth is much more complicated.