The Barna Group recently released its ranking of the top ten most post-Christian cities in the United States. These are cities where residents are least likely to believe in God, or say that the Bible and Jesus are perfect. Eight of the most post-Christian cities are in the Northeast with Portland-Auburn, Maine, topping the list.
In order to qualify as “post-Christian,” Barna’s 76,505 respondents in the cities had to meet nine or more identifying factors from a set list. The list included categories such as “Do not believe in God,” “identify as atheist or agnostic,” “have never made a commitment to Jesus,” “have not prayed to God (in the last week),” “agree that Jesus committed sins,” and “disagree the Bible is accurate,” among others.
Barna explained that the type of questions it used went beyond simply asking people to check a box for whether they are Christian or not, and delved into the core of what they actually believe.
Barna included a top 100 ranking of such cities, with the top 10 listed as follows:
1. Portland–Auburn, ME (57 percent)
2. Boston, MA-Manchester, NH (56 percent)
3. Albany-Schenectady–Troy, NY (54 percent)
4. Providence, RI–New Bedford, MA (53 percent)
5. Burlington, VT–Plattsburgh, NY (53 percent)
6. Hartford–New Haven, CT (52 percent)
7. New York, NY (51 percent)
8. San Francisco–Oakland-San Jose, CA (50 percent)
9. Seattle–Tacoma (50 percent)
10. Buffalo, NY (50 percent)
“By consequence, the role of religion in public life has been slowly diminishing, and the church no longer functions with the cultural authority it held in times past,” it added.
Many studies have shown that the influence of religious leaders and churches is gradually declining in the United States. A Gallup poll in 2016, for instance showed that 21 percent of U.S. respondents to a survey did not have a formal religious identity, while only 2 to 3 percent said the same in the 1940s and 1950s. Also Gallup found that church attendance is declining as well with 73 percent of respondents in 1937 said they were a member of a church, while that number had declined in 2016 to 56 percent. Overall, 72 percent of those surveyed in 2016 by Gallup said that religion is losing its influence on American life.
No wonder religious leaders in America are salivating for more political power. They feel their influence waning and want to recover some kind of influence even if it is merely political.
“And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.” Matthew 24:12.
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