The number of people who identify as not ascribing to any religion (also referred to as “nones”) is on the rise.
A new survey conducted by Pew Research asked religious “nones” why they no longer identify with a religious group. An article on the survey results clarifies the attributes of this demographic, stating, “They can be broken down into three broad subgroups: self-identified atheists; those who call themselves agnostic; and people who describe their religion as ‘nothing in particular.’”
The responses are intriguing and highly varied, as should be expected among a diverse demographic. However, a few themes emerged as Pew discussed the responses.
Lack of Belief
The most commonly given answer among those who grew up attending some kind of religious service was lack of belief. Specifically, things like science or logic were cited among this group. Some respondents got even more specific and said, “I don’t believe in miracles.”
Dislike of Organized Religion
One in five people cited a more definitive dislike of organized religion. One person expressed, “I see organized religious groups as more divisive than uniting.” Other people cited “The clergy sex abuse scandal” and “The church’s teachings on homosexuality.”
Unsure About Religion
Eighteen percent of the respondents said they are religiously unsure. As in “I believe in God, but in my own way.” The classic response of being “spiritual” but not religious also came up.
One in 10 people are now “inactive” when it comes to religion. Meaning, they do not currently take part in religious practices for one reason or another. One of the reasons cited was being too busy.
A summary of the results can be seen in the table below: