Fewer Americans Claim Religious Identity

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EUGENE, Ore. — There’s a major shift going on across the country when it comes to people who say they identify with a religion. The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life conducted a survey about religion and indicates a group called “the nones” is on the rise. “The nones” are people who claim no affiliation, but this doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t believe in god or aren’t spiritual.

“I think this is something that most pastors are aware of and that we come up across. There has been a general decline in church attendance across the board in just all denominations,” said Dan Bryant, First Christian Church pastor.

Pastor Bryant’s sanctuary has been around for more than a century, this decline he speaks of is now documented, in the millions. The Pew Research Group found one in five people claim no religious identity; one in three are younger than 30 and likely won’t ever claim a religion.

“I’m jewish and so I associate myself with judaism, but it’s not a huge part of my daily life,” said Pammy Wach.

“I personally don’t affiliate with any religion, not because I don’t believe in anything, but just because I haven’t gone to a church,” said Hanna Konstman.

“I was raised catholic and I have that identity with me that I will always carry,” said Joanna Stewart.

For Bryant the responses mean his church needs to be more creative; so they have an interfaith service every month, increased community service and two very different Sunday worship services.

The Eugene Faith Center is also appealing to a non-affiliated crowd; there is no stained glass or crosses, but a renewed sense of spirituality.

“This is a very spiritual community, but very we think hostile towards organized religion,” Jim Thomas, executive pastor at the Eugene Faith Center, said. “I think our identity is our community life together.”

The survey also states, the United States remains a highly religious country, in comparison to other advanced democracies.

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