A rough decade for American congregations
A new survey shows a decline in worship service attendance in the United States.
September 20th, 2011
04:43 PM ET

A rough decade for American congregations

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

(CNN) - A new decade-long survey of American congregations shows religious health and vitality are weaker than they were 10 years ago.  While the survey showed that many congregations are adopting new technologies and innovative worship, there were steep drops in financial health and attendance at weekly worship services.

The Hartford Institute for Religion Research released the study's findings Saturday in a report titled "A Decade of Change in American Congregations, 2000 – 2010" authored by David A. Roozen.

In the measured decade, churches, temples and synagogues told surveyors that congregations that were innovative and contemporary showed the highest amount of "high spiritual vitality."

Forty-seven percent of congregations that said their worship experience was "innovative and contemporary" reported high spiritual vitality, versus 17% that said their congregations were "neither innovative nor contemporary."

The vast majority of congregations implemented electronic communications in the past decade.  Recently, many have turned to social networking as well, with 41% using Facebook to communicate with congregants.

Congregations are also having hard times financially, the survey found.  In 2000, 31% of survey participants reported excellent financial health.  In 2010, that number plummeted to just 14%.

The recession, Roozen writes in the report, "affected nearly every kind of congregation equally – large and small; north, south, east and west; financially healthy or struggling before the recession. One bit of good news was that one in 10 congregations reported that by the time of the survey, they had already begun to recover."

Roozen writes that a variety of factors led to the decline, but overall, there are fewer Americans in the pews, and "... more than 1 in 4 American congregations had fewer than 50 in worship in 2010, and just under half had fewer than 100. Overall, median weekend worship attendance of your typical congregation dropped from 130 to 108 during the decade, according to the FACT surveys."

FACT refers to Faith Communities Today, a multifaith coalition that researches congregational life.

While megachurches - congregations with more than 2,000 members - continued to grow in popularity, they still represent only a fraction of American congregations, at one-half of 1%.  "And while it appears to be true they are attracting an ever bigger slice of the religious attender pie, it is a bigger slice of a shrinking pie," Roozen wrote.

The decline hit across religious and denominational lines, sparing no one, Roozen wrote. He said that "no single category or kind of congregation ... was exempt from the decadal downsizing of worship attendance."

The data came from Faith Communities Today surveys and represents 11,077 congregations and 120 denominations of Christian, Jewish, and Muslim traditions, the institute said.  Most often, the surveys were completed by the congregation's leader, and the institute estimates the margin of error to be plus or minus 4 percentage points.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Belief • Church

soundoff (2,018 Responses)
  1. Paul

    Its what they get for not keeping their hands off the children!

    September 21, 2011 at 12:37 am |
  2. Joe

    It's no longer taboo to apply critical thinking skills to religious beliefs... What else would you expect?

    September 21, 2011 at 12:36 am |
  3. Brian

    Someone please tell me EXACTLY where in the bible it says that man must go to a specific building on a specific day and drop money in a plate to be accepted into heaven?

    For the record – Faith is an excellent thing. But religion is a business just like any other – except they don't pay taxes.

    September 21, 2011 at 12:35 am |
    • badlobbyist

      Exactly. That's a big reason why Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the door. Scripture does not support a good deal of the stuff (stuff being generous) that religions ask of their members.

      September 21, 2011 at 12:40 am |
  4. D's Bulldog

    Science can only say something about that which it can test. Because science cannot test super-natural phenomena, science has nothing to say about religion and all of the religious miracles mentioned in scriptures. Also, there is a vast array of different religious beliefs people that explain the age of the earth, and evolution, and all other debates. These points certainly don't disprove the existence of a God. Lots of people believe that God works through natural laws and believe that he worked through evolution and that the earth really is millions of years old. From there the spectrum of believers moves towards arguments such as: the earth was created 7,000 years ago but the materials used to create it of course existed millions of years ago, to yes the earth was created in 7 days but a day in God's time is millions of years. Then of course you have those that believe that the earth is only 7,000 years old, and there was no evolution at all etc... The simple fact of the matter is that Science is not capable of saying God does not exist, or that religion is wish-wash. Anyone who feels the two are exclusive is a simpleton and clearly lacks the nuance gene which the truly highly evolved possess!

