It’s no secret that Christianity’s influence upon American culture has waned in recent generations. Yet the most recent Barna study offers further proof: Half of all Americans now believe Christianity isn’t the country’s default religion, but is instead one of many options of faith.
Two weeks ago the Ministry Report highlighted a Gallup poll showing that two-thirds of Americans believe religion is losing ground in this nation. Yet Barna’s new report indicates just how far Christianity has fallen in comparison to other religions. Most convinced of this shift are evangelicals—64 percent of whom believe Christianity is no longer the religion Americans automatically accept as their personal faith—and Hispanics (60 percent).
Interestingly enough, this comes at a time when a greater number of Americans (74 percent) believe spirituality is more important to them than it used to be. That may explain why Americans—by a whopping three-to-one margin—are more likely to develop their own personal set of beliefs than accept those taught by a church or denomination. Even among born-again Christians polled, 61 percent adopt an a la carte approach to their faith. Not surprisingly, the group most likely to customize their faith is those under age 25 (82 percent). [barna.org, 1/12/09]