Nearly a quarter of Americans say they used to follow a different religious tradition or denomination than the one they practice now — a percentage that keeps growing, a new survey says.
According to Axios, The jump in religion-switching comes as many Americans say they no longer believe in their initial religion’s teachings — or, in many cases, disagree with a religion’s stance against LGBTQ+ people.
More Americans also are turning away from Christianity and are seeing themselves as unaffiliated with any religion or as religious “nones,” even as some conservative Republicans seek to inject more religion into schools and public life.
The nonpartisan Public Religion Research Institute survey of people across the country found that a quarter of Americans (24%) say they’ve changed religious traditions or denominations over their lifetime or recently.
That’s a 50% jump from 2021, when 16% said they had switched, the survey found. People who are members of other non-Christian religions (38%) or religiously unaffiliated (37%) were the most likely to say that they had switched from a different religious tradition.
About one in four Protestants of color (28%), white evangelical Protestants (25%), and Hispanic Protestants (24%) say they previously practiced or followed another religious tradition.
The survey found that the Catholic Church had lost the highest percentage of followers (39%) to the group without a religious affiliation.
Non-evangelical Protestants (28%) lost the second-most members. A 2022 survey by PRRI’s American Values Atlas found that only 64% of Americans identify as Christian — and the percentage has been dropping.
That PRRI survey says nearly 27% of the general public is now unaffiliated with any religion — the fastest-growing segment.
Zoom in: Among those who switched, 56% said they changed because they stopped believing in the religion’s teachings.