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NEW YORK – An in-depth and extensively-cited study of religious affiliation of Americans published on May 12 by the well-regarded Pew Research Center found that the number of Americans who identify themselves as Christian is on the decline, while the number of American adults who do not identify with any organized religion is growing.

The findings from interviews with more than 35,000 Americans concludes that the percentage of adults who describe themselves as Christian has dropped by nearly eight points – from 78.4% to 70.6% since Pew’s last survey just seven years ago. The fastest-growing religious affiliation are the “nones” as Pew’s findings call them – those who do not affiliate or self-identify with any organized church or religion. Not surprisingly, more and more young adults – millennials – identify themselves in this “none” category.

The study’s results provided some interesting insight on the state of Orthodox Christianity in the U.S., as compared to other Christian and non-Christian faiths, including:

  • Orthodox Christians have the most wealth, on a per capita basis, compared to other Christian denominations. Approximately 29% of Orthodox Christians have a household income of more than $100,000 per year, as compared to 19% of Catholic households and 14% of Evangelicals. When including non-Christian groups, 44% of Jewish households have an income of more than $100,000 and 36% in Hindu families.
  • Marriage rates were down 6% overall, but Orthodox Christians marriage rates are down more significantly than other religious groups. In 2007, 58% of Orthodox Christians identified themselves as married, compared to 48% in 2014. In comparison, marriage rates for Catholics were down 6%, for Protestants down 4% and Jews down 1%. Marriage rates for those who identified themselves as Atheist were down 3%.
  • The Orthodox Church seems to be more impacted by interfaith marriage than other religions. Hindus are more likely than any other religious group to have a spouse or partner with the same religion (91%), 82% of Mormons, 79% of and Muslims, and 75% of Catholics and Evangelical Protestants are married or living with a partner have a mate who shares their religion. For Orthodox Christians, that number is only about half at just 53%.
  • Orthodox Christians have the highest concentration of first-generation born Americans at 40%, significantly more than other Christian groups, compared to 27% of Catholics and 8% of Protestants. Muslims have the highest concentration of first-generation Americans at 61%, and 26% of Buddhists are first-generation immigrants.
  • Orthodox Christians have one of the lowest rates of retention across Christian and non-Christian denominations. Only 53% of adults who were raised in the Orthodox Church still identify themselves as Orthodox Christians. Compare that to Hindus (80%), Jewish (75%), Mormon (64%) and Catholic (59%).

The post Orthodoxy On the Rocks in America? appeared first on The National Herald.

Source: The National Herald
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