Pew: Half of Americans Changed Religions

According to a new report released in April by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, half of Americans have changed religions at some point in their lives. This figure was arrived at by adding the number of people who currently practice a different faith than they did in their childhoods to the number of people who have moved around among religions or denominations but currently practice the same faith as they did in their childhood.

Among people who have changed religions, the study concluded, those who left the Catholic Church were more likely than those who left Protestant denominations to have done so because they no longer believed in the teachings of the church. The study also showed that those who were actively involved in their churches as children and teens were more likely to stick with their churches as adults. Also, across the board, the vast majority of people who changed churches, who stopped being affiliated with any faith or who transitioned from being "affiliated” with a religion to belonging to a church, did so before the age of 24.

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