    September 21, 2011 at 12:35 am |
    • Joe

      The thing is that people are beginning to adopt elements of the scientific method such as critical thinking and are willing to apply them to religious beliefs.

      September 21, 2011 at 12:37 am |
    • D's Bulldog

      So are you saying religious people couldn't think critically before, but have suddenly developed the ability? There has always been a spectrum of beliefs in religion. Darwin, was religious.

      September 21, 2011 at 12:41 am |
    • badlobbyist

      I think Bertrand Russell’s teapot argument is best suited for this. If I have to believe in everything I cannot disprove, then I have to believe in an awful lot on stuff. Loch Ness monster. Yeti. Bigfoot. Every UFO sighting ever. All the ghosts on that stupid show on the Discovery channel. Where do you stop?

      September 21, 2011 at 1:06 am |
  5. tensai13

    Less Americans attend Church ? Did IQ's just rise sharply while I was away?

    September 21, 2011 at 12:34 am |
  6. EuphoriCrest

    Pastafarianism is on the rise!

    Hail Marinara, full of garlic, the Pasta is with thee.
    Blessed art thou amongst toppings and blessed are the Parmesan Cheeses!

    September 21, 2011 at 12:33 am |
    • Mattypoopoo


      September 21, 2011 at 12:36 am |
    • badlobbyist

      Yes brother, Ramen.

      September 21, 2011 at 1:08 am |
  7. David

    Last year between both of my jobs I worked 85 hours a week. That's the good part about being an independent person. But that independence is bad for churches who once relied upon those people who depended on them and called it their home. I don't need to be on another persons watch to pray to Jesus. One less commitment is one less headache and one less stress to have. I faced reality a long time ago and learned how to pray to God on my own turf and on my own time.

    September 21, 2011 at 12:30 am |
    • badlobbyist

      And one more thing...I have cancer. A couple years of delay in stem cell research may or may not have any effect on my outcome. But you just don’t know. That is why we secularists get a little perturbed about many religious folks. People that are alive right now are dying because of delays caused by some awfully thin objections.

      September 21, 2011 at 12:57 am |
    • Shelly White

      When ATM machines started appearing in Mega-churches, the uneducated, unwashed masses in the USA saw it as a sign from gawwwwwwwwwwd that the primary purpose of these cults is to make a profit. A tax free profit.

      September 21, 2011 at 1:04 am |
  8. EJ

    As an agnostic, I am disgusted by some of the nasty arguments here. If I want people to respect my belief, or lack of belief, then I realize I must respect those who have different opinions. Why bash people who believe in God? Their belief in God hurts nobody, just as your disbelief in God hurts nobody. What is the point in spewing hateful comments back and forth? Why can't people get along?

    September 21, 2011 at 12:27 am |
    • Mattypoopoo

      EJ, I've been right there with you. But the fact is, believing in fairy tales and contributing 10% of your income in the process is destructive. On a totally serious note, that money could really be used for something productive. Building giant churches and funding all that goes along with it while there are starving (literally) people in the world is immoral.

      September 21, 2011 at 12:34 am |
    • Godfrey

      I agree, EJ: as long as their belief is hurting no one, it should be respected.

      However, there are a lot of instances where religious belief hurts our society, most particularly when adherents seek to foist their morality or disdain for science on everyone else. A decline in this sort of activity should be celebrated.

      September 21, 2011 at 12:38 am |
    • Joe

      Say that again next time a gay kid is beaten to death...

      September 21, 2011 at 12:40 am |
    • Caron

      You are right, of course. But we are all very, very, very, very sick and tired of being condemned by the so-called religious folk because we don't believe in their imaginary friend. So many so-called christians deserve to reap what they sow.

      September 21, 2011 at 12:47 am |
    • badlobbyist

      EJ – There are so many things that keep people apart already. Language, culture, politics, etc. Religion is just one more thing that is unnecessarily divisive.

      Is the current divide between Islam and Christianity really religious? Is that why people are now, and have in the past killed each other? I don’t believe so. I think it is generally about money and power. However, when you add religion you give ordinary people a reason to dislike their fellow human beings. Notice how God is always on your side? God was on Hitler’s side too.

      For all the good that religion can promote like bringing people in communities together, the overall effect can be very toxic.

      Read – Sam Harris “The End of Faith” for a fired up anti atheist take on why religion is causing so many issues. And then read Daniel Dennetts “Breaking the Spell” for a more compassionate analysis of all the good things that religion can accomplish, but w/o the mystical aspects being necessary.

