• Affiliation with Christianity and other forms of organized religion continues to decline in the U.S., according to a new poll from the Pew Research Center. The survey found the religiously unaffiliated share of the public to be 6 percentage points higher than it was five years ago and 10 points higher than a decade ago. While Christians continue to make up a majority of Americans (63 percent), their share of the adult population was 12 points lower in 2021 than it was ten years ago. The survey found that three-in-ten U.S. adults are non-affiliated, including those who describe themselves as atheists, agnostics or “nothing in particular” when asked about their religious identity. Christians now outnumber religious “nones” by a ratio of a little more than two-to-one. The recent declines within Christianity are concentrated among Protestants, with this broad grouping declining by 4 percent over the past five years, and only 40 percent of the population identifying as Protestant. In contrast, the Catholic share of the population, which had ticked downward between 2007 and 2014, has held relatively steady in recent years.

    (The Pew study can be downloaded from: ten-u-s-adults-are-now-religiously-unaffiliated/)

  • A study finds that Roma people living in Spain report greater perceived discrimination if they are evangelical rather than Catholic. Evangelicalism has grown sharply among Roma people in Spain, with a majority now identifying as evangelical (62 percent). In the study published in the journal Ethnicities (21:6), Rosa Maria Aisa and Gemma Larramona of the University of Zaragoza analyzed data on the Spanish Roma from Spain’s Economically Active Population Survey (SRPS), which asks about respondents’ religious affiliation and perceptions of discrimination. They found that evangelical Roma (mostly Pentecostals) did perceive discrimination more than those Roma identifying with the country’s majority religion, Catholicism, once other socio-economic and demographic factors were controlled for. The researchers write that this finding “corresponds with increased prejudice against minority religions considered to be sects….Catholic organizations maintain a de facto monopoly on religion, especially in education, and religious diversity has not been well accepted by mainstream public opinion.”