From the Pew Forum’s report “‘Nones’ on the Rise: One-in-Five Adults Have No Religious Affiliation” (PDF), released this morning:
In the last five years alone, the [religiously] unaffiliated have increased from just over 15% to just under 20% of all U.S. adults. Their ranks now include more than 13 million self-described atheists and agnostics (nearly 6% of the U.S. public), as well as nearly 33 million people who say they have no particular religious affiliation (14%)….
However… many of the country’s 46 million unaffiliated adults are religious or spiritual in some way. Two-thirds of them say they believe in God (68%). More than half say the often feel a deep connection with nature and the earth (58%), while more than a third classify themselves as “spiritual” but not “religious (37%) and one-in-five (21%) say they pray every day. In addition, most religiously unaffiliated Americans think that churches and other religious institutions benefit society by strengthening community bonds and aiding the poor.
With few exceptions, though, the unaffiliated say they are not looking for a religion that would be right for them. Overwhelmingly, they think that religious organizations are too concerned with money and power, too focused on rules and too involved in politics.
No comment for now, except to say that God is at work regardless, and this is another good reminder to pray for our neighbors.