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Is America a Christian Nation? Majority of Americans Don’t Think So

Just in time for the weekend’s celebrations of everything Americana, PRRI finds that most Americans don’t believe the U.S. is a Christian nation.

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According to a new PRRI/RNS report, nearly six in ten Americans think America was a Christian nation in the past but is not one now (45 percent) or have never thought the U.S. was a Christian nation (14 percent). Only about one-third (35 percent) of Americans still believe America is and has always been a Christian nation—a notable drop from 2010, when 42 percent said the same.

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There are substantial generational divisions on this issue. Young adults (age 18-29) are much less likely to say that the U.S. is currently a Christian nation—only one-quarter (25 percent) say so—than seniors (45 percent). Nearly two in ten (21 percent) young adults say that the U.S. has never been a Christian nation, a view held by only 12 percent of seniors.

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Americans who say the U.S. is no longer a Christian nation overwhelmingly believe that this is a negative change. Among those who believe the U.S. was once a Christian nation but is no longer, 61 percent say this is a bad thing. Christians are more likely than Americans overall to say that the U.S. no long being a Christian nation is a bad thing—68 percent vs. 61 percent.

For more, read the June 2015 PRRI/RNS Religion News Survey.