Declining American Christianity: Where Does Adventism Fit?

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Declining American Christianity: Where Does Adventism Fit?

Recently the Pew Research Center published a report on the state of American Christianity. This extensive survey found out that

the Christian share of the U.S. population is declining, while the number of U.S. adults who do not identify with any organized religion is growing, according to an extensive new survey by the Pew Research Center. Moreover, these changes are taking place across the religious landscape, affecting all regions of the country and many demographic groups.

The graph below highlights some of the ongoing changes happening to Christianity at large.  From 2007 to 2014, the 6.7 percent increase among the unaffiliated group raises questions about the relevance of Christianity in America today.

Pew Graph-Changing U.S. Religious Landscape

Whereas the diversity among American Christians continues to increase along ethnic and racial lines, the Pew survey shows that mainline Protestants and Catholics are the two main groups behind the 7.8 percent decline among American Christians.

Pew Graph-Christians Decline as Share of US Population

The Roman Catholic Church is losing more members than any other church. As further reported by Crux, “For every one Catholic convert, more than six Catholics leave the church. Taken a step further, Catholicism loses more members than it gains at a higher rate than any other denomination, with nearly 13 percent of all Americans describing themselves as ‘former Catholics.'”

Pew Graph-Declining Number of Catholics

On the brighter side, the Pew report indicates that evangelical Protestants are faring better than mainline Protestants and the Roman Catholic Church. The survey indicates that “one big reason evangelical Protestants have not declined at the same rate as other major Christian groups is that they are gaining new converts at a greater rate than they are losing people who were raised in the tradition.”

Pew Graph-Evangelical Protestants Growing

Adventists Lose Half Their Children

Currently the Seventh-day Adventist Church holds between 1 and 2 percent of the U.S. population. Just over half of children raised in an Adventist home are likely to remain Adventist in their adult life.

Pew Graph-which denominations do best at keeping members

This raises an important question: Has Adventism (and American Christianity at large) become intellectually challenging or intellectually challenged?

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Valmy Karemera is associate editor of The Compass Magazine and posts daily news updates on the Compass Twitter page. Originally from Rwanda, he now lives and works in Texas with his family.