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May 2018 – The non-religious – known as Nones and including atheists, agnostics, and those who claim to believe “nothing in particular” – are much more likely to change their religious beliefs and identification than are those who belong to a distinct religious tradition, according to a recent study.
Although Nones have been considered the fastest growing religious demographic in recent years, a large number of them were seen to change their religious affiliation during four years of study.
The Cooperative Congressional Election Study asked 9,500 respondents the same questions in 2010, 2012, and 2014. By 2014, 48% percent of agnostics and 42% of those who had described their faith as nothing in particular in 2010 had changed their religious stance. About half of the latter group had moved into atheism and agnosticism while 17% had returned to Christianity. The agnostics of 2010 were more likely to have become atheists, or to have moved into the nothing in particular group.
On the other hand, fewer Protestants, Catholics, and Jews (about 10%), and atheists (18%), changed their religion during the study. According to Pew Research, only a quarter of those raised Jewish have changed faith during their lifetimes. One-third of all Americans have changed from their childhood faith.
christianitytoday.com, 2/6/18, 2/20/18