MPR News with Angela Davis

Why are so many Americans leaving church?  

empty wood pews with red cushions in a church
The percentage of Americans who do not claim any religious affiliation has jumped from about 5 percent to 30 percent over the last thirty years, according to the Pew Research Center.
Andrew Seaman | Unsplash

Millions of Americans are leaving church. Are they also leaving their faith?   

Thirty years ago, about 90 percent of Americans identified as Christian. Today, that’s dropped to about 60 percent.

Meanwhile, the number of people without any religious affiliation at all continues to grow.

For some, the decision to leave is rooted in conflict and pain. But for most people, the reasons for leaving church are a lot more mundane.

MPR News guest host Kelly Gordon talks with a researcher and a pastor about the historic exodus from Christian congregations, what some have called the “great de-churching.”


Two women smiling for a portrait
MPR News guest host Kelly Gordon (left) and Osheta Moore (right), a speaker, spiritual director and pastor at Roots Moravian Church in St. Paul, in the Kling Public Media Center in St. Paul on Thursday.
Nikhil Kumaran | MPR News

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