A newly released Pew research study surveyed in 2014 has found that Christianity has declined in the United States for the first time in history. The study shows that identified Christians went down to 70.6% nationally from 78.4% in 2007. There was also an increase in “no religion” to 23% which was only 16% in 2007. So we can see a 7% increase in non-belief and a 7.8% decrease in Christian belief, which roughly ads up to be about 1,983,429 Christians that lose their faith every year and a whopping 13,884,000 in the last 7 years and counting. This is very sad news and is reflective of 2 Thessalonians 2:3 which prophesies that a “falling away” must happen first before the antichrist can be revealed.
Despite this falling away from Christianity, there is one group of people where believers in Jesus Christ have sharply increased. Within this same Pew Research study in 2014, it was found that 48% of lesbians, gays and bisexuals identify as Christians. This is up 6% in just 1 year compared to the 2013 study! Based on gay, lesbian and bisexual demographics, that’s averaged to be about 150,000 or more new gay, lesbian and bisexuals accepting Christ just in the past year. Praise God! The advancement in gay Christian identification could likely be do to the recent growth of gay-affirming Christian congregations and the increasing knowledge and availability of gay-affirming Biblical studies and literature. This rising acceptance has led to a growing longing for Christ in the gay community.
Another interesting thing to note is a particular exception to the decrease in nationwide Christianity. When looking at a state level, all states show an overall decrease in the amount of Christians. There were only a couple states which had an increase in a particular area of Christian identification, but still a decrease overall. California increased by 2 percentage points between 2007 and 2014 within the Evangelical tradition. As an observation, this is intriguing since California represents one of the most populated areas for gay-affirming churches. This possible association has not been studied, but I found it to be a fascinating observation that could be significant.
One more intriguing stat reveals the importance level that faith plays in those that were surveyed. Gay, lesbian and bisexual Christians reported that their religion played an important part of their life 3 percentage points higher than the heterosexuals Christians surveyed. So it would appear that the gay Christians faith is of devoutly serious importance.
Although these statistics for gay believers are exciting and demonstrate the bearing of good spiritual fruit, the fact remains that the gay community still has significantly lower levels of Christians compared to the heterosexual population due to the rejection from many churches and Believers. As a side note, the population of gays and straights of the Jewish faith were the same statistically. But for the Christian population, gays were significantly less Christian overall. Although another Pew study reveals a 12 percentage increase in church acceptance of gays, lesbians and bisexuals between 2006 to 2012, numbers are still relatively low. We must work towards spreading the Gospel message in a loving way to all of humankind without exclusion. As I’ve said before, we must be strive to be spiritually fruitful and multiply Believers.
Here are some articles that show these statistics as well as the 2014 Pew study: