Recent Changes in the American Religious Landscape. Surveys show a profound change of attitude toward religion in America. How should we respond?

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1 Recent Changes in the American Religious Landscape Surveys show a profound change of attitude toward religion in America. How should we respond?

2 Your Presenter Father Basil Aden Former Mission Director Associate Professor of Philosophy (Religious Studies) Rock Valley College Priest (on loan) Christ the Savior Orthodox Church, Rockford, IL

3 Some Presuppositions Orthodox Mission requires Faithfulness AND Effectiveness Bishop s Innocent's Residence, Sitka, Alaska

4 The Goals of this Session To help you to: Be informed about the emerging trends on the American religious landscape Be more aware of the growing diversity of religious beliefs and affiliations Be more responsive to the changing and diverse perspectives and attitudes of Americans toward religion So that you can be a more effective leader of mission in your local situation

5 Other World Religions, 6.4 Religion in America in 2007 By Percentages Pew Survey from May 8 to Aug. 13, 2007 Other Christian, 0.3 Orthodox, 0.6 New Religions, 1.4 Unaffiliated, 16.1 Catholic, 23.9 Protestant, 51.3 Protestants: *Evangelical: 26.3% *Mainline: 18.1% *African-Am.: 6.9% Percent of American Population

6 Other than Christian: Religious Affiliation Don't know, 0.8 Buddhist, 0.7 Jewish, 4.7 Muslim, 0.6 Nothing in particular, 12.1 Hindu, 0.4 Unitarians, 0.7 New Age, 0.4 Percent of the American Population Pew Survey 2007 Agnostic, 2.4 Atheist, 1.6 Native American, 0.3

7 Percent of Immigrants In the U.S. Population 35 million immigrants 2.5 times the peak number of 1910 Today s immigrants are 12.1% of the population Center for Immigration Studies

8 Religious Composition in Detail Pew Survey 2007 Pagan Wicca Unitarian Anglican: Mainline Muslim Mormon Jehovah's Buddhist Hindu Pentecostal Evan. Baptist Evangelical Selected Groups Baptist Evangelical: 10.8% Pentecostal Evang.: 3.4 Mormon: 1.7% Anglican Mainline: 1.4% Jehovah s:.7% Unitarian:.7% Muslim:.6% Hindu:.4% Wicca:.3% Pagan:.3%

9 The Origin of Immigrants Over half of the immigrants come from Latin America 55.5% Latin America 23.5% Asia 15% Europe/Canada 5% Middle East/Africa 1% Other Asia, 23.50% Middle East/Afri ca, 5% Europe/ Canada, 15% Other, 1% Latin Am., 55.50%

10 Latino Religious Affiliation: 2003 Institute for Hispanic Studies: Notre Dame 93% are Christian 70% are Catholic 23% are Protestant 1% are another World Religion Espinosa Religious Affiliation: Hispanics in the U.S. 23 Catholic Protestant No preference 6 1 Another Religion

11 Significant Protestant Influence 26% claim a Born-Again experience (Evangelical Protestantism) 22% claim to be Charismatic (Protestant Pentecostalism) Among non-catholics: 77% are Protestant + 20% are no religion on atheist/agnostic Institute for Hispanic Studies 3% are another religion

12 Trends of Hispanic Generations in the United States Protestant Catholic Trends are for a decline in Hispanic Catholic affiliation from the 1 st to 3 rd generations, the proportion of Protestants doubles Institute for Hispanic Studies

13 Projections of U.S. Catholics By Ethnicity and Year Instituo Fe y Vida Resource and Research Center

14 A Severe Shortage of Hispanic CatholicPriests Ratio of Priests to Hispanic Catholics in America Am. Born Priest to Hispanic Catholics, 27,000 30,000 25,000 Hispanic Priest to Hispanic Catholics, 9,925 20,000 15,000 10,000 5,000 0 Instituto Fey y Vida

15 The Earthquake of Globalization Results in Fault Lines Fault lines are not only between different world religions But WITHIN Religions (especially Christianity).

