Teasing America: Latest on the 2016 US election

President Barack Obama (left) and Vice President Joe Biden in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, DC. What would the church say if a US vice president were elected with the…

Teasing America: Latest on the 2016 US election

President Barack Obama (left) and Vice President Joe Biden in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, DC.

What would the church say if a US vice president were elected with the support of the country’s most conservative American group? The 2012 election could provide a model.

Unlikely as it may seem, Americans are less religious than ever before, according to government-backed measures that measure attendance at religious services. In 2015, just 56% of US adults – down from 57% in 2008 – said they regularly attend services at a house of worship.

Preliminary data for 2016 show the decline to be at least as steep, and probably more so.

Source: The Pew Research Center

Compared with 2012, when the evangelical Protestant group attended religious services by nearly the same percentage of the US public as the Catholic church, today Catholics have lost 1%.

Source: Pew Research Center

While total weekly attendance has stagnated, regular attendance by Catholics has declined – from 82% to 74% – with Hispanic Catholics the hardest hit.

In 2004, Catholics comprised 30% of all white Catholics in the US, about the same proportion as black Catholics, according to the Pew Research Center.

Catholics have fallen below Protestants, even though for many Catholics and Protestants, their faith is related to life in all its rites and content.

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