      September 21, 2011 at 12:50 am |
    • EJ

      It's not that I disagree with many of the points you guys make here. I do know there are harmful sides of religion. And Joe, I am a lesbian, so I do understand how the downside of religion can affect the innocent. My daughter is also gay and believe me, I worry about her every day of my life and wonder if she will be a victim of that madness.

      The problem is, MOST Christians and Muslims are decent, respectable people who want peace and harmony in their lives. Most Christians I know do not try to force their beliefs on me and they accept me for who I am. When you come to a blog such as this, you will see extreme reactions from both sides and when you see comments from the religious people that feels like an attack, you get angry and the instinct is to want to fight back by belittling their beliefs. The problem is, the silent majority ARE good and decent people who get hurt when they see some of the nasty comment. And this is true of people on both sides.

      There is one way that everybody here could make their opinions more peaceful. I know this sounds corny, but instead of stating your opinion as fact, try starting with the words, "I believe." "I believe religion is a fairy tale" sounds a lot kinder than "religion is a fairy tale." And the same is true of Christians. Instead of stating that there is a God, try saying, "I believe there is a God." That simple attempt at being respectful can be the difference between hatefulness and civil discussions. Like it or not, we all have to live with one another. There will always be religious people and there will always be non-believers. I doubt anybody is going to change minds by saying rude or hateful things to each other....however, you might just make somebody see your points if you express them in a kind way. Just my opinion.

      September 21, 2011 at 2:12 am |
    • Lin

      Excellent arguments, EJ. I wish there was a 'like' button here.

      September 21, 2011 at 4:45 am |
    • Luz

      It's for the first time that the entire scuiptrres have been made available on DVDs making it a whole new experience for everyone to listen to the scuiptrres. The DVD set has two DVDs One for the Old Testament and other for New Testament. Stephen Johnston, with his clear, expressive baritone voice, is one of the foremost narrators of the Bible and he delievers excellent word-for-word rendition of the popular New King James Version Bible over a soft instrumental background. However, there are some shortcomings too. The pace with which the scuiptrres are narrated is not consistent throughout. Though most chapters of the Bible have been read quite nicely, some have been narrated in quite a hurry. Chapters like Revelation 13 and 17 have been read at such a lightening pace as if the DVD storage space was running short. The Gospels however, have been read beautifully by Stephen Johnston. In the Old Testament DVD also, some chapters have been read speedily. It may be due to the fact that some chapters like those in Revelation are not read much by the christians and hence the narrator took the liberty of reading them hurriedly. Another improvement in the DVD could be the enlargement of the text of the scuiptrres being displayed on the screen so that one can read it also quite comfortably even from a distance. Presently, the verses are shown on both pages of the Bible in a open book layout and are not easily discernible. One option could be that only one page containing scuiptrres is displayed on the screen. The page may look like a scroll used in the older times. The images stored in the DVD though beautiful, are not enough as they do not show many of the important places in the Holy Land mentioned in the Bible. To experience the Holy Land of Israel, I strongly recommend the beautiful book Images of the Holy Land by Israeli Photographer Hanan Isachar as well as the DVD The Holy Land Revealed , both available on Amazon. Despite above shortcomings, the Holy Bible DVD set is definitely worth buying for the bliss it provides while listening to the scuiptrres. Be refreshed and encouraged by God's Word at any time of the day when you listen to the beloved and time-trusted King James Version of the Bible. I hope the points raised above shall be considered by the narrator and the studio before producing its next improved release.

      November 8, 2012 at 7:33 am |
  9. cyberCMDR

    Church attendance may be declining, but there still seems to be no shortage of evangelical Christians trying to influence school boards, public policy, etc. The GOP seems to be relying on this group, with many candidates trying to out-God each other. Whatever happened to that notion of prayer being done in private?

    September 21, 2011 at 12:17 am |
    • Chris

      Since when has prayer just been done in private. Have you never watched a presidential swearing in ceremony. Every session of congress starts with a public prayer. You might want it to be private, but that is not this country.

