According to the Barna Research Group, the number of unchurched folks in the U.S. (those who haven’t attended a religious service in the past six months) surpassed 100 million last year. this included teens and children. It’s enough to make the unchurched population the 12th most populated nation in the world…
To put that figure in context, if the unchurched population of the United States were a nation of its own, that group would be the twelfth most populated nation on earth (trailing only China, India, the churched portion of the United States, Indonesia, Brazil, Pakistan, Nigeria, Bangladesh, Russia, Japan and Mexico).
Another interesting study has just been released in a book which you can find in my Amazon wish list, Jim and Caspar Go to Church. It chronicles a former pastor and an avowed atheist as they visit more than a dozen different churches across America and then offers some conclusions, which include:
- An alarming amount of Christians are indifferent towards non-Christians
- Privatized faith far exceeds the notion of communal faith.
- Overemphasis on programmed religious activities andworship performance rather than on helping people experience the presence of God
- Virtually no “marching orders” are given; church members are allowed to simply come and attend with little call for action
- Unwillingness to grapple with tough questions and to allow divergent opinions or dissent