ST. LOUIS (MO)
St. Louis Public Radio
Institutional religions are losing members to those who claim to be “unaffiliated,” people who are often religious or spiritual in some way but don’t belong to an institution. Nearly one in five of U.S. adults are “unaffiliated” according to the Pew Research Center.
Pew experts say Catholicism is taking the biggest hit with this movement. While nearly one in three Americans were raised Catholic, today fewer than one-in-four describe themselves that way.
This trend isn’t just national. Cliff Grammich, research chair for the Association of Religious Data Archives, says the decline can be seen in St. Louis.
“All together in the St. Louis metropolitan area we found about 555,000 persons associated with the Catholic Church in 2010, that was a decrease of about 100,000 from our previous study in the year 2000,” said Grammich.
However, Grammich added that the Catholic Church was one of several institutional churches that lost members in St. Louis, perhaps because of the “unaffiliated” trend.
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