Along with recent studies that have reported an increase in Americans who affiliate with no religion, a study published on Tuesday found that more American Christians have been identifying as “non-denominational” over the past several years.
The Gallup poll found that between the years 2000 and 2016, the number of Americans who identified with a specific denomination dropped from 50 percent to 30 percent.
The significant drop is a result of two trends, according to the research organization — one of them being an increase in those who identify as “non-denominational.”
American Christians who identify as non-denominational doubled in the same time period, from 9 percent to 17 percent, the study showed.
But Gallup also pointed to an increase in Americans who don’t affiliate themselves with any religion as another factor.
“Since the percentages of Catholics, Mormons and those who identify with a non-Christian religion have stayed roughly the same over time, this ‘rise of the nones’ — from 10% in 2000 to 20% in 2016 — has generally been accompanied by an associated decrease in the broad category of Protestants, whose numbers shrank from 57% to 47%,” Gallup said.
Steve Gaines, president of the Southern Baptist Convention, said that the poll results point to a need “to have churches that are marked by the supernatural presence and power of God.”
“If people sense the presence of Jesus at a church, they will come and be part of what God is doing,” Gaines told Baptist Press. “And they won’t care whether that church is part of a denomination or not.”