Losing Their Religion

American confidence in organized religion has dropped to new lows.

Americans have less confidence in organized religion today than ever measured before—a sign that the church could be “losing its footing as a pillar of moral leadership in the nation’s culture,” a new Gallup survey finds. In the mid-1970s, nearly seven in 10 Americans said they had “a great deal or quite a lot” of confidence in the church or organized religion. That has headed downward decade by decade to a new low of just 42 percent, according to the report. “In the ’80s the church and organized religion were the No. 1” in Gallup’s annual look at confidence in institutions, said Lydia Saad, author of the report released on June 17. Now “almost all organizations are down, but the picture for religion is particularly bleak.” Overall, church/organized religion is now ranked in fourth place in the Gallup survey—behind the military, small business and the police, but still ahead of the medical system, Congress and the media.

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