      September 21, 2011 at 12:35 am |
    • Shelly White

      Well, the fundamentalist congregations are made up of people who don't question authority because their cult-leaders tell them that is against gawwwwwds wishes. They also can't see that two of our most inept presidents, Dubbya and Carter (who resided over two of our worst recessions) were southern fundamentalist evangelicals whose chief qualifications were that 'god will be my co-pilot'. How ironic that Clinton (who, shameless as he is) would never make that claim... yet (it hurts me to admit it) he was one of our better presidents. Surely, a ten year old would be smart enough to not fall for evangelical campaining nonsense, yet Perry is shamelessly getting away with it. We don't need another Texass doofus in the white house.

      September 21, 2011 at 12:45 am |
    • Caron

      Chris: Leave country out of it. Politicians pray because their electorate won't vote for them unless they do.

      September 21, 2011 at 12:49 am |
  10. Matt

    To those saying that we need to get back to Christ in order to restore the economic prosperity we once enjoyed, here are a list of the top 10 "Most Christian" countries: Ecuador (99.0%), Venezuela (98.0%), Greece (98.0%), Columbia (97.6%), Zambia (97.6%), Romania (97.5%), Guatemala (97.5%), Poland (95.7%), Congo (95.6%), and Mexico (94.5%). For reference, the US is 78.4% Christian. Becoming more Christian does not lead to economic success.

    September 21, 2011 at 12:16 am |
    • Mattypoopoo

      Matt, you fool. Those stats are simply God's way of testing our faith in Him. He did the same thing with fossils.

      September 21, 2011 at 12:21 am |
    • biodan

      The countries that you mention are dominated by Catholic or Orthodox Christianity where members are born into the church. Though most of the citizens are Christian in name, few actually practice their beliefs. It doesn't quite compare to what is seen in the US.

      September 21, 2011 at 12:26 am |
    • Joshua

      Most of those nations listed are catholic, not Christian ... and nominally so. Servitude of the LORD is not a means toward an end, however it does seem that western culture has risen and will decline with service to the LORD.

      Psalm 9:17 The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.

      September 21, 2011 at 12:33 am |
    • Godfrey

      These comments have a point: as an atheist myself, I must be honest and point out that those countries' economic problems probably having little to do with their overall level of faith.

      There are reasons to be glad about the decline in religiosity, but we should be clear and honest as to what those are.

      September 21, 2011 at 12:42 am |
    • Observer


      "Matt, you fool."

      Excellent example of the HYPOCRISY of some Christians. Jesus said that people calling others fools would go to Hell. OOps.

      September 21, 2011 at 12:49 am |
    • Shelly White

      Thank-you. I want to remind everyone that two of the worst presidents of the past 100 years, Carter and Dubbya, claimed that if elected, ;gaaaaaaawd would be their co-pilot.' How dumb can a person be to not be aware how incompetent these two fools were. They presided over two of our worst recessions and both led this great country into an abysmal pit of low morale. Please don't fall for the next fundamentalist doofus on the horizon. We can't take another loser.

      September 21, 2011 at 12:50 am |
  11. Michael Kappele

    Funny how this article left out Heathen/Pagan/Wiccian and other NeoPagan faiths, which are growing,

    September 21, 2011 at 12:16 am |
    • Michael Kappele

      And I AM A Asatru Minister, A Heathen.

      September 21, 2011 at 12:17 am |
    • Kyle

      Pagans are tolerable.

      September 21, 2011 at 12:21 am |
  12. thes33k3r

    It could also be in part due to our witnessing, ten years ago, of 19 hijackers demonstrating to us what happens when religious zealots REALLY believe what they say they believe. "If their god doesn't exist, just maybe mine doesn't either."

    September 21, 2011 at 12:14 am |
  13. Bo

    @Kyle 11: 09 do you know the the "Kingdom God" means? You infer that the Kingdom of God hasn't come.

    September 21, 2011 at 12:14 am |
  14. thes33k3r

    Hmmm...I wonder if it has anything to do with the fact that, with every day, more people are realizing that religion is the greatest scam of all time?

    September 21, 2011 at 12:11 am |
    • Shelly White

      The beauty of the scam is that you can never prove that a religion is committing fraud when it promises rewards in the 'afterlife'. The afterlife frightens people if you tell them it will be awful, unless you follow a path to redemption. Not surprisingly, these snake-oil samesmen always reveal that the members must donate money. Tax free money! What a freakin' scam.

