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Question: In the United States is Christianity Declining?

Answer:

According to a study by the Pew Research Institute published in October 2019, the decline of Christianity in the U.S. continues at rapid pace. The study identifies that 65% of American adults describe themselves as Christians when asked about their religion. This is 12 percentage points less than a decade ago. This trend is a feature not only of the Roman Catholic and Protestant Churches, but of the Orthodox Church as well. Meanwhile, the people we call the “Nones” (or the religiously unaffiliated) went from constituting 17% of the population in 2009 to 26% in 2017.

What should we do? First, we need to understand the reasons for this decline. Secularism is one answer, but not the only one. There is also a temptation to disfranchise from the Church as an organization that doesn’t represent us anymore. In other words, we don’t trust the institution and the people representing the institution. We are losing our youth; this is a fact which holds despite the energy and money put into different church ministries. There is a crucial shift from childhood to adulthood during which a particular demographic disappears from the parish’s’ radar. The roots of the secularization of our youth are not new, but we need to reflect: have we asked ourselves the right questions in building our ministries and establishing personal relationships and experiences? Is our Church only a social body, or is it a liturgical reality as well?

Join us this evening for further discussion on this topic in light of the 2020 US Religion Census with Alexei Krindatch and Fr. Christopher Metropulos on [LIVE] Thursday, 6/3 at 7:00pm EST. Register Here.

Author

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    Rev. Protopresbyter Nicolas Kazarian, Ph.D., is the Ecumenical Officer and Director of the Department of Inter-Orthodox, Ecumenical and Inter-faith Relations of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America and parish priest at St. Eleftherios Greek Orthodox Church in Manhattan.


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Fr. Nicolas Kazarian

Rev. Protopresbyter Nicolas Kazarian, Ph.D., is the Ecumenical Officer and Director of the Department of Inter-Orthodox, Ecumenical and Inter-faith Relations of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America and parish priest at St. Eleftherios Greek Orthodox Church in Manhattan.

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