‘Backsliders’ and the ‘unchurched’ equal the ‘Nones’?

Old-school preachers used to call them "backsliders," those folks who were raised in the pews but then fled.Sociologists and church-growth professionals eventually pinned more bookish labels on these people, calling them the "unchurched" or describing them as "spiritual, but not religious."Pollsters at the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life and similar think tanks are now using a more neutral term to describe a key trend in various religious traditions, talking about a sharp increase in … [Read more...]

Fewer Protestants, but better Protestants?

After decades of sobering statistics about rising intermarriage rates, falling birthrates and their declining flocks, eventually Jewish clergy began talking about a future in which there would be "fewer Jews, but better Jews."Faced with sobering evidence that the number of priests was falling, along with statistics for Confession and weekly Mass, many Catholic leaders started talking about a future in which there would be "fewer Catholics, but better Catholics."Now, according to a new survey … [Read more...]


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