A new survey showed that 1 in 10 non-church members in the U.S. attends weekly church services.
In the survey from Religion in Public and Ryan P. Burge, about half of the participants said they were members of a church or other place of worship. Additionally, about a quarter of respondents who were non-church members said they attended church at least once a year, Christianity Today reports.
According to the survey, about 1 in 10 non-church members go to church every week or more.
The new research comes after a Gallup study earlier this year that said that fewer than half of Americans were members of a church or house of worship for the first time in the country's history.
Gallup's yearly survey previously had reported that from the mid-1930s until 1990, about 70 percent of Americans said they were members of a church or place of worship.
By 2010, that number fell to 61 percent, and in 2020, the poll indicated that number was just 47 percent.
"For a growing number of churches, membership has been deemphasized (if not eliminated altogether) as they try to become more relevant to a younger generation that places less emphasis on attachment to institutions," said Burge, a political science professor and researcher with Religion in Public.
The survey also found that about 43 percent of people who said they were not members of a church identified as Protestant or Catholic or "other Christian."
About 40 percent of nonmembers said they were atheist, agnostic, or "nothing in particular."
"If this data serves as a guide, it's empirically inappropriate to say that a person who has no church membership is not religious, when in fact 60 percent of nonmembers still say they are affiliated with some faith tradition," Burge said.
Burge said as American society moves away from an emphasis on membership, religion may need to be measured "from a variety of angles, including measures of religious behavior, affiliation, and membership."
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Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.