April 15, 2013, 2:56 pm
While most Americans refer to themselves as Christians, a study released Monday by Barna Group shows an upward trend in "post-Christian" beliefs and behaviors among the nation's adult population.
According to the study, which is an analysis of nearly 43,000 interviews conducted in recent years by the Ventura, Calif.-based organization, more than 70 percent of American adults describe themselves as Christians. Only 63 percent of people rank "low" on the Barna Group's post-Christian scale, however, while 28 percent are considered "moderately" post-Christian and nine percent are considered "highly" post-Christian.
"For decades, our research shows the variations of asking people about faith. For example, many self-described atheists also claim to pray to a deity. Long-time churchgoers often lack basic orthodox beliefs. People who effortlessly self-describe as 'Christian' may live like practical atheists in most other parts of their lives."
The research also discovered that each generation is more post-Christian than the one that came before it. Only 28 percent of seniors (ages 67 and greater) are considered post-Christian, as compared to 35 percent of Boomers (ages 48 to 66), 40 percent of Busters (ages 29 to 47) and 48 percent of Mosaics (ages 18 to 28). Kinnaman says this type of research could serve as a glimpse into the "spiritual, moral and social future" of the United States.
Other poll results published within the last few months indicate that the percentage of "nones," or those who don't affiliate with any particular religion, is also on the rise in America. These results are consistent with the trend toward post-Christianity revealed by the Barna study.
The entire post, "America Becoming Increasingly 'Post-Christian,' Research Shows," can be read here.