Survey: Half of U.S. adults have switched religions
Here is part of the article (which suffers from the common confusion between denomination and religion)
More than half of all Americans have switched religions at least once, according to an in-depth survey released today.
And that may still be "a conservative estimate," says Luis Lugo, director of the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life.
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Pew's new Faith in Flux survey is based on re-contacting 2,800 people from its U.S. Religious Landscape Survey, released last year, which surveyed 35,000 people.
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•The reasons people give for changing their religion — or leaving religion altogether — differ widely depending on the origin and destination of the convert: 71% of Catholics and nearly 60% of Protestants who switched to another religion didn't think their spiritual needs were being met or they just liked another faith more, or they chainged their views on religious or moral beliefs.
•Catholicism has suffered the greatest net loss in the process of religious change: Those who have quit the church, 10% of U.S. adults, vastly outnumber incoming Catholics, 2.6% of adults. Two in three of Catholics who became unaffiliated and half of those who became Protestant say they left the church because they "stopped believing its teachings." The sexual abuse scandal was a factor for fewer than three in 10 former Catholics.
•Life circumstances, not religious doctrinal differences, prompt most Protestants who switch denominational families (Baptist to Methodist, for example). Relocating to a new community (nearly four in 10) or marrying someone of a different tradition are the most oft-cited reasons. However, 36% cited "likes and dislikes about religious institutions, practices and people."
•Many people who left a religion to become unaffiliated say they did so, in part, because they think of religious people as hypocritical or judgmental, because religious organizations focus too much on rules or because religious leaders are too focused on power and money.
•Among the 16% of Americans who say they are now unaffiliated with any religion, most are former Protestants and Catholics who say they didn't quit in a huff or get lured away by science or by atheist philosophy. About 70% say "they just gradually drifted away" from their childhood religion.
•Some people (16%) return to the fold, saying they tried another religion or two but are now back in the faith of their childhood.
"Combined with the 44% of the public that currently espouses a religion different than their childhood faith, this means that roughly half of the U.S. adult population has changed religion at some point in their life," the report says.