New Zealand Census Results Show That At Least 39% of the Country Profess ‘No Religion’

According to newly-released census results, New Zealand is becoming even more non-religious that anyone thought:

Overall, the Census figures continue a trend for people turning away from religion, with all major churches shedding followers.

The number of people who said they have no religion increased 26 per cent to 1.6 million.

Want more precise numbers? The number of people who categorized themselves under “No Religion” was 1,635,348. Given that the total number of people surveyed was 4,242,048, that puts the Kiwi Nones at a staggering 39% of the population. (It’s 42% if you only count those who gave answers to the “religion” question.)

[Read more...]

Why Do Pastors’ Kids Leave the Church? A New Poll Investigates… by Asking the Pastors

How likely is it that preachers’ kids will lose their faith? Is it any different from the general population?

The Barna Group, a Christian polling organization, just published the results of its study of pastors’ children to see whether it was true that “those who’ve grown up closest to the church are the quickest to leave it.”

Here’s the big takeaway:

Two out of every five pastors (40%) say their child, age 15 or older, went through a period where they significantly doubted their faith

Overall, one–third of pastors (33%) say their child is no longer actively involved in church. Yet when it comes to the rejection of Christian identity altogether, the occurrences are even less.

When pastors were asked if their children no longer consider themselves to be Christians, only 7% said this was “accurate” of their kids — that’s less than one in 10. This compares to the nationwide prodigal rate of about 9% among Millennials.

I think it’s important to point out here that all of these results came from telephone conversations with pastors, not their children. It’s not that the pastors were lying, but I suspect you would’ve gotten some very different responses if you talked to their children. If 40% of children seriously doubted their faith, according to their fathers, how many more went through a period of doubt without their parents even knowing about it? How many still go to church now despite being an atheist?

[Read more...]

New Study Shows That 6% of Tea Party Members Do Not Believe in God

According to the 2013 American Values Survey just released by the Public Religion Research Institute, 27% of Libertarians have no religious affiliation.

That makes sense, I guess — there are plenty of non-religious people who want smaller government and more individual freedoms.

But who the hell are these 9% of “unaffiliated” Tea Party members? (More to the point, most of the people in that group — 6% of the Tea Party overall — don’t believe in God!)

[Read more...]

University Researcher Says Pious Religious Students Are More Likely to Cheat Financially

A new academic study appears to show that people who say religion is really important to them are also more likely to lie if it benefits them financially. The same is true for business majors and for children of divorced parents. As for the religious being more dishonest,

…[t]he lead researcher [Associate Professor of Economics Jason Childs, at Canada's University of Regina] hypothesizes that this “really strange effect” is the result of the faithful feeling less kinship with the secular, and ultimately less concern about screwing them over for a few bucks.

The study will be published in the December issue of the journal Economics Letters. How was it conducted? The research team randomly split four hundred people into pairs, and asked each pair to conduct a simple money transaction.

[Read more...]

Hispanic-American Adults Are Less Catholic and More ‘Unaffiliated’ Than Ever Before

A few weeks ago, the Public Religion Research Institute released a report called the “2013 Hispanic Values Survey.”

A new graphic from PRRI released yesterday highlights the big changes: Fewer Catholics and more religiously unaffiliated Hispanics than ever before:

[Read more...]