Practicing Christians in US decline by half since 2000, Barna study says

Practicing Christians in US decline by half since 2000, Barna study says

The number of practicing Christians in the United States has dropped by nearly half in the past two decades, according to a recent Barna analysis.

In 2000, 45% of Americans surveyed qualified as practicing Christians: they identify as Christian, agree strongly that faith is very important in their lives and have attended church within the past month. In 2020, just one in four Americans (25%) is a practicing Christian, according to research collected for Barna’s State of the Church 2020 project.

Barna’s research indicates that in roughly the same 20-year period, the growth of the atheist/agnostic/none segment of American society has nearly doubled in size, from 11% in 2003 to 21% in 2018.

The report shows weekly church attendance is declining in every generation, with the decline in attendance for Elders, those born before 1946, and Boomers, those born between 1946 and 1964, outpacing the drop in attendance of Gen Xers, those born between 1965 and 1983.

The share of Americans who read the Bible at least several times a week (roughly one third of respondents) has not changed significantly since 2011. However, a more dramatic shift occurs among those who have never read a Bible, jumping a full 10 percentage points in the last eight years.

The analysis is based on data collected from nationwide random samples of nearly 100,000 adults conducted over a 20-year period. Read the full report at (TAB)