Drift, not rupture explains decline, part 2

In Monday’s Lead we reported on a new Pew Forum study on why people leave or switch churches. Boston Globe reporter, Michael Paulson, explores the difference of reasons for Roman Catholics and Protestants (including Anglicans/Episcopalians).

Among the most striking findings are that most people who change their religious affiliation leave the denomination in which they were raised by age 24, and many change religious affiliation more than once. And the study found that the growing population of unaffiliated Americans are more disenchanted with institutionalized religion than with the idea of God.

But the differences between Catholics and Protestants are also significant, suggesting that Catholics who become alienated from their church often leave, whereas Protestants have the option of simply switching denominations.

Read interviews, view charts, and discover more interesting data here.

Another report on the study by CNN.

Many Protestants in the study who did switch felt that denominations were not important. What does this mean for the Episcopal Church and evangelism?

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