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Quote of the Day: How Many Americans Have Left Christianity in the Last Twenty-Five Years?

quote of the day

More people have left the church in the last twenty-five years than all the new people who became Christians from the First Great Awakening, Second Great Awakening, and Billy Graham crusades combined.

— Jim Davis and Michael Graham with Ryan Burge, The Great Dechurching, 2023 (Word & Way)

Bruce Gerencser, 66, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 45 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

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    People leaving Christianity may not be obvious here in the USA. Where my family came from in the very Catholic south Netherlands, many Catholic churches are locked up, unused, and the ones still having Mass are sparsely attended, mostly by elderly folks.

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    MJ Lisbeth

    DutchGuy—I’ve noticed something similar in France, Belgium and even parts of Spain.

    I think that here in the US, those who have remained in Christianity–especially the Evangelical and conservative Catholic varieties–are becoming more extreme in their attempts to keep their influence on the culture.

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    I think apart from the big mega churches the thriving churches in the U.S. are the ethnic ones that might do services in another language, e.g., Korean, Spanish, Indian, Chinese, etc. Because people of that ethnicity can go and have a place where they can meet others and socialize apart from the religious aspect.

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      One thing about Megachurch, it’s beyond my ken, as I’ve never attended nor had family that did. But it seems to me it is very much a way to do church without all the demands of a normal church. You become the quintessential consumer, you go in watch a professionally produced show and then you’re done. Seems like it wouldn’t have the social club aspect anymore than attending a concert (am I wrong on this? I’d like to hear if I am.)

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    Yulya Sevelova

    I’ll have to check out that book about the ” Great Dechurching” it sounds fascinating. It’s because most churches in America suck, always have sucked, and even if people still keep the basic beliefs of the faith, negative experience has simply driven away many,who refuse to accept abuse.

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Bruce Gerencser