      September 21, 2011 at 12:55 am |
  15. Bo

    @huxley, 11:52 You either don't know all the facts or twisting what you do know to fit your purposes. This blog should be exciting for every true beliver, because it's fulfilling end time prophecies, in particular 2Thes 2:3-4

    September 21, 2011 at 12:06 am |
    • Mattypoopoo

      Bo, I sincerely hope you give up waiting for the end of times. You're going to waste your life waiting for something that won't happen. Trust me. God told me to tell you.

      September 21, 2011 at 12:26 am |
    • KeithTexas

      The end of days already came and you Christians missed it.

      September 21, 2011 at 12:36 am |
    • Shelly White

      Gawwwwd already came and Mary said, oh it was divine.

      September 21, 2011 at 12:56 am |
  16. Question everything

    Isn't it typical of the egotistical maniacs that we are as a species to be convinced the power that created and controls the galaxies is one of us, a human. Pretty convenient, wouldn't you say?

    September 21, 2011 at 12:01 am |
    • Krejaton

      Convenient only if you utterly misunderstand the gospel and the nature of the Christian Deity. You certainly git that bill.

      September 21, 2011 at 12:11 am |
    • Kyle

      If I misunderstood the "gospel" then I'd still be a christian.

      2 Peter 1:20-21
      Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.

      You know how your pastor is always reading scripture to you, and then he says, "What it REALLY means is..." Yeah. Everything you think you know about your bible is wrong.

      September 21, 2011 at 12:16 am |
    • Question everything

      Like most athiests, I have a strong understanding of the concepts and literature of christianity and the gospel. To say that christians are not convinced that their god created this world is a complete misinterpretation or denial of the message within Genesis. That said, i stick to my original thought that we are egomaniacs by nature and the belief that our diety created all of our surroundings is typical.

      September 21, 2011 at 12:22 am |
  17. oh, my

    I'm lol'ing hard at all the armchair theologians and scientists who think they know anything or everything about Christianity. Oh, the pointless lives they lead. I see "contradictions" this and "small-brained" Christians that, it's like a debate club in middle school. The CNN forums are filled with laughable, angry little people who feel because they believe that God doesn't exist that their life is pointless. Well, it is, folks. If that's what you believe, that we all just rot back into dust when we die (oh, wait, the Bible actually says that), then there is no point at all. It all boils down to death, and your fear of it. One day, you will all die a pretty horrible death (heart disease, cancer, sepsis, kidney failure, all the leading causes of death, and all very, very painful and crippling), and everyone just hates that, so you all take it out on God. "If God, why evil?" "If God, why do kids die of cancer, and 9/11, and AIDS, and hurricanes." Why not? We all die anyway, who cares about disease and pain? How horrible would life be if we were all robots? Would we know what good was without evil? Read some subject matter on this, and get out of your computer chairs. Have an open mind about God, just like I've an open mind about science. The Bible and science do not ever technically contradict. Of course, you all will focus on that instead of the rest of what I wrote. But that's OK, and I would expect no more.

    September 21, 2011 at 12:01 am |
    • this is gonna be another religious debate isn't it...

      makes perfect sense to me. agreed.

      September 21, 2011 at 12:07 am |
    • Nate (Seattle, WA)

      If you think the Bible doesn't contradict science, then you don't understand science.

      Evolution is accepted science. Humans can't walk on water, turn water into wine, part seas, or live to 900 years old. All from the bible, all scientifically fraudulent.

      What about that do you not get, you clown?

      Being "open-minded" isn't a virtue when you're so open-minded that you let all your soft brain tissue spill out onto the ground. There are such things as facts in this world ... just not in religion.

      September 21, 2011 at 12:09 am |
    • newsreel

      Look who is angry and filled of hates, LOL. The ones who fears of death are those that need to be consoled, to have fake promise, in order to face death. They cannot face it alone like a real man. And no contradiction of bible and science ? Sorry, the universe existed 13 billions years ago, not a few thousands mentioned in some fairy tale....

      September 21, 2011 at 12:10 am |
    • Trystan

      Yes. The bible and science do contradict each other.

      According to the bible, the earth was created in 6 god days. According to the bible, a day to god is 1,000 years to humans. Therefore, the earth was created over a span of 6,000 years. Following genealogy within the bible, we can estimate that the universe is somewhere under 15,000 years old.

      This completely contradicts factual evidence.

