Fewer than half of Christians regularly attend church: Gallup

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(CP) Three in 10 people in the United States attend religious services on a regular basis, representing a decline compared to the past couple of decades, according to a report by Gallup.

Gallup reported Monday that 21% of Americans said they attend religious services on a weekly basis, while 9% said they attend religious services nearly every week.

By contrast, 11% of respondents reported attending about once a month, 25% reported attending "seldom," while 31% said they "never" go to religious services. 

This represents a decline from one decade ago, when Gallup found that 38% of Americans attended weekly or almost weekly, and from two decades ago, when 42% of Americans reported attending weekly or almost weekly.

For its research, Gallup drew from aggregated data from surveys conducted over the phone in 2021, 2022 and 2023, with previous samples being collected from surveys done in 2000-2003 and 2011-2013, respectively.

Gallup found that Mormons were the most likely to report going to their services regularly, with 67% saying they attended weekly or almost weekly. Protestants were the next highest at 44%, followed by Muslims (38%), Catholics (33%), Orthodox Christians (26%), Jews (22%), Buddhists (14%) and Hindus (13%).

The report also found that Catholics experienced the sharpest drop in attendance compared to two decades ago, going from 45% regular attendance in 2000-2003 to 33% in 2021-2023.

Over the past several years, much has been made about the rise of the religiously unaffiliated population in the United States, also known as the "nones," especially among younger generations.

In January 2023, for example, the Survey on American Life, a project of the American Enterprise Institute, released a report which found that church attendance still hadn't recovered from what it was before the COVID-19 lockdowns.

While the number of Americans who attended worship services had increased from 13% in the summer of 2020 to 27% by the spring of 2022, this was still below pre-pandemic levels.

Furthermore, according to the SAL, 33% of Americans reported in 2022 that they never attend religious services, an increase from the 25% who said the same before the pandemic.

The largest declines in attendance were seen among adults younger than 50, Hispanic Catholics, black Protestants, and white mainline Protestants, according to the 2023 study.

In December 2022, however, Gallup released an analysis indicating that the growth of religiously unaffiliated Americans was slowing down, having effectively "stabilized" since 2017.

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