More people are praying, but religious ties are fraying

Belief in afterlife has also increased
The number of Americans who are praying is increasing at the same time that more of them say they have no formal religious affiliation, according to a major polling organization.

The dynamic represents an “apparent shift in patterns of spiritual practice and identity away from the familiar institutions,” Omar M. McRoberts, a University of Chicago sociologist and researcher, said in an interview.

“We are witnessing a decoupling of ‘spirituality’ from ‘religion,’” said Mc Roberts. It is a trend echoed in other surveys and accounts of individuals calling themselves “spiritual but not religious.”

“I think we can expect to see yet more novel versions of religiosity appear, in response to changes in spirituality,” he said. The University of Chicago study, released October 23, was based on numerous surveys, including the General Social Survey’s own study of 52,000 U.S. adults.


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