This week, The Barna Group released the first two installments in a series of briefs dealing with the state of the church and how religion in America has shifted over the past 20 years. In Part 1, Barna looks at 14 religious variables (six behaviors and eight beliefs), and examines how expressions of faith have changed over the past two decades. His research revealed that:
- Weekly Bible reading among adults dropped by five percent to its current level of 40 percent.
- Sunday School attendance is currently at 15 percent of adults – a drop of eight percent.
- Church attendance dropped from 49 percent in 1991 to 40 percent in 2011.
- The number of unchurched adults grew from 37 percent to 50 percent over the past 20 years.
- The number of adults who can be classified as born again rose from 35 percent to 40 percent.
- In 1991, 46 percent of adults strongly affirmed that “the Bible is totally accurate in all of the principles it teaches.” Just 38 percent hold the same belief today.
(from FotF's Pastor's Weekly Briefing)