IFAS | Freedom Writer | March/April 1999 | growth.html

Is the Religious Right growing?

A recent Promise Keepers Revival Summit reported that there has been no increase in the proportion of adults who are "born again" in 15 years in spite of American churches devoting more than $500 billion to evangelism during that time.

According to the 1999 World Almanac, there are 27 million nonreligious people in North America. Since the late 1930s, the Gallup Poll has asked Americans about church attendance. When asked about their church attendance, about 40 percent said they attend. However, according to the Religion in the News newsletter, only about 20 percent actually attend religious services. The study found that people lied because they like to think they "usually" go to church. Some counted attending a wedding, funeral, or even mowing the church lawn as church attendance.

Additionally, the Barna Research Group indicates that almost one-third of the nation's adults (31%) are "unchurched" a proportion that represents 60 to 65 million unchurched adults. For the survey, "unchurched" counted adults who had not attended a Christian service for the past six months.

Four out of ten residents of the Northeast and the West are "unchurched," compared to one out of four among those residing in the South and Midwest.

© 1999 Institute for First Amendment Studies, Inc.