Where have all the Christians gone?

Increasing amount of "nones" when it comes to religion
Dedication of the fountain at the First Baptist Dallas church in 2013. (AP Photo)

Dedication of the fountain at the First Baptist Dallas church in 2013. (AP Photo)

The following comes from a July 29 Crux article by Michael O’Loughlin:

Your notion of whether or not the United States is a “Christian nation” could be colored by where you live

In Dallas, for example, nearly 8 in 10 residents are Christian, but in San Francisco, fewer than half identify as Christian – and the number of those claiming no religious affiliation is strikingly high in some cities.

The Pew Research Center’s 2014 Religious Landscape Study, released Wednesday, looked at the religiosity of Americans as a whole, and it also dug a bit deeper to find trends in the 17 largest metropolitan areas.

“While Christians make up between 65% and 75% of adults in most of those metro areas – and people with no religious affiliation generally make up roughly 20-25% of the population – some cities stand out for a variety of reasons,” Michael Lipka, a religion editor at Pew, wrote in an analysis of the data.

(from July 29 Crux article)

Click to enlarge (from July 29 Crux article)

The metropolitan areas that “stand out” include Seattle, where 37 percent of residents have no religious affiliation, and just 52 percent of the population identifies as Christian. Other cities with high numbers of “nones” include San Francisco (35 percent), Boston (33 percent), San Diego (27 percent), and Phoenix (26 percent).

Several major cities are home to large Catholic populations.

Leading the pack is Chicago (34 percent), followed by New York (33 percent), Los Angeles and San Diego (32 percent each), and Boston (29 percent).

Other cities in which at least a quarter or more of its residents identify as Catholic include Miami (27 percent), Philadelphia (26 percent), and San Francisco (25 percent).



  1. Anonymous says:

    We are 98% Christian.

  2. It would be interesting to correlate various social factors (e.g. Crime rate, faith based services for the poor, truancy, drop out rate, drug abuse, etc) with the Chrisitan religiosity ( Protestant and Catholic) for these cities. Hopefully, the cities with higher Christian identity would have fewer problems.

  3. There are many false gods which attract and distract people from being Christian. In Texas, football is a false god. In other areas, the shopping mall is an idol. In areas with beaches and lakes, swimming, fishing, and other water activities lure Christians away from their faith. Because the average Christian is not on fire with his beliefs, other things will take him away from loving God above all else. While the Catholic Church keeps closing parishes, the Protestant church keeps building new ones. They are gaining, while we are shrinking. Why? It is easier to be a Protestant than to be a Catholic, and most Catholic churches are more Protestant than Catholic.

  4. All Christians attend Mass or a Christian Church once a week to worship God.
    If they asked about attendance, the numbers would drop even more.

    Merely stating that one is a ‘Christian’ due to childhood baptism, or because they say they believe Christ is God, or because their parents were – is not being a Christian.
    Christ said He will spew the ‘lukewarm’ out of his mouth.

  5. When Diocese Bishops and Parish Priests do NOT encourage all literate Laity to read both a Catholic Bible, and the Doctrine of the Faith which is contained in the
    “Catechism of the Catholic Church, second edition” of 1997 –
    people do not know their Faith accurately and completely.

    When they do not know their Faith they can NOT pass it on to their children, and others. Eventually over a few generations the Church will become smaller and smaller.

  6. ” My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge;
    because you have rejected knowledge,
    I reject you from being a priest to me.
    And since you have forgotten the law of your God,
    I also will forget your children. – Hosea 4:6

  7. When was the last time your Diocese Bishop and Parish Priest encouraged you to read a Catholic Bible at home?
    Ask him why he is being disobedient to the Doctrine of the Faith and our Popes.

    Doctrine of the Faith – – – CCC: ” 133 The Church “forcefully and specifically exhorts all the Christian faithful. . . to learn the surpassing knowledge of Jesus Christ, by frequent reading of the divine Scriptures.
    Ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ.”

  8. “….the CATECHISM has raised throughout the world, even among non-Christians,
    and confirms its purpose of being presented as a full, complete exposition of Catholic doctrine,
    enabling EVERYONE to know what the Church professes, celebrates, lives, and prays in her daily life.” – Pope John Paul II (CCC pg xiv)
    “What Catholics REALLY Believe Source”

  9. FrMichael says:

    I take it the “San Francisco” metro area means the Bay Area as a whole. I knew we were high, but I didn’t know we were nearly as high as godless Seattle.

