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Oh Lordy! New Study Indicates White Christians No Longer a Majority in the US

© AFP 2023 / REMY GABALDAA photo taken on April 15, 2015 shows a damaged crucifix on the ground after tombstones were found vandalized at the Saint-Roch cemetery in Castres, southern France
A photo taken on April 15, 2015 shows a damaged crucifix on the ground after tombstones were found vandalized at the Saint-Roch cemetery in Castres, southern France - Sputnik International
A survey released Wednesday indicates that white Christians are no longer a majority population in the US, as the number of people eschewing organized religion and an influx of immigrants has shifted the country’s demographics in recent years.

According to the Washington-based Public Religion Research Institute (PRRL), Christianity is still the predominant faith in the US, with 70 percent of Americans identifying as such, but white Christians, who once made up the lion’s share of the group now only comprises 43 percent of the population.

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This is a considerable difference from when eight in 10 Americans were white Christians 40 years ago.

US Christianity has seen shifts across denominations, with the Roman Catholic Church seeing an uptick in Latino membership and an exodus of non-white Latino members, and Lutherans and Presbyterians, largely white Protestant groups, seeing a major decrease in membership. 

Even white evangelicals, a group typically viewed as being shrink-proof, have seen a drop-off in numbers. The survey notes that white evangelicals only make up about 17 percent of the population, but a decade ago their numbers stood at roughly 23 percent.

PRRI Chief Executive Robert Jones explained that the new trend contradicts certain long-held beliefs about the relationship between faith and politics. "White evangelicals have been pointing in judgment to white mainline groups, saying when you have liberal theology you decline … I think this data really does challenge that interpretation of linking theological conservatism and growth," AP reports.

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The US’ largest Protestant group, Southern Baptists, dropped to their lowest numbers since 1990 with 15.2 million members, according to New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary President Chuck Kelley.

This group gave 80 percent of their vote to US President Donald Trump, who touted his intentions to protect Christians’ religious liberty on the campaign trail. Trump signed the "Promoting Free Speech and Religious Liberty" executive order in May, effectively dismantling the Johnson Amendment, which bans churches and other tax-exempt organizations from political activity.

Tony Perkins, president of the conservative Family Research Council, applauded the move, saying in a statement at the time, "The open season on Christians and other people of faith is coming to a close in America and we look forward to assisting the Trump administration in fully restoring America’s first freedom."

Conducted from January 2016 to January 2017, more than 100,000 people were involved in the survey, with a 0.4 percent margin of error. Though the number of Protestants in the US first began dropping off around 2008, according to previous surveys, Jones explained that the decrease in white Christians was blurred by stability in the number of African-American Christians and an increase in Latino Christians.

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