America’s Changing Religious Atmosphere

This week in class one of the main subjects we read and talked about was about America’s religious landscape. Compared to the rest of world, America seems to be one of the most religious countries in terms of people who actually practice a religion and one of the most diverse in terms of the number of religions that are practiced here. However, while this appears to be the case on the outside, on the inside one needs to look at the actual numbers. 70.6% of people are Christians, 1.9% are Jewish, 0.9% are Muslim, 0.7% are Hindus, 0.7% are Buddhists, and Native American traditions are only 0.3% of the population. Then, there is 22.8% of the population who say they’re unaffiliated with any religion. Therefore in actuality, America is really not that diverse after all. America is however more diverse than it was back in the 70’s. (Chaves, Pg. 16) There has been growth in diversity from that time onward. (Chaves, Pg. 16) This is primarily due to immigration. (Chaves, Pg. 17) As for being a more religious country, compared to other countries like in Europe, for example, there are definitely more people who attend services and practice their faith. However, America is experiencing a decrease in both Catholics and Mainline Protestants while at the same time experiencing an increase in the unaffiliated group. (Pew Survey, 2014) This suggests that more people are turning away from organized religion. Therefore, while America still remains pretty religious, there is a downward trend occurring in the amount of people who are tied to an official religious group.