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Is America a Christian Nation? Majority of Americans Don’t Think So
Daniel Cox, PhD, Joanna Piacenza,
07.02.2015

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.

PRRI-Christian-Nation-Trendline

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.

PRRI_Christian_nation_age

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.

PRRI_Christian_Nation_Good-thing-Bad-thing

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.