Skip to content

We ask you, humbly: don't scroll away.

Hi readers, it seems you use Catholic Online a lot; that's great! It's a little awkward to ask, but we need your help. If you have already donated, we sincerely thank you. We're not salespeople, but we depend on donations averaging $14.76 and fewer than 1% of readers give. If you donate just $5.00, the price of your coffee, Catholic Online School could keep thriving. Thank you.

Help Now >

Americans are Losing their Love for God

Free World Class Education
FREE Catholic Classes

In recent years, a steady decline in belief in God and other religious and spiritual concepts has been observed among Americans, reflecting a significant shift in the nation's religious landscape. A July poll conducted by Gallup provided valuable insights into this ongoing trend, revealing a marked decrease in belief in "God, angels, heaven, hell, and the devil" among U.S. adults compared to previous surveys.

Photo credit: ddzphoto

Photo credit: ddzphoto

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
7/25/2023 (8 months ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: America, USA, United States, belief, God

The poll results showed that the number of respondents who professed belief in God had decreased over the past seven years. In 2016, 79% of participants stated their belief in God, but in the most recent survey, conducted this month, only 74% expressed the same conviction, representing a decline of five percentage points. Furthermore, since Gallup first began tracking this data in 2001, overall belief in God has witnessed a considerable drop of 16 percentage points, with only 90% of respondents affirming their faith back then.

The study also shed light on similar declining trends in belief for other religious entities, such as the devil, heaven, hell, and angels. Each of these concepts experienced double-digit declines in the number of believers over the 22-year period under investigation.

Upon analyzing the data, Gallup noted that Protestants tended to be more inclined to believe in the five religious entities compared to Catholics. Nevertheless, broad majorities of Catholics still held beliefs in each of these concepts.

The poll also found a notable correlation between the frequency of religious service attendance and the strength of belief in religious concepts. Those who reported attending religious services more frequently exhibited higher rates of belief in God, angels, heaven, hell, and the devil. For instance, 98% of respondents who attended church weekly expressed belief in God, while 92% believed in heaven.

Political affiliation was another factor that showed variation in belief. Republicans were notably more likely to believe in all five religious entities compared to Democrats or Independents. In total, approximately half of Americans, 51%, stated their belief in all five concepts.

Gallup's analysis further pointed out that the decline in belief is consistent with other indicators of religiosity, including church attendance, confidence in organized religion, and religious identification. In recent years, these aspects have witnessed a noticeable decrease. However, it is worth noting that a Gallup survey from the previous month recorded a slight uptick in church attendance, the highest number since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Notably, the decline in belief has also been observed within specific religious denominations. For instance, among U.S. Catholics, various polls have shown notably low levels of belief in certain core doctrines. According to a RealClear Opinion Research poll from the previous year, only half of likely Catholic voters believed in the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist, while over a third never went to confession. Similarly, a 2019 Pew Research Center survey found that just one-third of Catholics believed in the real presence of the body and blood of Christ during Mass.

In addition, differing views among Catholic respondents were evident in several surveys. In an EWTN poll from the previous year, almost half of Catholic respondents disagreed with the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade's nationwide abortion-on-demand precedent, while a nearly similar number supported it. Another Pew poll from the same year revealed that over half of U.S. Catholics believed abortion should be legal in "all/most cases," but this number dropped to 30 percent among Catholics who attended Mass weekly.

The ongoing decline in belief in God and other religious and spiritual concepts represents a significant societal shift that has implications for religious institutions, cultural norms, and individual spirituality. As these trends continue to evolve, it will be essential to monitor the underlying factors driving these changes and their impact on American society as a whole.

Join the Movement
When you sign up below, you don't just join an email list - you're joining an entire movement for Free world class Catholic education.

Prayer of the Day logo
Saint of the Day logo

We ask you, humbly: don't scroll away.

Hi readers, it seems you use Catholic Online a lot; that's great! It's a little awkward to ask, but we need your help. If you have already donated, we sincerely thank you. We're not salespeople, but we depend on donations averaging $14.76 and fewer than 1% of readers give. If you donate just $5.00, the price of your coffee, Catholic Online School could keep thriving. Thank you.

Help Now >

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2024 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2024 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.

Catholic Online is a Project of Your Catholic Voice Foundation, a Not-for-Profit Corporation. Your Catholic Voice Foundation has been granted a recognition of tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Federal Tax Identification Number: 81-0596847. Your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law.