The Christian Denomination That the American People Are ‘Most Skeptical About’
A new LifeWay Research survey has found that, when it comes to denominations, Americans are “most skeptical about” Pentecostal churches, though only 45 percent assume that a house of worship isn’t for them if they see the word “Pentecostal” in its name.
Overall, 38 percent of Americans have a favorable view of Pentecostal churches, while 27 percent have an unfavorable view; 35 percent don’t know enough to form a viable opinion.
In contrast, 61 percent of respondents have a favorable view of Baptists — the highest among the denominations — with just 19 percent having an unfavorable opinion; only 20 percent are unable to say.
When it comes to Christian denominations, the research found that Americans are pretty open to the array of choices, with less than half of the people who are considered unreligious, too, claiming that each denomination isn’t for them.
“Their views are more favorable than unfavorable toward a wide range of faiths — Catholic, Methodist, Baptist, Lutheran, Assemblies of God, and non-denominational,” according to the new LifeWay report.
Much has also been made of the fact that there’s an increasing number of Americans who do not identify with any religion, leading some to wonder if Christianity — the majority faith in the U.S. — is in crisis.
The assumption among some has been that the “nones” — those individuals who are either atheist, agnostic or unaffiliated with a church or denomination — aren’t interested in faith, though many experts have rebutted that claim.
The Pew Research Center recently found that 22.8 percent of Americans are “nones,” but only 7.1 percent of citizens consider themselves atheists or agnostics, meaning that the vast majority of the unaffiliated are simply unattached individuals who may indeed be spiritual.
Still, there have been notable increases among nonbelievers and the unaffiliated in recent years, as noted here.
LifeWay vice president Scott McConnell explains that the unaffiliated likely aren’t as turned off by faith as many assume, with the research corroborating that the majority don’t outright reject any denomination.
“Just because someone has no religious preference does not mean they have closed the door to the Christian church or a denomination as being something that can meet needs in their lives,” he said.