      Furthermore, the creation according to the bible has two differing accounts in Genesis. The bible contradicts itself there.

      Also, the book of Enoch contains a rather glamorous creation account, which again contradicts the two biblical accounts in Genesis.

      You have it backwards. christians live in fear of death. They're the ones trying to prepare for a fantasy afterlife. Atheists on the other hand, well, if we lived in fear, we'd be scrambling to figure out which of the gods it is we're supposed to waste our time worshiping.

      Enjoy being an armchair whatever it is you are.

      September 21, 2011 at 12:12 am |
    • newsreel

      Look who is angry and filled of hates, LOL. The ones who fears of death are those that need to be consoled, to have fake promise, in order to face death. They cannot face it alone like a real man. And no contradiction of bible and science ? Sorry, the universe existed 13 billions years ago, not a few thousands mentioned in some fairy tale....As the article said, church attendanceare shrinking in our modern society.

      September 21, 2011 at 12:13 am |

      i am lolinglmaoingrofling at how uneducated you are


      September 21, 2011 at 12:22 am |
    • Kool Aid

      This is more than slightly disjointed and rambles in places, but I will do my best to chop the legs out from under it.

      #1 We atheists are not 'angry little people'. We do not blame God for our ills, as there are PLENTY of people–past and present–to share the blame. And there is more mystery on not knowing what is really out there than the 'wonders' depicted in your mythology. So, no, we do not think life is pointless

      #2 The fear of dying inspires the atheist in a way that in cannot inspire the believer. To us, there simply is no time to spare

      #3 The concept that we need God for morality is the critically flawed central thesis of most who argyue as you do. To assume that we would be immoral in the absence of an ominpresent overseer, one must also logically assume that we are inherently flawed as a species. Why would a loving God create something that fundamentally imperfect and then persecute it for not living up to standards it is incapable of meeting? That soudnde more like something a pyscopath would do.

      And we don't need science to contradict the teachings of the Bible, the Koran, or any other work of equal balderdash-those books themselves do a far better job of contradicting themeselves than science could ever dream of.

      September 21, 2011 at 12:27 am |
    • third_wiggin


      I find it surprising that evolution and the bible have one thing in common that they both believe that the universe was made from nothing. In one area BANG it came into being, on the other hand BANG God formed the heavens and the earth. Either THEORY has yet to be proven beyond the shadow of a doubt that is why it is called faith. Faith in one or the other, but if I have faith in the big bang then I could end up in the pit of hell, on the other hand if I have faith in God I could end up in heaven and if it turns out there is no God then I lose nothing.

      September 21, 2011 at 12:40 am |
    • Godfrey

      Nate: fine, fine... as long as you admit that donkeys can talk and that God can create light from other stars "in-transit" so I can keep my 6000-year-old Earth website running.

      September 21, 2011 at 12:46 am |
    • amanda

      i am not an atheist. but yes, we can know happiness and joy and love without knowing misery, sorrow and hate. look at babies and animals. they know all the former without any of the latter.

      maybe there is god. but if there is, he isn't as the bible describes him. an all-powerful, loving god does not create billions who cannot know him so that they are condemned to hell. he does not create disease and plague that prey upon helpless people who have no food to feed their children. he does not create famine so severe that even sin-less animals must suffer.

      i am not going to hold it against you that you believe in something purely on faith. you must not hold it against others that they hold skepticism over the same. that's just ignorant.

      September 21, 2011 at 12:48 am |
    • Lin

      Gee, @Nate, I thought science depended on observation. Wouldn't you have had to be present to observe and 'prove' that the events recounted in the Bible absolutely did not happen? Just because we don't currently understand how something happened doesn't mean it could not have happened. We are not all that scientifically sophisticated yet. The surface tension of water molecules is incredibly strong. Who is to say that the tension could not be increased somehow to support the weight of a human body? Or used to create a passage through a body of water? Or that the atoms and molecules could not be rearranged from H20 into wine? Or that the human body might not have functioned differently at some point in time and allowed for a much longer lifespan?

      September 21, 2011 at 4:58 am |
    • oh, my

      Typical responses, filled with mis-education and hatred. Calling me a "clown" falsely stating the that the Bible says the earth was created in 6 literal days, taking miracles out of context. I'm not sure where morality came into play, I didn't even mention it. The Bible contradicts itself because you read bits and pieces that others have posted, never reading it for yourself. Incredible.