16 Signs of the New Religious America

17 Demographic Sources of New Members: OCA (Krindatch 2000) Per cents in the OCA

18 Why Haven t Children of Members Added More? (The OCA reported between 60 and 70 percent. )

19 Youth Leaving the Church Highest OCA & GOA Priest Concern 25% 75% Concern For Youth Other Concerns 75% of clergy say our most important problem is youth leaving the church Nationwide survey of priests- Patriarch Athenagoras Institute

20 Switching Religious Affiliation 44% of Americans have switched their religious affiliation 56% 44% Swiched affiliation Stayed Put What counts: From childhood background to another religious affiliation E.g. Going from Baptist to Methodist From childhood background to nonaffiliated What does not count: changes within religion families E. g. Going from one Baptist church to another does not count

21 Where Have Strays Gone? Pew Faith in Flux 2009 None to None, 4% None to Religion, 4% Prot. To Different Prot., 15% Prot to None, 7% No change, 56% RC to Prot., 5% RC to None, 4%

22 Of the 56% Who Stayed 9% Had Left At Some Point Same Faith Now Temporary change Never changed

23 Net Losses From Childhood 0-1 Catholic Baptist Methodist Lutheran Episcopal Jewish Losses of children raised in the denomination

24 Affiliation Switching: Gains Selected Growing Religions Gains from Childhood to Current Membership Percent Gain Pew Landmark Study 2007

25 Most Switching Happens Before Age 24 Pew Study Percentages of the 44% who have changed denominations RC to None RC to Prot. Prot to None Prot. To Different Prot. Left Before 24 Current Status Before 24 None to Affiliated

26 The Reasons for Leaving 80% 70% 71% 71% 70% Pew Study % 50% 54% 50% 43% 40% RC to None 32% RC to Prot. 30% 27% Prot. To None Prot. To Prot. 20% None to Something 10% 0% Drifted Away Spiritual Needs Unmet Stopped Believing in Its Teaching Found Another (Liked More) Unhappy w/ teachings on Bible Dissatified with worship climate Dissatified with clergy

27 Switching to the Orthodox Church: Percent Members Average Orthodox Church Today Survey 2008 OCA Laity OCA Clergy GOA Laity Background of Members Orthodox Catholic Protestant GOA Clergy

28 Attitudes to Other Religions Who attains eternal life? How does one attain eternal life? My faith is the One True faith Many faiths attain eternal life Don't know

29 Less and Less Helpful? Majority Religious Denomination by County in the U.S From American Ethnic Geography Valparaiso University Christian Denominations

30 More Are Claiming to Be Spiritual But Not Religious Religious 50% Spiritual AND % Neither 11% Spiritual BUT NOT % Religious 50% Spiritual BUT NOT % Neither 11% Spiritual AND %

31 Beliefs of Unaffiliated Believe, not doubts Believe with doubts Beliefs in God of Un-Affiliated By Percentage Sometimes believe 2.1 Belive in higher power 44.5 Don't believe

32 2006 Consensus: God Exists Definately yes Does God exist? Probably Doubtful Probably not Definitely no No opinion May 2006 Gallup Poll

33 73% of Americans Believe in Some Form of the Paranormal Reincarnation Visits of extra-terrestrial beings Astrology Haunted Houses ESP or Extrasensory Perception Devil possession Psychic or spiritual healing Gallup Poll June 2005

34 God Means Different Things Authoritarian *(31.4%) Highly involved A guide to decisions Angry/punishing Benevolent (23%) Highly involved Positive Kindly Critical (16%) Not involved Observer Will judge in the afterlife Distant (24.4%) Not involved First cause No opinions about humans or history Atheist (5.2%) Not existent Perhaps strong moral opinions Distant, 24.4 Atheist, 5 Critical, 16 Baylor Institute Study 63% of unaffiliated believe in God 95% of Am. Population believe in God Benevolent, 23 Authoritarian, 31.4 Authoritarian Benevolent Critical Distant Atheist

35 Types of Belief: Education and Age Educatio n College or more High School or less Age Baylor Institute Study Atheist Distance Critical Benevolent Authoritarian

