For Harvard Freshmen, Non-Religious Students Outnumber Christians

For the past few years, Harvard University’s newspaper, The Crimson, has asked incoming freshman to fill out a survey in order to assess various demographic trends.

It’s not scientific (70% of freshmen responded and it was all voluntary), but it’s still fascinating for anyone who loves to crunch numbers. Last year, they reported that a third of the incoming class were atheists (16.4%) or Agnostic (19.2%).

This year, it got a little more godless:

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In the U.S., 49% of Former Catholics Have Left Organized Religion for Good

Last week, the Public Religion Research Institute in partnership with Religion News Service released a comprehensive survey of American Catholics, and we’re still getting reports on what they found.

The latest analysis focuses on where ex-Catholics go — to another religion or out of the game altogether? — and the answer won’t surprise you.

About half of the people who leave Catholicism become “Unaffiliated,” essentially saying goodbye to organized religion altogether:

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A Slight Change in Australia’s Census Could Lead to Major Change in Religious Demographics

In 2011, the last time Australia conducted its census, this is the way researchers asked people about their religion:

“No religion” is waaaaay at the bottom of the list, under the giant “Other” section, where it’s possible many people didn’t even see it.

That’s about to change.

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India’s Census Reveals 2.87 Million People Who Are Non-Religious

India just got around to releasing the results from its 2011 census, one that included a “non-faith” category for the first time ever, and we can attach a number to the group:

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New Study Shows That, on Hot-Button Issues, Most American Catholics Disagree with Catholicism

A new study by the Public Religion Research Institute in partnership with Religion News Service is called “The Francis Effect? U.S. Catholic Attitudes on Pope Francis, the Catholic Church, and American Politics”… but it really should be called “Why the hell are all of you still Catholic?”

It turns out that on some of the most hot-button social issues of our time — like marriage equality and abortion rights — American Catholics are virtually indistinguishable from the general public on their views. That means they’re going against what the Church wants them to believe:

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