      September 21, 2011 at 10:55 am |
  18. Mathilda

    The secular West proved the validity of Christianity. De-christianized West is a complete garbage and totally des-pi-cable in anyone's eyes. Only the worthless hedonists love the current immoral trends in the West.

    Americans, it's outer shell of Christianity with those toxic liberal doctrines that is being peeled off. Evangelical Christianity is certainly growing everywhere, even all over the West including USA. The Westerners without Christianity are living complete garbage life. Pagans who cling to weird religions are cuter and more sincere.

    September 21, 2011 at 12:01 am |
    • Nate (Seattle, WA)

      I love it when religious people lecture me about how they have all the answers, and do so in broken English.

      Why don't you learn a language first? That's relatively easy. After you've mastered that, you'll be in a better position to learn enough to render judgment on the tough issues, like the nature of life, and why mankind feels the need to invent religions over and over again.

      September 21, 2011 at 12:13 am |
    • Mattypoopoo

      Nate, that was harsh. Don't be a jerk.

      September 21, 2011 at 12:17 am |
    • Kyle

      Since I dumped christianity, my quality of life has increased dramatically. Instead of praying for money and things, I simply worked harder and got a better job. All by myself! No mythological hand-holding!

      North Koreans are under the impression the rest of the world lives in filth and poverty because their dictator says it is so. Much like christians think us sinners are all miserable, because your dictator/bible/pastor tells you it is so.

      September 21, 2011 at 12:19 am |
    • EvolvedDNA

      Mathilda..Now you know thats not right don't you. If you accept and see people as Human beings rather than just their religion, or lack of religion, you will be happier and less jaded. All atheists, I am sure I can say, have religious friends of all stripes and it does not affect their friendship. The human spirt is much stronger than religion.

      September 21, 2011 at 12:32 am |
    • badlobbyist

      The violent crime rate in America has been dropping for the last 20 years. Per this article, church attendance has been dropping for the last decade. Coincidence?

      Maybe when people start taking responsibility for themselves and realize that God isn’t going to come down here and help they stop hurting each other and realize that we are all in this together. Just a thought.

      September 21, 2011 at 1:20 am |
  19. To the beloved American Christians

    No, America still has vitality with a possibility of bouncing back. The last nation of hope in the entire West. It's Europe that is humanly-speaking permanently and hopelessly dying off. Asia, Africa, and the Islamic land have unprecedented growth of Christian faith in spite of grueling persecutions. The Holy Spirit is moving everywhere powerfully in the last days. American Christians, take heart. God owns the universe. God is in control and He is saving His people everywhere even today. Just continue your own battles for righteousness courageously in your land. There was never an easy era or easy place for any true Christian. We all have our own assignments where we are planted. Jesus our King will come back at the nick of time. We just should never give up or dwell in sins but keep looking up to Jesus till the very end. Revelation 22:7-21 is only true.

    September 20, 2011 at 11:57 pm |
    • Answer

      Drown in your sorrows .. for Jesus never was.

      Keep on wallowing in your dirt dogmas. It suits you.
      Keep begging on everybody to accept you, it suits you to crawl on your bellies.
      Keep on rehashing your bible quotes.. it's all you have.
      Keep on spewing your hate – for you never had love anyways.
      Keep on being miserable everyday – scouring every day for hope that never comes.

      Keep that gun – loaded – near your temple. For you'll need it.

      September 21, 2011 at 12:32 am |
    • Godfrey

      Yes, take heart, American Christians! That 2000-year nightmare of slavery to an immortal authoritarian is all based on pure fact! When we die, we get to serve him cookies dipped in human blood FOREVER.

      Rejoice! And praise the LORD.

      September 21, 2011 at 12:49 am |
  20. telhasteezee

    hallelujah.. This is a good sign, no more churches or mosques.. good riddance.

    September 20, 2011 at 11:55 pm |
    • Mathilda

      Islam is the fastest growing religion in the West. Enjoy Sharia Law in the West.

      September 21, 2011 at 12:03 am |
    • this is gonna be another religious debate isn't it...


      September 21, 2011 at 12:04 am |
    • Krejaton

      ROFL...you do know what "Hallelujah" means right?

      Oh the irony.

      September 21, 2011 at 12:15 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28
About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.