Glass’s case might be a dramatic one, but it illustrates a documented pattern in our society: People find their social and personal lives improved—sometimes their lives are even physically saved—when they go to church often.
In 2019, Gallup reported that only 36 percent of Americans view organized religion with “a great deal of confidence,” down from 68 percent in 1975. The study’s authors speculate that this trend has been driven in part by the highly publicized moral failures and crimes of religious institutions and leaders.
The decline in confidence in churches has been accompanied by steep recent declines in both church membership and attendance. Barna Group found that 10 years ago, in 2011, 43 percent of Americans said they went to church every week. By February of 2020, that had dropped 14 percentage points to 29 percent.
But when Americans describe the reasons they seldom or never attend church, scandals don’t get top billing. Instead, people who think of themselves as Christians are more likely to say that they practice their faith in other ways (44 percent) or that there’s something they don’t like about the service (38 percent).
Americans' growing disaffection with organized religion could constitute a silent public health crisis: https://t.co/3GJjl9FxB6
— Christianity Today (@CTmagazine) October 19, 2021