36 Types of Belief: Gender & White and African American African-Am. Race White Race Gender Female Male Gender Baylor Institute Study Atheist Distant Critical Benevolent Authoritarian

37 Signs of Cafeteria Spirituality

38 Summary of Findings On the whole the following are becoming less important to Americans: Their religious background Denominations as church organizations Teachings of a religious hierarchy The Catholic church The following are becoming more important to Americans: A wide range of options for personal choice of affiliation and belief A sense of God based on one s own personal beliefs and experiences Spirituality according to each person s own definition The local religious group regardless of its denomination It is also most likely the case that: Americans will tend to favor attitude of co-existence with other religions and believers despite the teachings of their denomination.

39 The Profile of a Prospective Member: The Identifying Factor Orthodoxy s Foremost Evangelist: Bishop Ware

40 Survey of Seminarians: Alexei D. Krindatch in A. O chuches are "strangers" to Am. B. O. churches are seen as immigrant communities C. O. churches are a "fully integral part of Am. Society Don t know, difficult to say, etc. 0 Cradle Orthodox Former Roman Catholics Former Moderate Protest. Former Evangelical Protestant Average

41 General Attitudes Priests & All Faithful Laity Convert Priests Cradle Priests Conservative Traditional Moderate Liberal All Priests

42 The Impact of the Trends Members (especially youth) Associates including partners of mixed marriages, interested seekers, personal contacts, supporters, catechumens, prospective members Non-Orthodox whom we are called to reach

43 Three Sets of Attitudes 1. Anti-institutionalism 2. Religious pluralism 3. Self-directed spirituality

44 Anti-institutionalism Responding to the Trends: Our Orthodox Members connect the local parish to the diocese & OCA, SCOBA, etc. Religious Pluralism: Teach the difference between Orthodoxy and other religions; give youth a firm foundation in the Orthodox faith & life Self-directed spirituality Teach the importance of communion in the Body of Christ and spiritual direction

45 Responding to the Trends: Our Associates 1. Anti-institutionalism As much as possible Involve them in the ministries and life of the local parish 2. Religious pluralism: Respect their religious convictions but explain the distinctiveness of the Orthodox faith 3. Self-directed spirituality: Show how Orthodox spirituality must be practiced in the context of the Orthodox Church not in individual isolation

46 Responding to the Trends: Our Outreach to Americans 1. Anti-institutionalism Present the life and ministry of the local parish 2. Religious pluralism Know and respect other religions but be ready to point out the differences of belief 3. Self-directed spirituality Witness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Stress participation in the Body of Christ not esoteric, mystical practice.

47 Responding to the Influence: Topics That Require Instruction 1. On Anti-institutionalism: the Theology the Church (Tradition, Hierarchy, Doctrine, Canon, etc.) 2. On religious pluralism: the Truth of Orthodoxy and the teachings of other religions 3. On popular spirituality without religion : the Orthodox mystical way and religious experience in general

48 Responding to the Trends Anti-institutionalism By Category Make Orthodoxy up close and personal and deemphasize the hierarchical & institutional aspects of the Church to outsiders Religious pluralism Engage with Christian denominations and other religions but do not make concessions to religious pluralism Self-directed spirituality: Stress the need for guidance, discipline, and the sacramental life of the Church for spirituality

49 Works Cited The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life. U.S. Religious Landscape Survey. August The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life. Faith in Flux: Changes in Religious Affiliation in the U.S.: April Baylor Institute for Studies of Religion. American Piety in the 21st Century : New Insights into the Depth and Complexity of Religion in the US. September Krindatch, Alexei D. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion; Sep2002, Vol. 41 Issue 3, p , 31p, 7 charts Review of Religious Research; Sep2006, Vol. 48 Issue 1, p , 2p Krindatch, Alexei D. The Orthodox Church Today: A National Study of Parishioners and the Realities of Orthodox Parish Life in the US (2008). Patriarch Athenagoras Iorthodox nstitute. Berkeley, CA.

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