  10. Linda Maria says:

    The Church has a big job to do! Her wayward children suffer greatly, without God! And without Christian Morality– these people are all doomed! First things first– would be a thorough religious and moral training, from the Vatican, for all Catholics, standardized, for worldwide implementation— as in past generations. And for all Catholic schools, kindergarten through post-grad– to be standardized, too; all operated exactly the same, with rules and regulations as before– under the Vatican. And for the Code of Canon Law to be mandatory, and in daily use, for all aspects of operating the Church and its institutions.

    • Linda Maria, what you are calling for is a “Common Core” program for all Catholic Schools. I’m wondering what a mandatory curriculum for post-grad would look like, I’m also wondering if you are suggesting that indoctrinate all students rather than educate them. How would all of this work?

      • Jim McCrea says:

        Indoctrinate and pretend to persuade first. Then, when that fails, coerce!

        • Linda Maria says:

          To Bob One, and Jim McCrea– Don’t you think bad Catholic teachers, who are cruel, intimidating, and coercive– should be FIRED??

      • Linda Maria says:

        Bob One, the Church has not had a good Catechism program, for her laypeople, for many decades, since Vatican II!! Also, priests have complained about the same thing– poor Catholic seminary training! And most Catholic colleges, worldwide– are no longer truly “Catholic!” It is best if the Vatican implements a required Catechism program, worldwide! Just like they issue a Roman Missal, for worldwide use! Catholic schools and colleges, should all offer a standard Catholic education, to all students! No liberal or immoral “baloney,” just an HONEST Catholic education, that you PAY for– and RECEIVE!!

      • Linda Maria says:

        Bob One– a CATHOLIC post-grad curriculum, for any CATHOLIC doctoral student– should be HONEST, and truly CATHOLIC!! For example– take a look at Pope (emeritus) Benedict XVI, when he taught many post-grad students, in Germany. You will see, that then-Cardinal Ratzinger was honestly and truly CATHOLIC, as a Professor!! Want some CRAZY, HERETICAL, or IMMORAL doctoral professors and students, who hate Christ and His Church?? Is that what a good Catholic university or seminary is for?? Of course not! It must be dedicated to JESUS CHRIST, 100%, to deepen and further His mission, in the world!!

  11. Pilar, you wrote: “It is easier to be a Protestant than to be a Catholic, and most Catholic churches are more Protestant than Catholic”. If we are becoming more Protestant, why are people leaving since it is easier now to be a Catholic? The logic doesn’t follow. Christians are leaving because of the Priest sex crimes, the lackluster sermons, the non-upbeat music, the lack of services for the families, the perceived hate of gays, the Bishops in their palaces instead of on the ground, etc. The Catholic Church has a problem with the super conservatives who are so mean about anything modern that it drives people away. Plus, people just don’t believe in God like they use to.

    • Linda Maria says:

      Bob One– If we say we “believe in God” — that means, we must ignore today’s modern world, which has so ignorantly REJECTED GOD!! God is ANCIENT and ETERNAL, far beyond the earthly realm– and He has NOTHING TO DO, with the secular world, and its ignorant, sinful ways! If we want to follow Christ, the Son of God, we are called to LEAVE THE WORLD, deep inside– and listen to His voice alone, and follow it! CHRIST, our Blessed Redeemer– truly loves us, and died for us– and He is ready, in all ages, to lead us to ETERNAL LIFE, in HEAVEN!!

  12. People are leaving the Catholic Church because they do not have to go to Confession in Protestant churches. One can believe whatever, and do whatever, and still be a member in good standing. The Catholic Church has laws, and of course the 10 Commandments, and says we cannot receive Holy Communion in mortal sin. So, the Church is I suppose ‘ restrictive’, while in the Protestant Church there is no hierarchy, and everyone is his own pope.

    • Pilar, I think you hit the nail right on the head. Someone has said that Protestants become Catholics because they are steeped in history; whereas Catholics becomes Protestants because they cannot keep the hard sayings. During my lifetime I have found that very true for the most part.

  13. Equally good question: Where have all the Roman Catholics gone? Statistics collected in nation-wide polls indicate less than 25% attend church on a weekly basis! Why not? If members don’t attend services on account that they just don’t want to anymore, does that mean as non-practicing member and for all practical purposes that they aren’t members of the church anymore since they seem to be agnostics, or worse atheists?

    What are the magisterium of V2 bishops and cardinals and pope doing to correct this situation? Open the doors for homosexuals and protestants to share or even adopt their erroneous opinions? This will leave others even further away while attracting vice into the church camps. Opening it to further destruction.

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