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The American Beliefs Study: Religious Preferences and Practices is groundbreaking research initially conducted in 2013 and then repeated in 2017 and 2021 with over 45,000 participants. This decade-long timespan and significant polling size sample have established The American Beliefs Study as a recognized leader in understanding American religious preferences and practices.
Valuable insights that reveal changing behaviors and social and moral attitudes and trends within communities of faith have been distilled into a series of unique discoveries and conclusions. Long-form articles are the American Belief Reports. And the short-form quotes and highlights for quick use. The full study is also integrated in MissionInsite, providing foundational propriety value to this demographic community intelligence software tool.
A leader in church management software, market expertise, and data analysis for the last 45 years, ACS Technologies conducted this research by examining the theological beliefs of Americans. The goal was to provide church leaders with the wisdom they need to prepare, guide and quicken them to be as effective as they can be in living out the Gospel.
Overall percentage of Americans who self-described religion preference
The proportion of Americans participating in a religious congregation or community has slipped by two percentage points to 33% since 2017. Over time, this represents a decline in religious community participation of 12 percentage points since 2007, when 45% of respondents said they were active in a faith community.
Not only are fewer people active in communities of faith, but those who still engage do so less often than they used to.
The face of American society is undeniably changing. American Christianity is changing as well. Our faith fellowships are now home to tens of millions of fewer congregants than they were a decade ago. Americans are more conflicted than ever about what morality means. To be sure, many long-held Christian beliefs remain. Yet the modern American Christian is more apt than ever before to adopt some beliefs and disregard others.
Christian Faith Defections in 2011 and 2021 vs. 2020 populations