Archive for the ‘Current Research’ Category


Congregational membership has dropped by 20 percentage points over the past two decades, hitting a low of 50 percent in 2018, according to a new Gallup poll. Gallup found church membership to be at 70 percent in 1999, consistent with much of the membership rates throughout the 20th century. Since 1999, that figure has fallen […]


“Deaths of despair” has become a popular term used in the last few years to account for the rising number of middle-aged white Americans who have been dying from suicide, drug overdoses and conditions related to alcoholism, but there have been few attempts to relate the phenomenon to religion. In a paper presented at the […]


New data on white evangelical voting patterns and views during the 2018 midterm elections show about the same level of support for the presidency of Donald Trump as there was for candidate Trump in the 2016 presidential race. The blog Religion in Public (January 28) analyzed raw numbers recently released from a survey conducted by […]


A record low number of Americans say that religion can serve as an answer to “all or most of today’s problems,” according to a new Gallup poll published in The Hill newspaper (December 24). The survey found just 46 percent of respondents to say that religion could solve all or most of the world’s problems. It […]


Whether “intense religion” has decreased or is holding steady in the U.S. has come under debate by sociologists, touching on the wider question of just how exceptional America is on religion. RW cited an initial article by Landon Schnabel and Sean Bock in Sociological Science [see January 2018 RW] where the researchers argued that intense […]

CURRENT RESEARCH – November 2018

The large number of “invisible congregations,” often based in denominations not recognized by official religious censuses, makes a difference when looking at religious growth and decline, according to J. Gordon Melton of Baylor University. Melton, who presented a paper at the October meeting of the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion, said that most […]


A new survey finds that divisions based on religion remain within the Republican Party almost two years after the election of Donald Trump. The survey, conducted by Emily Ekins for the Voter Study Group, finds that regular church attenders who voted for Trump over Clinton still tend to hold different views than his more secular […]

CURRENT RESEARCH – September 2018

The increase in the number of Catholics who claim an evangelical identity and experience, such as being born again, may have more to do with different educational trajectories among Catholics than the alliance between evangelicalism and Catholicism or immigration, according to sociologists Samuel L. Perry and Cyrus Schleifer. Writing in the Review of Religious Research […]

Current Research – August 2018

Communities showing significant poverty and a lack of ethnic diversity may produce both more anti-Islamic sentiment and more extremist Muslim tendencies, according to a recent study in the journal Science Advances (June 6). Researchers Christopher A. Bail, Friedolin Merhout, and Peng Ding examine the relationship between anti-Muslim and pro-ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) […]


Newsweek (June 17) reports that a recent poll finds that most LGBTQ adults in the United States are religious, the majority of these being Christian. Conducted by Buzzfeed and Whitman Insight Strategies, the survey, the most extensive of its kind, surveyed a sample of 880 members of the LGBTQ community nationwide in late May. The […]