While an increasing number of Americans are reportedly abandoning the institutional church and its defined boundary markers of religious identity, many Americans still believe in God and practice faith outside its walls, a new Barna study has found. Barna has released a report¬†on the first of a two-part exploration of faith and spirituality outside the church, looking at the “fascinating segment of the American population who, as the saying goes, ‘love Jesus but not the church.'”


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One-tenth of the population comprises those who self-identify as Christian and who strongly agree that their religious faith is very important in their life, but are “dechurched,” meaning they have attended church in the past, but haven’t done so in the last six months or more, the Barna study says, adding that only seven percent of the population belonged to this category in 2004. READ MORE