New Report Projects the Number of Religiously-Unaffiliated People in the U.S. to Double to 100 Million by 2050

A new report from the Pew Research Center says that, by 2050, the number of Muslims worldwide will be roughly equivalent to the number of Christians. That’s what most headlines about the report are saying.

But the report also has a lot to say about those of us who are “unaffiliated,” that is, atheists, Agnostics, and those who believe in a Higher Power but who want no part of organized religion.

The biggest highlights?

1) The number of Unaffiliated people worldwide is projected to rise from 1.13 billion to 1.23 billion between 2010 and 2050. However, the percentage of religiously-unaffiliated people in those years will drop from 16.4% to 13.2%.

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A Third of Millennials Have No Religious Affiliation… and Other Highlights from PRRI’s Latest Survey

A new study on Millennials and their attitudes toward issues related to sexuality and reproductive health was just released by the Public Religion Research Institute.

What does it say about the “Nones,” those of us who want no part of organized religion?

1) We represent the largest subgroup of Millennials; a third of adults 18-34 have no religious affiliation.

PRRI says “Unaffiliated” is “the single most common religious identity among this generation.” There may be more Christians overall, but only when you lump together very different denominations.

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The State of Atheism in America… from a Christian Perspective

The Barna Group is a research organization that focuses on questions of interest to the Christian world, and they just released a survey they did on people who haven’t gone to church in the past six months. They called them the “unchurched,” though we usually refer to them as the “Nones.” Most of them aren’t atheists, but they still want nothing to do with organized religion.

Barna’s overall findings won’t be a huge surprise for readers of this site, but they might cause panic for church leaders. We’re talking about a group that represents about 25% of adults. Also, our current demographics resemble their wish list. Just look at how Skeptics (which they define as atheists and Agnostics) have changed over the past 20 years:

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The Least Religious City in America Is…

The religiously-unaffiliated make up 22% of the population nationwide, but which cities have the most Nones?

The Public Religion Research Institute, using data from the American Values Atlas, has figured out the least religious cities in the country… and topping the list are some pretty fantastic places:

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Reddit’s Biggest Atheism Hangout Scores Sky-High For Toxic Content and Bigotry, Data Analysts Say

On Friday, I published a moderately unkind comment about Reddit; I said that while I love Reddit warts and all, its content is 80 to 90 percent dross. Mostly, that referred to the atheism subreddit (or r/atheism, in Reddit-speak). I visit the place five or six days a week, and there is always a lot of junk to wade through: from rickety, poorly-worded arguments to repetitions of old news stories that had already been posted days or weeks earlier. Also, of course, there’s a deluge of low-quality memes.

While the dreck is annoying on some level, I fully accept that it’s part of the give-and-take of online communities without gatekeepers. Anyone can join, and you never know if the next link or comment you read was left by someone with decent thinking/writing skills, or by a dim 13-year-old crudely rebelling against mom and dad saying grace over dinner. Like this specimen, say.

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