Religion is losing its influence in American public life, according to a recent Pew Research Center report. Eighty percent of Americans surveyed say the role of religion is shrinking, the highest percentage on record.

Nearly half (49%) of respondents who say religion’s influence is declining see it as “a bad thing,” while 13 percent see it as a good sign. A small minority (8%) of U.S. adults say religion’s influence is growing and 18% believe it is gaining influence. 

Fifty-seven percent of Americans surveyed expressed a positive view of religion. On the other hand, almost half of U.S. adults (48%) say they experience a “great deal” or “some” conflict between their religious beliefs and mainstream American culture. Nearly one-third of respondents (29%) see themselves as religious minorities, an increase of 5 percentage points since 2020. 

One in four Americans surveyed (41%) say they avoid discussing religion with those who disagree.

A majority of religiously unaffiliated adults (72%) say, “conservative Christians have gone too far in trying to control religion in the government and public schools.” More than half (63%) of Christians hold the same view when talking about “secular liberals.”

Most Americans (83%) agree that the government should not make Christianity the country’s official religion. On the other hand, 13% of Americans do support Christianity becoming the national religion. 

The survey found that this view was “somewhat common” among European American evangelical Protestants, African American Protestants and Hispanic Protestants, with nearly a quarter in each group holding this view. Along party lines, more Republicans than Democrats (21% vs. 7%) believe Christianity should be America’s official religion. The same divide is seen between young and older adults, with the former more likely to say the government should not declare Christianity as the country’s official religion or promote Christian moral values.

When asked if the government should not declare the U.S. a Christian nation but instead promote Christian values, 44% of U.S. adults surveyed agree. On the contrary, 39% of respondents do not want the government to promote Christian values or declare the country a Christian nation.

Pew also found that 54% of respondents have neither heard nor read anything at all about Christian nationalism, which is often associated with the belief that church and state should not be separated. This percentage is unchanged from 2022. 

Of U.S. adults surveyed who have heard about Christian nationalism (45%), not many (6%) say they have heard “a great deal” (6%) or “quite a bit” (9%). Instead, more respondents say they’ve heard or read “some” (16%) or “a little” (14%) about Christian nationalism. While most atheists, agnostics and Jews have heard “a little” about Christian nationalism, 60% of self-identified Christians say they have heard or read “nothing at all” about it.

“Overall, there are widespread signs of unease with religion’s trajectory in American life. This dissatisfaction is not just among religious Americans,” the Pew Research Center said. “Rather, many religious and nonreligious Americans say they feel that their religious beliefs put them at odds with mainstream culture, with the people around them and with the other side of the political spectrum.”

Read the full report here.

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